Aftelier Perfumes Wild Orange Face Elixir

Despite the flood of organic, chemically-free, organic brands overtaking the mass marketed ones, there is one type of industry that is going stronger than ever: the hand blended, artisanal brand spearheaded by some experimental perfumer. They put out products that enlarge and expand on what you think is the norm and deliver results skillfully crafted for their cleverness and usefulness. And, with such brands comes those devoted, nearing cult-like obsessive fans, who only divulge their fave secrets to some inner world sorority of sisters. Mandy Aftel is the one, genteel lady who helms this innovative, art-influenced movement with some pretty serious, mind-bending blends.

I confess to being a sucker for face oils, not only because I want to bypass any chemical fillers in favour of pure, organic oils to treat my fine lining, but also, because of the myriad of scented ones available to curb my every whim. And, trust me, there are quite a few. Among these, Mandy’s Wild Orange Face Elixir with Cedarwood and Patchouli ($40) is a delightful and delicious skin sparkler complete with her hallmark complexity of depth & structure.
I have been making face elixirs for over 15 years, but I never stop wanting to improve the elixirs by researching new oils - Mandy
Rice Bran, Grapeseed, and Rose Hip Oils form the functionally sound moisturizing core. While Rice Bran contains 3 types of Vitamin E essential for your skin, Rose Hip is the skin savior here. Mature, weathered, or simply anal retentive skins should know that a report published in the “Anti-Aging Research Brief,” lists Rose Hip as effective treatment for skin burns, scars and stretch marks due to its high concentrations of linolenic fatty acids, including omegas 3, 6 and 9. These help renew skin at the cellular level, particularly when damaged by the sun or by a chemical peel. If you’ve been following my Twitter rants & raves, the back story is I’ve been testing a glycolic peel (enhanced with Kojic Acid) over 6 weeks to fade away some deeply buried age spots followed by a pure Argan Oil. But, it's Rose Hip Oil is what I should have been applying after the topical sizzling of skin, as the oil penetrates deeper post-treatment. Mandy's elixir is further complemented by Seabuckthorn Berry’s antioxidants and Squalene, which boosts the skin's ability to naturally hydrate, oxygenate and protect itself.

The wonderfully imaginative blend – which it wavers between juiciness and tenaciousness - is further supplemented by a spectacular aromatic accord of Wild Sweet Orange and some seriously come hither hints of Cedarwood. A surprising twist of a matured Aged Patchouli culminates the oil into a sweet, near spicy finish, though fleetingly so. The result is neither flashy nor citrusy. It’s the picture of organic finesse, magically transforming the texture of skin into a velvety foundation for makeup the morning after. And, let's not forget the promise of an alluringly aromatic lull that will follow an often forgotten, but much needed pulse point massage at night.

It’s a decidedly heady but wearable unisex scent without any overt womanliness to scare the notion that he might turn into some gossip-addled metrosexual. Enthusiastic groomers will want to add a few drops of this oil after shaving to smooth out razor bumps. Shaving gel, sure, it's a basic. But an oil? NY derm Dr. Robyn Gmyrek says why not?

"Increased viscosity reduces trauma and can help decrease the razor's drag."

As with her body oils, special attention has been given to this sprightly and ingenious elixir. Fifteen years after debuting her first face oil, Mandy still applies her impassioned impressionistic approach to create a poetically misty bottle of moisture, which will surely delight the endless moods of dehydrated to dry skin types alike. How she manages to always do something far more precious in the midst of something always raw is beyond me.