Duchess Marden Damascena Body Serum

Does any woman ever tire of roses? Red for her holidays, pink for fragrances, white for her occasional bout of moroseness...

Connoisseurs in pursuit of authentic Damascena Rose are rediscovering its timeless appeal, whether in a mist or oil, and making the old new again. The rose is the easiest essence to source, but the hardest to masterfully infuse with complementary absolutes. Among the rose-tinged oils, most remain unequalled in depth when compared. Some oils even may cringe at the very thought of being labeled ‘old lady’ by the dreadfully fickle blogosphere. Marla Steur, founder & CEO of Duchess Marden, doesn’t have to worry about either problem. See, her Damascena Body Serum ($68) is an idyllic treatment for the body & beyond with worthies of Mimosa, Frangipani, and Linder Flower oils to make for one heady elixir.

The lush oil unfurls with a passionate heart, much like a thorny bouquet on St. Valentine’s eve. Two types of rose absolutes define its therapeutic force - Rosa Bourboniana & Rosa Damascena, though the aromatic effect is not blatantly rosy. Notes of Frangipani and Mimosa balance out the Rose accords, giving the dense oil an overt powdery finish.. And, quite a lovingly one, actually. Seasoned huile-istas will be able to make out the raspy Bergamot edges tucked from within. This is not your mother’s rose oil. The unconventional inclusions imparts a clean, fresh, with a powdery twist to the usual flushness of rose. Here, the essences are intended for their tonic & forming properties, not to scent the oil with an pretentious depth. It is lyrically tricky to balance such esoteric notes into a compelling composition, but the Duchess does it well.

Beyond this, the oil’s reverence isn’t unusual. The nurturing faves are at home – Apricot Kernel, Jojoba, Sunflower and Shea Nut Butter oils – but Kendi Seed Oil is what plays up to the skin. The Indonesian oil repairs & maintains the skin and even hair’s lipid layer, and protects both from future damage by infusing it with multiple essential fatty acids. The oil is notable as seems to give the Body Serum an unusually brilliant non-greasy slip from its medium bodied texture. Yes, no shine left behind, as it's almost a dry feel left behind.

Time and time again, you wonder what’s missing from a linearly constructed rose oil, as it’s usually the first to go noticeably rancid. But, after using the Body Serum you’ll wrinkle your nose at those mall street creations and wonder why haven’t we rebuffed the norm and court such interesting anachronisms with the mainstay rose.

But, then again, a rose by any other name is still always an arresting pleasure for any of those 365 days of the year.