Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
The idea of wearing one type of perfume in the summer and another in the winter doesn’t sit well with me, because I may want a rich vanilla perfume on a chilly June evening and an uplifting citrus blend to arouse me from the slumber of winter. While I do rotate my selection every season, I choose my perfumes based on the moods that they convey. Ormonde Jayne Frangipani Absolute smells like summer to me—peaches eaten on the beach, white stars of night-blooming jasmine tangled in my hair, a breeze leafing through the pages of a book forgotten on the patio.
It would be pointless to save such visions of summer bliss for only a couple of months a year, and for this reason Frangipani is my year round staple. The moment I smell the crushed green leaves and unripe apricots in its top notes, in my mind I might as well be on a summer vacation.
The exhilarating verdant accents last for a few minutes before Frangipani blossoms into a lush gardenia. It isn’t a gardenia adorning Billie Holiday’s curls, but a dewy flower still on the branch. The India ink note of indoles that many white flowers share is subtle, but it is enough to make Frangipani seem natural. The layers of sheer jasmine and lily of the valley make the gardenia more abstract as the composition continues to dry down, and the dryness of amber and cedarwood serves as an elegant backdrop. The smoky vanilla is another surprising twist that Frangipani hides under its full skirt of white petals.
Unlike most Big White Florals like Robert Piguet Fracas and Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower, Frangipani is fresh and green. Easy to wear and uplifting, the Eau de Parfum has a lighthearted demeanor (the parfum is richer). Frangipani is beautiful, but perhaps not that original. It makes me think of a grown up version of Dior J’Adore, a fragrance I love but no longer wear in its post-reformulated version. But this does not detract from Frangipani’s appeal. It effortlessly goes from an office meeting to a cocktail party, from serious to elegant. As I catch whiffs of gardenia petals and crushed leaves time and again, I sign happily. Frangipani makes me feel the same delight as the warm sun caressing my face.
Ormonde Jayne Frangipani Absolute includes notes of linden, magnolia, lime, frangipani, jasmine, rose and tuberose absolutes, water lilies, plum, green orchid oil, amber, musk, cedar, and vanilla absolute. Available directly from Ormonde Jayne.
Sample: my own acquisition
Image: Frangipani Blossoms by 123rfimages, some rights reserved.