Thursday, June 4, 2015

Curio (Potions for Skeptics): The Body Oils

For 20 years, give or take, I bought and used the same, all-natural body oil. It's unadulterated, consisting only of almond oil and an essential oil. I have nothing bad to say about it - except that lots of people (though not I) are allergic to almond oil. Oh, and I had but 4 flavours to choose from.

I was always on the hunt for a ylang ylang version. Truth be told, that's my desert island scent (probably literally). Or one with neroli - a close second fave. (I'm a bit of a freak for the deep florals with weird, woody subnotes.)

Then there's the fact that I didn't love the packaging. And it was pricey.

Many a time over those years it occurred to me that I could buy some almond oil into which I could add some ylang ylang (or any of dozens of essential oils I own). And I never did it. Why, I have no idea. It's quite efficient and I can change the scent as often as I change my mind.

Then one day - sometime after making the serum but before the deodorant - it occurred to me that I had every freakin' thing I needed to get on it. Gorgeous bottles, check. Liquid reducers, check. Pumps, check. EOs, check. Almond oil - well, I had some but I actually prefer apricot kernel oil. Fortunately, I had that too. I even had a pretty label - and a brand?!

I'm telling you this for two reasons: If you have always wanted to make your own body oil - just do it. It's totally enjoyable. You need a good glass bottle (preferably), a funnel, some high-quality essential oil, a base oil of your preference (I recommend dry oils that don't stain like almond, grapeseed or apricot kernel), and a closure that controls oil volume. A label is optional. There's really no way to get it wrong unless you introduce water into the mix. It doesn't hurt to empty a couple of vitamin e capsules into the potion, to delay oxidization of your oils.

On the other hand, if you desire a natural, luxe, delicious, fragrant body oil that you're never going to make for yourself cuz, come on, you're not some nut who spends her weekend every day making skin care, then do yourself a favour and try Body Oil A:

Ingredients include:

Organic Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil , Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in sunflower oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Essential Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Essential Oil OR Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Essential Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Essential Oil

Yeah, it's pretty simple. But the fab is in the alchemy.

Option 1 - Ylang Ylang and Grapefruit: Ylang Ylang EO, that perennial Kristin-fave, is deliciously mood-altering and truly luscious. It's like a perfect day in a tropical garden (but shaded!). Grapefruit EO is the perfect foil for ylang's intensity. It brings a sparky, light element to a deep scent. The result is an oil that's beautifully balanced. If I were a body oil, this is the one I'd be!

Option 2 - Neroli and Rosewood: IMO, the combination of these essential oils produces an end result that is more than the sum of its parts. To me, this smells like the Mediterranean. It's the fragrance equivalent of the bluest sky, pale sand and crystal clear ocean.

But fragrance is only half the story. I've experimented with a number of base oils in the last few months and I am most satisfied with apricot kernel. It's got a dry-feel - which is to say that it absorbs easily, especially when applied to slightly damp skin. However, it moisturizes deeply and the moisture persists between showers. Similar oils are almond and grapeseed, but each of those comes with a downside. Almond, as we know, is allergenic for many (including my sister). And grapeseed - perhaps my fave oil of them all - has a regrettably short shelf-life. Apricot kernel is a wonderful way to get all of the benefits without those detractors.

This product comes in 2 sizes: the 2 oz (shown in the photo above) and a  4 oz size. If you'd like to know more, please check out my Etsy shop. And thank you so much to everyone for your continued support of CURIO. I am so thrilled by, and grateful for, your interest.

One other thing - and I'll give more fun vacation deets soon - I'll be away from the shop (and the city) from June 22 till July 13. Any orders placed after June 19th will be processed in the week of July 13.


  1. Ordered! And I'll post a few words soon about your serum.

  2. Thank you Frances! And wait until you've recovered from the whirlwind of your retirement. You have so much on your plate right now. xo