8 May 2016

Aromatica indulgence: reviewing the Rose Absolute First Serum and Vital Fluid

I love rose. I mean, which woman doesn't? But rose, despite how beautiful it is, isn't always the most agreeable with my skin.

I've tried numerous rose products, one of the most memorable would be my beloved Beauty DIY Rose Night Jelly which I've raved about it many times. And then there is Mamonde Rose Moisturising Mask as the most moisturising lotion-type masks I've ever used.

Although Mamonde Rose Water Toner and Bubble Foam Cleanser aren't impressive, they are still OK enough for me to finish them up.

However, for our star products today, I really cannot find the motivation or reason to continue. I am stucked, half way. They are not bad, but they are just not for me.

For those of you who know me, you'll know that I weight texture and scent, those surface things a lot more than other people. Don't get me wrong though, performance is very important here, but if you can't even continue using a product, then there is no reason to talk about performance because you will definitely not see any or continue to get any anyway, right?

In today's case, the texture and scent of both Aromatica products fail me, very badly.

Aromatica Rose Absolute First Serum (130ml) / KRW 31,000

Aromatica, just like Primera and Whamisa, is a vegen brand, perhaps even more vegen than them. It is absolutely against animal testing, and have determined not to enter the Chinese market that requires all cosmetic products be tested on animals.

The packaging may not look appealing, but you'll grow to liking it eventually. It is very elegant, minimalist and even romantic.

In term of smell, this serum smells like sweet vanilla blended in rose with hints of wood and forest. It does smell rose, not artificially although not romantic or floral. It is like rose on tree. The smell is quite strong, and even overpowering as time goes by.  My colleague who are sensitive to smell vomited after I tried to apply it as body lotion in the office... and that was just 5 months after opening it and the smell had changed completely into some expired rosey cooking oil smell or your grandma's expired ointment.

This serum endorses two things: brightening and wrinkles care, which I notice are often the claims for rose infused products. You're advised to finish this product up within 6 months, which is another reason why I don't like it. I'm a product junkee, so please don't keep me chained or loyal to only one. I want all my concubines to stay young and fresh, okay?

The product also mentions that this is a multi-functional skin lotion that contains bulgarian rose oil, aloe vera extract, jojoba oil and shea butter to hydrate and soothe skin from external aggressors. This is meant to be used immediately after cleansing.

I shot it under sunlight but guys, please don't do this. Do not ever let this little thing got under sunlight, it will seriously deteriorate your product - quality, colour, smell and all that. Make sure that this is away from the sunlight, completely. I just put it there for 1 hour and I noticed massive drop in quality in this serum the next day.

The texture is quite viscous, in thick water form that is not the easiest to absorb compared to my other first serums. It will only leave a tacky finish for the next half an hour that hinders any more skincare items from absorbing.

after the product is absorbed - leaves a slight tacky finish that will last for some time

I have been using this immediately after cleansing for 2 months, and guess what, my skin is almost ruined. This is not a very hydrating product, I would even say it is not hydrating at all. Worse, it will form a tacky layer that stops everything you put after it from absorbing. My skin feels hungry for the 2 months I was using these that I have to stop using them completely. It looks dull, it has small breakouts, it feels dry... nothing feels right. So when I try to treat it with some Laneige Water Bank Essence, it drinks it up immediately and keeps begging for more! It's that dry.

pH 5.5 is optimal for skin's health so this can replace your toning and balancing step, i.e. replace your toner


Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Propanediol, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Betaine, Rosa Damascena Bud Extract, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Panthenol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Sodium Carbomer, Levulinic Acid, Sodium Levulinate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Allantoin, Malva Sylvestrisc(mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita(peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Adenosine, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil


All but one (Achillea Millefolium Extract) ingredients are very safe on skin. Nothing is potentially irritating or comedogenic, so good news for sensitive skin type.

Not a single drop of water is used, the base is aloe vera juice, which may explain why it is harder to absorb than water-based products, especially with that much of oils and extracts inside. I find the same thing happens to my Whamisa Natto Gum cream and Deep Rich Toner, although my The Saem Harakeke Toner and Emulsion that are also made of 100% harakeke juice extract got absorbed effortlessly. Maybe it is the difference in formulation.

Research-backed goodies like niacinamide, allantoin, and adenosine are included to offer soothing, revitalizing, melanin-breaking and anti-oxidizing benefits.

Two types of rose are present here: the bud extract and flower oil. Both has astringent (shrinks pores, tones, kills bacteria), anti-acne, soothing and moisturising properties. Nice blend of plant extracts such as yarrow extract, lemon balm, peppermint extract, primosa flower, and lady's mantle extract are added to reduce flakiness on skin, restore suppleness, prevent wrinkles, soothe, antioxidze, fight acne and moisturize.


In short, from the ingredients, I would say that this is indeed an organically certified, harmful ingredients-free juice with rich extracts and actives to offer all its claimed benefits, most notably moisturising, soothing, anti-aging and wrinkles-fighting. Niacinamide is known for its brightening and dark spot healing properties too. Though, the real performance depends a lot on the formulation as well, which I by no mean have access to it.

Packaging ★★★★
Texture ★
Scent ★★★


Aromatica Rose Absolute Vital Fluid (100ml) / KRW 35,000

I dislike this vital fluid too, but for reason completely differ from the serum's one.

This time, it is the scent or odour of this vital fluid that disgusts me. If you are curious, just imagine having rose in sweet-smelling oil. It is just like having two very strong fruity and floral scents blended together. It is sickening!

Texture-wise, this vital fluid is not overly rich or gooey. It is just a nicely emulsified lotion that is slightly on the thicker side but not unbearable. It is a texture that I can accept on my skin.

Since it contains no water and relies on aloe vera juice extract as its base, it will "foam up" or form those white lipids layer that dissipates quickly into skin within a few seconds.

I rarely use this ever since I stopped the first serum. Not because I want to waste it, but I really find no motivation slapping this weird-smelling lotion on my face, the place closest to my nose. Nowadays it finds a good nest around my elbows and knees. But for those places, it is sadly not moisturising enough -- something I have to just live with unless if I want to throw it away.


**Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, *Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, *Propanediol, *Betaine, *Cetearyl Olivate, *Sorbitan Olivate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Niacinamide, *Cetyl Palmitate, *Sorbitan Palmitate, **Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Fruit Oil, Panthenol, *Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, *Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, *Tocopherol, *Sodium Phytate, Xanthan Gum, ★Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Allantoin, **Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, **Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, **Primula Veris Extract, **Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, **Veronica Officinalis Extract, **Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, **Achillea Millefolium Extract, Adenosine

*ecocert Certified Natural **from Organic Farming ★pure Essential Oil


The ingredient is pretty much similar to the first serum, with more extracts and essential oils. Most ingredients are labelled safe, but a few are potentially irritating or comedogenic (i.e. apricot oil, vitamin E, and a type of jojoba oil).

You can see that a lot of these are organic or vegen stuffs, even the emulsifiers cetearyl olivate and sorbitan olivate are originated from olive oil. Normally I've seen them in alcohol forms. And we also have apricot oil, shea butter, rosehip oil, rose flower oil, jojoba oil, and so on. These are great emollients for individuals with dry and flaky skin to smooth out the surface of your skin and moisturize cracks between skin.

Apart from the oils, most actives and extracts are highly similar to the first serum so I am not gonna elaborate further here.

In short, this is a again a very organic, vegen and natural product for skin types even sensitive skin, unless of course if you are sensitive to any other ingredients in the list. This will work great for dry and flaky skin suffering from rough skin texture without moisture-retention ability. However, this does not equal to ample hydration so it mostly just "traps" water and smooth out skin texture instead of supplying water.

Packaging ★★★★
Texture ★
Scent ★★★★



photo credit

I really want to like this serum and fluid pair, but I just couldn't... after many attempts. But, that doesn't mean that the product is bad, it just has some qualities that don't agree with my nose and of course my skin.

The first serum is a thick viscous liquid that will take some time to get absorbed. Once it is absorbed, it will stop any more hydrating factors from going in. So, using this as the first step of my skin only makes my skin rough, dry, dull and feeling uncomfortable. My skin feels thirsty.

Besides, it also deteriorates quite fast, just like the Dr. Wu whitening toner which is too potent to survive in Malaysian weather room temperature. Hey, do your preservatives homework well okay? Otherwise, just mark "this will not survive in tropical climate" on your packaging to save your customers' wallet. Likewise, this first serum deteriorates rapidly under short sun exposure, and has its odour changed into something like an expired rosey scented cooking oil. Urgh.

Those are my simple yet highly personal reasons not to like it. Of course, if you have more matured skin, enjoy nourishing product, prefers moisturising over hydrating, practice brand loyalty (which means you will stick to only this serum and can finish it up within 6 months or less), lives in a colder climate and away from uv rays, have sensitive skin, enjoy products made of rose oil, or prefer anything organic or vegen, then this will be a great product to try. The ingredients are indeed promising. But if you have same preferences or concerns like mine, then I would advise you not to waste your money on it.

As for the vital fluid, I dislike it mainly because of the scent (70%) and its association with the first serum (30%). Of course, the lack of performance, impressive one, to make me forget about the scent is also another important factor as well.

I guess that's all I want to say about these two. They have good ingredients list, but maybe not as nicely formulated as I want or expect them to be. After using the pair without anything for 2 months, my skin has become duller, lifeless, dehydrated, sensitive, easily irritated, and thirsty for one obvious reason - the lack of hydration. Noticing that, I try to introduce Laneige Water Bank Essence and Missha First Treatment Essence into my skincare routine, in the hope to save my skin but they are both helpless to some degree that I just have to remove the Aromaticas from my skincare regime. Now my skin is all shine and glow again.

So, yeah.. until they reformulate the product or make it more refined, I think I will not make any repurchase.

You can get this from: Aromatica OfficialPeach and Lily | Testerkorea | Althea Korea
[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.

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