Osmia Gem Series Body Essences: Centuries of Luxury in a Beautiful New Bottle
By Sarah Villafranco, MD
Posted in Blog, on August 04, 2015
Osmia Organics – The Gem Series
Perched on a throne, as close as I will ever be to ruling a kingdom. That’s how it feels when I’m seated at my perfume table, the rest of the world becoming blurry and slightly irrelevant. Each vial I open carries me across centuries, over oceans, underground, through busy marketplaces, and back again to my seat in the mountains of Colorado. Isn't it incredible how, with a single sniff, you can become instantly lost? Places you’ve never been, languages you’ve never heard, wars you’ve never fought, flowers you’ve never even imagined, and countless passionate embraces, both condoned and forbidden.
One day this spring, as I lingered with a vial of neroli, I found myself wondering what Cleopatra might have worn on her skin after one of her milk baths. As I imagined the life of the Egyptian queen, I was impelled to create a line of body oils inspired by ancient royalty, comprising oils that have long been the olfactory equivalent of draping oneself in precious gems. In a world inundated with cheap alternatives and manufactured scents, I wanted to create a series of oils made with the most luxurious components nature has offered for thousands of years: simply put, the most expensive, most opulent, most sensuous stuff you could possibly put on your skin, natural or otherwise.
First, I experimented with the base oil composition. As you may know, Osmia preaches often about using body oils on wet skin. The oils mix with the water and provide the perfect mixture of hydration and protection, all without the additional ingredients that would be required in a lotion, such as preservatives and emulsifiers. Our current line of body oils is nourishing enough for most days of the year, and absorbs quickly and easily.
For the Gem Series, though, I wanted something even richer, with more of a velvety texture. I chose organic sunflower and avocado oils for their excellent skin penetration, and their high levels of vitamins A and E, both of which are critical for skin function and healing. Organic camellia oil (made from tea leaves) and borage seed oil (made from starflowers) provide potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits. What does this mean to you? It means that your skin, which gets damaged by UV rays and pollution and the simple yet inevitable passage of time, has an increased chance to repair and protect itself as these oils scavenge for free radicals, decrease inflammation, and strengthen skin cells. The final additions to the blend are the organic oils made from hand-harvested shea nuts in West Africa and hand-cracked argan nuts from Morocco, both of which are widely used in skin care and have extraordinary emollient properties.
So this international collection of certified organic, luxury oils forms the base of the Gem Series. Now let’s talk about the Emerald part, where organic and wild-harvested essential oils are added to the base oil to provide the scent and aromatherapy benefits. When you apply Emerald, the invigorating duo of wild mint and organic, South African geranium creates a fresh, vibrant opening note – as if you just crushed geranium and mint leaves together in your hand and inhaled. Wild mint catches your attention, and quickly increases mental clarity, while geranium lifts away negativity and invites kindness to oneself and others - think of it as a sensory palate cleansing.
Over the next few minutes, the wild mint fades, and leaves the spectacular fusion of geranium and frankincense, a potent combination used to help alleviate anxiety and depression. I could write a whole post on frankincense alone (and I probably will), but here are three facts about it that are particularly enchanting: 1) ancient Egyptian women burned the wood of the frankincense tree to make their sultry, black kohl eyeliner; 2) at the time of Jesus’ birth, frankincense resin held a value higher than that of gold; and 3) taken internally, frankincense supplements have been shown to help ease the pain of arthritis. That’s some sexy medicine, people. Finally, Emerald unfolds a bit further as the geranium softens to reveal a thread of ambrette seed oil, a musky, spicy oil also used to ease nervous tension, increase vitality, and promote erotic energy. (More sexy medicine. Look out.)
Geranium, frankincense, and ambrette are all prized for their many skin benefits, as well. Geranium has powerful anti-inflammatory effects when applied topically, and, like frankincense, can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and strengthen the collagen structure of the skin. All three are known to support skin cell regeneration, and work beautifully with the carefully chosen base oils in the Gem Series to leave your skin feeling properly worshipped.
So how and when should you use Emerald Body Essence? It’s a splurge product, and you should treat it as such in order maximize benefits, both physical and spiritual. When you apply it to wet skin, you can actually see an emulsion forming – a slightly milky mixture will show on your skin for a few seconds, before it starts to sink in and work its magic. The oil will take a few minutes to absorb completely, but when it does, it will keep your skin soft for many hours – even your elbows and knees. (In fact, you might find that you keep petting and sniffing your skin. This is a normal reaction. Do not be concerned.) Use it when you have time to walk around naked as it soaks in, inhaling the essential oils deeply and intentionally. Before a date, after a long week, on a slow Sunday afternoon – you choose. But don’t rush this one. This is your gem – guard it wisely.
Emerald Body Essence is the first in the Gem Series, and will be released on August 6 at A Night For Green Beauty in Chicago, and August 7th on our website. All Gem Series oils are vegan, cruelty-free, and contain a minimum of 95.7% certified organic ingredients. Net weight is 3.3 ounces, and the retail price for Emerald Body Essence will be $95.