The imminent launch of all-round sexpot Tom Ford's Champaca Absolute, from €140, dinged a dong in my head. I was pretty sure this note had cropped up in my beauty perusing more than once recently, and yep, indeed it has. So it seems there's a little bit of a buzz happening around champaca, which caused me to look into it some more.
Firstly - what is it? The champaca flower is part of the Magnoliceae family (think magnolia) and is native to India, Java and the Phillipines. It's also related to Star Anise, so as a scent it's denser, spicier, warmer and creamier than magnolia, which is quite a light spritz. You can file this one under floral oriental, but it is not nearly as overpowering and headache-inducing as some florientals can be.
The ones to try? The aforementioned Tom Ford Private Blend offering is on-counter in March, Space NK has a version too, for €60, as do London perfumers Ormonde Jayne. Theirs is £112 and is tempered with fragrant rice and green tea notes. Yum!