It’s really odd how some perfumes connect with you. I’m sure if I spent some time in therapy or doing some sort of self-help workbook, I could probably come up with some conclusion as to why I’m drawn to certain perfumes more than others. My tastes are broad; I like perfumes from all genres. However, it seems like I’m not too picky when it comes to white floral and incense. I tend to like those over the top “femme fatale” sort of perfumes…or at least what I perceive as vampy. Perfume is a lot about memories and experiences but it’s also a lot about the fantasy. When I delve into the realm of olfactory fantasy, I seem to always go for perfumes that seem like they’d be worn by some sort of cunning stock character that destroys men¹. I’m completely aware of how cliché and hokey this is. But, I can’t help myself. Amouroud Dark Orchid is one of those over the top “noir” feminine perfumes that attracts me like a moth to light.
Dark Orchid has everything going on at once so that’s why I love it. I feel like once you go there, just commit and go there. It opens with a sweet citrus and something that is like “orange cream pop incense”. And that reminds me of goth shops or headshops that sell all those silly scented dipped incense sticks. Dark Orchid also smells like grape cough syrup…until it starts to smell like camphoric patchouli and stewed plums. The heart is a super sweet gardenia with a creamy ylang-ylang custard. The gardenia almost comes across as a coconut-y manoï. The heart is a tropical floral; yet, it’s dark. This is when I think of it like a “beach goth” perfume. I could call it a tropical floral at this stage, but there is nothing sunny about it. It’s like a witch on a beach at midnight. If a tropical floral could be slightly unsettling, here it is. There’s a slightly aquatic/cucumber lotus that is overpowered by the creamy florals, but it does give a feeling of being near water. The base is a powdery incense with a boozy vanilla. This base may sound boring in comparison to the rest of the perfume, but it isn’t. It’s bewitching and the perfect ending to my cliché, olfactory vamp fantasy.
Let me answer a question: Yes, Dark Orchid shares similarities with Tom Ford Black Orchid. However, Dark Orchid wears so much better on my skin than Black Orchid². There’s a lot in Dark Orchid so it’s going to remind me of a few things. On me, it brings to mind Black Orchid and Comme des Garcons Daphne³ (one of my favorite perfumes that has now been discontinued), joss sticks and cough syrup. It has a lot going on but unlike Black Orchid, I feel like I’m wearing Dark Orchid instead of it wearing me.
Notes listed include mandarin orange, citrus, black gardenia, Sicilian bergamot, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lotus, black orchid, sandalwood, Indonesian patchouli, incense and vanilla. Launched in 2016. PERFUMER – Cecile Hua
Give Dark Orchid a try if you like perfumes that over the top or like the olfactory equivalent of a drag queen wearing five wigs and a bucket of body glitter. Or perfumes like Tom Ford Black Orchid, Tom Ford Private Blend Noir de Noir, Van Cleef & Arpels Precious Oud, Tiziana Terenzi Maremma, CdG Daphne, Dior Addict and/or Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue NYC Premiere.
Projection and longevity are above average.
The 3.4 oz bottle retails for $200 at Osswald.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Over the top, dramatic tropical floral that’s probably performing some sort of unsettling spell while on the beach. Do I even have to tell you again that I love it?
¹Hmmm…maybe I do need to invest in some more self-help books…
²I like Black Orchid but it never smelled as good on me as it does so many other people. I always found it challenging despite liking it.
³Everyone loves Daphne on me and now it’s gone. <insert distressed emoji here> I guess Dark Orchid could be my replacement.
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*Disclaimer – Sample provided by the brand. I am not financially compensated for my reviews. My opinions are my own. Product pic from Parfumo. Vampira pic from fanpix.net.