decleor aromaessence green mandarin review

I usually avoid skincare products with aroma-anything in the name like the plague. Fragrance has the potential to irritate sensitive skin (mine isn’t) and has no practical uses in skincare. Why use it?

But when Decleor Aromaessence Green Mandarin dropped through the email, I decided to break my rule and give it a go (ah, the things I’ll do for you ladies!).

Did it irritate my skin or gave me a youthful glow? Let’s find out:

About The Brand: Decleor

Founded in Paris in 1974 by an aromatherapist and a facialist who believed that essential oils are the ultimate skincare ingredients, Decleor creates skincare products that merge skincare with physiological, mental and emotional well-being.

I’m not a big fan of this vision. Non-fragrant essential oils are incredibly nourishing for your skin, providing both moisturising and anti-aging benefits. Fragrant oils are a different matter entirely. The chemicals (yes, essential oils are made up of chemicals) that make them smell good are also irritating for sensitive skin – not the best recipe for well-being. Just saying.

Key Ingredients In Decleor Aromaessence Green Mandarin: What Makes It Work?


The base of Decleor Aromaessence Green Mandarin is made up of 3 non-fragrant moisturising oils:

  • Macadamia Oil: Derived from Macadamia nut (a native Australian nut), it’s loaded with fatty acids that strengthen your skin protective barrier and deeply moisturise dry skin.
  • Sunflower Seed Oil: Made up of fatty acids and Vitamin E, it makes even the driest of skin types soft and smooth and helps sensitive skin better withstand the assaults of the environment.
  • Apricot Kernel Oil: Made up of 92% linoelic and oleic fatty acids, it creates a protective barrier on the skin that deeply moisturises it and protects it from environmental assaults.

Related: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Apricot Kernel Oil In Skincare


Unfortunately, Decleor Aromaessence Green Mandarin is loaded with citrus oils. They give the oil a zesty, citrusy smell but… can also irritate sensitive skin.

Here’s the deal: fragrant components are part of a plant’s self-defence mechanism against predators. When insects try to eat them, these fragrant components act like a poison that kills them and keeps them at bay.

Humans aren’t insects. For us, in small quantities, they’re safe. But if your skin is so sensitive, it reacts badly to anything, this is another thing that can trigger the alarm and cause an adverse reaction. If that’s you, stay away from anything that smells too good. Bummer, I know!

Related: Is Fragrance In Skincare As Bad As Paula Begoun Says?

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that banishes dryness and makes your skin supple and dewy? Download your FREE “Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!
  • Limonene: The chemical in citrus fruits that give them their zesty aroma. It’s listed separately on the ingredient list because it’s an allergen (if you’re allergic to it, you need to know!).
  • Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil: A.k.a. Marula oil, it’s a rich source of moisturising fatty acids that protect skin from environmental aggressors and makes your skin soft and smooth.
  • Daucus Carota Sativa Root Extract / Carrot Root Extract: A powerful antioxidant that fight the free radicals that cause premature age, keeping your skin younger for longer.
  • Tocopherol: A form of Vitamin E, it has antioxidant properties. It also helps skincare products last longer.
  • Fusanus Spicatus Wood Oil: A fragrant oil that makes the product smell good. But like any fragrant ingredients, it can cause allergies and irritations in sensitive skin.
  • Jasminum Sambac Flower Extract / Jasmine Flower Extract: It’s purely used to make the oil smell good. Don’t you love the smell of jasmine?
  • Citral: One of the fragrant components of citrus oils. It makes them smell good, but it can cause allergies and irritations.
  • Linalool: Another of the irritating allergens that give citrus fruits their delicious smell.
  • Benzyl Alcohol: A preservative that helps the product last and be safe for longer.
  • Farnesol: A fragrant component found in essential oils. It makes them smell good but (you guessed it by now) can cause allergies and irritations.
  • Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract: A type of algae rich in the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin that helps fight premature aging.
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: It helps skin retain moisture and makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Geraniol: Found in plants like rose and geranium, it gives them their lovely smell – and yep, that’s another allergen.


It’s an oil, so it feels like you’d expect an oil to feel. The texture’s a bit thick and oily. It takes a few minutes to absorbs, drying down to a glowing sheen. Dry skin will love this, oily skin will hate it. But then more oil is the last thing oily skin needs.


Herbal citrusy. Just like what you’d expect from a combination of citrus and wood oils. It’s strong and absolutely divine. The perfume lover in me adore the scent, not gonna lie. A good perfume is just a treat for the senses, isn’t it?

But, the skincare fanatic in me wishes it wasn’t here. Fragrance can be irritating for sensitive skin. Citrus oil in particular are some of the worst culprits. The very chemicals (yes, natural oils are made up of chemicals and so are you, my lovely human reading this) that make them smell divinely zesty also cause allergies and irritations in some people. There’s always a trade-off, isn’t there?

How To Use It

Warm up 3 drops into your hands, massage it all over your face. It works well on its own, but you could also follow it up with moisturiser, or blend a few drops in to give it that extra moisturising power. Unless you have sensitive skin – then don’t use it at all!


The oil comes in a see-through orangey bottle that looks elegant. Call me vain, but I like when the packaging is as beautiful as it is practical. The dropper applicator makes it a breeze to use. The only issue? The size is small. But then, you don’t need much for each application. Just something to consider.

Performance & Personal Opinion

I prefer to use Decleor Aromaessence Green Mandarin at night, just because of its oily texture. In the AM, I’m always rushed and can’t be bothered to wait the few minutes it takes for this to absorb, so I can get on with the rest of my skincare routine.

But at night, it’s a treat. At least it is if you adore citrusy scents (I do!) and your skin isn’t sensitive (mine isn’t). Yeah, I’m not the biggest fan of fragrance in skincare, but once in a while I’m allowed to treat myself, no?

The oil leaves a nice, subtle sheen on my cheeks that perks up my complexion. It’s also very moisturising, leaving my skin softer and smoother. That moisture also makes fine lines and wrinkles look smaller temporarily – but once the moisturising effect has run out, your wrinkles are still there.

I guess that’s why have retinol too, ladies.

decleor aromaessence green mandarin

What I Like Decleor Aromaessence Green Mandarin

  • It dries down to a glowy finish.
  • Smells divine.
  • Pretty and practical bottle.
  • Moisturising, makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Plumps up fine lines and wrinkles, so they look smaller.

What I DON’T Like Decleor Aromaessence Green Mandarin

  • Oily and thick texture, it takes a while to absorb.
  • Fragrance can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Packaging is very small.
  • Plumping effect is temporary.

Who Should Use This?

Dry skin – as long as it’s not sensitive to fragrance. Sometimes, when skin is dry, it’s more prone to irritations, so be careful. Never apply it onto broken skin. Instead, stay away if you have oily/acne-prone skin (oils make it worse) or sensitive skin that gets irritated by fragrance and essential oils.

Does Declear Aromaessence Green Mandarin Live Up To Its Claims?

For an instant glow. True.
Re-energise the skin and reduce the appearance of ageing. Re-energise skin doesn’t mean anything. But it does reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Anything that moisturises skin does.

Is Decleor Cruelty-Free?

Unfortunately, Decléor is NOT cruelty-free. They may test on animals, either themselves or through a third party. 

The Verdict: Should You Buy This?

It’s not a must, especially given the high fragrance content. But, if you have dry skin that’s not sensitive to fragrance, and you want to give it a go, you’ll like its moisturising properties.

Price & Availability

£55.00 at Sephora

Dupes & Alternatives

  • TRUE Skincare Certified Organic Balancing Safflower and Basil Facial Oil (£13.50): It’s packed with nourishing oils that deeply moisturise skin. Unfortunately, the citrus ones that make it smell so good may irritate sensitive skin. Available at Boots.


Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil / Sunflower Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil / Apricot Kernel Oil, Limonene, Citrus Nobilis Peel Oil / Mandarin Orange Peel Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Citrus Limon Peel Oil / Lemon Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil / Orange Peel Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa Root Extract / Carrot Root Extract, Tocopherol, Fusanus Spicatus Wood Oil, Jasminum Sambac Flower Extract / Jasmine Flower Extract, Citrus Paradisi Peel Oil / Grapefruit Peel Oil, Citral, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Farnesol, Haematococcus Pluvialis Eaxtract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Geraniol