Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Diagnosis: Osmanthus

Next on the scent journey: Osmanthus.

First, points for anyone that knew osmanthus was a flower and not a degenerative bone disorder. Osmanthus is a flowering shrub found in China used for tea and perfume. Like so:



From the looks of it, I'm immediately suspicious that it will smell too, well flowery. So I sniff the vial cautiously. Not loving it, but at least it doesn't smell like civet ass, or what I imagine civet ass to smell like. I decide to put some on and carry forward. Pretty immediately I don't like it. It's not sending me into sudden violent illness like Poison did on that terrible day in 1985, but the reviews that call it soapy, well I agree.

Bois de Jasmin had this to say:
Although I will admit that The Different Company’s unique, soapy composition is not my favourite rendition of osmanthus , one cannot deny its beautiful sunlit quality. Its lack of sweetness is rather uncommon among florals, while its transparency and its faintly animalic drydown** further make it surprising and memorable. I find myself reaching far more often for Osmanthe Yunnan with its irresistible warm apricot skin effect, but for those days when I am feeling contemplative, the slightly more serious Osmanthus is more appropriate. In addition, the unconventional floral accord makes The Different Company Osmanthus an excellent choice for men who like being adventurous when it comes to fragrance.


This confuses me on so many levels. I have no idea what 'animalic drydown' is, and am starting to realize that writing about scent may be like writing about wine: something I am uniquely unqualified to do. Also, since I'm not sure what woman would want to wear something so flowery and soapy, I am hard pressed to think about a man wanting to smell like so much clean laundry rolled through the garden, but different strokes etc.

Osmanthus: C. I don't like it, but I guess if you like that kind of thing, you might like it.

1 comment:

Batwinger said...

When the rug smells like cat pee AGAIN, I find myself reaching far more often for Osmanthe Yunnan too.