Genre: Green Floral
This is the kind of aldehydic, soapy, floral scent that I usually don’t enjoy, either on myself or on anybody else. It’s made more interesting to me, though, by very cool, sharp green notes that come to the fore as the aldehydes retreat. In the true Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier manner, Camelia Chinois’s green notes are aggressive, uncompromising, and unadulterated, and as with Route du Vetiver and Parfum d’Habit, this stance lifts the fragrance to a level of distinction rare among its type.
As Eau de Camelia Chinois develops it becomes less and less powdery and much more green. The floral notes are crisp and dry, traits that are accentuated by an accent of green tea. By the time this scent has settled into its heart the fresh florals and herbaceous greens have melded into a seamless accord that persists for at least four hours. The projection is moderate and the sillage fairly light, so that unlike aldehydic florals in the Chanel No. 22 mode you won’t be clubbing down passersby with your scent if you apply too much.
I never made the association between Camelia the flower and the green tea until researching for information about this fragrance. I can agree that this is a linear fragrance, but i don't see it as a literal interpretation of tea. It seems more like an abstraction over the flowers and not the tea leaves, not at least the tea leaves that i know. It has a clean, soapy, chic aura with something green, musky and slightly sweet. At the very first minutes it seems old-fashioned, but this impression doesn't remain. This is a fragrance that i didn't thought i'd like but it's another slightly, chic and fresh creation that is great on summer.
For the record, my sample from MPG calls this Eau De Camelia Chinois - I don't know if this is a different formulation or if there was just a name change at some point in the last 15 years...
On me, this is mostly a lightly powdery soap smell. It's got fake plasticky rose mixed with cheap plasticky strawberry and fake plasticky lily, so it's sort of an aquatic fruity floral, but it's thickly surrounded by soapy haze. It would be kind of disappointing, but not terrible if this were all it did, but there's a weird confluence of off-notes that really mess this perfume up. For one, there's a very upfront sharpness that reminds me of bathroom cleaner - it's almost like that nose tickle you get smelling ammonia, but all that soap makes it feel vaguely like a cheaply-scented cleaning product. Then there's a weird bathroom smell. I don't think it's civet - it's more like the smell of a restroom with heavy traffic.
The end result of all of this is the smell of a dirty bathroom that's been ineffectively cleaned with some sort of cheap soapy strawberry rose cleaner. Honestly, I can't imagine who would want to wear this. Fruity floral fans will likely be scared off by the dirt, while skank fiends most likely won't appreciate the cheaply-done fruity floral elements.
On paper, Eau de Camelia Chinois has a delicate but bright floral and light exotic fruit ambiance; unfortunately, this is not what I get when it’s worn. No, on the skin this is not an “Eau de”… This one is too heavy, too soapy, too over-the-top, and all of these “too’s” are going on too long. Eau de Camelia Chinois hits my skin and becomes this basil soapy monster, except that there is some little smell deep down inside it that is totally disgusting. Soon the fragrance morps into a urine smell. The strange thing is that I have never really gotten those urine smells in fragrances infamous for urine smells, but I get them here in this one. My nose gets quickly fatigued from smelling this. I think calchic is absolutely right – it’s a skin chemistry thing, and it surely does “things” when it hits my skin.
Overall reaction was "eh". Started pretty, and then went somewhere strange - I think calchic nailed it...