Saturday, June 24, 2006

Let us compare thee.. Opium Fleur de Shanghai and Opium Fleur Impériale

It is refreshing to have a fragrance which truly offers a variation on a theme rather than the endless name dropping of perfumes who's eponymous sisters have nothing in common with each other. None could make this complaint about Opium's limited summer editions, rather a long spell between sniffs would leave many scratching their heads as to what was new.

Shanghai Notes

Top note : Mandarin Orange, Chinotto Sour Orange, Bergamot
Middle note : Chinese Magnolia, Star Jasmine, Carnation, Myrrh
Base note : Vanilla, Patchouli, Amber

Fleur de Shanghai, the 2005 summer LE is a beautiful, creamy ingenue of a fragrance that makes me smile. The lovely magnolia gives it a sunny disposition with happy spices. The drydown is a sweet vanilla that is a bit overpowering when worn in the heat, unless you have a sweet tooth. I find the vanilla almost gourmand. I enjoyed
Fleur de Shanghai very much, but I had to be ready for the sweetness if I was to wear it all day. I was eager to know how Fleur Impériale, the 2006 summer LE would differ.

Impériale Notes

Top note : Tangerine, Neroli, Bergamot
Middle note : Apricot Blossom, Fresh Jasmine, Carnation
Base note : Vanilla, Osmanthus, Myrrh, Patchouli, Amber

Impériale, Impériale, Impériale.. Flower of the Empire. Very much the adult, the ingenue unveils herself a year later grown into the vamp. Where Shanghai has a waxy beauty, Impériale is all spices resting on a much sharper floral. The vanilla is still there but it's oh so dry and the drydown is very sexy with a touch of civet to my nose (though not to the given notes). I was quite wowed! This is one I will miss when it disappears and I foresee a bit of stocking up. I could not say one is better, and it will be a personal choice which is favoured.

As to staying power, I do believe that Shanghai lasts quite a bit longer, though it is the vanilla with a little piquancy that remains.

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