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quinta-feira, 7 de janeiro de 2016

White Cattleya: A Beautiful New Blossom from Olympic Orchids

by: Jodi Battershell

The Olympic Orchids website asks, "What do you get when you cross a neuroscientist and an orchid grower with a perfumer?" Olympic Orchids perfumer and founder Dr. Ellen Covey provides an answer to the question, but those of us who have tried and loved many of her perfumes have formed our own answer, too: you get some breathtakingly beautiful fragrances.
It has been an absolute pleasure to follow the journey of Dr. Covey. From her earliest days of replicating the scents of exotic orchid varieties which do not yield essential oils (Little Stars and Golden Cattleya are stand-outs), to her Scents of Place (Gujaratis my top choice here, though Mr. NLS is partial to Arizona), to her experimental Devil Scents collection, to her 2015 Art and Olfaction Award-winning (and must-try, in my book!) Woodcut, she has become a skilled and creative perfumer whose creations never fail to delight me. I have multiple favorites from her, spanning multiple fragrance categories, and a new favorite recently arrived at my doorstep: White Cattleya.

"White cattleya orchids are the prototypical wedding flower. They are strongly fragrant, with a scent that combines gourmand citrus with an undercurrent of moist petals, vanilla, and musky sexiness. Olympic Orchids White Cattleya perfume captures this scent in wearable form. It’s not the bright-colored, blowsy, bubble-gum fruity-floral orchids of summer. Instead, it has a crispness to it that’s like a bride’s white lace dress, suspended from a network of tulle. Like the dress, the bright citrus coating is slowly peeled away to reveal the soft, sensuous, sweet and musky layers beneath."—Olympic Orchids

The fragrance opens with a true and juicy lemon note, bolstered by citron. The pleasant citrus notes are remarkably strong, but still give this fragrance a softer opening than some of the other floral scents from Olympic Orchids. They're the perfect ice-breaker for the beautiful and intense floral heart that emerges 20-30 minutes later.

White Cattleya notes: citron, lemon, neroli, jasmine, heliotrope, orchid, vanilla and musk.

White floral favorites neroli and jasmine blossom here, gently sweetened by sprigs of sweet and fruity heliotrope. Classic notes, all beautifully done, but one of my favorite things about Olympic Orchids' flower scents is the opportunity they provide to experience the scent of beautiful flowers that I haven't had a chance to experience in person. I've never smelled a white cattleya orchid in person, but if it's anything like the orchid accord in this scent, it's lush, sensuous, a little sweet and a little spicy. 
You won't find the sticky-sweet honey of Golden Cattleya here, nor the frosty mug of root beer I got from African Orchid (though I do like that one, too!) The "mood" of White Cattleya is more on par with the house's Sakura—soft and pleasant, but with remarkable tenacity. The fragrance has a bit of "freshly-laundered linens drying in the sun" to it, as well as a touch of heady peony scent. The vanilla of White Cattleya is more of the woody-balsamy variety than the cake frosting note. Two spritzes were enough to last through the workday and I was able to enjoy the soft aura of my own scent, with the final clean and pleasant musky base notes still lingering on the areas where I had sprayed the perfume beneath my clothes.
A white cattleya orchid in full bloom
If a bride carried a bouquet of flowers that smelled like this, she would need no perfume, but White Cattleya would certainly be a perfect choice for a wedding day fragrance. Or any day, really. Flowers are a year-round source of pleasure for me, whether they're in a vase or in the form of a floral perfume. White Cattleya smells as beautiful and silky-smooth as the gorgeous white blossom for which it was named and I can't think of an occasion it wouldn't be suitable for. 
White Cattleya was launched in December 2015. The fragrance is available as a 30 ml perfume spray on the Olympic Orchids Perfume site with a retail price of $65 dollars (Olympic Orchids perfumes remain some of the best bargains in niche and artisan perfumery today!). But Dr. Covey is also a true perfumista and knows that sometimes a smaller quantity or travel-friendly package is what we need, so the fragrance is also available in 15 ml and 5 ml bottles (along with older fragrances from the original line, small-batch and experimental releases) on the "sister site," at Olympic Orchids Original Perfume Boutique. Both sites offer discovery sets and samples for purchase.
Thank you to Olympic Orchids for the opportunity to try your amazing new perfume!
Product images: Olympic Orchids. Flower: "White Cattleya" by Jun Accullador,licensed under cc2.0

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