REVIEW
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The Beauty Sleep Awards: Chanel L’Huile Orient Body Massage Oil

Presenting: THE FILE’s Beauty Sleep Awards. In honour of sleep, we took it upon ourselves to tirelessly vet products that claim to aid sleep in any way, shape or form. So tirelessly, in fact, we stayed up late with pen and notepad swatching lotions and burning candles and spritzing pillows all in the name of Sleep Week  (an irony that is not lost on us for a moment). Here at THE FILE, it was all in a hard day’s work and a good night’s sleep. The verdict? It was totally worth it for we’ve found a round-up of products that not only make our skin beam but that also taught us to incorporate nurturing rituals into our PM routines. Stay tuned over the course of the week for the full reviews. And of course, sweet dreams to you all.

As far back as I can remember, I was enchanted by my grandmother’s bathroom. I believed it was a magical space that turned whoever entered into a *fancy* lady. Whenever I stayed the night at my grandparents’ house, after bath time she’d let my sister and I put talcum powder all over ourselves with her powder puff and dab ourselves with perfume. I’d go to sleep wondering if I’d ever be that classy.

That exact mix of aspiration and awe is how I feel about Chanel. Thirty years after the powder puff days, whenever I buy or receive Chanel products, I’m still just a clumsy kid playing grown-ups in my Nanna’s bathroom. Whether it’s clothes, fragrances or makeup, Chanel is the epitome of sophistication, of womanhood and I only feel like a sophisticated woman approximately twice a year. Thrice in leap years.

So when THE FILE called and asked me to road test Chanel’s L’Huile Orient Body Massage Oil as a bougie sleep aid, my immediate instinct was to say “I have to ask my mum”. I didn’t though, because I’m a total professional.

L’Huile Orient Body Massage Oil is divine. No, it’s mother fucking divine. It smells like spices and feels like sex. But like movie sex – sensual and graceful and not like real sex at all. It makes my skin all silky and warm, and when I put it on I feel like a *fancy* lady, without even having to go to my grandmother’s bathroom. Which is lucky, because it was bulldozed years ago.

I’m not great at identifying scents and their notes, and generally, choose my perfumes through a complex ranking system from ‘nice’ to ‘not nice’ to ‘really not nice’. Happily, L’Huile Orient sits decidedly at the nice end of the spectrum. The internet tells me it contains“a mysterious, floral composition in which spicy Rose accents swirl together with notes of Frankincense, Benzoin and precious Wood” which is much better than what I just said.

I like to use L’Huile Orient at night, post-shower or bath when I’m all relaxed and ready for bed. I have zero scientific proof but I think the smell of Benzoin and Frankincense soothes me and helps me fall asleep, just as its maker says it does. And lately, that’s precisely the kind of help I need.

So, if you want to feel like a fancy lady, or you actually are a fancy lady (well done, you!), get yourself a bottle. It was originally made for the Chanel Spa at the Paris Ritz and just typing those words made me 30% *fancier*.

Now, if I could only find (or afford) a personal masseuse…

Words, Nadine von Cohen, Images, James Tolich.