Since it became available in Paris boutiques, I was puzzled by the narcotic but also familiar take of the new release from Penhaligon's, less twisted than Amaranthine but more complex than the usual creations of the esteemed British house. Orange Blossom is the purified orange flower-tuberose from Poison (Dior) when all excesses and secondary notes are suppressed by the monastic take of the 2010's on essence and purity. Unwrap the Dior Schiff Bases from the "poisoning" damascones and dress them in a fresh (but sensual) musky dress, when the honeyed facet of the flower meets the skin facet (almost waxy) of sandalwood molecules mixed with some well known musks. The perfume lacks the natural effect of an orange flower tree (while tasting an oriental pastry from the first Orange Flower Serge Lutens). It has not the power and original accords explored by Francis Kurkdjian in his creations. This new Orange Blossom from Penhaligon's, modest but very pretty, comfortable and easy to wear, will please all the fans of the 80's. It has the bones but not the aggressive sparkle. The interpretation of the flower sits between the orange flower and the tuberose with its addictive power and spiciness (but not the top note of the flower). The drydown is sweet vanilla, milky and delicately fruity like the skin of some apricots. A contemporary idea (quite different) is Pure Poison (Dior) from 2004 where the flowers are surrounded by a different decoration for a more mainstream appeal.
Without any sense of "grandeur" like the interpretations given by Francis Kurkdjian, Penhaligon's Orange Blossom is modest, but without the sense of modesty as it happens with all white flowers. It is decent as any comfortable "bourgeois scent" but to the limits of decency when it reaches the zenith of the dry down. Amaranthine, Orange Blossom and Tubéreuse de Nuit, though produced by different brands, should be sold as a trio because they explore the 3 facets of a woman from dawn to dusk.
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Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art