Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tropicals in Winter

After almost a year of resisting it, suddenly this morning I love Ormonde Jayne's Champaca again. I've often wondered, since moving to Texas, whether tropical perfumes are just redundant here. Too much in the summer, and not even a necessary ray of sunshine in winter. Or perhaps I've always had a negative reaction to them, associating tropicals with the herds of Americans yearning for a cheap paradise, and substituting an even cheaper perfume touting "exotic ylang ylang" and "sparkling mango." Man, I'm such a snob.

Anyway, my bigoted cultural assumptions aside, tropicals have not appealed to me in central Texas's steamy climate. Champaca's basmati rice base chokes me in the heat. And it even seemed to have a slightly too-thick, savory rice-pudding opaqueness in winter.

But finally! Today it worked. I sprayed some right in my cleavage, and yowee, delicious! The rice and the champaca blooms are perfectly lush, and the lack of transparency doesn't bother me at all. The sillage is like fleshy white flowers wafting through the air on 99.9% humidity. I thought I must make a note of this: so the first two weeks of February are safe for Champaca. In Austin we've just had our first proto-spring days. Hm. Probably don't need to replace my decant with a full bottle juuuuust yet.

Oh! I should mention that in the interest of documenting my odd layering experiments, I actually layered Champaca with Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's Anarchy (her Chaos dupe oil). It must have cut some of the fleshiness of the Champaca, somehow.

I don't like many tropicals, but Champaca, along with Carnal Flower and Sand & Sable, do get to me from time to time. Okay, so I haven't mentioned the latter two perfumes yet? Sand & Sable I like to think of as the poor woman's Carnal Flower. No, S&S doesn't have the mouth-watering, green, petal-like luminescence of Carnal Flower, blar de blar blar. And no, it doesn't entirely satisfy like Carnal Flower does. But then it also costs 8$ a bottle instead of $250. If you haven't tried this tuberose-laden (though surely very synthetic) tropics-of-drugstore find, please get to it!

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