Obliphica oil: What's in a name?

As most women are aware, every once in a while a different, so-called "new" oil is discovered and hailed as the latest and best thing for your complexion, hair, nails, overall body skin and whatnot.

Does anyone out there remember what was the previous wonder oil? Because I don't, and I'm a compulsive reader of product labels and ads.

The most recent ubiquitous "wonder" oil is Obliphica oil. Note, however, that this name appears mostly on Israeli websites as well as on eBay, by people (Israelis?) trying to sell hair care products... The other names for it are Sallow Thorn, Sea Buckthorn and Hippophae rhamnoides. Sea buckthorn gives the most Google hits. To me, Obliphica has a very unappealing ring to it, some weird combination of "obligation" and "fichsa" (literally: yuck!). Therefore it translates in my brain as "…this obligatory yucky stuff will do wonders for your complexion…"

If the product is designed for export to the States, prospective customers might respond to Sea Buckthorn better than to Obliphica. Then again, Sea Buckthorn doesn't immediately strike me as a source of oil. (But then nor do grape seeds, for that matter. Or peach kernels.) Perhaps to some, Obliphica sounds exotic, which translates as "must be good for me."

In short, keep your target audience in mind when deciding how to refer to this oil.

Oh, and while we're at it – is it any good? Do you recommend it?

7 comments:

Miriam Erez said...

I remember the last few being jojoba, tea tree oil (they manage to get oil out of just about every plant nowadays), and neem.

Remember Yucca Dew shampoo? With extracts from the "desert yucca plant"? Who wants to use a product called "yucca" anything?

I bet we could think of lots more examples of unappealing product names. Personally I always thought "artichoke" sounded more like an animal than a plant. I picture eating a small hedgehog...

Nina R. Davis said...

Thanks, Miriam. Jojoba and tea tree oil are exactly the ones that escaped me!
I asked my daughter-in-law, who is studying naturopathy, to concoct some body oil for me. Will report.

*M* said...

so I just got suckered into buying Obliphica from my hair dresser and I think it gave me some sort of magical hair orgasm. It is wonderful. Seriously.

I just got out the shower and my hair had been really brittle from swimming (I also live in Vegas, which is incredibly dry) but the deep treatment masque really made an immediate difference.

I know this is the "newest" thing, but new and bad are not synonymous.

A self-proclaimed hair care whore,

*M*

Nina R. Davis said...

I wasn't really concerned about the oil, but about the copywriting aspect. Glad to hear it's good stuff.

Anonymous said...

I just used some at my hairdressers today and it is great. I also live in the desert and my hair gets dry. It is soft and fantastic now.

Jennifer said...

So funny - I just googled the infamous oil for a translation I'm doing, and lo-and-behold, the first Google hit was your blog... :-) I don't like the way the oild sounds either and as you say, it seems to only be used for Israeli products - on the other hand, I don't know if the public would be any more familiar with any of the other terms...

Vincent van Blog said...

Explanation of the word obliphica, actually oblipicha:

The weird name comes from russian language - oblepikha - and it has a meaning. Oblepitj - means to stick around and it comes from the fact that the berries of this plant look like they stick to the branches of the bush, and there are many of them at all sides around the branch.

Many jews in Israel come from Russia and they stuck to the russian name of it because it is so sticky :)

I hope this explanation will at least save you all from being so puzzled by the name.

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