Aromatherapy Associates Enrich Massage & Body Oil

Fascinating. Mysterious. Passionate.

Yes, a body oil shouldn't be limited to the dainty formalities of white flowers. Sometimes a lady needs a fitful thrashing of livelier essences onto her skin to stoke some inner fires that shouldn’t be quieted. Geraldine & Sue get this. See, both were trained under Micheline Arcier, protege under aromatherapy scientists Marguerite Maury (Austrian biochemist/ skincare pioneer) and Jean Valnet M.D. (expert in essential oils).

Co-founders of Aromatherapy Associates - Geraldine Howard and Sue Beechey - have been sharing the therapeutic benefits of essential oils for over 30 years. Starting out as therapists in the early 70s, the ladies were first to serve the emerging  preferences of aromatherapy. It is useful to keep this authoritative background of sensory stimulation in mind while reviewing any product from their brand. Quality. Artisanship. Elegance. Utter simplicity is what you’ll find with them.

Mono-aroma-mania occasionally rouses my impatience for a huile with greater depth. And, a treatment with a piquant touch is what dulls the lasting shock brought on by Enrich Massage & Body Oil’s ($56) exotic audacity. Yes, it’s true. While most others err on the floral side, a few on the citrus balance, this is truly one sharply contrasting treatment that walks the calculated edge with its near-impeccable spicy curve blended with an impressionistic fashion yet urban approach. But, first the oils.

Cleverly constructing a medium-bodied backbone of moisture are Coconut, Sweet Almond, Olive, Jojoba, Evening Primrose and Macadamia Seed oils. You’re probably used to seeing these voluptuaries on their own, but, from the sparse elegance of a frosted bottle emerges a cornucopia of richly mellifluous oils, all brimming with essentials fatty acids and all comforting, but luscious nonetheless. The resulting texture isn’t as full-bodied as you’d expect; the oil sinks in straight away. Jojoba & Evening Primrose oils are what kick start the regenerative process on skin, as both have a naturally high affinity for the essentials used, which help these essences work to their best potential. Oils with outsized passions that work extraordinarily well in unison. And, they’re not alone.

And, what is left behind to scent the skin is a scintillating Ylang Ylang accord that cradles the darkness of Geranium with the beguiling warmth of Vanilla, making this oil quite uncharacteristically tender with an animalic facet of sorts. Not in any disconcertingly crass manner, mind you. No, this is a clean, albeit sexy finish to what starts off as a purely aesthetic adventure for the body – harmonious and complex. Sniff long, as you’ll appreciate this uninterrupted olfactory idiom that becomes instantaneously recognizable with savoury Vanilla underpinnings. And, long you will sniff, as it's superb persistence has been the longest I've experienced in a oil - over 12 hours later, you'll still make out the earthy overtures. Surreal.

That’s the thing about Aromatherapy Associates. The ladies know just how to square rigorous aesthetic innovation with hazy incarnations of essences. This is part of their poetry – creating an experience with good 'ole, joyful sensuality.