A Skincare Product That Smells Like a Spa and Lasts All Day

For me, summer is all about spending the weekends exploring (and occasionally escaping) Manhattan. Nothing beats long days eating, hiking, park-sitting, beach-trekking, neighborhood-wandering, happy-houring and just generally reveling in the warm weather.

Of course, this kind of sunrise to (past) sunset rabble-rousing puts your grooming and skincare products to the test. That moisturizer you slathered on this morning? You'll sweat it off by noon. Same goes for the pomade you applied to telegenic perfection. Perhaps the most fleeting of efforts is fragrance, which is no match for a steamy street fair or smoky barbeque.

I hadn’t found skincare products that could keep up with my summer adventures—until I tried Mt. Sapola. The Bangkok-based line is known for stocking some of the world’s most luxurious spas and resorts, and recently made their way into the Birchbox Shop (and some of your August boxes). I was instantly attracted to the brand’s new Oriental Wood range, which includes both a body wash and body lotion. Each formula packs a refreshingly brisk, masculine scent thanks to sandalwood, patchouli, and citrus.

On a recent summer Friday, I used the body wash in the morning, which in and of itself is a joy because I can't help but associate the dense woody smell with a relaxing spa treatment. It foamed nicely, and left my skin feeling remarkably hydrated, despite the clean, dry scent. I followed with the moisturizer, which packs the same fragrant punch but is light enough to wear in the humidity without turning me into a sticky goop-monster.

Most lotions, regardless of how good they smell, fade after a couple of hours. Not this one. I sweated my way across the town on a CitiBike, and caught the scent of freshly cut wood. I cooled off by catching an afternoon movie, and even through the haze of fresh popcorn I smelled as if I had just walked out of a spa. When you love the smell of something as much as I love this, that kind of longevity is a welcome revelation.

I'm looking forward to more days spent pounding the summer pavement and skipping cologne in favor of Mt. Sapola's more luxurious (and longer-lasting) spa-like skin regimen. Problem officially solved.

—By Thomas Pardee

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