One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stoned: Satellite Padparadscha

The first time I put on Padparadscha by Satellite, I thought, "Huh. Cedar and sandalwood."

The second time I put it on, I thought, "Well, big deal. I've smelled this sort of thing before."

The third or fourth time I put it on, I thought, "This reminds me a lot of something I wrote about recently." So I went back over the last couple of months' worth of blog postings, and there it was: Ginestet Le Boisé.

They're not identical, but they're both dominated by cedar and sandalwood. Where Le Boisé feels constructed, Padparadscha, with its monolithic, unapologetic, unadorned wood, is more like a lumber mill in a bottle. It starts out with a bit of a peppery kick, but the wood notes come roaring in almost immediately, and they're big. They completely dominate--obliterate--anything else that might be in the scent: the middle is literally nothing but cedar and sandalwood. No doubt this is positioned as a unisex scent, and it is, but it nevertheless seems rather masculine to me.

Eventually, a little powdery amber peeks out, but by then it's really too late: either despite or because of that huge send-off, the scent has surprisingly little lasting power. Within two hours it's beginning to wane, within four hours it's a skin scent and nothing more, and it's gone entirely in eight. If you like intensely woody scents, though, you seriously ought to try this. Its price is almost ridiculously reasonable ($80 for 100 mL of eau de parfum), and at that price, you can reapply it a couple of times during the day and not give it a second thought.

In case you were wondering, a padparadscha is a gemstone: a red-orange corundum (a family which also includes sapphires and rubies), to be exact. The word means "lotus blossom" in Sinhalese.

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