Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Spotlight on: Osmia
I have been dropping Osmia products in some of my posts here and there, I feel that it's time (drum roll please) to put this brand in the spotlight!
If you are an avid lover of bees, you might think that is where the name for the brand came from, however the real origins are a little more subtle. The founder of Osmia comes from a medical background, and the words describing different conditions involving sense of smell (hyperosmia, anosmia, parosmia), all have one common part. I guess you can see where this is going, the name and the products revolve around the importance of taking your time to notice your surroundings, and enjoying the therapeutic benefits of different scents.
For people who enjoy their showers:
My love for soaps is rather obvious, I do normally like very creamy bars, the ones that feel like they could possibly melt in your hands (of course if they actually melted it would not be good). Osmia bars are a little harder than my normal preference, but nothing about this brand is quiet as what it seems at first glance. The soaps come wrapped in partially recycled watercolour paper, and apart from looking super cute, it is compostable and biodegradable, including the label.
Zucca spice is a pumpkin orange slice of freshness (only botanical colourants are used). I find this bar to be exfoliating even though it doesn't have any granules like I would normally see in an exfoliating soap. If you look closely you can see little red specs, that would be the rosehip powder that helps to slough away dead skin cells. After each use my skin feels really clean, almost as if I used a sea salt scrub. This bar was brought out especially for winter, but I can see myself loving it all year round. It did come in a generous chunk, which I cut in half. To me the scent is not at all overpowering, there is a little of spice to it, but mainly it reminds of fennel. Regardless I can not get enough of it. It turns my morning/evening showers into a mini spa experience.
Milky rose soap is your ultimate indulgence. It is just a smidgen more moisturising than Zucca spice, and it makes my skin feel marvellous. My skin on the upper chest and back can be a bit on the sensitive side, this soap always calms things down. It doesn't have rose oil in the mix (you can read about it here), but the rose petals on the top of the bar are still fragrant. The scent itself is a little difficult to pin point, it is definitely feminine, but not overpowering, and it doesn't smell overly floral.
Evergreen shea is the one soap I would happily get for my man (and then use myself when he is not looking). From the first sniff you get transported to a pine forest, skin is left feeling clean and soothed. I have to say that all the soaps I have tried are fabulous, and really good for sensitive skin.
The one product I was really excited about is the Soap travel bag. I like to take my soap with me and it can be tricky to transport after you have used it, for some reason it is hard to find a good travel case. What is great about this bag is that you can put your wet soap in it and since it is breathable, your soap will be able to dry. Also it will make your clothes smell fantastic, when you pop everything in a suitcase.
For people who enjoy their baths:
I do love a good soak, there is just something so relaxing about it. However it doesn't feel like a proper bath unless I add something to the water, it is like a compulsion.
Organic milk bath was a bit of a surprise. I would normally add some salts, or a bath bomb, not a powder to my bath. Oh I didn't realise how much I was missing out. The milk bath has a slightly sweet, pleasant scent. It turned my bath water completely opaque ( I felt very excited about that). But most importantly it completely transformed the water. My skin felt so soft, and I didn't even have the dreaded crinkled hands and feet bath syndrome after my soak (well maybe a little but hardly noticeable in comparison to the usual). And what's more my skin felt nicely exfoliated, I mean baby soft, with no effort from me.
Your instinct would be to reach for a towel, but what you really should do is grab a bottle of Osmia body oil instead. The oil is best applied to wet skin (or at least damp, if you can't help yourself), yes it takes a little getting used to, but the results are really worth it.
The oil I have is water lily, which sort of smells like a beautiful pond in the middle of a forest. Very sensual yet refreshing. I honestly have not come across such a wonderfully zingy smelling oil before. Again I don't feel overpowered by the scent, but it does linger, so I would think that perfume is optional.
The base for all the oils is the same, and it is only the fragrances that differ. There is also an unscented version, for those who prefer no fragrance. Because the base contains jojoba, I was being very careful to only apply on my arms and legs (I tend to use face products on my upper chest anyway, so it is not really different to normal). It doesn't leave a film and just feels like super soft skin. The scent combined with how it affects the skin, makes this a truly unique product.
For your face:
There is a lot of information about how you shouldn't use soap on your face, my experience has been completely different. No I don't think you can use just any old soap, but hand made facial soaps are absolutely fantastic.
I have a little sample of Rose clay facial soap, but as I spotted it contained jojoba I just did not want to risk it. What I can tell you is that it smells a little like rose geranium to me, and that the lather is very soft. I have been using it to clean my Jane Iredale magic mitt, after removing makeup.
They have introduced a new Luz enzyme facial soap which does not contain jojoba, and I am sure I will be adding it to my shopping basket next time I order.
I like to think that I take good care of my skin, but sometimes I don't drink enough water, or don't sleep enough, or use something that doesn't agree with my skin. That is when I start getting spots. Now is the time to bring out the emergency treatment.
When I first saw the spot treatment, all I could think about was how small the bottle is. The truth is, after using it a dozen times over the last few months, it still looks untouched, so I really should not have judged it based on the size. What can I say, it really works, it works quicker on the red spots than the ones with a head, but that is quiet normal for products that don't dry out your skin. For me it has worked a lot better than any other treatment I have tried in the past, and more importantly it doesn't have tea tree, which can be a little too much for my skin. It is a very concentrated product and smells fairly potent, mainly of lavender. The roller ball applicator is small, which makes it great for target application.
When your skincare routine is finished and you feel like giving your lips a break, but you still want a little bit of colour, lip luster gloss is here for you. It is one of the nicest smelling lip products, it smells of pure deliciousness, like a honeyed edible flower. It is a berry shade that looks dark in the tube, but goes on with just a hint of colour. There are some new additions to this lip gloss, simmer - a flattering looking orange, and whisper, which is a lighter pink than luster. How I am itching to get my hands on simmer!
With every order that I have received from Osmia, they kindly included some samples without me asking for them. That is how I got to try some of their wonderful products. When I order from outside of the UK, I always try to consider how much the import tax will be, which means I normally order fewer products than I would have wanted. And that is why it is so fantastic that Osmia is generous enough to let you discover other things in their range, it gives me an opportunity to choose products that I know I will love when I order next.
I also really like how elegant and simple the packaging is, opening a package from them feels like receiving a thoughtful gift. There is so much information on their website and Sarah's blog is totally worth a read.
P.S. if you are wondering why I didn't mention the deo in this post, well it is because I am working on something that will be up very soon and it will be included in there.