Providence Perfume Co. Amber Cream Body Oil

It’s a eulogy to amber with brilliant notes of honeyed resins playfully volleying off the creamiest accords of Vanilla. Imagine a dusky silkiness, if you will, as the Safflower, Apricot Kernel, Sweet Almond, Olive and Jojoba carriers deliver you an intensely velveteen finish on skin. But, oh, how the scent persists…a billowy waft of sumptuous, edible accords infused delicately with chords of Calendula. This is the art of good huile making. This is Charna Ethier’s smartly curated blend of confectionary essences. This is Providence Perfume Co. Amber Cream Body Oil ($26).

For the record, there is no such thing as an amber essential oil. Essential oils are pure plant oils, which are distilled or otherwise extracted from a single plant species. Fragrant amber itself is a combination of several different botanical sources (or animal sources in the case of Ambergris). Charna defies convention and hand crafts a soulful, organically well-orchestrated oil for the body and hair. She justifiably chooses Safflower oil for her main carrier since its Omega-6 fatty acids are the preferred moisturizing elements for people who suffer from dry, flaky, or itchy skin. These essential fatty acids keep cell walls supple, allowing water to better penetrate the epidermis. But, the resinous oil goes beyond its carriers to address dry skin.

“Research shows how resins, such as Benzoin, have been used for centuries, especially by indigenous people to help promote healing of wounded skin and seal in moisture.”

The first couple of mouth-watering minutes are all about the coquettish streaks of Styrax Benzoin, which lends a delicious softness of powdery Vanillic accords to the oil. It’s a bracingly high-spirited scent that refrains from turning gourmand and dreadfully sticky sweet. The rest of the progression is from a mysterious set of proprietary notes. Sniff deep and I swear I’m sensing some Cinnamon or even Sandalwood nestled at its jazzy heart. But, a slivery twist comes after the first slather – Neem Oil?
Neem oil is such a powerhouse! It's too bad that the U.S. doesn't seem to recognize its value the way India does – Charna

The high concept? Neem’s intentional nutty pungency isn’t to add an unpredictable bent under the folds of Benzoin, but its mellow diffusion is actually included because the essential oil is densely saturated with fatty acids (mostly oleic, stearic and palmitic) and Vitamin E. The medium viscosity leaves a barely there shine and takes but a minute to absorb. But after that, you won’t see any crepiness on hands or scaly skin bits on recently shaved legs. The oil has got a sculptural charm about its primness. It’s crisp, brilliant, and effortlessly luxe without the exorbitant price tag expected from a hand blend.