Terri Bozzo’s “Perfumes by Terri” (full review here) was inspired by the Californian’s affection for gourmand fragrances. Each of her nine scents takes after some kind of dessert, like Oui Plus!, a s’mores and pine masculine that viewers of Daytime York Region got a taste of last June in our giveaway. When I interviewed Terri in May to find out more about her company and inspiration she gave me a sneak peek at a brand new product range she was working on, which she calls “Hair and Skin Oils.” At the time of writing (mid-July) they’re still not up online, but I am under the impression they’ll be going on sale soon as they found their way to my mailbox late last month.
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen hair and skin oils in the beauty community; Tarte is famous for their Maracuja Oil, a $58 passion fruit-based product meant for intense facial hydration1. Josie Maran is another brand known for an oily bestseller, simply dubbed 100 percent Pure Argan Oil ($1202). The difference between these and Terri’s oils is that hers are not made in gigantic factories, and she doesn’t charge an arm and leg for a brand name or fancy packaging. Nothing on Terri’s website sells for more than $22, and every product is lovingly hand blended and poured. The cute purple packaging is a bonus!
Terri’s niche oils are 100% Argan Oil based, which takes after the whole Argan Oil craze we’ve seen in the second half of the past decade. The Body Shop has their own range using Community Fair Trade Wild Argan Oil3, Kiehl’s uses it in their Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil4, and even LUSH Cosmetics is in on the fun with a series of punny Argan-based products like “Jason and the Argan Oil” and “Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner.”
So what’s the deal with Argan Oil, anyways?
Argan Oil comes from Morocco, a North African country with a population of nearly 34 million spread over less than half a million kilometers squared5 (by comparison Canada is just 35 million people spread over almost 10 million kilometers squared6). The Argan trees are native to the region, and many Moroccan villages are sustained by producing the oil for cosmetics or the kitchen (where it can be used for soups and salad dressings7). The skincare benefits of Argan Oil are supposedly no better than other non-fragrant plant oils8, but the Argan Oil extravaganza rages on.
Terri’s oils are special in that they smell of her signature nine gourmand fragrances (pictured above). I was interested in testing them as Argan Oil can have its own distinctive nutty aroma that could alter the perfume or overpower it entirely. The samples I received are for Sucre et Fleurs and Vanille Debauche, neither of which left an impression on me last time.
For testing purposes I dedicated one of the oils to the hair and the other to skin on the body. I would be very cautious about putting straight-up oils on my face as they can block pores and lead to acne and other skin demons. What I was looking for in the hair oil was whether or not it added shine, manageability, and a slight fragrance to my hair without a greasy appearance or feeling. (In other words, does it measure up to my trusted Motions Hair & Scalp Conditioner?) For the skin I went in with an open mind, unsure of what kind of results I might expect. Note: these buggers were a pain to photograph because of their minuscule size, but I did my best to show you the products and their effects. The before and after photos are entirely unedited.
Sucre et Fleurs surprised me by being a delight on the skin, with a caramelized sugar, vanilla and honey scent that I didn’t get at all from the EDT. Still a sleep-inducing scent, would be perfect in a body lotion or pillow spray. The oil itself absorbed immediately, leaving skin heavily fragrant, radiant looking (as pictured), and only slightly tacky to the touch. It did, however, take a ridiculous ammount of oil to cover the skin in an even layer. The sample lasted about one and a half whole applications, making me concerned about how long a full bottle would last. Perfect use for this product would include conditioning of the skin after a body lotion, or a pre-sun treatment to add shine and glow to exposed skin (I’m looking at you, beach-goers!). It’s a nice addition to a body care routine, like a more subtle version of the $65 Liquid Luster Dry Body Oil from Michael Kors (minus the luster), but it’s not going to replace your standard lotion any time soon.
Vanille Debauche had the same odd scent in this format as the EDT, but worked nicely in the hair to add a hint of muted radiance (as pictured) without leaving a greasy feeling. Not as intensive as the aforementioned Motions conditioner, but nice.
Verdict: Terri’s oils are a high-quality alternative to the mass-market ones, with the added benefit of supporting an excellent artisan perfumer. Their Argan Oil base is pleasant if nothing you can’t live without, but if you are in the market for a product that smells good and adds a touch of shine wherever it goes then it is right up your alley. If you are curious about any of Terri’s fragrances including the ones discussed here today, make sure to sign up for Scent Trunk, which recently added her products to their lineup (my interview with founder William Yin here).
1Sephora: Maracuja Oil. Prices true at time of writing.
2Sephora: 100 percent Pure Argan Oil. Prices true at time of writing.
3The Body Shop: Wild Argan Oil
4Kiehl’s: Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil
7BBC: Argan oil recipes
8Paula’s Choice: Argan oil
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