Lisa Hoffman Variations Madagascar Orchid Day Time & Evening dual set ($39,99) is a limited edition spin off for a good cause of the original set introduced in the spring of 2008 with 4 variations which also included "Morning" and "Bedtime" scents. 20% of the sales are destined to the Rain Forest Foundation which was co-founded by Sting and Trudie Styler whom brand founder Lisa Hoffman, the wife of actor Dustin Hoffman (see review of Perfume the movie), considers to be her eco-mentors.
Madagascar Orchid first made its appearance in functional perfumery as part of the Lisa Hoffman Body Spa Collection in 2007. At the time, the label announced that thanks to the Scent Trek program and Headspace technology by Givaudan, the latter which is able to record natural scents in situ without destroying the plants, they had been able to introduce for the first time in Western perfumery two new ingredients: Star of Madagascar Orchid and Japanese Agarwood, which were both translated later into fine, concentrated perfume oils in 2008...
The Variations collection is based on the idea that not one scent is appropriate for all hours of the day and need to be scientifically developed to optimally "complement a woman's changing olfactive sensibilities." Hoffman said that she had felt frustrated by the fact that a scent she liked seemed to be too overpowering for bedtime or too low-key for an evening out. Hence the concept of having the same perfume be available in four variations which would be designed to respect the biological rhythms of the nose. For example, we tend to smell better in the morning while the nose will tend to be tired by the evening, hence a stronger formulation is necessary for the evening.
All the Variations fragrances were created by perfumer Ellen Molner of Givaudan in collaboration with consultant Pamela Vaile.
The concentration of perfume oils is said to be 15% of essences in order for them to last up to 4 hours.
Notes: notes of lemon, orange, bergamot, clove bud oil, lily, tuberose, sheer jasmine, orange flower, ylang dew, mimosa mood, pink peony, amber, soft musk.
Madagascar Orchid Day Time
The perfume opens on a sweet solar tropical note full of salicylates with a few fresh, green crunchy hints. Star of Madagascar Orchid has a scent which is described as being a cross between lily and tuberose "...without losing its exotic sense of identity." Mimosa Mood is from Brazil and is said to offer warm, spicy, powdery, herbaceous and floral nuances. The ylang is quite present.
The scent is very much evocative of a tropical suntan oil and lush vacationing under swinging palm trees but with a touch of retro charm The scent is rather intense as well as linear in structure.
From a perfumery standpoint, the composition is markedly inspired by White Shoulders by Evyan, only subtler and softer and with more of a soothing quality. The drydown is not as soapy but rather dewy and more unplaceable.
Madagascar Orchid Evening
The evening version is rounder and darker - sweeter too. There is a smoky woods hint. It is a more complex composition which is inspired by the Jazz-Age perfumery gem Habanita by Molinard. The perfume offers the same opulent, oriental and slightly murky, dark opium-den quality infused with a green mastic gum and vanilla accord. The drydown is salty, creamy and woody.
Both scents, because they are oils, morph as they bloom on the skin and mingle with your own natural scent.
After letting them be, I have to say that both Madagascar Orchid Variations are enticing. They are reminiscent of retro floral bouquets but with more than a few touches of Scent Trek dewiness and exotic vagueness.
The new, smaller set is debuting on QVC Tomorrow August 27th 2010. You can tune in at 9 am EST to purchase the set.