Heeley Ophelia, 2009

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Perfumer James Heeley

Ophelia captures a very particular time of year, the cusp of spring and summer. It’s green like spring, so fresh it’s a bit bitter. But it’s also lush and distracting the way a summer flower should be. The initial notes of muguet and jasmine are underlined by the watery crispness these early flowers of the season have. In the heartnotes, Ophelia sheds a bit of green and tuberose and ylang-ylang take on early summer in all its white/yellow floral beauty.

But the clock stops there. There’s none of the prelude to nostalgia that late summer implies. Ophelia’s gives that heightened feel of the endless potential of summer.

Eventually a watery-ambery, raspy lily not unlike the one in DK Gold gives a soft touch to the basenotes. Its watery note suddenly seems like the logical outcome of all the flowers that have preceded it. Here, I assume, is the full Ophelia of Hamlet reference: handing out flowers, then winding up in the water.

I can find what I like in most perfume genres fairly easily. Chypres, orientals, leathers. But sometimes a boy just can’t find a satisfying mixed-floral.

Problem solved.


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