Heeley’s Ophelia begins life as a beautifully crisp, green, watery lilac, not worlds away from Olivia Giacobetti’s En Passant in its spring morning freshness, but made deeper by a generous helping of animalic indole. The indole just keeps coming and coming, and just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any stronger, it does, as emerging lily, jasmine, and acacia notes propel Ophelia into the same delightfully louche floral realm occupied by Dominique Ropion’s Une Fleur de Cassie.
Ophelia is as seductive as it is heartrendingly beautiful, and a vivid reminder that flowers are all about sex – soiled linens and all! It somehow manages to be at once delicate and potent, with conspicuous sillage and projection that persists for several hours before fading into a sweet, soft-textured white musk drydown. Very, very pretty.
I received a sample of this, and gave it to my wife. It smells incredible, and she fell in love with the Jasmine and Tuberose combination. It is definitely a woman's fragrance, there is nothing unisex in this at all. Heeley House, like Penhaligon's, has wonderful fragrances, but they lack the longevity and projection that other houses have. I applies some to my forearm and it smelled great, but sat politely on my arm.
A green jasmine with an aquatic lightness at the top which deepens to accommodate airy tuberose (now there's a contradiction in terms) and hints of muguet. It's that subtle, simple thing that Heeley does well but which ultimately never has me reaching for my wallet. This is a white floral bouquet that may tempt those who can't stand them; it's stripped of indoles and trips shivering naked through the clouds, singing: 'I could live on air alone.' A cunningly charming creation.
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The topnotes of Ophelia give that fullness of spring that makes you crave summer. Then it gives you that, too!
The initial notes of muguet and jasmine and their bursting-at-the-seems fresh spring sweetness are underlined by the watery crispness these early flowers of the season have. Moving into its heart, Ophelia sheds a bit of green and takes on early summer in all its white floral beauty. Tuberose and ylang ylang are a leisurely indulgence compared to spring’s exuberance and take Ophelia into the sultry, dreamy phase with a bit of underbelly showing thanks to the indoles.
Fortunately, spring to early summer is the timeframe. None of the prelude to nostalgia that late summer implies. Ophelia’s heart and base give that heightened feel of the endless potential of summer. The wonderful trick here is that Ophelia remains the white/green bouquet composed of all its elements. Even in ‘summer’ mode, the spring flowers remain, if in the background.
And then we have the lily. I haven’t seen anyone else note this, but a watery-ambery, raspy lily not unlike the one in DK Gold comes along in the basenotes to take a soft-handed lead. Its watery note suddenly seems like the logical outcome of all the flowers that have preceded it. Here, I assume, is the full Ophelia of Hamlet reference: handing out flowers, then winding up in the water.
I can find what I like in most perfume genres fairly easily. Chypres, orientals, leathers. But sometimes a boy just can’t find a satisfying, gorgeous, huge, white floral. Problem solved.
20th April, 2011 (last edited: 05th June, 2011)
l don't get any indoles from this, just a very pretty, soapy jasmine, gardenia & a little lily of the valley, with some green stems. A lovely spring scent, not as strong or long-lasting as Yosh's Whiteflowers, but with a softer feel. Very nice.
When I dabbed on Ophelia an image immediately popped into my head: the six of cups card from the Tarot deck.
This is the card of childhood innocence, kindness and charity, and purity of thought. This is the card of Ophelia.
This is one of the most subtle, fragrant green florals I have ever smelled. The green notes aren't spelled out but to me it is earthy like violet. Tuberose is listed, and I am very sensitive to sweetness but here it does not dominate.
This scent is like a chewy green, not sharp like tree bark, nor bitter like citrus; but firm and robust (and a bit watery), like the smell I get when I walk through the redwood forests and pluck moss from the trees.
It's more than a skin scent and stops way short of announcing your entry. Longevity is good and quaility is up there. Love it.
I use to layer this one with L´Eau d´Hiver, they seem to love each other.