Friday, July 07, 2006

Today's Sample: Acqua di Biella Janca

Oh, this poor perfume I've gone and ruined it by opening and sniffing a bunch of samples I just got this afternoon. I even tried one on the back of my hand because I could not wait to see what it smelled like. (Bond No. 9 Fire Island...mmmm.) I also got my bottle of Opium Fleur de Shanghai, which I ordered unsniffed after reading a review at Legerdenez. Although I haven't applied it, from sniffing in the bottle, I would say it's reminiscent of Opium, but not at all the same. It's somewhat softer and less spicy (or maybe it's better to say less woody), and certainly more floral. Yet it maintains Opium. I'll try to explain this better when I actually wear it!

Thank goodness I had dashed off a few notes about Janca this morning. I can sort of still smell it on my wrist--I know it's there, the way you know the layout of a room in the dark. The notes are as follows:
Top: Florentine iris, magnolia, linden blossom, osmathus
Heart: Mandarin and peach
Base: Cardamom, white musk, cedarwood, and patchouli

Now, I've said this before, but to reiterate: I'm not really reviewing fragrances. I'm just getting these impressions and dragging you along for the ride. I say this for a reason: I ordered this sample based on a review at Now Smell This. I've had the sample in a box for at least six weeks, and it had been a while since I read the review, but I re-read it today when I fetched the link for my post. Let me say right here that the notes unfolded differently for me than they did for Robin, who is clearly expert where I am novice. I honestly don't even know enough to say whether this is all simply chemistry or what the nose smells or what-have-you. Guess I'd better educate myself on the finer points!

That said, here we go: At the opening, the magnolia and osmanthus came through most strongly for me. I felt a little bit like Goldilocks. I've tried a few other osmanthus fragrances--Keiko Mecheri and Ormonde Jayne. The Keiko Mecheri was too small, or better yet, too prim. The Ormonde Jayne was too big; I felt like the fragrance was wearing me, instead of the other way around. I much admire both of those scents, but the Janca--the Janca is just right. I didn't get much more of the fruit than just a hint of peach. At the end it was still a little osmanthus with cardamom, cedarwood, and a tiny, tiny hint of patchouli.

Janca makes me think of a certain time in summer, usually around mid-August, when i start to notice the change in the light. Usually there are a few days where the temperature may drop slightly, and the air is dry, and the sky is blue and clear. The heat actually feels good in a way because the light brings with it a promise of fall. That's what Janca makes me think of: a bright, hot day with clear winter-blue skies.

Of course it doesn't gets hot and muggy again, and the sky turns yellow and hazy, and the air has the consistency of pea soup. But maybe a little Janca could bring back the promise.

*photo from Aedes