The San Francisco Apothecary Brand You Need To Know About

These luxe natural goods are the most exciting beauty discovery I’ve made in a while.
Publish date:
October 28, 2014
face oils, essential oils, natural products, organic skincare, organic fragrances, in fiore

I learned about San Francisco beauty brand In Fiore from a makeup artist friend of mine. Happily, the line of skin care and fragrance is basically made for me. Well, the effortlessly glamorous hippie part of me anyway.

Owner and founder Julie Elliott sources her floral materials directly from the region with the ingredients’ richest history (ie: roses from Bulgaria, jasmine from India, and so on). And none of her products contain any artificially synthesized preservatives, but rather rely on the naturally occurring preservative effects of rosemary extract.

As a consumer, you definitely feel the cost of this careful crafting in the price of the products, but the second they hit your skin you feel what you’re paying for.

I visited their San Francisco headquarters last week to learn about the brand and slather myself in as much goodness as I could.

The brand started in 1999 with body balms, a dense blend of carrier oils, beeswax, and essential oils that melt beautifully into the skin. My favorite was Shevanti, a combination of ylang-ylang, rose, patchouli, and frankincense. Reading those ingredients, I imagine something that’s more head shop than ladies’ salon, but trust me when I tell you it’s sophisticated and subtle.


The products that initially got me excited about visiting In Fiore were the fragrances made in solid and oil formulas. I immediately fell in love with (and bought) the Fumee D’Ambre which is a slightly smoky take on a traditional amber, free from any of the powderiness that can make the scent unappealing to some.

The scent opens with a blitz of vetiver and patchouli before mellowing into the familiar amber that we all know (and I love). It’s much brighter and more youthful than most ambers, and it’ll definitely be in heavy rotation for me this fall and winter.

Other standouts were the amazingly named Night Queen (the first fragrance from In Fiore), a delicious blend of jasmines that is intense without being cloying, and Rose Noir, an herbaceous and green spin on a traditional rose.

A unique element of the perfumes is that they’re formulated with scent and texture in mind, so they not only smell exquisite but also hydrate beautifully.

Facial Treatments

The most exciting discovery of my visit were the face products. Julie Elliot developed the “4-2-4 method” after researching the cleansing practices of Asian women. It begins with a four-minute facial massage using the Lustra Illuminating Cleansing Essence Cleansing Oil, followed by two minutes of additional massage with the Treat Gentle Cleansing Emulsion and finishes with a four-minute rinse. A couple times a week the Lustra Floral Exfoliating Compound is added into the first step for a deep clean.

Full disclosure: I am lazy as hell and washing my face for 10 minutes sounds borderline impossible. I was also raised to believe that wasting water is a crime on par with murder so I could never justify a four-minute rinse. I’ve been doing a truncated version of the 4-2-4, and my face has never felt better. The cleansing essence leaves my skin clean, but not at all dried out, and the exfoliating compound is gentle yet effective.

I’ve been moisturizing with the Calme Face Oil, a blend of rosehip, cape chamomile, grape seed, and ylang ylang oils, which works beautifully on my dry, easily irritated skin.

The real standout product is the Fleur Vibrant Healing Floral Essence. It’s a balm made from beeswax, jojoba, grape seed, and rosehip oils, as well as sea buckthorn extract and vitamin E. It works as a moisture booster and spot treatment for skin irritations. You can also use it as a highlight/illuminator in the same way that you’d use Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream. I am straight up obsessed with the stuff and I don’t intend to ever be without it again.

The brand has products formulated for many skin types and you can customize a routine that’s as simple or complex as you’d like.

Again, it’s definitely not cheap, but In Fiore carries a lot of its products in trial sizes (great for travel), so you can try them out before making the full financial commitment. I think I’ll be a loyal customer from now on.

  • What's the best vacation beauty find you've ever stumbled across?
  • Have you tried In Fiore?
  • Anybody wanna get together and listen to Joni Mitchell while we rub oils on our faces?