I'm 5 starring this for one and only one reason: osmanthus is probably my favourite scent in the world, and so far this is the only fragrance that got close to the real thing. I like osmanthus so much I remember most of the places where I smelt it - last time was next to a Franco-Japanese fusion restaurant in a Harajuku street corner with hand drawn cats on the menu and it was around 9pm.
However, the osmanthus disappears within 20 seconds and leaves behind a very soft, dry peach tea, specifically white tea. A delicate watercolour fragrance suitable for days where you don't want to stand out too much. It's pleasant and well realised, but it's not osmanthus anymore. Alas.
This delicate tea scent has fragrant Osmanthus flowers, fruit (peach?) and a slightly smoky tea note that drifts in and out like a breeze blowing through a Chinese summer garden. Typical of Jean-Claude Elléna's ephemeral offerings, it is delicate and elusive. This one is particularly feminine with its sweet, milky floral note. Like most delicate Chinese tea, this leaves me feeling vaguely dissatisfied and longing for something more substantial, like a cup of strong Darjeeling. A good first scent, perhaps, for a young woman or--as the sales assistant at the Hermes boutique suggested--for layering with other, more masculine Hermèssence scents like Poive Samarcande or Vetiver Tonka.
An interesting first minute-or-two of juicy mandarin, light peach, vodka, and fennel all very quickly settle into a dull smell that reminds me of a vaguely peppery sheet of blank paper, or possibly the vegetal smell of a flower without an odor.
Besides a belabored metaphor or a modern art piece about the smell of unscented things, I don't see the point of this. The opening citrus is done better in Eau de Mandarin Ambre, and the odd peppery vegetal paper smell is fully fleshed out and better executed in Eau de Gentiane Blanche. The osmanthus is barely more than a wisp of peach. If this had been anything other than a Jean Claude Ellena, I wouldn't have spent so long trying to convince myself to like it.
Osmanthe Yunnan opens with a really vibrant, yet gentle watercolour blend of thin, lively, slightly sour and quite realistic green notes with a subtle fruity flavour and a juicy sweeter heart (tea), fruity-sugary accents (apricot) and a light, but drier base accord mostly comprising suede and something earthy. A minimalistic “haiku”, expressing Ellena’s talent at his best: a graceful, perfectly harmonic, terribly refined miniature painting with a really few notes and a palpable feel of calm, a rarefied, bright, icy transparency reminding you of a cold, but sunny winter morning. A subtle powdery-sweet accord provide some sense of colorful warmth. Not much else to describe, as Osmanthe Yunnan is really more a silent, intimate and cozy harmony of green-to-white nuances on a darker shade of suede (and perhaps something woody). Really delicate - perhaps too much, and more than ephemeral; but fantastic until it lasts.
A lovely, warm, natural floral...
A really lovely fragrance which captures the nuances of the osmanthus plant, and gives the impression of hot tea. It's a very warm and slightly fruity fragrance, and I think this comes from the apricot mixed with the osmanthus itself (osmanthus flower is purported to smell like apricots and Jean-Claude Ellena often uses similar note pairings to enhance the effect of a single note). He has paired the apricot with the osmanthus in the same way that he paired liquorice with lavender and other similar combinations.
The tea and freesia make the fragrance light and airy, with a tang of orange and hint of leather which blends really well with the skin. Overall I like it, and I do get the impression of China with this. For example drinking tea in a Chinese garden in Yunnan surrounded by osmanthus bushes. Or equally a cup of osmanthus tea. I think that is the impression I get from this.
Definitely a floral fragrance of unmistakable quality, yet as with all Hermèssence creations, this one stays close to the skin. Worth trying for sure!