By Betsy Aaron
I find the scent of jasmine to be both seductive and serenity inducing. Here’s what I know: it grows in countries to which I‘m mysteriously attracted, like India and Morocco, it blooms and is also harvested at night, and the recent turmoil in Tunisia is called a “Jasmine Revolution.” In aromatherapy, it is considered so potent that it is called the king of flowers. Of all synthetic scents, fake jasmine is the most repugnant. In skincare products, essential oil of jasmine soothes, heals and moisturizes. It is often used in night treatments and this makes sense since it is most potent nocturnally.
My jasmine journey began with Jasmine Tangerine Age-Defying Night Cream from Eminence. If you are going to defy aging, I recommend doing so in your dreams. This lifting and firming cream–extra points for not being “crème”– is rich and fragrant without being heavy. I must have really needed to be defiant because the layer I applied was mostly absorbed before I closed my eyes. When I awoke, my face and neck and definitely my delicate décolleté were indeed smooth, soothed, soft and clear. I started the day happy and here’s why: this product really does tone and tighten. Wild Jujube and Maral Root do the heavy lifting and though this is botany at work, it feels like magic. The only negative is that this uplifting product contains tangerine oil and I won’t be able to review it again in my next story, “So Citrus.”
The next night, I followed my nose to Geranium, Jasmine & Ylang Ylang Face Elixir from Aftelier Perfumes. Mandy Aftel told me that this anti-aging face elixir is now new + improved with sea buckthorn co2, for skin rejuvenation. It is as simple, soothing and sublime as satin PJs, with a scent that will make you long for an early bedtime. A few drops –which vanish before you drift off– and your sleep will be sweet, your skin elegantly nourished. This is a product you will want to spend the rest of your nights relaxing with.
You don’t have to break the bank to have a daily encounter with jasmine. Alba’s Jasmine & Vitamin E Moisture Cream delivers the requisite scent of serenity, has a pleasant, readily absorbed texture and works great as a moisturizing night treatment that feels indulgent but won’t tax your plastic. You can find this every day luxury in health food stores – extra points for the benefits of value and convenience.
Available: http://www.AlbaBotanica.com and Whole Foods Markets
Cleansing Facial Oil from Nude makes the chore of clearing away the day a sensuous pleasure. It removes eye makeup without irritation –extra points for one product that does the work of two- and is simple to use. Just warm a few drops in your hands and apply to a dry face. Splash with water to form a light milk, rinse, et voila: you are cleansed, soothed without oily residue. This minimalist product creates maximum results and is delightful to use daily.
Available: http://www.NudeSkincare.com and Sephora
Chantecaille’s Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask has a fresh, floral fragrance and a soothing, cooling feel. I used it after I’d spent 3 August hours waiting outside followed by 3 more irritating hours of waiting inside to see the Alexander McQueen exhibition, Savage Beauty. Though the long wait was well worth it, I returned home de-hydrated and definitely feeling savage. The mask left my face bright, my spirit calmed and my outlook uplifted. This will be my go-to mask for turbulent times, dehydrating days and nights in which my sensitive skin needs some special nourishment.
Available: http://www.Chantecaiile.com and Barneys New York
Amala’s Jasmine Hydrating Eye Treatment is beautifully packaged in recycled materials, which I always appreciate, and is instantly effective in soothing, hydrating and de-puffing. The treatment is readily absorbed and I’ve seen a real improvement in firmness since I began to use it. It’s not in my nature to use anything sparingly but I want this treat to last. In addition to jasmine, this product also contains avocado and eyebright. Amala means “most pure” in Sanskrit, and when it comes to the eye area, those are the only ingredients you want to see.
Available: http://www.amalabeauty.com and ABC Home, New York.
If you want some jasmine in your life, any—or all–of these products is just what you need.