Tonight's fragrant treat has been my little secret weapon for the last couple of months. Natural Perfumer Charna Ethier added a range of four perfumed body oils to her Providence Perfume Co., and I've been indulging in the Amber Cream one, especially after a night-time shower.
These body products are a blend of several emolient oils: apricot, sweet almond, safflower, aloe and jojoba. The base is then perfumed with a natural artisan perfume, which is pretty obvious when you smell this thing on skin: it's alchemy.
The second I tried Amber Cream I knew it was the real thing. When I wear a really good non-vanillic amber scent there's usually a phase that smells like olive oil. A very good olive oil. This Amber Cream oil from Providence Perfume Co. starts just like that- rich and aromatic with a touch of young golden green olives. Once the Mediterranean orchard fades it's all about whisper-light honeyed skin. The resinous amber is delicate, a little powdery and only moderately sweet. The longer I wear the oil, the more sophisticated the scent gets. It's a little furry and very intimate.
Amber Cream body oil becomes my skin. I can almost convince myself that I smell like this naturally, especially when I wake up in the morning and my skin is soft and delicious but without an obvious evidence of perfume. Maybe I was born with it...
As for effectiveness and nourishment, my skin needs all it can get. Even in summer I can get very dry very quickly and alligator skin is always around the corner if I'm not vigilant enough. The Providence Perfume Co. body oil feels great and absorbs relatively fast, within five minutes most days. I find it performs best on a freshly exfoliated body- that's when the oil sinks quickly and leaves my poor legs looking and feeling nice and normal without the dreaded cuir de crocodile effect.
I have yet to experiment systematically, but all signs point towards the oil being an excellent layering product, as in perfume layering. I've worn it under Hermes 24 Faubourg for a larger than life effect, under Fendi Theorema and Tom Ford Noir de Noir. I have a feeling this is just the beginning of some crazy combinations.
Providence Perfume Co. Body Oils ($26, 100ml) are available from providenceperfume.com. The bottle for my consideration was sent by the perfumer.
Art: Bessie MacNicol, The French Girl, 1895