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LUXE Champaca – Heaven scent - March 26, 2012 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - Wikipedia - Kamadeva shooting arrows at Shiva - c. 1820

Blogs build communities where people come to read, learn and share their views on a particular subject. In the case of perfumeniche.com it’s niche fragrances. But writing a blog is different from reading a blog. It’s not a matter of dipping a toe in and leaving a comment here and there. A blog writer is all in. Or, they should be. If you really do want to encourage people to share and explore scent, then I feel you should give them access to a wide range of experiences and try not to be held back by your own likes and dislikes. Which is all to say, that as we go along, my tastes and preferences grow and evolve too. When this happens, it’s much more interesting for readers and interesting for me too -  I have more to explore and share with you.

For a long time, I didn’t like white florals. Jasmine, tuberose, gardenia – their big-boned screechiness made my teeth itch. What changed my mind? One day, while standing at perfume counter, I was hit with a champaca flower dart. Tiny little thing, but it did sting. Then came another and another.

The darts were coming from Kamadeva, the Hindu god of human love, and he wasn’t riding a parrot-drawn chariot – his usual mode of transportation - he was sitting atop a bottle of LUXE Champaca, from Comme des Garçons. Reputedly, Kamadeva is the best looking of all the gods, and I have to say, he was easy on the eyes. Okay, okay legend also has it that Kamadeva is green in colour, but it’s a very sexy Jean Dujardin/Jon Hamm kind of green – you’d know it of you saw it.

When I found those little arrows in my clothing and little arrows in my hair, well, I just knew I had to try LUXE Champaca. One sniff of the wrist and I was in love - OMG I think that little green guy just winked at me! So in love that I thought about updating my Facebook status. It was the champaca that did it.

Champaca is an evergreen tree that is native to Southeast Asia. Its flowers, which vary from shades of cream to yellow-orange, play an important role in Hindu worship – it is believed their fragrance induces devotion and encourages prayer. Considered a sacred scent by Krishna champaca trees are grown on temple grounds. Well, that explains why LUXE Champaca smells so heavenly!

It opens with gentle warmth from white pepper, along with a soft herbaceous note from angelica and a delicate spiciness from cardamom. The top notes beautifully foreshadow what’s to come – champaca. Related to magnolia, creamy champaca has a floral-fruity aspect that is gently amplified by the presence of indolic tuberose. Deftly matched, these soul mates, never get all white flower screechy/scratchy, just sultry white flower divine!  Oh, what have I missed for so long? Champaca is also related to star-anise and that spiciness is highlighted here by the addition a tender note of bird pepper. The champaca doesn’t dominate here, so much as it glows, with tuberose and pepper enhancing it as it does. A base of white musk and iris wood gives it depth and anchor it without flattening it.

LUXE Champaca is part of the Series Luxe collection from Comme des Garçons. The ‘LUXE’ not only refers to the high quality of the ingredients used, but to the depth of the fragrance. It’s a fairly linear fragrance, but it’s intense, rich and heady yet sheer and ethereal at the same time.

You never know what will change your mind about something – could be a green guy riding a bottle of perfume or someone who lives inside your computer. Try a fragrance you’ve never smelled before and if it opens the door to a whole new scent world, well, I suggest you walk right through it.

Today, we’re adding LUXE Champaca to our decant listing. Decants are $8.00.