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Do you ever find yourself taking a LONG time to get around to certain samples you have? I mean, you're excited about trying it; you've heard many comments on BN about it, etc - but something keeps you from actually breaking open the samples and trying at already! This happened to me with Champaca by Comme des Garcons.
I received the sample a while ago (along with the Luxe Series, Patchouli). A Basenoter told me they sampled the Champaca in Paris and found it really feminine. This didn't stop me since I already own Guerilla 1 by Comme des Garcons which prominently features champaca among it's other odd notes (pear, saffron) and uses it to odd effect (it smells like the inside of a butcher shop). But Champaca does not have one odd bone in it's $265 (for less than 1 oz) body. As I found out, Champaca is pretty great:
The top notes are indolic white flower of the A La Nuit, Carnal Flower variety. I get tuberose and it's bright white. Some angelica tempers it but overall the white floral is enhanced mostly by the pepper (the notes list white pepper and bird pepper [?]) The pepper is perfectly blended with the florals. Let me say that again: The pepper is perfectly blended with the florals. I sniffed my hand at least 15 times to get the floral/pepper effect. As I said before, the florals are bright - so the combo with the pepper gives it an uplifting pungent effect. It also 'butches' up the florals a little.
As it progresses it gets creamier. I can't say I'm a fan of creamy florals, but coming off of the bright peppery top notes, the creamy floral is welcomed. Of course, this is when the star of the show, the champaca flower, truly shines. It's extremely strong without being 'meaty' like Guerilla 1. For a few seconds it got a little 'blue cheese' indoles, but then that part faded and it went back to its creamy, floral, complex self.
This scent smells expensive. Hard to convey in words, but the overall effect of something wild and something natural (ironic, no?) left me with a feeling that how I smelled was something very rare. Another blogger mentioned that this scent would fit in perfectly in the Armani Prive line and I agree.
The white musk drydown was not my favorite, but the hints of champaca notes that stayed all the way to the base notes made it special. I could swear there's iris in the dry down but it doesn't seem as if iris is an official note.
The bottle, oddly, looks like an Atari joystick. Ignore this, if you're a white floral lover, and head straight for the juice!
03rd October, 2008