Sundari Gotu Kola and Lotus Body Oil

Sundari Gotu Kola and Lotus Body Oil ($36) has one of the most surprising openings of any oil you’ll try. You’ll either love it (and want to know more) or hate it and (wonder what the heck is in it making you think twice). Since you won’t likely to find a tester to try for yourself, I’ll spend some serious time on the scent, as it's quite mesmerizing but potent.

Gotu Kola and Coriander oils unfold quite strongly through the Sesame and Coconut carriers. Native to the Motherland – India – the extracts (high in collagen stimulating and tissue regenerating Madecassic acid) from the puissant plant are know to help with your blood flow and may even help prevent ugly pockets of cellulite from sticking around. The light bodied oil (so airy light, it could double down as your weekly hair treatment) smells not of the sweetness of Coconut, but more the dried spicy aroma of the exotic herb. It’s not pungent, but woodsy and crisp and oddly welcoming. If the opening doesn’t intrigue you at first scent, try again.

See, Ayurveda is all about balancing your doshas, or imbalances within your internal and external energies through the mind-body connections. Metaphorically and physically, oils and the such can help return the body to a neutrally harmonious state. And, sometimes, you are prescribed solutions, which may seem contrary at first, but make sense in the end. Not sure of your sure dosha? Take the Sundari test.

Gotu Kola isn’t for everyone on its own. But, when it’s complemented with the Rosa Damascena, Ylang Ylang, and Orange Peel oils, you can sniff out the tendered sweetness underlying the explosion of aromatic Lotus. Exoticism aside, it’s a complex oil that is constructed with the finicky nose in mind. This is the nose that knows such a sensory experience isn’t left to the oil itself, but also of the massage required to settle down your wayward dosha. With the softest hint of Lavender and Kaffir Lime, the oil works. The subtle nuances of the phantasmagorical floral notes are hard to make out (wish the Mimosa would rise above the heaviness of Coriander), but worth the worth the effort. Skin’s perennial favorite, Retinyl Palmitate (aka Retinol), makes the oil work hard by helping to slough off dry, scaly patches faster. Yes, it’s not just a pretty scent in a bottle. It’s a treatment, too.

Don’t let the out of the ordinary roster of oils scare you off from what is truly an exquisite blend. It’s really a work of art that captures the rustic, alluring ways of savory scents from India. You just need the willingness to explore beyond the comfort zone of Lavender.