Smelling the fruitsick over menthol opening unfold one thinks one can guess why this Midsummer Day’s Dream was cut short. But it hasn’t vanished – it now goes by the name Elektra in the Olympic Orchids line-up.
Wait, however, until the drydown which does interesting things. It reminds me most of an innocent’s armpit – undeodorized but alive with fruity pheromonal nuance. There are shades of the always-overripe slightly sweaty scent of guava here mingling with something green and leafy, with an odd pine-like accent.
The actual notes are: blackcurrant, figs, green fig leaves, over an amber base. It’s likely the blackcurrant that is prompting the guava associations. The Olympic Orchids website calls it ‘a sensual oriental gourmand’ – I find it much too wide open and green to be an oriental and, despite the fruit tones, there’s little about it that makes my tongue water either (those figs are just not ready to eat). But what it does have in spades is a certain innocent and nerdy sensuality that makes you want to go right up and lick that proffered armpit.
Out there in a wonky orbit all its own, this perfume is a clear demonstration of the independence of the artisanal perfumer. Bafflingly, it works splendidly for me.
An early work from Olympic Orchids. It smells like it's pretty much an essential oil blend with mixed fruits over green leaves and a touch of pine, as well as something that makes the whole thing smell slightly mentholated. Honestly, it's a little rough - it very much smells like an experiment in mixing oils more than a fully realized traditional perfume. When you mix fruit essential oils, you almost always get a smell closer to a mall candle store than a fine perfume, and the tomato leaf has that weird bile undertone, and putting that mentholated smell over everything is pretty quirky, though it does lead to an interesting boozy middle once everything kind of fuzes together.
That criticism aside, early scents like this from indie perfumers just make me want to give them a hug and say "I approve of you - you're made for the love of perfume instead of the desire for big money and I want you to be happy". And I also know that Olympic Orchids' later works, especially their devil scents, show a maturity and confidence that Midsummer's Day barely hints at. I'd definitely suggest sampling it, not just to support small perfumers but also because something this quirky is bound to end up having ardent admirers if they manage to find it.