Sometimes I get a jonesin' for a rose scented potion in a green glass bottle. Consider this my fix. Votary's Cleansing Oil, Rose Geranium and Apricot is one of the most beautiful cleansers to have ever touched my face. And as a cleanserphile (I guess that's what we'll call it), this is no light statement. There's something so British about it, in the best way possible. I say that because I equate British beauty with elegance, thoughtfulness, and efficacy. Votary is that, and so much more.
It is a moderately viscous cleansing oil that begs to be massaged. It is slick and coating while still remaining fairly lightweight and softening. It cloths off beautifully and leaves behind the softest layer of comfort. There's not an oily or filmy residue in the slightest. The soft rose and geranium scents are in fact on the subtle side, highlighted by what I'd describe as a dried apricot tinge - less juicy and sweet than a fresh apricot. As a scent profile in general, I'd say the geranium is more present than the rose. The rose is a sweet rose too - not a traditional powdery one. The experience is the equivalent to a forehead kiss... if you can imagine that. The smooth glass bottle has a pump that will allow you to dispense one drop or an entire palmful with utmost precision. The luxe white cardboard packaging houses a fluffy and refined washcloth (or should I say flannel) and feels like a cozy blanket on the skin.
This is what Votary does. They create elegant products that have a heart of green (beauty) and a head of luxury. You're getting a formula that contains, quite literally, only delicious plant based ingredients. You're getting presentation that is as practical as it is stylish. I display my Votary boxes in my hallway outside my bedroom. It looks like decor - you'd truly never think it was skincare packaging.
Rose Geranium is what I find myself reaching for more in the morning. The aromatic floral scent is uplifting and enlivening, so it really helps me to get my day going. Not only that, compared to Super Seed, it's slightly lighter and a bit thinner. I used a pump and a half onto my face and neck and give my skin a nice massage while the water warms up in my shower. I bathe with the cleanser on and only remove it right before I'm getting out. Because it's a non-emulsifying cleansing oil, it tends to stay put quite well during my shower. With a formula that contains so many beautiful oils and botanical extracts, you can't blame me for wanting to keep it on my skin as long as possible.
Every single time I cloth it off, my skin is happy. It's soft and plump; slightly oily, but in a way that isn't slick or greasy. I don't think people with oily skin would be put off by it. I have a noticeable glow, redness subsides, and my pores sing with joy.
I love the fact that it doesn't emulsify. That's something that I find to be less and less common these days. I love emulsifying cleansing oils just as much as the non-emulsifying ones, but sometimes it's nice to switch things up. This cleanser really just seems to work better when you take the time to massage, smooth, and caress the skin while the oil is coating your face. Paired with the delicate scent, it's a recipe for utter euphoria.
There really isn't anything I'd want to change about this cleanser. It has recently become available in the US through Votary's website, but even when ordering from the UK I had no problems at all. It's worth noting that the launch of the US website increased the prices significantly. When I purchased mine, I paid the equivalent of US $56. Now, it's sold for US $72. I guess I can't complain too much since everyone living outside the US often has to pay a significant amount to cover customs, VAT, and import costs. But still :)
I also think that this cleanser in particular is a great place to start with the brand. I've been head over heels the portion of the range that I've tried, and it's a brand that I want to continue exploring as time progresses. Their recent launches have stemmed more in the wellness and lifestyle categories - pillow mist, oil supplement - but I think at their core, they are a phenomenal skincare brand with a true understanding of how to make products that people enjoy using and that provide benefits on the skin that meet modern skincare standards. It's stunning. If you haven't tried it, I think you'll love it. I haven't met anyone who doesn't!
Votary Cleansing Oil, Rose Geranium and Apricot $72 for 3.4 fl oz, or 100 mL Available from Votary, Anthropologie, and Liberty of London