Aftelier Perfume Rose Face Elixir with Sandalwood and Frankincense

Mandy Aftel’s intense, almost dictatorial vogue for roses, and well, florals all around is what takes her oils from the rational to the expressive. Magnificent and historically crucial to fragrances and their oil based flankers, Rose Oil is highly undervalued as an antioxidant. Most consumers expect some seasonally pretentious raw, unpronounceable ingredient promoted around press to be the next one hit wonder anti-ager. But, a quick glance at the roster of ingredients often shows how the concentrations of these so-called hero skin savers is often placed below the usual rut of chemical fillers & fluffers found in countertop creams, which means there isn’t enough of the concentrated good stuff to matter to your wrinkles. Or age spots. Or, crepiness. Or, whatever sign of aging serves as the bane to your existence. When skin covets a precocious thirst for an unadulterated dollop of antioxidant juice, a few drops of Aftelier Perfume Rose Face Elixir with Sandalwood and Frankincense ($40) will do the deed.

Rose Oil has an extremely complex chemical composition with more than 300 separate compounds, all of which work in a charmed unison to absorb easily into skin, moisturize on spot, and condition parched patches. Science even shows how the superbly emollient Rose Oil is also widely appreciative for its regenerative properties and antioxidant action. Mandy’s blend is a poetic oil, tenuous in its fragility, powerful in its essences. The Rice Bran, Grapeseed, and Rose Hip Oils form the core of carriers, acquiring a richer base of moisture with clarity and appeal. These are trumped by reassuring amounts of Squalene (which has a small molecular structure that works to penetrate the skin in an effort to hydrate) and Seabuckthorn Berry (an unsurpassed source of Vitamins A & E), working in concert to help fade away flicks of sun damage through multiple layers of skin for visible improvements.
The rose that I use is the best I have ever smelled - and I have smelled so many. I buy it directly from the grower in Turkey! - Mandy

The oil is elevated by its elegant depth, a kind of neo-gothic romance that's kept terse between an earthy Sandalwood and a smooth balsamic Frankincense drenched with an exquisitely voluptuous Rose. The unlikely pairing of these dew-spangled essentials gives the face serum an austere finish with the hushed accords. It’s a blend like this that makes me wish more oil crafters would take more time to educate themselves about the finesse of using essentials beyond the norm. It is Rose all the way, but a surprising variation on a matured and luxuriant Rose Otto that is brought to life with the faintest of these complementary essentials. Nicely, it avoids the heavy sweetness of the commonplace Rose, which would qualify it as the 'old lady' variety most shun away from. The unapologetically opulent oil sinks straight away, works nicely with foundation when a dewy look is in demand, and reinforces the idea that marvels of nature do work as potently as their lab created counterparts.

The final word? The oil is blended with a refinement rarely seen today transfixing the senses upon its first excitable drop. The problem? How to afford more. Why the worry? Rose Oil is an extremely expensive ingredient; it takes about 30 roses to yield one drop of oil. Ah, the insatiable lust for luxury skin care...