Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Ormonde Jayne Champaca smells like magnolia petals, green tea and basmati rice, a surprising and compelling composition. Although Ormonde Jayne feminines are named after the flowers that inspired them, they are far from being simple soliflores. Sampaquita only delicately weaves jasmine into its fruity-musky body. Ta’if’s gourmand sweetness is only framed by the lush rose petals. Osmanthus hints at its apricot sweetness amidst the sparkle of citrus. Likewise, magnolia champaca is cleverly introduced into the eponymous composition. Set against the milky backdrop of rice, it becomes an exquisite stillife rather than a study of one flower. …
The lucid vibrancy of the floral accord gives Champaca a contemporary feel. As the composition develops, its sunny sweetness swirls gently around the spicy crispness of green notes. The minty chill provides an appealing counterpoint to the floral nectar effect developed in the middle notes, and once the rice note begins to unfold, the composition attains an interesting edge that lends it character.
In Asian cuisines, rice serves as the perfect neutral canvas against which the flavors marry—the saltiness of soy sauce, the metallic sharpness of cilantro, the bite of chili peppers, the pungency of spices. In Champaca, while hardly neutral, the creamy nuttiness of rice foils the flowers, restraining the heady richness of the heart accord. This graceful Asia inspired arrangement rests on a woody-musky base touched by a hint of incense. As if presented in a series of vignettes, Champaca refreshes like a sip of iced drink, veils in a savory breath of rice and then suddenly transforms into a burning joss stock. Although I would not call it a light fragrance, there is nothing convoluted and challenging about this joyful and radiant composition. Indeed, it is impossible to be in a somber mood when wearing Champaca.
Champaca includes neroli, pink pepper and bamboo; champaca and freesia absolutes, basmati notes; myrrh, green tea notes and musk. Ormonde Jayne fragrances can be purchased directly from the London boutique.