Face products and aromatherapy are not an obvious pairing. Normally I'm in agreement with Paula Begoun's approach that perfume is not skincare. After all, many classic perfume ingredients (natural as well as synthetic) can be serious irritants and even damage the skin. There are no absolute truths, though. I've developed a major allergy to coconut oil and its derivatives (and we're talking everything from breakouts as a result of eating it to an itchy rash and painful welts upon contact). The bottom line is that you need to read labels, pay attention, make smart decisions and hope for the best.
A good option for natural/organic skincare that seems to be free of irritants and works for me as a balancing serum are Aftelier's Face Elixirs. I've gone through a full bottle of the gorgeous and elegant Ylang Elixir, and I was thrilled to receive the newest one, Honeysuckle.all face elixirs share a base of organic oils: rice bran, sweet almond, apricot kernel, camellia, grapeseed, squalene, and rose hip seed. None of these breaks me out, so the fast absorbing formula works perfectly for me and my skin, which these days is on a range between normal/dry and kind of dry.
The creative force behind Aftelier is Mandy Aftel. She's a natural perfumer (THE natural perfumer, actually) and have been formulating scented products for nearly twenty years. In creating her face elixirs, Mandy has been concentrating on scenting them with calming and restorative all-natural essences. If you know a thing or two about essential oils and the like, you're probably aware that honeysuckle is extremely rare as a natural raw ingredient and costs a fortune. The honeysuckle absolute used for this face elixir is all-natural, organic, and smells like nothing else. The depth of the scent is mind-blowing, since this is skincare, not a perfume. There are creamy and fruity facets: first I get the juiciest honeydew melon (in the best possible way), and later a honey-drenched banana, both very realistic without the plastic aftertaste of synthetic Bath &Body-type products. It's a comforting scent, delicate and relaxing.
Performance is just as important, and Aftelier face elixirs have been consistntly delivering softer, well-nourished skin. There's no greasiness, just a supple feeling that lingers to the next morning (I use the elixir right before bed, about 15-20 minutes after applying various acids and retnoids.
Bottom Line: a gift to the senses.
Aftelier Organic Honeysuckle Face Elixir ($65) can be purchased from aftelier.com (samples also available). The product for this review was sent for my consideration free of charge.