Osmia’s Gem Series Body Essences are a collection of seasonally-released, luxury body oils based on the concept of ancient royalty – what have kings and queens coveted and basked in for thousands of years? What would they have committed treacherous acts to obtain, and what sensuous scandals might have ensued? Essentially, each scent in the series is a season of Game of Thrones in a bottle, and Topaz Body Essence is our summer release.
When you imagine the lives of ancient queens, who comes to mind? Cleopatra? Mary Queen of Scots? Anne Boleyn? The Queen of Sheba? Well, if you happened to be sniffing a vial of organic, Egyptian jasmine, it would probably be Nefertiti, as it was for me.
Nefertiti, whose name means "a beautiful woman has come", is the inspiration behind our newest addition to the Gem Series, Topaz Body Essence. She and her husband, Akhenaton, ruled the Egyptian empire from 1353 to 1336 BC, one of the wealthiest periods in Egyptian history. Here are three things you’ll want to know about Nefertiti and her husband:
- Nefertiti was more of a co-ruler than a silent queen, seen alongside her husband prominently doing things that would normally be left to the king, like driving a chariot or smiting an enemy. (What does smiting look like, exactly?) She is an emblem of female power, even today. And props to the king for promoting gender equality WAY before its time.
- The royal couple worshipped the god Aton, the disc of the sun, and after five years in power had established Aton as the nation's most dominant national god - a substantial feat, as the nation had been largely polytheistic until then.
- After 12 years as queen, Nefertiti disappeared. Just, gone. There are lots of theories, including death, murder, and even cross-dressing as a male counselor to the king. But a body was never found. Cue the creepy Egyptian music.
So how does this little journey into ancient history make the transition into body oil? Like I said, it started with a vial of Egyptian jasmine.
Jasmine, though narcotic and intoxicating on the branch, is a scent that can become cloying and overly sweet when used in natural perfumery. In this blend, I used an organic jasmine CO2 extract, meaning that it was extracted from the flowers using carbon dioxide, which is then removed completely when it is converted back to a gas at the end of the procedure. It is sweet, heady, and soft on the nose, without any of the traditional “stink” that accompanies most jasmine absolutes. Jasmine is used in aromatherapy to calm the spirit and soothe fearful emotions, and in skin care to treat dry, sensitive skin.
When looking for the right partner for jasmine, I would not normally have considered neroli, as it is also a powerfully intoxicating floral. But, my brain was already swimming in some sultry North African history, so I gave our divine Moroccan neroli a chance. The combination was surprising. Often, too much of a good thing is overwhelming. In this case, though, it was just twice as good. Neroli is used to treat nervous tension and is excellent for balancing and nourishing the skin.
Since jasmine and neroli are both middle notes, I needed something to anchor them - without stealing the show. I landed on a combination of west Australian sandalwood and a coconut pulp extract that smells as incredible as the freshly cracked fruit itself. Both oils are deep, quiet, and well-rounded – the perfect backup singers for the more flamboyant stars of the show.
The resulting scent is a deliciously tropical blend of warm, beachy notes: picture lying on white sand, as your skin warms in the sun, with a gentle breeze that carries on it the aroma of juicy, ripe blossoms on nearby trees.
And the name Topaz? Well, it’s the color I associate with this blend –the color of sun-drenched sand, or the color of Aton, the sun god. Interestingly, the deep yellow/orange variety of topaz is called “imperial topaz”, and ancient Egyptians believed that imperial topaz could protect against negativity and restore strength. Lastly, when researching topaz, I discovered that there is also a topaz hummingbird, with a chest and tail in solar hues of orange and gold. That pretty much sealed the deal.
So, while your skin is still warm and wet from your shower, slather on this golden elixir, and feel your feminine strength and positivity ignite.
With love and imperial power from us to you,
Sarah + The Osmia Crew.