I have a brown thumb. I know it is so because once I killed ivy – and it wasn’t even my intent! It doesn’t upset me too much since I never felt like growing anything. But despite that I’ve just adopted a plant. I wanted to do it for a while but for the last several years something would come up in January-February – the only two months when Daphne Odora (Winter Daphne) blooms. And knowing my “abilities” I wanted to get at least the first bloom.
I found Daphne many years ago while walking in the park next to the office. I smelled something wonderful in the air – and just methodically sniffed every flower I could see around until I found it. Then it took me another year to figure out the name of that plant and then several more years to finally get it.
Daphne’s flowers aren’t that impressive: pale pink with darker center. They resemble many others flowering shrubs’ blooms. But the scent is heavenly. I thought how to describe Daphne’s aroma when serendipitously a couple of days ago I saw Ineke Ruhland’s Facebook post about that plant and I figured out that she was better qualified to give you an idea of how it smells – in case you haven’t smelled it before.
I would say it’s a must-have plant for gardeners who like scented plants or for perfume lovers. I’ve heard many gardeners rave about the scent, which I would describe as orange flower + lemon + honey + molasses. It’s sweet but not cloying. […] When you run across one with loads of blooms, it’s a real wafter.
Since I smelled Daphne for the first time I wanted to have perfume with that scent. “Daphne odora” was my standard answer to questions in different polls as to which note/scent you want created in a perfume form. From what I read, all parts of Daphne plant are poisonous so I don’t think there will ever be an actual Daphne note in any perfume but I’m fine with a recreation – as long as it smells close.
The first (and so far the only) perfume I ever saw listing Daphne as a note was Eau de Tommy Sooni II by Tommy Sooni (it’s not the most imaginative name, is it?). I read Victoria’s (EauMG) glowing review and it was an immediate lemming. You should read it too if you haven’t tried this perfume yet. I don’t think I can describe it better.
Does it smell like Daphne? It doesn’t the way Carnal Flower smells of tuberose, Diorissimo of lily-of-the-valley or Miss Charming of roses. When I smell it on its own, my mind doesn’t conjure Daphne immediately. But when I do a side-by-side sniffing of the real flower and Eau de Tommi Sooni II, I can “see” the resemblance. It might be that this perfume has one of the many other types of Daphne, not Daphne odora that I like.
I think that Eau de Tommi Sooni II is one of those perfumes praising which one does it a disservice: since this perfume doesn’t wow you from the first sniff telling you how wonderful it smells might create wrong expectations and cause a disappointment. But I can say that it is interesting: once I applied it I wanted to smell it again and again, it captivated me. When I finished the first sample I thought that I’d need a decant. By the time the second sample was half-gone I decided to get a bottle and see if I could make the plant last as long as 100 ml of the perfume. I hope that Daphne plant doesn’t run away from me in terror or turn into a nymph.
So despite the not inspiring name and an objectionable bottle size (brands, be reasonable! Why make only 100 ml bottles??!) Eau de Tommi Sooni II has joined my collection as this year birthday perfume bottle.
Images: Apollo and Daphne – from here, the last two my own