Friday, April 05, 2013

Osmanthus Red

Osmanthus Red by Rebel & Mercury paints osmanthus in broad strokes of magenta, red and gold. While most mainstream osmanthus scents are painted in faint, washed-out watercolours, Nikki Sherritt prefers to paint hers in full-bodied oils that give a thick, almost syrupy texture to this rare absolute.

Osmanthus Red pairs the plum-like and "violet meets blackberry jam" quality of osmanthus, as the perfumer described she perceives it in our previous conversation - with juicy blood orange, and the golden hues of marigold (aka tagetes - pronounce tah-jet), a modest garden flower that keeps hungry caterpillars at bay, and gets little attention if at all from perfumers. Marigold on its own has a slightly citrus opening reminiscent of bitter orange zest; but it is most significant for its overripe Golden Delicious apple-like notes and almost-disturbing green bit of leafy overtones; yet ends with a soft, very natural, herbaceous-sweet grassy, hay-like finish. It's a little like tomato-leaf: you'll either love it or hate it. And who besided Nikki would have imagined that such a strong-minded note will get along so well with the elusive and distinctive osmanthus?
Another prominent note in Osmanthus Red seem to give a nod to the Asian culture from which this plant originates: ginger CO2, which is full-bodied and as golden as could be, almost candy-like. Tuberose gives it an animalic edge, yet with a feminine softness, which leads us to the most alluring, voluptuous amber base, lingering for hours on end. It's honeyed, a tad powdery and very long lasting, as a good amber should be.

This is the Eau de Parfum I'm writing about. It is also made in an oil base. Other sizes are also available from the Rebel & Mercury online shop.

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