Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Song of India Black Magic

Fishing Cove, The Knavocks, near St Ives, Bob Rudd

The other bridesmaids stand on the edge of the rainforest, drinks in hand, engrossed in conversation. Their words are drowned out by the sounds of the reception and the band. Stifling a yawn, you grab a vodka cocktail from a passing waiter and a take sip; it is ginger lime, your favourite. You wander out of the clearing, following one of the paths toward the waterfall. All around you, there are bushes covered in bunches of pinkish white flowers that fill the air with perfume; you pluck some and wander on. For a moment, you think you hear cheers back at the reception but then you realise it is just surf. As you reach the waterfall, a flower girl tears past you; the ring bearer is in hot pursuit. You lean against the railings, occasionally sniffing the stolen bloom in your hand.

When I was a child, on hot nights, I used to imagine myself as sitting in a huge glass of effervescent lemonade with ice cubes. It always seemed to help with the heat. Song of India Black Magic (BM) is basically the olfactory equivalent of sitting in that glass.

BM opens with an intense, nose-tingling—but in a good way—grapefruit and lime note, strongly resembling Tresca/Fresca* spiked with fresh root ginger. There's a floral note in there too, I think perhaps a rondeletia accord but it is hard to identify, sweet but not a white flower. The opening last about three hours which is decent for a perfume of this class, hesperidics.  After this point, ginger takes over and ephemeral hints of musky sandalwood haunt the mix. At around six hours, a solid marine oakmoss emerges. It stays close to the skin but lingers at least another twelve hours.

This fragrance, on first meeting, caused me one of those frustrating I-know-this-one moments. For two days, it bothered me. Then Moth Man applied his favourite aftershave, Lomani Pour Homme and it clicked; it was the opening accord for this fragrance I was recognising. BM also bears a familial resemblance to Christian Dior's Eau Savage.  If Eau Sauvage is the sophisticated rich boy and Lomani Pour Homme is his poor, uneducated but similar looking cousin then BM is Lomani's female fraternal twin who strongly resembles her brother and is a bit of a tomboy.
Keynotes: citrus, ginger, oakmoss, spicy floral

  • cheap
  • great summer scent
  • unisex
  • unlikely to offend
  • unlikely to trigger allergies

  • poor longevity for a perfume oil
  • may cause a desire for discontinued beverages
  • outside Australia in may need to be purchased online

* Fresca was marketed in Australia as Tresca in the 1970s.

Available on eBay and here.

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