Jiva Apoha Atman Body Oil

Somewhere in the rustic country side of India, where mudded homes and farmland are impeccably neat and pious ascetics stroll with leisure alongside people-friendly cows, life is seen as purely organic. Transcendental, almost. Fields turn green, russet, and poppy red. The aroma of peppery Tulsi (Holy Basil) blows freely in the incandescent Indian summer air. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a waft of sweet Jasmine fluttering through the misty night winds. Can you feel this?

You will with Jiva Apoha Atman Body Oil ($105), an exciting, summer-hardy body oil that uses freshly harvested essences from herbal farms in India, South America, and even here in the good ole US of A. Nothing synthetic comes near the gracefully serene amber bottles of Jiva Apoha. Jiva means ‘soul’ while Apoha means ‘healing’ and their nexus is where the timeless positivist philosophies of Ayurveda and Shamanism meet to seduce organic connoisseurs in search for more than just a skin revitalizer. No, Jiva Apoha’s cult brand evangelists want to feel the oil like a current of energy running through their innards. Atman (which means 'spirit' in Sanskrit) is sprightly verdant elixir thanks to the scattering of an earthy Tulsi throughout all natural Sesame and Sunflower carriers. Balanced and understated, the pleasant prelude of Tulsi is rounded out with a creamy, near opaque Sandalwood, which doesn’t render the scent obviously brooding as you’d expect. Frankincense and Palo Santo essences form the heart, while a radiant Neroli peeks through when blended finely into skin. Among the usual iterations of Sandalwood, Atman does show some interesting facets with the essentials as it ends radiantly fresh on skin.

Tulsi (which means ‘the incomparable one’) is a potent aromatic herb used extensively both in Ayurvedic clinical and folk medicine. Notorious, it’s considered a purifier of the mind, body, and spirit and has a special place in Hindu courtyards across India, where it is planted for its auspicious and protective powers. Its quasi-legendary blend of medicinal and fragrant qualities have warranted the title “Elixir of Life” namely for its signature sharp, fresh herbaceous-minty scent that sometimes has a licorice-like undernotes. Tulsi is also a natural anti-bacterial. In a body oil, this would help ease the spread of break-outs, particularly if acne on the arms or back is an issue. This is why Tulsi pairs well with Sesame Seed oil, which is rich in antioxidants, thus it pulls toxins from your skin. Sesame Seed oil can help prevent blackheads, clear the skin of pimples, and even fade dark spots left behind by wayward zits. According to the "Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine," Sesame Seed oil nourishes dry or otherwise irritated skin and is especially helpful on sunburned or wind-damaged skin, too.

Atman evokes a lovely, sueded sensation of satin on skin. The perk of Neroli is underplayed in this oil, giving citrus and floral fans a different sort of metaphysical experience with Sandalwood. Healing and transformative, the visceral elements allow you to feel the beautiful richness of both spiritual traditions without feeling like you’ve overdosed on the usual overhyped innuendos that comes with the commercialization of either school of holistic thought. Jiva Apoha gives us a nice alternative esthetic to the conventions of modern aromatherapy, which will surprise you in a good way. Provocative, but good.

Atman is actually tranquil in its realm with its extravagant oils yet humble sankalpa...which means intent.

Price: $$$$
Scent Classification: Herbaceous; Woody
Viscosity: Light viscosity (3/10)