It turns out that I have always loved osmanthus, I just did not know about it. To my shame I read the lists of notes inattentively, and, having obeyed the smell, wrote it off for the favorable arrangement of the planets. My little revelation came when Dior perfumer François Demachy briefly let me into his study in the 17th century villa Les Fontaines Parfumées in Grasse. There, taking from his hands a paper strip with a viscous osmanthus absolute, I realized that all the other bottles had disappeared from sight.
As a person who grew up in the Soviet Union, I recognize this smell even when I’m asleep: a sweet and fragrant compote of dried fruits. The memory of him is stored in the subcortex, which is ready to get excited immediately, as soon as the "irritant" looms. Who would have known that a modest flower of Asian origin has such a familiar scent, only even more perfect. In other words, the same favorite compote, only without the kindergarten turbidity and swollen berries and fruits, brought to the state of divine ambrosia.
Osmanthus is native to Asia, where it is loved and praised - especially in China, Japan and Taiwan. The scented flower symbolizes love, peace, fertility, loyalty and is often used in wedding ceremonies. Its flowering season is in cool autumn, when the cooling air is saturated with a sweet honey scent. A plant from the olive family (which also includes lilac and olive) flowers are so fragrant that they smell for a long time after falling off.
Несмотря на статус благоверного у себя на родине, западные парфюмеры с таким заявлением готовы поспорить. В тихом омуте (то есть в абсолюте османтуса) чертей водится предостаточно. Получить его, к слову, - удовольствие не из дешевых: на один килограмм жидкости понадобится тонна цветков определенного цвета и всего два месяца доступного производства, приходящиеся на сезон активного цветения в сентябре и октябре. Запах у цветков на кусте - насыщенный, но при этом легкий, цветочный, с оттенками меда и сушеного абрикоса. Многие называют его курагой, но я предпочитаю урюк. Вроде одно и то же, но разницы между ними пропасть.
There will be an opportunity to compare, do not be lazy. Devils climb at the moment of receiving the absolute. The same apricot becomes so lustful that it turns its velvet inside out for everyone to see, and innocent honey from somewhere begins to protrude skin with pepper. And in pursuit of them there are also prunes, raisins, tobacco and patchouli, all as if on a selection - without shame and conscience. It seems to be such a harmless "anime", but with a plot twist that you will involuntarily blush (read also: "It smells like sex here: aromas that turn on with half a turn").
Chinese osmanthus with an unspoiled reputation is no less popular, but not an absolute is used in its production, but a synthetic analogue - away from sin, so to speak. Subtle, transparent, almost haiku. Keeping obscurantism under control is another way out of the situation, masterfully done in the Corali fragrance from the LGemme collection from Bvlgari (read also: "The fragrance of the day: Le Gemme Ere and Le Gemme Kobra from BVLGARI"). Perfumer Sophie Labbe solved the problem with an asterisk: she came up with the smell of red coral (sea stone off the coast of Sardinia), which once conquered jewelers from China.
Osmanthus, she said, was an ideal candidate: “First, the overall color of the petals and stone. Secondly, the nature of color is innocent and unbridled. It's amazing how a delicate creamy accord can turn into notes of smoked tea and leather. " In practice, such a trick was cranked with a reasonable dose of the absolute in a synthetic bridle, so that the respectable audience gasped, but at the same time was not afraid of their own fantasies.
Photo: Getty Images, press archives
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