Two Different: Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus and Champaca
I could reach for a way to draw a connection between Osmanthus and Champaca, but the fact is that I opened my box of Ormonde Jayne samples and couldn't decide which of the soliflores I'd like to try, so I chose two.
Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus has a property you occasionally notice in other scents: it smells very different in different quantities. A tiny amount of it on your skin smells rather nice, if fundamentally uninteresting: it naturally has little projection, because there's not much of it, so you have to get up pretty close to smell it, and when you do, what you will smell is a bright apricot floral with a plush opening rapidly cut through with a knife of vetiver. Ten minutes after that it settles down and becomes dull, which is where it remains. If you spray it on with some abandon, it immediately becomes a vulgar fruity floral, from which it never recovers. It's not cheap (currently £80, about $125), and it isn't made with cheap ingredients, but it smells cheap, which is worse than if it actually were cheap.
Champaca, on the other hand, barely reads as a floral at all, and in fact flirts with outright weirdness. After a brief whiff of suntan lotion, it turns into a heavily peppered bowl of milky rice pudding, hot from the oven, garlanded with freesia. It smells even more like rice pudding than did Kenzo Amour, and clearly owes a debt to the mad-genius Le Feu d'Issey, with its creamy-buttery roses. I can't tell if I like it, exactly, but it's interesting, I'll give it that, and unlike Osmanthus, I'll be wearing it again, because I like a dollop of strangeness in my scents. I will not, however, be wearing this to dinner, because, like Le Feu d'Issey, it overwhelms food: you can't really smell anything else, and you'll fancy you can actually taste it.
Labels: Ormonde Jayne