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As a proud body oil girlie (I’ve tried at least 100, but currently have a dozen floating around), I love swapping recommendations with my fellow obsessives on Reddit and post your favorites in the Facebook group for my podcast, Bold mascara. We are the people who learned this a long time ago Lotion can be great for dry skin and even smells good, but it’s still pumped and squeezed out of plastic bottles and tubes – meaning it’ll never be sexy.
Body oil, on the other hand, is sensual. Apply a fragrance oil before your perfume to transform it into a bespoke creation with greater impact SillageOr apply a moisturizing base of unscented oil to make your favorite scent last longer. If you use it liberally, it will penetrate your clothes and scarves and mark possessions you leave behind as accurately as an AirTag. And smooth it straight after showering to keep your skin as soft as it would be on a summer day with 70 percent humidity, even when the radiator comes on in the fall and your apartment becomes a giant Air fryer.
As if all that wasn’t sexy enough, body oils usually come in recyclable aluminum or glass bottles. And the base oils (carrier oils) often have natural origins and are associated with communities that have used them for centuries. (Cultural history: the OG algorithm! And much more accurate than bot-generated user reviews!)
Convinced? Then welcome to the club. It’s that time of year when we discuss what we’ll get into in the fall and winter. I will first introduce some of my favorites. But I expect you to return the favor by posting your recommendations in the comments.
Let’s start with the basics. Carrier oils are unscented or barely scented extracts of seeds and nuts that are rich in essential fatty acids to improve skin hydration. For newbies, heavier oils like avocado and coconut oil might be a little greasy for their taste. Even the perennial favorites jojoba, sesame and sweet almond can be too rich for some. I usually like the heavy stuff, but when I don’t have time to lounge before getting dressed, I reach for this simple grapeseed oil; It absorbs so quickly that it is almost like a “dry” oil. It would be even better if it came in a glass bottle and was cold pressed – meaning the oil was extracted manually from the grape seeds, not using chemical solvents – but at this price I can’t complain.
If you want a floral scent that will hold up well into fall, this recently launched jasmine-flavored body oil is for you. The base is a nourishing blend of sunflower and avocado oils, blended with a range of antioxidant-rich repair oils (rosehip, borage, flaxseed) that are great for skin that’s been a little too harsh in the summer. Some jasmine scents can seem too animalistic and funky for me, but I like this one because it’s not too intoxicating. In addition, it comes in a glass bottle and contains a form of vegan collagen It has been shown to improve skin elasticity.
Technically Uma makes oils, but the complexity of the scents rivals the perfumes of those sans-serif fragrance houses that dominate the luxury perfume discourse (Byredo, Le Labo, DS & Durga – you know what I’m talking about). Uma’s newest body oil is a spicy, earthy blend of rose, geranium and neroli, anchored in a gentle yet musky oud that is long-lasting. Apply it to damp skin and you only need about a dozen drops to cover the whole body; it is so powerful and silky.
11 11 is one of those “you but better” scents that I recommend to people who think they don’t like perfume. Less powdery than Shiny you and not quite as woody as Escentric molecule 01, it’s a pure, ozonic musk scent for the skin that’s just incredibly comfortable (think cool breezes and sun-dried laundry). If you like that vibe but the thought of spraying on perfume makes you sneeze, try 11 11 in this (reformulated) oil version, which absorbs quickly and is more subtle than the Eau de Parfum.
This is my personal diffuser when I want to add a more musky scent to a perfume for fall (in my opinion it can be a bit more intense in the humid summer air). On its own, the scent is a warm, amber-colored, musky scent, but can also appear powdery, creamy, balsamic or woody, depending on who wears it and what you combine it with. The base is a rich blend of sunflower, grapeseed, avocado, and safflower oils that will keep your skin glowing and hydrated for hours (meaning it doesn’t absorb quickly).
Aromatherapists will tell you that lavender is relaxing and peppermint is invigorating, but what if you don’t want to choose? You want to be balanced, focused and ready work. Then I reach for Kindred Blacks Simmer Down. The experience begins with the bottle: holding the hand-blown glass globe and medical-looking stopper, you simply feel centered (a word that normally makes me roll my eyes, but seems entirely appropriate here). Then there’s the slightly astringent, herbaceous scent of lavender and peppermint essential oils, presented in a perfectly balanced (not too light or too heavy) base of argan and jojoba oils. This is the stuff you should rub on your pulse points before tackling your return-from-vacation email inbox.
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