Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse & Caudalie Divine Oil ~ scented body product reviews

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse

After I wrote my review of i Profumi di Firenze Frangipane e Cocco last week, I started craving a fragrance that actually smelled like frangipani. I couldn't find anything fitting that description in my sample drawer, and then I remembered the sample packets of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse that I had tucked into the bathroom cupboard a month or two ago. Voilà! Just the kind of thing I'd had in mind, even if it came in the form of a body product.

Nuxe is celebrating Huile Prodigieuse's twentieth anniversary this year with a limited edition bottle and a bit of fanfare over its "multi-usage dry oil." This product can be used to moisturize the body, hair and face; it's a blend of "six precious oils" (borage, St. John's wort, sweet almond, camellia, hazelnut and macadamia) as well as other botanical extracts and synthetic ingredients. To my nose, and my imagination, Huile Prodigieuse has a "fancy French suntan oil" smell: a breath of neroli, a drizzle of coconut milk, a shimmer of musk. And, yes, it features a creamy note of frangipane (or tiare) flower petals!

Huile Prodigieuse's scent doesn't cling too long to the skin or hair, but it's heavenly while it lasts. It might even inspire me to seek out Nuxe's more recent release Progidieux Le Parfum, a perfume version of the oil's fragrance developed by Serge Majouillier with a composition of bergamot, mandarin, orange blossom, rose,  gardenia, magnolia, mineral accord, vanilla and coconut milk. (If you've already tried Progidieux, do comment!)

Caudalie Divine Oil

I can't help thinking that Caudalie's Divine Oil, which was launched in 2012, is intended as a competitor to Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse. It's another dry oil that boasts a recipe of botanical oils (in this case, grapeseed, argan, sesame and hibiscus oils), and it's also recommended for use on the body, face and hair. It has a similar texture to the Nuxe oil and it feels just as luxurious and works just as well. However, it has a completely different scent: Divine Oil's fragrance is a woody floral composed by Jacques Cavallier, with notes of rose, grapefruit, pink pepper, cedar, vanilla and white musk.

Divine Oil is more intensely scented than I expected, and its fragrance is deep and complex enough to suggest an actual perfume. The rose is a true rose note with a dusting of pepper, and it gradually dissolves to make way for the warm cedar, subtle vanilla and woodsy musk, with just a hint of lingering citrus to lighten things up. It's a sophisticated, feminine blend, yet it merges with my skin in a way that no chain-store scented body oil will ever do. If you were in the mood for a subtle veil of fragrance, you could apply this product, let it sink in, and skip applying actual perfume.

These two oils convey very different moods with their fragrances: Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse is definitely tropical and carefree, and Caudalie's Divine Oil has a more classic (but not stuffy) feel. I like both, for different occasions or times of year. When I finish my samples, I'll have to decide which one will be my first full-size purchase.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse sells as 50 ml ($29) and 100 ml ($45) oil on the Nuxe website; Caudalie Divine Oil sells as 100 ml oil ($49) at the Caudalie website and Sephora.

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22 Comments

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  1. Thalia says:

    They both sound lovely! And a bargain compared to perfume …

    Do you really use it in your hair? I’m always afraid it will look greasy.

    • Jessica says:

      Thalia, I like to work a little bit into my hair at bedtime, as an all-night leave-in conditioner. I also add *one* drop into my usual styling cream when my hair is feeling dry!

    • Kelly Red says:

      Oh no, they don’t make your hair feel greasy at all. You only use one or two drops, rub your palms together briskly and then fluff through your hair. I love dry oil because it tames my fly aways and gives a very slight sheen to my very dry hair. This is a much nicer version of John Fredia’s Frizz-Eaze LOL

    • Lucy says:

      Thalia, I have found that the key to using oil in my hair is to keep it away from the scalp. Also, like Jessica and Kelly said, a drop or two is all that most people need. I like to rub it into my hands all over (as if I was using hand lotion) and then apply it to my ends before my skin has absorbed it all. It will take some trial and error to find out what works best for you. I love these all of these new oils because they are multipurpose. Many work for body, face, and hair. I have replaced five or six products in my travel bag with one small bottle of oil.

  2. Abyss says:

    I have a couple of small bottles of Nuxe oil (both the standard and the shimmery version) although I never use them for some reason. I recently discovered their hand cream and lip balm and those are great. They are a little on the pricy side, but since they are quite rich, I’ve been using them before bed so they should last me a while, especially the latter.

    Another nice dry oil is Elemis Frangipani Monoi oil so if you like this kind of thing then I’d recommend trying that one too if you can.

    • Jessica says:

      Abyss, Nuxe’s Reve de Miel really is an excellent lip balm — worth the price, I agree! One tiny tub lasts for ages.

      Thanks for the Elemis recommendation! I’ll have to seek that out.

      • Bela says:

        Nuxe Rêve de Miel does last for ages, however it tends to go off quite readily. I had to throw away two pots in the past. I don’t intend to buy it again.

    • Lucy says:

      I went to a spa once that offered a scalp massage with the Elemis Frangipani oil. It was so lovely to be sedated with that scent. I really should buy a full bottle.

  3. Cybele says:

    Thank you for the review- I love the scent and feel of Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse and very much prefer it over Caudalie!

    • Jessica says:

      It’s easy to see why Huile Prodigieuse has had such longevity!!

  4. Bela says:

    I always have a bottle of Nuxe oil. I love it. Bought the first one 16 years ago. I only recently discovered that the Nuxe Prodigieux/se skincare range smells the same as the oil so I now use one of the moisturisers.

    I’ve also got a bottle of the Elixir d’Huiles Sèches (Perle & Huiles Précieuses) by Institut Arnaud, which has a very similar scent, but is much cheaper than the Nuxe.

    I tried the Nuxe perfume last year. It was too sweet for me – much sweeter than the oil. Very tenacious too: one tiny spritz lasted days. If it had been less sweet, I might have bought a bottle.

    • annemarie says:

      Thanks for the mention of the perfume. I had wondered what it would be like. I’m in Australia so I don’t expect to see it distributed here but it has not turned up in the inventories of any of my usual online retailers either, even the one from which I buy the oil. I wondered if the perfume had completely flopped and been d/c.

      • Jessica says:

        Yes, thanks! Interesting that the perfume feels much sweeter…

  5. galbanumgal says:

    Thanks for the info Jessica & Abyss…both the Nuxe & Elemis sound appealing.
    Best lip product for me is the decidedly unglamorous Aquaphor.

  6. annemarie says:

    Wonderful! Thanks for the comparative review. After Victoria blogged enthusiastically about both products last year I bought the Nuxe and loved it. The Caudalie only comes in 100 ml bottles so I hesitate to buy it blind. But now, thanks to your review, it will be a less blind buy than before. I have my eye on it at an e-tailer which charges $38.88 delivered free to Australia. It does feel like an indulgence though, especially as I have not finished the Nuxe yet.

    There seem to be heaps of dry oils on the market now don’t there? I’m also tempted by a Roger & Gallet oil scented with osmanthus. It’s good to hear that the Caudalie does actually develop like a perfume on the skin. Most body products tend not to, I find.

  7. maggiecat says:

    I bought a small bottle (only $9) of the Caudalie oil from Sephora a few weeks ago and love it. The scent does fade with time, but is lovely, soft and warm. I enjoy using the oil on my body and hair (haven’t tried it as a face oil yet) and find it works particularly well on dry ends and flyaways. A larger bottle may well be in my future!

    • Jessica says:

      Maggiecat, I haven’t tried either of these oils on my face — too much scent and too many ingredients that don’t agree with my complexion — but for hair and body, they feel wonderful to me!

  8. Paisley Flowers says:

    I’ve heard good things about these brands, especially Nuxe’s lip balm and Caudalie’s face masks. Might hunt these out. Thanks Jessica.

  9. Bee says:

    Nuxe does smell very nice indeed, and has a long lasting power, which makes it difficult to add a scent on top, so I use it as a perfume. And: I tend to have a very dry skin in winter, this oil doesn’t really work as a moisturizer, at least not for me

  10. camille_b says:

    I have both and if I were to recommend one of them I would recommend the Nuxe oil. It is possible to buy it from the big English beauty and skin care etailers as part of a sample/travel set.

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