Getting to Know You: Olympic Orchids, Little Stars

My particular note preferences don’t much hinder me in appreciating beauty where I find it, and it is with delight that I bring you the next installment from Ellen Covey’s Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes: Little Stars.

I began my aromatic journey with the perfume that was my immediate favorite (Javanica), but now I turn to the one… least likely to appeal to my preferences.
Why write about it at all, you may wonder, if I don’t care for it? For the same reason that I wrote about Parfums de Nicolaï, Kiss Me Tender: it’s a beautiful perfume. I mention Patricia de Nicolaï’s most recent creation because Little Stars immediately reminded me of it; that is, while it may not be something I love, I can recognize it’s beauty, and appreciate the quality of the materials. Fans of L’Heure Bleue, I think, will also do well to give this a try.

My little notebook reads, “Heliotrope, purple, powder, jasmine, — ref. PDN Kiss Me Tender.

Today, approaching it with a fresh nose (and without seven other fragrances splashed haphazardly up and down both arms) I feel much the same. The jasmine is more pronounced than the ghostly heliotrope that greeted me from finger no. 3 yesterday, and the ylang-ylang and clove provide a tangible velvet texture, adding a warm, languid sensuality to the composition. Beautiful, and in my opinion more wearable and instantly likable than Kiss Me Tender, which I found just the slightest bit too much.

It won’t surprise me too much if a 5mL travel atomizer lands in my cart when I’m picking up my bottle of Javanica.

Read another review of Little Stars by La Bonne Vivante at Hortus Conclusus.

Notes: Citrus, neroli, ylang-ylang, clove bud, jasmine, exotic woods, oud, black agar, and atlas cedarwood. Prices for Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes range from $15 (5mL) to $60 (50mL). My fragrance sample was provided by the perfumer.


11 thoughts on “Getting to Know You: Olympic Orchids, Little Stars

  1. Hi Dee, I’ve just sent you a message on MUA about this. It sounds fabulous. If I don’t smell it soon I shall DIE. Wonderful illustrations too. Who is that woman in the top one, I wonder. Can I have her life?

    I know what you mean about appreciating the quality of a fragrance while realsing that maybe it is not for you. Some of the Sonoma Scent Studio fragrances strike me that way, the smokey, incense-y ones in particular. One of the great achievements of fragrance criticism (usually via independent blogs such as yours, rather than fashion magazines) is to have broken down that idea that a perfume is good only if you like it (or if it expensive): that quality is tied to personal taste. Other forms of criticism, of books, films, wine, food, have long ago matured and recognised that some things can be objectively good or not good, whether or not you like them or not. I don’t especially like the novels of Virginia Woolf but I have read some and appreciate that that are great achievements. And maybe some day something will click in my mind and I will love them.

    Anyway, thanks for the review.

    1. “If I don’t smell it soon I shall DIE.”

      Are you trying to make me spit my coffee all over my beautiful iMac? LOL, because I now have remind myself: “Swallow BEFORE reading Anne-Marie’s comments.” 🙂

      I believe in Beauty as the highest, most noble ideal we can aspire to—and that comes in many forms. My personal taste, however, is much more narrow! It is, I’m happy to say, expanding… sloooooowly. What I like about SSS is that there’s no effort at all for me there—they are just exactly my personal taste! I’m totally biased 😉

      Don’t you find it thrilling to be part of the perfume-aficionado (thank you B for that distinction) community during this time when we’re basically re-writing what it means? It makes me deliriously happy!

        1. When I’m thinking of beauty, I’m thinking of the idea and the ideal of it (think Plato’s forms)—which of course, is subject to interpretation by each individual; however, there are many universally agreed upon forms, such as those possessing symmetry and balance, or even pure originality 🙂

          (as applied to whatever subject, not, obviously, limited to physicality)

          Thanks for the link! I”m not sure if I’ve read that article… 😉

  2. As a lover of L´Heure Bleue I take note! Another lovely and interesting review, thank you!
    Love the paintings, especially the first one, since you picked this to illustrate this perfume it looks like a winner to me 🙂

    1. L’Heure Bleue is so lovely, although I prefer when my hubby wears it to smelling it on myself!

      I’m captivated by this artist, Pino Daeni, right now. He paints like a master, with just the tiniest contemporary elements—he just died in May 2010—and were I the sort of person who had a large expendable income, I would buy his entire catalog currently for sale. Yes, all of them! (my fantasy budget is quite large)

      The perfume is really lovely—it’s heartening to find another talented independent perfumer 🙂

  3. And do you know, Dee, that’s precisely the one thing that gives me hope for our passion – that there still are independent perfumers out there who dare…create, and dare to be different, in an age when so much of human creativity is becoming more and more indistinguishable – including perfume! And everyone wins…the perfumers, who get to create them and we aficionados, who get to adore their creations!

    Pino Daeni…gotta look up that guy. Incredible paintings! 😀

      1. Create perfumes?????? :O Only in my head and in my story, and so far only the one, but you’ve read about that one, as I recall…

        I would not dare to presume…That’s what the Tauers, the Moriels, the Hurwitzes, Abdes Salaam and of course, Doc Elly! – can do. Me – I just enjoy them!

        Put another way – I’ve got plenty enough on my plate with a six-year-old. a book, three – soon four! blogs and a full time job along with everything else…I’d do it if I could, but I can’t, so I don’t!

        But man – what ariveting dinner conversation we could have over this…If I Could Make One Perfume…;)


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