18 Feb 2013
( 4.5/5 )
Imiza is a niche skincare brand based in Corsica and sells mainly via its website, www.imiza.com.
Corsica has many small cosmetics producers, which base their products on native flora and other local products. For instance, the Corsican bee is a protected species and produces a unique honey.
Imiza bases its mostly-natural-based products on another plant for which Corsica is famous - helichrysum or immortelle. Known in the UK as 'everlasting flower', it's often used in dried-flower arrangements because it keeps its colour well but in cosmetics it also has powerful skincare attributes. It's anti-inflammatory, analgesic, cell-regenerating (hence its use in anti-ageing products), and is also used in acne treatments and for surgical scars and wounds and stretch marks. In a warm bath, it heals aches and pains, and calms sensitive skin.
It also has a beautiful scent - something like hay, but with notes of tobacco, honey and tea, and is used as a perfumery note in fragrances.
The four products by Imiza that I sampled were Oliu di Sole dry oil; Latte di Sole body milk, Luce di Sole Sérum Absolu serum and the firm's Eau de Parfum.
Oliu di Sole dry oil (27.90 euros for a 100ml spray) is a fabulous-smelling dry oil that sinks directly into the skin without leaving any greasy residue and leaves your skin beautifully soft and smooth. The scent fades relatively quickly, enabling you to put your perfume on afterwards without a clash. I found this product perfect for after swimming, when I need to apply moisturiser very quickly and often in cold conditions. The spray bottle is a bonus with dry oils, which can otherwise be messy to apply.
If you want your skin to be beautifully perfumed for hours, choose the Latte di Sole body milk instead. Equally lovely to use, it also sinks into the skin, leaving it beautifully soft but not greasy, and also fragrant (36.90 euros for 200ml).
The eau de parfum (74 euros for 100ml, top right) was the product I was most impressed with. This chypre has immortelle throughout with head notes of lavender and orange, heart notes of jasmine, rose and orange fruit, and base notes of labdanum, patchouli, musk and benzoin. It is a truly lovely, warm perfume that smells like lying on your back in a hayfield, your limbs warmed by the sun, gazing up at a cloudless blue sky. The orange notes are the most evident at the opening, with immortelle at the heart and benzoin in the drydown, with throw and persistence both modest - a perfume suitable for wearing out to dinner or to the office.
The final product I tried was the Luce di Sole Sérum Absolu (39.50 euros for a 15ml dropper bottle). As a tired old cynic, I am never sure of the claims for serums, night creams and anti-ageing creams, but I can definitely say that this serum smells lovely and stops your skin from drying out overnight. I found I couldn't use it during the day, as being oil-based, it stops makeup from sitting properly on the skin, but it works well at night under a night cream and I fancy it made me look rather less tired. It is certainly worth a look for those who prefer an oil-based serum, and is much cheaper than similar products from firms such as Decleor, which can cost over 100 euros.
Imiza products are available from the firm's website, www.imiza.com for delivery worldwide.