February 3, 2016

Dame Perfumery - Osmanthus and Gardenia

Osmanthus is one of the 10 famous flowers in China and Taiwan and the flower of the month of August. A traditional symbol of Love and Romance. Dish underglaze blue and white decoration, Kangxi period 1662-1722, ca 1690-1700.
Photo: Henri RenĂ© CADERIUS VAN VEEN, via Gotheborg China Porcelain Glossary.

Dame Perfumery's style is that of easy to love perfumes. If their aim is to create immediate olfactory pleasure, then they achieve that aim well and fully. There's no having to get used to it, or acquiring a taste.  Or perhaps they suit me especially on a personal level, because they speak to me in that direct way favorites immediately do.

There are several soliflores in the line. The two I have tried so far, Osmanthus and Gardenia, are both so rich bright and dimensional they almost belie the title of soliflore because they are so big and full, engaging, and as dimensional as many other perfumes based on and titled after these floral themes.

Osmanthus Perfume Oil comes in a 10ml rollerball oil base that opens out with real power.  It's as big and full as an alcohol based perfume. It reminds me of certain Estee Lauder perfumes, in the way it opens with so much intensity, for example the opening of the original version of Beautiful. It's not a surprise to find out that Jeffrey Dame worked at the Lauder organization for a serious amount of time.

Intensely apricot and green, I consider it therapeutic grade for those who need a change of mood while in the depths of winter or for those long separated from naturally highly fragranced flowers.

I am not personally acquainted with the Osmanthus flower in nature, only as a perfume element, so can't speak to how realistic this is. That said, this version provides an intoxicating spell of immersion into a white floral spirit, while remaining fresh and energetic.  It's a festive aesthetic, while casual and down to earth at heart.

It can be used as a layering element with the other soliflores in the line, opening the whole experience up to personal experimentation. These perfumes are well priced enough that this is a reasonably attainable idea.

The Eau de Toilette version is even brighter and openly embracing right from the start, as the alcohol evaporates and releases the perfume elements into the air as quickly as physically possible.  I find it has a little more astringency and a more youthful energy, with the apricot bonded to the green more tightly, as a more a unified team than the oil version.  Both versions are decorative and ornamental in the extreme.

They both calm down to publicly acceptable levels of intensity fairly quickly but I don't mind reapplication or having that first big hit be for me alone at home before venturing forth to a restaurant or elsewhere.  Both versions continue after the first big open in true form but with a closer boundary for sillage, and that's just as well in this day and age.

Gardenia tattoo by Amanda Wachob
The Gardenia oil is hyper-real and green, with a just a shade cast by a soft cloud, a light shadow behind it as a base, throwing its pure brightness into higher relief. The green within is lively and tropical, exuberant and fresh.  I find that sometimes a heavy gardenia perfume can hit you hard enough to make you sleepy, that an overload creates a narcotic effect as part of the experience, but this is more the rocket fuel part of the flower's aroma.  It reaches out towards the world to announce itself as here and very much alive, calling to all butterflies, birds and bees to come right over.  I find a softly musky base, very skin friendly, as an integral element.  As with Osmanthus, this first powerful opening calms down quickly, and pulls in its sillage to a more intimate space.  Wearing this in winter and allowing it to capture your undivided attention will bring memories of perfect summer days. That makes for a soothing refreshing experience.

Again the Eau de Toilette emphasizes the brightest and most uplifting aspects, a slightly lighter and slightly more sheer effect, with the green more predominant.

It's nice to use both Osmanthus and Gardenia in the oil roll on and the eau de Toilette at the same time.  After a few minutes the initial intensity will calm itself enough to make you able to mingle in public, but the big hit of a pure floral experience is available on reapplication whenever you like.

There are other engaging perfumes in the line; more on those on another post.

Visit the Dame Perfumery website for more information and to order directly.

Please find an interesting in depth interview with Jeffrey Dame on his background in the fragrance industry on the blog From Pygos

Many thanks to Ida Meister for going out of her way to introduce me to these perfumes.  Please see her in depth piece on the Dame Perfumery Soliflores on Fragrantica, if you haven't already seen it.

Copyright 2016, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.

Above photos taken from the web and credited as shown in the captions.

Amanda Wachob has a long waiting list that is now closed for her tattoos, due to the avid following she  has inspired. The Gotheborg Chinese Porcelain site illustrating Osmanthus is live linked in the caption, with much further info on the influence of Osmanthus in Asian cultures.

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