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Start by listening to the signs your body is sending you.

If there’s one thing we’re certain of, it’s that there are no two greater compliments than, “You smell good” and “Your skin is glowing.” And nowadays, you don’t have to stack a zillion beauty products to achieve the goal of smelling divine and having soft, hydrated skin—investing in a quality body oil fragrance lets you have the best of both worlds (and keep the flattering remarks coming.)

A body oil fragrance is a multipurpose product that helps simplify your routine, meaning fewer purchases and less time spent layering product after product. “Body oil fragrances not only moisturize and protect the skin’s barrier but also offer the added benefit of a longer lasting and more intense scent to the wearer,” says Sopreye Chaine, fragrance enthusiast and content creator behind the Instagram account, ScentsandStuff. Below, Chaine and other pros share their tips for picking scented body oils that pull double-duty as a moisturizer and a perfume. Plus, their picks to shop for yourself.

The best body oil fragrances, at a glance:

How are body oil fragrances different from perfumes?

The key difference between body oil fragrances and perfume oils is that rather than just offering a nice scent, body oil fragrances moisturize and hydrate the skin. “Since oils are rich in emollient and occlusive properties, they help to support the skin’s barrier and lock in moisture,” says board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD, FAAD. “Many oils also have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.” These functional fragrances contain nourishing oils, such as jojoba, almond, or coconut oil, imparting hydration and softening benefits to the skin’s barrier.

Additionally, Chaine says perfumes and perfume oils differ in that they’re, “a concentrated form of fragrance that typically lacks the moisturizing properties of a body oil.” As such, “they have a higher concentration of aromatic compounds and are specifically formulated to provide a long-lasting scent.”

The two also differ when it comes to the application and longevity. “Perfume oils are usually applied sparingly to pulse points such as your neck and wrists as they are very potent,” says Chaine. Contrarily, body oil fragrances are lathered on from the neck to the toes, the same way you would rub on a body cream.

What to look for

Key notes

If you’re into body oil fragrances, good news! There are tons of options out there for every taste—be it woody, citrusy, coconutty, spicy, or something in between. Chaine suggests thinking about scents that truly vibe with you and suit your style. Also, check that the fragrance isn’t too faint or too strong for your liking. Our advice? Grab a tester or give it a whiff in-store before committing to the full-sized bottle

Ingredients

When you’re on the lookout for a body oil fragrance, Dr. King suggests being ingredient-savvy. Go for the good stuff —natural ingredients that treat your skin right, especially if your complexion is a bit touchy. She suggests jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, and argan oil as they’re loaded with omega fatty acids and antioxidants. Dr. King advises that these carrier oils should make up most of the product’s formulation to be the safest for sensitive skin.

Speaking of sensitive skin, be sure to brush up on your allergens, too. If you are sensitized, Dr. King recommends avoiding body oil fragrances that contain notes of lime seed oil, lemon peel oil, limonene, linalool, citronellol, tea tree oil, ylang-ylang, lemongrass oil, sandalwood oil, clove oil, jasmine absolute oil, and narcissus absolute oil, as these properties are a common cause of contact dermatitis.

Application

Fragranced body oils have become a lot more popular in recent years. “As layering has become the new beauty craze, brands have leveraged that opportunity to create complementary body oils for their fragrances,” says Chaine. She adds that incorporating a scented body oil into any fragrance layering routine enhances the longevity of your chosen scent because body oils are more concentrated than traditional perfumes as they are formulated with less or no alcohol. “Plus, layering allows you to tailor the fragrance to your liking, experimenting with different combinations to create your signature scent by pairing your fragrance with a body oil that has a matching or complementary scent,” she says.

Body oils have a reputation for being messy, so how you apply them matters. Luckily, body oil fragrances are offered in different forms, such as a rollerball, spray, dropper, or pump—pick whichever works best for you.

Shop the best body oil fragrances


Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Firmeza Body Oil

Key notes: pistachio and salted caramel

If you love Sol De Janiero’s Bum Bum cream because of its iconic nutty, sweet gourmand, vanilla aroma, and nourishing properties, you’ll also love its Bum Bum Firmeza Body Oil. The Brazilian olive oil and Guaraná Caffeine+ Complex visibly firm and de-puff the skin, while the microalgae extract helps with skin aging and inflammation. “I love this body oil for its firming effect… and its non-greasy hydration that leaves my skin silky,” Chaine says. “The delightful blend of pistachio, salted caramel, and vanilla notes makes it an aromatic treat for the senses.”

The oil is super emollient; a little goes a long way, so you can justify the $52 price tag as the bottle will last you a long time. So whether you’re heading to a pool party or going out with the girls for a night in the city, apply a few pumps all over your body and watch your skin glisten. 

Key ingredients: Guaraná Caffeine+ Complex, microalgae extract, Brazilian olive oil

Size: 3.4 fl. oz. 

Pros:

  • Hydrate
  • Firms
  • Soothes and de-puffs
  • A little goes a long way

Cons:

  • Scent doesn’t last all day
  • Pricey


Saltair Pink Beach Body Oil

Key notes: coconut, almond blossom, vanilla

Saltair Pink Beach Body Oil is a fan favorite for good reason—it understands the assignment. It features kukui and squalane, which soothe and moisturize the skin; cacay and moringa, which tackle the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines; and fermented saururus, which ensures you’re left with a non-greasy feeling. But the best part is undoubtedly the scent, which smells like a tropical island surrounded by pink sand and cool, blue water. (The only thing missing is a frozen drink.)

Pro tip: Mix it with Saltair’s complimentary body lotion or a cream of your choice for the ultimate glow. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Key ingredients: fermented saururus, kukui, cacay, moringa, and squalane

Size: 4 fl. oz.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Hydrates
  • Smooths
  • Absorbs quickly

Cons:

  • Only available in one size


Osea Undaria Algae Body Oil

Key notes: grapefruit, lime, and cypress with mango and mandarin 

Dry-skin shoppers, listen up: If you struggle to hydrate your skin during the winter, Osea’s Undaria Algae Body Oil will be your new BFF. First, it’s packed with sun-kissed citrus and passionfruit notes, a mood booster to start your day on the right foot. Second, it features undaria seaweed, white lupin, and botanical oil, which knock out dryness, soften skin, and leave your skin glowing. It’s lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin, meaning it won’t transfer onto your clothes. 

Key ingredients: undaria seaweed, white lupin, botanical oil blend

Size: 1, 5, or 9.6 fl. oz.

Pros:

  • Makes skin glow 
  • Deeply hydrates
  • Soothes

Cons:

  • Take a while to soak into the skin
  • Pricey


Moroccanoil Dry Body Oil

Key notes: spicy amber and sweet florals

If you know and love Moroccanoil for its hydrating hair products and signature delicious fragrance that can be noticed a mile away, then its Dry Body Oil is for you. The argan, olive, and avocado oils work together to combat dry and flaky winter skin, while the citrus, vanilla, and amber scents lend a musky, calm, and well-rounded aroma. The best part? Since it’s a dry oil, it is easily absorbed by the skin and does not leave any oily residue on the surface. Plus, it comes with a spray applicator, which makes it easier, cleaner, and faster to dispense the product onto the skin. Apply it at night with the Moroccanoil Body Butter ($38) to wake up with baby-soft skin.

Key ingredients: argan oil, essential fatty acids, olive and avocado oils

Size: 3.4 fl. oz. or 1.7 fl. oz.

Pros:

  • Non-greasy
  • Hydrates
  • Easy to apply

Con:

  • Scent is light

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