One Thousand Scents

Monday, January 16, 2012

Taming the Dragon: Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Pitahaya



Pitahaya, since you must have wondered if you didn't already know, is also called the dragon fruit, which is named for its looks, and if you had been the first to run across something that looks like this




you would probably name it after a dragon, too. In taste it is very mild; if I remember correctly it tastes something like a Chinese pear (though with a much softer texture), with the caveat that I would have tasted both of these fruit imported to Canada, which probably has a deleterious effect on their flavour. Perhaps they taste fantastic right off the tree.

2004's inoffensive Vanille Pitahaya is pleasant enough, but it consists only of a vague pearishness for a top note with a suggestion of floralcy joining it in the middle, and a dollop of that CSP vanilla for a base. There is quite literally nothing else. It's like one of those teenagery fruity florals with all of the flesh stripped off its bones. It's practically a test case in how minimal a fragrance can be and still be called a fragrance.

It may be churlish of me to criticize Vanille Pitahaya when I am a fan of so many other CSP scents which are no more intricate, but my justification is that the successful ones smell more complex than they are, or at least smell interesting. Amour de Cacao, for instance, while being little more than chocolate and vanilla, has an intriguing saltiness and the depth that cocoa can have, while Vanille Ambre benefits from the multifaceted quality of amber, including a pleasant briny note. Comptoir Sud Pacifique scents are generally so simple that they come down to a binary judgement: yes or no. Vanille Pitahaya is a no. 

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