Juara’s candlenut product line has an intoxicating scent that you will want to wear all the time, all year round. Juara’s candlenut products have one of the more complex coconut scents you’ll come across – it is grown-up and exotic. The scent is also fresh, like a clean soap. The warm coconut aroma is slightly more prominent than the other aromas that make up this fragrance. Candlenut Perfume Oil is crafted to be reminiscent of an exotic Indonesian bouquet[.]” Juara describes the scent as a blend of “lush greens, delicate freesia, white blooming jasmine, sparkling bergamot and gentle rose – with just a hint of fresh coconut[.]”
As complex as the scent is, the aroma remains constant. While most perfumes have a top note, a middle note and a base note, the Candlenut Perfume Oil seems to have the same exotic warm coconut scent in the bottle, as when you apply it, as when the oil has dried down. The body creme smells identical to the perfume oil, albeit slightly weaker and a little more fresh and soap-like. The scent is strong for a body creme, but if you are using this body creme as a perfume, it is perfect. Interestingly enough, when used together the perfume does little to enhance the scent of the body creme.
Candlenut Perfume Oil (0.3 fl oz/8.8ml)
Juara’s Candlenut Perfume Oil, with its warm and exotic scent, seems to be one of the safer perfumes on the market. The full ingredients list reads:
But wait! Even though the ingredients contain the always mysterious and troublesome “fragrance/parfum,” Juara is careful to clarify that their products are phthalate-free. Juara’s Candlenut Perfume Oil is also labeled as vegetarian, paraben-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, and free of mineral oil, artificial colorants and harsh chemicals (though it clearly contains chemicals that are widely considered to be not so harsh).
The non-harsh chemicals in this perfume do not give me any reason to be concerned. Caprylic/capric triglyceride is an oily liquid derived from coconut oil and glycerin. It is mainly used to deliver, disperse and dissolve, but can also be a fragrance ingredient, an emollient/moisturizer, or to help repair the skin’s surface. Caprylic/capric triglyceride has an EWG rating of 1. Neopentylglycol dicaprylate/dicaprate is an emollient that also has an EWG rating of 1. All ingredients in this perfume oil are considered to be low risk. Taking Juara at its word, I feel comfortable using and repurchasing the Candlenut Perfume Oil.
But just because a brand makes one clean beauty product, that doesn’t mean we can blindly trust that all of their products meet that same high standard.
Candlenut Body Creme (7.50 oz/213g)
Juara’s Candlenut Body Creme has the same warm, exotic coconut scent as the perfume oil, needless to say it smells fantastic. It also applies smoothly, without leaving behind even the slightest bit of oil. However, odd as this may sound, this body creme applies too smoothly, to the point where it feels like you are coating your skin with a thin layer of wax or plastic. Using this body creme, I didn’t feel like my skin was being moisturized, or that any ingredients were actually being absorbed by my skin. In fact, when I applied a little too much, the extra creme would just sit on my skin, a thin layer of waxy substance resisting absorption.
As soon as this creme arrived in the mail I realized that I did not properly research it before clicking “buy.” By reading the ingredients it is easy to see why my skin felt like it was being coated instead of moisturized. The ingredients, in full, are:
As you can see, the Candlenut Body Creme is a mixture of necessary, and less necessary ingredients. Water, illipe (shorea stenoptera) seed butter, aleurites moluccana (candlenut) oil, persea gratissima (avocado) oil, rice (oryza sativa) bran oil, and daucus carota sativa (carrot) seed oil are the necessary ingredients. Mixed in with them are phthalate-free fragrance, which gives the product its scent identity, and glycerin, a liquid used as a humectant and to help skin absorb beneficial ingredients.
Also included are the following: Two ingredients to help water and oils combine. Six ingredients that are emollients; some of the six may also be used as conditioners or stabilizers. One ingredient that stabilizes pH levels. One ingredient that is a preservative (though one of the emollients may also be used as a minor preservative), and one ingredient that carries the fragrance. Wow.
The whole picture is important in choosing safer, effective products. In Juara’s defense, the “less necessary” ingredients each have an EWG rating of 3 or better, except for one, which has an EWG rating of 4. Some may even be considered “natural,” as they can be made from plant or animal ingredients. And Juara’s Candlenut Body Creme is paraben free. But with all those other waxy, coating ingredients, how much difference does that make? While safer ingredients and a low EWG rating are good, that is not the be-all and end-all in choosing safer and healthier products. I suppose every step in the right direction is a step worth applauding. Though I could definitely live without nearly half the ingredients in this product. If the end result was a fantastic body creme, I might be tempted to overlook all the less necessary ingredients. But when the end result is less than fantastic you have to ask: why use so many ingredients to get that result?
Left up to me, I would leave out the water, whip up the natural butters and oils, add the phthalate-free fragrance, glycerin and preservative, and be done with it. Would that be more expensive? Sure. But it would make a better moisturizer, and a product that I would actually want to repurchase.
Have you ever made a great purchase and a regrettable purchase from the same brand? Did you continue to shop with that brand? Why or why not? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.