Geisha Beauty Maiko Body Oil



An hour’s drive into the heart of Los Angeles, within the heart of the trendy West Hollywood, is where one of the most lyrically sound oils takes it form. Here sits the brainchild ex-Londoner Bali James, a decorative artist known for her artistic agility in the worlds of art & beauty – two graceful aesthetics not so very different from each other. If floral escapism could be captured, scented, and bottled, Maiko Body Oil ($36) is where you’d find such mystical bliss.

Fascinated by the healing properties of oils & essences, Bali creates a line of lesser-known, but highly coveted body oils with a studious slant. And, because of this, her niche brand has become an object of intense cult adoration among a select few. What does Bali do right? She understands beauty as a form of utility. “I like to think that the application of the oil is not hurried and is an essential part of a woman’s ritual at the beginning or end of her day. A quiet moment, much anticipated.” The Maiko Body Oil does this well with a relentless swirl of fragrance and oil in poetic harmony. I secretly confess, I’m in awe of this mesmeric oil.

A charmed, aromatic twist to the usual suspects put me on edge. Even before you slather it, you’re taken aback by cotton candied accords, which shine through the full-bodied oil leaving a sultry texture to the touch. A solidly structured oil with lashings of Safflower, Sesame, Sweet Almond, Grapeseed, and Avocado oils stroke your skin multi-layered moisture. Of these, the lively Sesame oil penetrates skin easiest, taking along vital antioxidants to treat you up. It’s a voluptuously smooth oil with a charismatic prelude of gloriously sweet notes that engage your entire sensory experience and envelopes skin in an addictive, quasi-gourmand finish.

I promise you this – you won’t be able to put the bottle down. You’ll become near fanatical over trying to figure out what’s the score behind this playful mélange of blooms – vanilla? Bergamot? Lilies? If so, which ones? I remain convinced that whatever it may be, this collective of essences – certainly from some far flung countryside – is an example of organic modernism; it’s a product of nature, not of the machinery of mass production. And, Geisha’s infatuated fans agree. Like Japanese women, they don't want you to uncover this hidden jewel of an oil. Bali shares,

“People say they cannot run out of this oil. It never ceases to make me feel humble. Once I overheard two girls talking about the line. ‘Do you use Geisha?’ one whispered to the other as though they were a part of some secret society.”

That’s the thing about Japanese art and culture – both recognize the value of elemental combinations than a single flux of energy. As expected with the artful convergence of old and new dictated by breaking the norms — tight creativity, scintillating quality, wonderfully imaginative — Maiko Body Oil brings it all. It’s intoxicating, mysterious, willowy much like its namesake.