my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


Ormonde Jayne Sampaquita

In an earlier blogpost, I talked about wanting a fragrance that evoked the humid, sultry florality of my childhood time in the tropics.

Although the sweet Sampaquita (sampaguita or jasminium sambac) is the national flower of the Philippines, this scent isn't it.

Not to say it isn't lovely. Just not lovely for me.

It's fruity. Yes, there are flowers in abundance here -- but the syrup sweetness of the lychee note (although I've never smelled a fresh lychee that I can recall. Do they have this sweet fruitiness?) and magnolia really pull this into the way fruity realm.

The notes are lychee, grass oil, bergamot and magnolia, Sampaquita absolute, freesia, muguet, rose and water lilies, musk, vetivert, moss and ambrette seed.

I can't tell whether it's a function of maturity -- which I think it might be, because I wore some teeth-achingly sweet fragrances as a young woman -- or inherent taste, but now I seem to lean always toward darker, drier notes. And these are singularly missing in Sampaquita.

The vetivert and moss are overwhelmed by freesia and muguet. But, again, this is not a bad thing. It just isn't what I want.

Objectively, I think Sampaquita is another artful example of Ormonde Jayne's ability to find and seamlessly weave exquisite materials into a perfume whose whole is more than the sum of its parts. A must try for those who want a masterpiece of flowers and fruit, dripping with sweetness.

postscript: I'd be interested in what order these fragrances were created. Because one seems to be a reaction to the other ... the pale Champaca vs. the florid Sampaquita.


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