During initial skin testing of the sample batch from Olympic Orchids, the perfume that immediately caught my interest above all the others was Javanica—and so is naturally the first one I’m spending a little more quality time with…
A spicy, metallic note greets me in the opening of Javanica, a tang reminiscent of the saffron note that I love so much in Safran Troublant. There’s also a plush, creamy, cocoa-butter accord, and the juxtaposition of spicy/metallic/creamy/buttery is absolutely divine. An almost (almost) coffee-like quality is present, though I can’t imagine what material is causing this sensory effect—the nutmeg, maybe? Could be a psychological by-product of the Java in Javanica. It’s sweet, but not overly so, though it does push into gourmand territory. I never met an orchid that smelled like this, but since Ellen’s the authority on Orchid’s, I’ll take her word for it.
Suddenly you’re captivated by a sweet, heady scent that seems to be coming from an invisible flower. It’s Phalaenopsis javanica, whose tiny red-striped flowers hide underneath the huge, shiny, umbrella-like leaves and produce a seductive spicy flowery scent.
A small bottle of Javanica will, in the not-distant future, be added to my collection. Prices are refreshingly affordable, and range from $15 (5mL) to $60 (50mL). Read a review by Irina, at NetWorks of Independent Perfume Art, and another by la Bonne Vivante at Hortus Conclusus.
Notes: citrus, bergamot, fruity notes, nutmeg, frankincense, lily-of-the-valley, rosewood, and vanilla. My sample of Javanica was generously provided by the perfumer.