"The scent of nostalgia for the sun-drenched terraced garden and the self-sufficient feeling that comes from growing fig trees, lemons, oranges, roses, and all of the herbs that one needs for cooking along with fresh flowers to go on the table. An amber base topped with a zingy mix of Mediterranean herbs and flowers, including orange blossom, lavender, rosemary, red thyme, bergamot mint, and yuzu."
I like the openings on a lot of Olympic Orchid fragrances. They tend to be full of wonderful natural smells. A real treat. Siam Proun started with an abundance of herbal notes and fresh goodness, and a note of delicate sweetness.
It isn't strictly a Provençal fragrance: all herbs, citrus, sun and a pride in the quality of the simple earthy pleasure of French countryside. Many of those fragrances could be paired with wine and cheese on the outdoor patio. Siam Proun is more about the nostalgic aspect. The sweet note here isn't really the sweetness of fruit or food. It is that sweet nostalgic note of memory, a la Guerlain. It suffuses the countryside of this fragrance, layering it's mist over herbs, citrus, flowers, earth and sun, a shimmer of emotion. It has a curious non-engagement with all the visceral notes here, like remote-viewing. I find this affecting, as I too have fragrance memories from childhood that are stained with a sweet nostalgia, much like this.
I think this note, this perspective, is what makes (or breaks) this fragrance. If it resonates on your skin as nostalgia this fragrance feels inspired. If the note becomes too sweet or foody, it won't happen, and you may be stuck with cherry. In truth, the note does teeter pretty close to the edge. If it had gone one step more sweet, I would have lost the sense of nostalgia and instead been plunged into the picture, with it's food and herbs and earth. But for me that's not really what this fragrance is about.
It is long lasting and as it aged, it did come closer to that edge, losing some of it dusty mistiness, which I adored, but it never became foody. The amber never became a big presence on my skin. It was only a warm background dust that came out at the end in a light mellow dry-down. I like this fragrance - it smells good, but it's also clever.
30th April, 2015 (last edited: 01st May, 2015)
This perfume appears to have found the Elixir of Eternal Age, for what opens as a quite unexpectedly good combination of fresh herbal notes sitting atop a citrus flavoured but syrupy amber morphs within the space of an hour into the same combination but now received after the span of years, after it’s been left in the corner of a cupboard next to the mothballs. All the herbs have dried out. Still interesting but I miss the freshness of the start.
There's nothing raw about this fragrance. It's all caramelized with honeyed edges.
And it's mostly amber. An amber which goes a bit treacly on me. My personal preference would call for more thyme, more lavender, and more orange. But these all stay at a tame level — and well blended into the mix.
The opening is smooth and very distinctive — a rich, unusual liquor. There are no mass market perfume smells here; neither the signature incense of head shop amber. Its singular and fascinating.
I could develop a craving for this masterful rich blend, were it not for the predominance of the amber. I'm just not sure how to feel about it: the amber is syrupy and omnipresent for a few hours, then it softens to a pleasantly sweet skin scent, with touches of herbs. More hours in, and it mellows to something sublime.
The cough drop comparison is interesting, but I'd argue that it's closer to Ricola mixed with Smith Brothers Honey. Thyme and syrup, with vanillic overtones.
07th April, 2013 (last edited: 08th April, 2013)
An interesting one from hyper-indie perfumer and BN member Olympic Orchids. It's a mix of fruits, flowers and herbs meant to symbolize a French garden, built on an amber base.
On me, it all comes together to smell like the best cough drop ever. The flowers add sweetness, while the fruits make a sort of faux-cherry smell and the herbs give everything a sort of minty, mentholated twang. It's mostly an essential oil mix at high concentration, so it never smells like a fruity floral perfume (or like Joop, which it could were it not for the natural ingredients). It's interesting, if not really my style, but the real payoff comes hours in when it dries down to a beautiful honey smell, still flavored by the fruits and herbs.
At their worst, essential oil blends can smell simultaneously cheap and overly complex. At their best, they can be a brilliant expression of a natural smell that chemicals could never recreate. In my opinion, Siam Proun fits in towards the natural expression end of that spectrum - it's never a hot mess and seems to clearly know what it wants to do. But honestly, the mentholated aspect is a little strange (though I can see how the sweet fruit mix would probably have smelled like a cheap candle without it). All in all, I'm enjoying it and the base notes are fantastic, but I'm still not totally sold. Definitely not a thumbs down, but probably not a thumbs up either, but that's just my opinion. Definitely worth a test.