Monday, March 09, 2009

Tom Ford Champaca Absolute

My inaugural review following the birth of my daughter needed to feature a fragrance I consider unique, posh and enjoyable. I am pleased to feature a Tom Ford creation for his Personal Blends Collection - a hearty floral with an edge - Champaca Absolute.

I must admit from its description I did not expect to like this fragrance. The notes appeared good enough in writing, but held little promise of captivating my newly evolved nose. (Pregnancy had a profound effect on my appreciation of spicier, heartier scents. I was mostly a floral girl prior to carrying a child.) By description, Champaca Absolute appeared a very heady and sweet floral. What I found instead after testing is a heady floral indeed, white in color, with a pinch of golden warmth, making it likeable and interesting enough to consider a purchase.

Its beginning reminds me of sweet fruit, although it is described by its creator as Tokajii wine and cognac. I experience this layer as succulent rather than intoxicating. However, the fragrance does offer an intoxicating effect which develops much later. Following the initial burst of sweetness, the exotic flowers bloom into being with Champaca leading the way and jasmine following closely behind. Heady, powdery and slightly tea-like, this ultra feminine stage of the fragrance turns heads and noses. A creamy undertone lurks as well, making it completely and utterly likeable, like the soft and enveloping petals of exotic white flowers. Finally, the base holds the golden warmth and intoxication I spoke of earlier, with vanilla bean, amber and marron glace (candied chestnuts) offering the flowers a bewitching quality. Altogether femine, warm and sweet, Champaca Absolute is a winner in my book and one that I envision adding to my collection. It asks to be worn on a cooler day, due to its sweetness, and is probably more appropriate for women than men. I am certain many men will enjoy its charms though!

Tom Ford Private Blend Collection Champaca Absolute is available at Nieman Marcus, $180.00-$450.00 for 50ml-250ml of Eau de Parfum.