A little disappointing to me, this one. The first thing you notice is the color: a rich pinkish orange, modeled indeed on the rare and exquisite padparadscha sapphire of Sri Lanka and Madagascar. On application I get a fierce blast of hot, dry cedar and black pepper, unadulterated by any hint of sweetness. The take-no-prisoners opening had me anticipating an intriguing development, but guess what? It stopped, plonk, and didn't go anywhere. Not for hours. Then it just bowed out and disappeared.
On my skin Padparadscha remains a one-dimensional, linear cedar scent with limited sillage and projection. Cedar shavings, and that's it! If there's any sandalwood, amber, or musk in there, it's entombed in a plain cedar box.
If you like sharp, unsweetened wood, I'd go for Tam Dao. It plays on the same theme as Padparadscha, but it's more limber, complex, and sophisticated. Otherwise you can save money by buying one of those moth-repelling cedar closet blocks and rubbing yourself down vigorously with it.
This one walks a fine line between hot and spicy (pepper overload), but it has a nice amber base to support it. Juniper is a note that I despise, and despite the notes above, I don't really any from it at all. Instead, I get quite a bit of clove. There's some cedar and sandalwood, but both ride pretty low in the mix. Picture Ambre Sultan with a slightly more powdery amber base, then switch out the spicy opening with some serious peppers, and you'll get an idea of what this is. I think it'd be great for colder weather, but not exclusively so.
Padparadscha is a very rare sapphire; the rarest of all is the totally natural variety, with no sign of artificial treatment. The name is derived from the Sanskrit/Sinhalese "padma raga" (padma = lotus; raga = color), a color akin to the lotus flower. As rare is this kind of sapphires as rare is scent`s composition. Warm amber and musk put their arms around you, then comes cedar, juniper and sandalwood and it finishes with hit of red and black pepper, it doesnt remind anything else, it`s so special, so magical and deep, amazingly balanced like a symphony with bass accords, a real treasure in pink color. Even color of the bottle matches the color and beauty of sapphire...
Padparadscha opens with an amazing combination of jasmine, supported by both cinnamon and clove (even though neither are listed as official notes). The spiced jasmine is shortly joined by a very well-done fiery red chile pepper that is the primary heart note with a juniper berry undertone that is somewhat reminiscent of pine needles. A woody base of cedar creeps into the heart notes but stays relatively well-concealed, content to remain in the background while the hot spice smolders. Sandalwood adds a last bit of sweetness working with the remnants of the jasmine presented earlier to counter the continuing spicy nature of the scent. Projection is above average and longevity is average.
Padparadscha is a hidden gem of a scent (and it is named after a rare sapphire so I guess that is apropos). It is a chile pepper lover’s dream come true as that aspect is extremely well-implemented. With chile pepper as the star you might expect it to be a very dry and hot scent, but the jasmine, clove and cinnamon temper the heat and add just the slightest touch of subtle sweetness to the overall composition with the juniper and cedar adding perfect support. This is definitely a superb composition crafted by a nose I confess to have never heard of in Dulon. I will endeavor to keep an eye out for further releases by Ms. Dulon and her company Satellite as not only is Padparadscha a powerful release, it is very reasonably priced at $80 retail for 100ml. That is a steal for this type of quality, scoring a very strong buy recommendation. Bravo Dulon! Padparadscha is beyond excellent and earns a well-deserved 4.5 stars out of 5.
31st July, 2012 (last edited: 17th August, 2012)
Cedar and pepper...then up close cloves and sandalwood. No structure.