If you were to open my fridge and avoid having some unidentified jar fall onto your foot, you will always find fresh ginger. I’m addicted to its vibrant flavor. The twisted rhizomes covered with pearly, beige skin taste less of the earth from which they are dug out than of citrus zest, crushed lemongrass and green orange flowers. Ginger shares aromatics with all of these ingredients, and although the first impression when you pop a sliver in your mouth is an explosive freshness, the flavor soon becomes more complex. I add ginger coins to sauteed greens and fish soups. A few pieces also end up in my tea. Since I love the scent so much, any perfume promising a blast of ginger piques my curiosity.
One of my ginger favorites is Origins Ginger Essence. Introduced in 2000, it can even be called a classic, especially in comparison to so many launches that vanish after a couple of seasons. Ginger Essence is not a perfume masterpiece, and if you want the perfume equivalent of an epic novel, then don’t waste your time on it. It’s simply a ginger cologne that feels refreshing and uncomplicated. Since one can’t read only Dostoevsky nor wear only Guerlain (at least, I can’t), its happy simplicity is a pleasure.
Ginger Essence smells very much like a cup of gingery tea with a slice of lemon. The effervescent bite of ginger is lifted up with a bright melange of different citrus notes, from bitter grapefruit to peppery bergamot, and when you first apply it, it feels exhilarating. The fragrance then becomes warmer and sweeter, but still sharp and bright. On a hot summer day, its cool, spicy freshness is a respite.
The oomph of Ginger Essence is front loaded, so savor the first thirty minutes fully. Like many colognes, it explodes and then fades to a pale musky softness with a dash of vanilla. You might as well wear some other perfume at this point. But I reach for Ginger Essence as a delicious pick me up, especially when I go to my dance class, travel or just feel out of sorts. A discreet spritz won’t bother anyone, while the gingery sparkle gives me an immediate boost. For this alone, I’m happy to reapply it as often as needed.
My Ginger Essence review is based on what Origins calls a Sensuous Skin Scent, but there is also an Intensified Fragrance Spray. It’s richer, warmer, somewhat more tenacious, but not worth the doubled price. If you’re prepared to spend that much, first consider the superior Eau de Sisley 3, a ginger champagne.
Origins Ginger Essences (Sensuous Skin Scent) includes notes of bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, jasmine, violet, cardamom, clove, ginger, nutmeg, coriander, sandalwood, amber, and vanilla. 100 ml/$57.00