Cleansing Treat: Darphin’s Aromatic Balm with Rosewood

Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm Review

Welcome to one of my skincare guilty pleasures: the Aromatic Cleansing Balm with Rosewood from Darphin. This little glass jar contains the silkiest, most delectable of balmy cleansers – I’ve been trying for months to think of something comparable, in terms of texture, but to no avail. It feels a bit like set honey but without the stickiness. It’s slightly more robust than your standard balm consistency and holds up well on damp skin, giving you a good chance to massage it in rather than immediately skipping to the “milky rinse-off” stage.

But it’s not the texture of this balm that keeps me coming back for more: it’s the smell. Do you have a collection of beauty products that make you feel disproportionately happy? I do. I have my skincare products that are purely functional – my exfoliants and my non-nonsense serums and my SPFs – and then I have my little beauty treasures, the ones that I really look forward to using at the end of a long, hard day. Of course, these products are also functional and effective – I don’t often waste my time with fragrant frippery that’s all scent and no substance! – but they have a special place in my heart due to their ability to instantly change my mood.

Off the top of my head, some mood-changers from my little collection: Aurelia’s Dry Body Oil, Aromatherapy Associates bath oils, Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist and (again from Darphin) the 8-Flower Nectar Oil Cream. All of these, without fail, can perk me up at the start of a hectic day or help me to wind down at the end of a stressful one. They calm my mind with their therapeutic oil blends, they lift my spirits, they turn a quick and perfunctory skincare routine into something more lavish and indulgent.

Which makes it sound as though I use these things infrequently: I don’t. I’m past that whole “saving things for best” thing, now; use it or lose it. Gone are the days of dusting off boxes to find a pair of unworn shoes nestled inside – lingerie from 2004 with the tags still on, saved for a special occasion, the teeny bottle of truffle oil bought in Milan six years ago, waiting for that sophisticated dinner party that is probably never going to happen…

These beauty treasures are used on a surprisingly regular basis. At least a couple of times a week – more for the Queen of Hungary Mist, which gets spritzed over my face at strategic points throughout the day, serving as a sort of luxurious wake-up call when my energy levels are flagging and my face is beginning to wilt.

I would use the Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm daily, if I could get away with it, but it is – as I mentioned before – a guilty pleasure. It’s £32, which doesn’t sound too guilty so far, but when you consider the size of the jar and the volume of the contents – 40ml – it seems prudent to use the balm as a treatment rather than as part of a daily routine.

Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm Review

And it really does feel – and smell – like a treatment. This isn’t a massage-in-and-take-straight-off cleanser, this (at the risk of sounding like an M&S advert) is a massage-in, lie-back, breathe-in-the-aroma-and-bask-for-a-while cleanser. I just can’t convey to you how much I love using it. The ylang ylang oil is instantly uplifting, the rosewood is sweet and woody and calming. (I’m aware that on paper the two should really cancel each other out, but I find the blend very balancing.)

Cleansers with Added Benefits…

So yes, I use the cleanser as more of a facial treatment than a makeup remover – if I’ve had a heavy day on the cosmetics front then I’ll usually use a balm that I don’t mind digging into with both hands! With the Darphin one I massage in, leave on for a few minutes and then press off using a warm flannel. And if I’m feeling as though I need a total assault on the senses then I’ll follow with the Darphin 8 Flower Nectar Oil Cream, equally as mood-lifting and a gorgeous overnight moisturiser if you’re looking for something buttery.

Usually I race through my cleansers – I really enjoy testing them and am always impatient to start on something new and exciting – but Darphin’s Aromatic Balm is one that I don’t want to finish. I’ve been rationing my portions, so to speak, and I’ll most definitely be buying a new jar once I’ve finished every precious last bit of this one.

You can find Darphin’s Aromatic Cleansing Balm here* – it’s £32.

new pixi double cleanse skincare

Some alternatives:

If non-scented, powerful makeup-removing is more your bag then I will point you in the direction of Caroline Hirons’ Double Cleanse for Pixi (here*), which has a balm and a cream cleanser in one handy pot. Pictured above. If budget is an issue then you can’t go far wrong with the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter from The Body Shop, £10 here*. If you like the idea of a cleanser as more of a treatment than a rinse-off product then take a look at the MV Organic Skincare Cleansing Tonic, here*.

*Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer.

© 2017 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. Outward links to retailers are affiliate links. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.

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21 Comments

    • NIN
      June 25, 2017 / 9:08 am

      ahhhhh dear ruth!!
      you reminded me LOTS of years ago when a pharmasist gave me a special size of this magnificent balm (darphin). i enjoed every little drop back then, but i didn;t not purchase since it was SO expesive (for a cleanser), though it ‘s a lot more than a simple cleanser.
      recently (after readind your post) a shop here had a 30% discount on darphin!!!!!
      guess what. i got THE BIG POT!! the 125 ml!!!. now i have enough to dive in.. i just applied .. such a bliss… thanx for reminding!!!
      your posts and videos are a joy. you are a great girl. keep them coming!! (less babies for me, but i know it’s your life)
      xoxoxoxox

      • NIN
        June 25, 2017 / 9:21 am

        ops!
        sorry. this was a reply for ruth, not for rena :)

  1. Kitty
    June 12, 2017 / 10:08 am

    Agree with previous comment, I also wanna try this now :) But as I see you keep mentioning the Queen of Hungary Mist, have you tried the The Jasmine Garden Facial Spray from May Lindstrom? I had a pretty generous sized sample of the Queen of Hungary Mist and didn’t get it all the. The Jasmine Garden Facial Spray do – that is just devine.

    • June 12, 2017 / 2:23 pm

      I have a funny thing about jasmine! But love the orange flower smell with the QoH! x

  2. June 12, 2017 / 11:50 am

    I have tried all your alternative products, I think that qualifies me to buy the treat for a treatment, don’t you think?

  3. June 12, 2017 / 12:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing, my mother has it in her skincare cabinet so I will make sure to try it out next time I visit her! And I definitely agree, I have my functional products, the ones my skin truly needs and the ones I need, more to lift my mood thanks to a lovely consistency or a lovely scent, the best skincare being the one which meets both expectations!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

  4. June 12, 2017 / 6:35 pm

    Gosh, you got me high with that post. Do you think I can find this at Heathrow?

  5. SomeGirlMel
    June 12, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    Have you tried the Darphin Purifying Balm? I was hesitant at first to think a waxy oil balm would purify anything. Somehow I’m left glowing but not greasy and my skin is perfectly balanced by the morning. It smells heavenly.

  6. Laura
    June 12, 2017 / 8:10 pm

    I love love love this cleanser Ruth. Fully agree with you,i use it as a treatment too as I love the smell so much. I try to stock up on darphin when escentual are having their French Pharmacy sales-given the small pot size,it really is on the pricier side of things. I’m definitely a fan of the aromatic cleansing balms,theres something lovely about lashing them on just before bed as part of your skincare routine. If you haven’t already tried it,you would probably also love the De mamiel cleansing balm- totally divine, has a gorgeous scent and a texture not dissimilar to darphin’s rosewood balm,though less sticky perhaps. Thanks for a great review!

    • June 13, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      Ooh, haven’t tried that one though I love their Cleansing Dew! x

  7. Victoria
    June 12, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    Hi everyone, Just to let you know all know Darphin have an offer code on just now for 20% everything on their site! The code is LOVE. I bought the cleansing balm just now for £28. Not sure how long the offer is on for. Hope that helps

  8. Zhen
    June 13, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    Hi Ruth! There’s a cleanser combo I’ve been using lately that satisfies my powerful yet luxurious requirements: Heimish All Clean Balm and Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick. The balm is beautiful solid to oil to milk texture with a feint herby/citrus scents which removes make up amazingly. The stick has fermented rose petals embedded into it (it’s essentially a giant deodorant-like packaging you massage on skin) that gently lathers into a creamy consistency. I’ve been using a few Asian beauty products lately after The Ordinary fatigue and those two have been stand outs!

  9. NIN
    June 25, 2017 / 9:22 am

    ahhhhh dear ruth!!
    you reminded me LOTS of years ago when a pharmasist gave me a special size of this magnificent balm (darphin). i enjoed every little drop back then, but i didn;t not purchase since it was SO expesive (for a cleanser), though it ‘s a lot more than a simple cleanser.
    recently (after readind your post) a shop here had a 30% discount on darphin!!!!!
    guess what. i got THE BIG POT!! the 125 ml!!!. now i have enough to dive in.. i just applied .. such a bliss… thanx for reminding!!!
    your posts and videos are a joy. you are a great girl. keep them coming!! (less babies for me, but i know it’s your life)
    xoxoxoxox

    • June 25, 2017 / 7:51 pm

      Hold on… they do a BIG POT?!!!!!!!!

      • NIN
        June 26, 2017 / 6:06 am

        YES ruth! yes!!!! i wish i could photograph it for you. it s 125 ml!!!! BIG AS LIFE!
        i couldn’t believe my eyes. initial price 70 euros and i got it for 50. but it’s as big as it gets. i use it twice daily without guilt.
        i m in my 40s, i have combo skin which becomes oily in humid heat waves (as we have now in greece). cleansing with this balm, leaves my skin super hydrated. i don’t even use moisturiser when i stay home. just the balm and some cool eye gel (galenic ophyce) and i m good.
        thanx for remindind sweety :)

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