There are few florals I enjoy more than osmanthus. Most of the time perfumers take advantage of its dual nature as an ideal transitional floral ingredient. Having dried apricot and leathery qualities are why it works so well in that way. Osmanthus gets used as a keynote much less of the time. To produce a soliflore of osmanthus you just need to let it shine with a few supporting ingredients and get out of the way. Berdoues Peng Lai does just that.
Peng Lai is part of the Grands Crus collection for the brand. These are meant to be location inspired perfumes. Peng Lai is based on the island of flowers overseen by the goddess of flowers, He Xiangu. Osmanthus is lifted out of all the possibilities on the island to star in the perfume. Perfumer Sebastien Martin chooses to provide a satisfying gourmand setting for the osmanthus to radiate above.
Peng Lai is only three ingredients. The first is the osmanthus which is in place right from the start. The dried apricot and the subtle leatheriness are as fascinating as ever to me. This is a nice version of the note which shows off both sides of its inherent nature. M. Martin then makes a couple of nice choices to provide some support. The first is benzoin for warmth. There is a satisfying sweetness to this ingredient and here it gathers up the apricot in its embrace. For the leathery side, tonka also provides a toasted faintly nut-like complement. Once it is all together it comes of as a faintly gourmand-y osmanthus.
Peng Lai has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I really enjoyed wearing Peng Lai. The benzoin and tonka in conjunction with the osmanthus made it an unusual style of comfort scent I wouldn’t have said I was craving. Maybe I need to hope for more gourmand shades to be applied to osmanthus in the future.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Berdoues.