This review is not sponsored and contains the author’s personal experience with a product they purchased. The Good Trade editors endorse products we’ve personally researched, tested, and genuinely love. Learn more about our methodology and business model here.

Gisou isn’t your usual influencer-turned-entrepreneur-run brand. Drawing from her family’s rich history of beekeeping, and her mother’s discovery of the benefits of honey as a hairdresser, Negin Mirsalehi parlayed her master’s degree in marketing and later status as a fashion and beauty influencer into a super successful continuation of her family business. A circuitous journey all the way back to her roots (pun intended!). 🍯 

“Using honey and propolis from Mirsalehi’s family garden, Gisou has launched some intriguing new products in haircare, and now beauty.”

Gisou’s story — and the brand’s focus on sustainable production of homegrown ingredients, commitment to environmentally friendly packaging, and pledge to continually increase the amount of clean ingredients they use — caught my interest. Using honey and propolis from Mirsalehi’s family garden, Gisou has launched some intriguing new products in haircare, and now beauty. As a fragrance fanatic and lover of natural active ingredients, I just had to try. Like most of us, I fall prey to influence at times and I couldn’t resist the pull of having glossy lips and locks just like Negin’s.

The hair perfume was a must-try for me (more on that later), and then when I saw the lip oil and its curvy silhouette, I had two must-try products on my hands. And finally, I needed to get my hands on their signature hair oil, which felt like the key to finding out if Gisou’s claims about the positive effects of honey would prove to be true for me. My hair has never been a problem exactly but after spending some minutes (read: hours) looking at Negin’s digital presence, I wondered if my hair could benefit from a little extra attention to my routine.

Read on for my unfiltered review of Gisou’s products. Spoiler alert: If you want to relive the feeling of buying sparkly products as a preteen, but with the beneficial effects of natural ingredients, you’re going to want to try Gisou.

Shipping & Packaging

After a pleasant whirl through the honey-drenched labyrinth that is the Gisou website, my order took about 10 days to arrive. While I should note that this was directly in line with the Christmas holiday, it felt a bit long. I’m spoiled, but in any case, we can all rejoice because Gisou is available at Sephora. The brand was part of Sephora’s foray into haircare, and now their expanded line of beauty and skincare can be found there too.

Immediately upon receipt of my package, I felt immersed in the Gisou fantasy. (Despite the fact that the shipping box got a little banged up on its way to me.) Mirsalehi’s strength as an influencer shines through in all this brand does. She remains at the core of the marketing materials: Her image is plastered on a seasonal pamphlet sent along with products. This led me to check out more about her, and I found the recent teaser for Gisou’s pop-up debut in NYC, which dramatizes her relationship with her real-life husband. I love how playful the branding is — but they’re serious where it counts. For instance, her sister, Negar, remains at the core of the business as beekeeper-in-chief, raising awareness of the importance of bees.

The shipping box was branded, and the secondary packaging for each material was a delicate pastel pink with embossed lettering. Some boxes boasted beautiful floral illustrations. More pictures below!

Lip Oil | $32

Gisou’s lip oil was by far my favorite product of the bunch. The dual benefits of lip oil are its hydrating properties (thanks to the honey and hyaluronic acid) and its shiny gleam enhanced by the brand’s proprietary oil blend. It’s cleaner than the popular Dior lip oil, and slightly beats the price (by $6) — and with that packaging, who could resist!

The product left a beautiful sheen on my lips, perfect for application before a picture or your arrival at a restaurant to meet your friends. While it did wear off after an hour or so (sooner with transfer), it left my lips feeling hydrated and with a slight shine even after 1-2 hours of wear. While I wish the shine lasted longer, I have no complaints since every application left my lips feeling more hydrated and plump for hours and hours after. It’s pleasantly sticky, just enough that you know it is there.

Of all the products I tried, including the hair perfume, this had the strongest scent. It is sweet — because it really (really) smells like honey. While there are no added fragrances here, the mix of honey and Mirsalehi-Bee-Garden Oil Blend packs an aromatic punch. If you have a loved one who likes honey (and glossy lips), consider this their next birthday present.

“I love the versatility of this lip oil, which can be used as a mask at night as well as a gloss before going out.”

One last thing to note: I love the versatility of this lip oil, which can be used as a mask at night as well as a gloss before going out. There was just one thing I couldn’t hack which was combining the lip oil with lip color, either beneath or as a second layer on top. Perhaps my preferred lipsticks are just too lightweight and/or dewy to withstand the transfer. It’s worth trying with a long-lasting matte! Let me know how it goes.

Hair Perfume | $83

The product that made me want to try Gisou: The hair perfume! While there’s been a slight uptick of hair perfumes on the market over the past five years or so, I’m yearning for their explosion. Hair perfume is such a natural fit for the Gisou brand — bringing together haircare benefits and the beautiful scent of honey (and moreover, the entire vibe of the Mirsalehi bee garden, with florals as well, which is what this scent is based on). I was ready for transformed hair, shiny and sweet-smelling!

I have to foreground my comments by noting that this scent is polarizing. Reviews on Fragrantica (if you’re not already familiar with the site, welcome to my favorite place on the internet) are split between those who find it perfectly sweet and even nostalgic, and those who find that it smells more like the soap in a public bathroom. Unfortunately, I was in the latter camp. My partner, on the other hand, liked the smell and found it extremely pleasant! If you’re interested but don’t want to commit to a full bottle, Gisou makes a pocket size (1.7 oz) version for $44. And, to be clear, it isn’t a question of fragrance strength — the lingering scent is quite subtle while still lasting the whole day.

“For those with a different nose, I could see this product being a perfect refresh for your hair on the days between washes.”

For those with a different nose, I could see this product being a perfect refresh for your hair on the days between washes. Not only does it carry a scent but it has the added benefit of locking in your, well, locks and adding shine. It even claims to help protect against UV damage. I can say that the perfume left no unpleasant residue or oiliness!

Hair Oil | $87

Gisou’s beautiful honey-infused hair oil was the sleeper hit of the bunch for me. I have wavy, fine, but medium-thick (in the sense of density of strands) hair which tends to be oily and go flat if I don’t wash it for a day. (Yes, yes, I know I should try washing it less!) I was skeptical about this hair oil — as I am about all hair oils and really, all haircare products — because I didn’t want to sacrifice my newly washed hair to an oil that would weigh it down and make it, well, oily. It turns out I had nothing to fear!

“My favorite usage of the hair oil was in the evening after a post-workout shower.”

My favorite usage of the hair oil was in the evening after a post-workout shower. I used one syringe full of product on my damp hair, letting it soak in throughout the night. This is a stop between what Gisou recommends for pre- or post-styling and for an overnight mask. A couple of days after I began using the oil, my partner spontaneously complimented me on my “shiny, honey-colored hair.” When I mentioned I’d been using the Gisou hair oil, she insisted that she wasn’t aware. I take this as a good sign!

I’m envious of those with thicker locks who could benefit from using this oil on dry hair for help with styling. For now, I’m grateful to have a lightweight hair oil to use in the evenings to seal my split ends and add luster. After my experience with the hair oil, I’m now dying to try Gisou’s new Hair Repair Serum and their Texturizing Wave Spray. Negin, if you’re listening!

Gisou made me feel like a grown-up preteen (in the best way!). From the brand materials down to using the products, I felt like a kid in a candy shop — but instead, make it honey, and thus a bit more natural and sophisticated. I love my lip oil and will continue to use it, patiently awaiting compliments IRL or on a post (somehow I feel like lip oil was engineered for selfies). Ditto with the hair oil. While the hair perfume was a miss for me, I could see it perfectly fitting into a fun and playful routine with the rest of the Gisou products. Negin, if you ever reformulate the scent, call me!

Key takeaways:

  • Gisou is a brand built on Negin Mirsalehi’s family tradition of beekeeping, mixed with the thoroughly modern DNA of her influencer savvy.
  • The haircare, beauty, and skincare products can be purchased on their site, at Sephora, and even, in some cases, via Amazon. (Though, if you want their honey-pot-shaped candle, you’re going to have to go to their site.)
  • Gisou’s lip oil is a new go-to product for me that hydrates, softens, and plumps lips, making it suitable as part of a nighttime hydration routine or, given its undeniable gleam, as the last step before going out.
  • The hair perfume is a fun concept, but because of the polarizing fragrance, I couldn’t quite get on board. Good thing there’s a pocket size for interested parties to try!
  • The hair oil works well, even for fine hair, and elicited compliments after only two days of use.

Ashley D’Arcy is Senior Editor at The Good Trade. She is also a psychoanalyst-in-training and holds a Master’s in philosophy from the New School for Social Research. She lives in Brooklyn with her wife and their Miniature Australian Shepherd, Rocky.