Sunday, February 6, 2011

A walk through Arizona high-country and a possible mango grove

I love it when perfumes manage to surprise me and one by Olympic Orchids did that splendidly. More on that one later, for now, I want to start with Arizona. And a huge thank you to Ellen who sent some of her creations for me to try. :)


Notes: pine, juniper, sage, chaparral, high desert wildflowers

My geographical knowledge is well, limited to put it mildly, so when I first read the name of this, I imagined it was supposed to connote desert. Then I read the description on Olympic Orchids site and realized it was supposed to give you the following - "Experience a walk through the pine forests and clearings of the Arizona high country on a sun-warmed summer day."
So, it's not just desert but forests as well (and a quick google search helped clear all my misunderstandings).
Actually, it must be quite an interesting part of the US and it sure smells great when depicted by Ellen Covey.

To me, it starts dry and warm, like you're smelling the dirt  on a path you're walking along through shrubbery - wouldn't really call it a forest at this point. Eventually the herbaceousness of the notes is more prominent and though it reminded me somewhat of lavender, I can imagine the trees giving off their scent lighty in the summer heat. The pine and juniper spiciness (for the lack of a better word), that at one point smell almost menthol-like (that's quickly gone), are most of the time held in check by those wild flowers mentioned in the notes and even though I can't really say I smell the flowers, I can smell those notes sort of floating on a cloud of something that makes them feel warm and subdued.
I thought I could smell both some cedarwood and sandalwood in the drydown as it starts to acquire a more creamy woody quality. It smells refreshing for the spirit as I'm sure a walk through a forest on a summer day must feel like.

And now onto my incredible discovery.

A Midsummer's Day Dream

I cannot give you any notes as I couldn't find any but what this smells on me is the most vivid mango you could imagine. I'm pretty sure that is not what this is supposed to smell like, I mean if you read Tarleisio's review you'll see what I mean, but I just can't get past it. Not that I would want to, I love mango and I love the way it smells. I just wish I knew what notes are in there that conspired to make such a vivid mango picture for me.

It starts with that sweet juiciness typical of peaches and mangoes but never does it smell peachy to me, straight away there is this raspiness to it - if you ever tried mango, you'll recognize the smell of it and the feel of it on your tongue. Ok, I understand that people might not want to smell like mango (but I sure do) - it is such a live image of it, cut for eating on a bright, warm, sunny day. The perfume is actually sparkling in its fruity exuberance.
Eventually, the juiciness subsides but the raspiness can still be felt and there is something else in there I can't put my nose on but for me, the mango idea never goes away.

Pic of mango grove by:
Arizona pic and notes by:


  1. I too am a big fan of A Midsummer's Day Dream--- to me it's a vividly sweet green--no mango to my nose---but wonderful nonetheless. :)

  2. I'll happily join the Midsummer Day's Dream Fan Club - but I think it smells like a very ripe, very luscious, sun-warmed fig that dropped right off the tree and into your hand. Mangoes to my nose (and I love them too!) have a slight tang of piney turpentine, which I don't get at all, but luscious and juicy and sunny it certainly is!

    Ah, ladies, what havoc did I wreak by turning you on to these? ;-)

  3. Dee, of all the reviews I read, no one seemed to get mango and I can't get anything else. :) I'm just glad we agree on how great it is.

  4. Tarleisio, I read on Hortus Conclusus blog that it had fig and try as I might, it just won't turn into a fig for me. :) And I love figs in my perfumes. But as I have quite a few of those and no mango, I'm very happy with the alchemy happening on my skin.

  5. Both of these sound so lovely.

    Ines, you always sell me on fragrances that have fruity notes! I am very curious about Midsummer's Day Dream. Come April, I will be sampling Ms. Covey's fragrances.

  6. Mango sounds very interesting! I only know it from the green mango note in hermes un jardin sur le nil which isn't really mango- it's green mango (what is that?)

    I think mango would be delicious in scent- yum

  7. Oh, JoanElaine, the self-imposed frugality period? :)
    Once you try them, please let me know what you think. Now I'm waiting now for someone else to find the mango in AMDD.

  8. Rose, is green mango edible? To me it sounds like an unripe mango but I'm not really sure how is that supposed to smell like...
    This is my first time encountering mango in perfume, although I want to try the Huitieme Art one as well.

  9. Ines, if you're interested in trying a fragrance with a beautiful mango note, you might want to consider Jacomo #09 from the Jacomo Art Collection series. I have a generous sample I'd be happy to pass on to you, if you'd like.

    Ah, I must try the Arizona scent you mention in this review. It sounds reminiscent of a hike through Flagstaff, AZ!

  10. Suzanne, of course I am interested. :) I didn't think it was possible to fall so hard for a fruity perfume, but then again perfumes have been showing me how easy it is to have misconceptions which then get cleared. :)

  11. Ines, I've never heard of Olympic Orchids, so was interested to read this post and find out more about another perfumer.

  12. Michael, it seems to me as well that there is not much talk about Ellen Covey and Olympic Orhids but I have a feeling that might change in the future. :) I certainly hope so.

    You can check her blog as well:

  13. Ines,thank you so much for the great reviews! I have a package ready to send to you as soon as the post office stops being on holiday.

    I'm glad I found these reviews and your blog!


  14. Ellen, thank you for the nice words. :)
    I keep postponing talking about other of your perfumes you sent, because each time I test them, something new is revealed (as seems to be the norm with naturals). And I want to do them justice.

    Thank you for sending another package. :)