Jasmine For Cowards – Review: Ormonde Jayne Sampaquita

White flower perfumes are not my favorite category, as the dear constant reader knows, of the many I tried, most were rejected for their overbearing headiness and in some cases eye-wateringly hefty sillage. I like this one and, as a rule it seems, I like Ormonde Jayne white florals. They all have a lightness, a watery and airy dilution to the dreaded headiness that make them ideal for me – and ideal for the people near me too. Ormonde Jayne’s white florals are absolutely work-safe. But that is not their only or even most important feature of course, but a fact that I like very much about them.

Sampaquita is Ormonde Jayne’s jasmine perfume. I love the scent of jasmine – as long as it is on the tree (or shrub, I am not very informed botanically I am afraid, I realize I could google this fact, but I am also not very botanically interested; as long as it smells good, it is fine with me).

Sampaquita is jasmine for jasmine-shy people like me. The name is derived from the national flower of the Phillipines called Sampaguita or sumpa kita, a variety of the jasmine family.

National Flower of the Philippines, literally translated as “I Promise You”, Sampaquita flower is a symbol of purity and fragility, coupled with fidelity and resolve. The scent opens with an unmistakable summer bouquet, bursting forth with sun-kissed lychee set on a canvas of bergamot, grass oil and magnolia flowers in full seductive bloom. The marriage of these elements, together with a dusky floral heart of sampaquita absolute, freesia and muguet, combine to form a fusillade of fabulous intensity. An inspired quartet of base notes, musk, vetiver, moss and ambrette seed, unify and harmonise this sensational summer scent.

- from the Ormonde Jayne website
Notes include lychee, grass oil, bergamot and magnolia, Sampaquita absolute, freesia, muguet, rose, water lilies, musk, vetiver, moss and ambrette seed.

Sampaquita starts with a fresh and bright citrus laced fruit accord thanks to lychee, then segues into a floral medley that for me is dominated by water lily and freesia, with only a little jasmine that is held in check by its floral colleagues, which is absolutely fine with me.
The drydown is lovely, an earthy, reedy, vegetal musk, that builds a perfect complimentary backdrop to the fresh, never wilting flowers.

Sampaquita would be a perfect summer scent that does not cause death by sillage, but I can imagine it lifting my spirits in any kind of weather.
Even cowardly perfume-lovers will be very happy with Sampaquita.
Although it is certainly no prerequisite to feel cowardly to love this excellent fragrance.

Image source: pinoychronicles.com, some rights reserved, thank you!

About Olfactoria

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25 Responses to Jasmine For Cowards – Review: Ormonde Jayne Sampaquita

  1. Marla says:

    I like Sampaquita very much too, the flower itself, and OJ’s rendition. I do like my skanky, intense, indolic white florals sometimes, though, like, bwahahaha…MANOUMALIA! (Certainly couldn’t wear that one to work at the hospital, though, if I wanted to keep my job!)
    -Marla

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Marla,
      a friend gave me a sample of Manoumalia, I did not yet have the chance to smell it, now I am afraid!
      Maybe it has its uses as a kind of smelling salt in hospital though, I can imagine various indications where it could be beneficial. ;)
      Although I think I’ll stick with my OJ white florals…

      • RH says:

        OMG. Manoumalia actually smells like a mixture of White Flowers and the Emergency Room to me. I’ve never experienced a perfume that made me ditch it straight after the first trying. Right now the mere sight of the sample vial leaves me with the sensation of being punched in the guts :(

  2. Tara says:

    Sampaquita is very pretty and it has that signature OJ base that I am really starting to crave (no black hemlock though!). However I do really like jasmine and would have liked a tad more “fabulous intensity” (although nowhere near the monster jasmine of A La Nuit). I’d happily wear it if someone gave me a bottle – yeah, in my dreams! – but I’m much more likely to actually purchase Champaca because it’s more unique. Thoroughly enjoying testing the OJs florals.

    • Olfactoria says:

      At first this was my least favorite of the bunch, but it really grew on me, strangely on my skin this is better than on others I have smelled it on, somehow Sampaquita and I clicked… ;)
      I am curious to see which OJ you will finally get, Champaca seems to win the race.

      • Undina says:

        Interesting… So far this one is my least favorite perfume from the line but I haven’t spent enough time with it. Not that I dislike it – just do not like as much as many others. Also, for some strange reason it lived on my skin much shorter life than any other OJ’s scent. But now, after reading this your comment, I’ll give it couple more tries.

        • Olfactoria says:

          I did not think so much of it initially, but it was recommended for me in the perfume portrait and when I sprayed it on my skin then, it was just lovely. Maybe this one needs a little time to get warm with it. ;)

      • deeHowe says:

        So far, I think that Sampaquita is my least favorite as well, with Champaca taking the lead in the white floral category. Since you’ve changed your mind about Sampaquita, I should give it another try :)

  3. Tom says:

    I think I’m going to have to try this. I love jasmine in our shrubs, but not so much in most perfumes..

  4. Tarleisio says:

    I’n no stranger to monster jasmines, but of all the white-floral OJs I’ve tried so far, Sampaquita is one of the two I liked the most, simply for being…a jasmine without all the drama of those other ones. (A La Nuit and Sarrasins – here’s looking at you! And …OMG…Alien. Yikes!) Which is not at all to say that Sampaquita is any less good. On the contrary! It’s summery, happy, light-hearted and just a little flirty, too! Flirty is good, right? ; -)

    And isn’t it wonderful, that jasmine perfumes can be made without all the histrionics that drive us yellow, lily-livered lions away? :-D

  5. RH says:

    This sounds lovely! When I first got interested in perfumes I did not really like jasmines, but nowadays I find myself growing fond of the scent. I still can’t do the big ones though, so this seems right up my alley!

  6. deeHowe says:

    Ok, I’ve just had my tester up my schnozz, trying to figure out what it is that just doesn’t jive with me… and I think I’ve solved the mystery! It’s certainly NOT a big white floral—in fact, I think that my problem is that it’s too tender. Too demure? To sweet? (like a little girl, not like sugar)

    I think I’m going to wait until the temperature has risen another twenty degrees (F) and try it again then, because I need a little more *something* for Sampquita to work for me!

    Lovely review, as always ;)

    • Olfactoria says:

      But you don’t like big, bad white florals, do you?!

      Maybe it is that sweet innocence that attracts me. :)

      • deeHowe says:

        Nope, I don’t like them big and bad either! I just want the middle ground, if you please :) Although, then I would complain that it was boring… sigh.

        I need to give it another go, in different weather, I think, before I make any more definitive statements, LOL!

  7. I quite liked Sampaquita the first time I tried it (actually, I think I’ve only tried it the one time), and part of the reason why is the grass oil. OH, bless that Linda Pilkington and her grass oil, it makes me happy!

    This post made me giggle a bit, because Victoria at EauMG just posted about Lush Gorilla Perfume’s Lust, which sounds like the loudest, raunchiest jasmine fragrance to ever have been created. I actually have a sample of Lust but having heard Victoria talk about it before, I’m leaving it right where it is– stored away. I will frolic amongst my fellow yellow white floral-phobes, spritzing Sampaquita with abandon, because there is no reason to fear (or worry of over-applying).

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