Sometimes perfumes excite me just by their name. Such is the case with Boucheron Orange de Bahia. The reason is one of the best trips I ever took was an extended tour of Brazil in the 1980’s. One of the most memorable parts was the time I spent in Bahia. It was the closest place I have found to the casual way of life I adored in the Florida Keys. I always believed because I knew how to channel that Keys attitude that I fit in as a tourist. My days in Bahia were begun in the same way having breakfast with a street vendor; fresh squeezed orange juice and “americano sandwich” which felt like an Egg McMuffin given a Brazilian twist. I would sit in the plaza with the palm trees swaying above. Life has rarely been better. So when I see the name Orange de Bahia I am thinking, “Yes!” here is my scent memory. Then I read the press release to find out is was inspired by an orange gemstone from Africa, The Mandarin Garnet. Once I got to the description of the perfume, I realized my initial thoughts might not have been as far off as it seemed.
Orange de Bahia is part of La Collection; Boucheron’s luxury line of soliflore-like perfumes. It has been a hit or miss series because sometimes there is nothing more than a high-quality version of the material named on the bottle. When it hits it is because the perfumer finds some complementary notes to display the keynote in a more interesting way. For Orange de Bahia perfumer Michel Girard accomplishes that.
Orange de Bahia opens with a slightly tart juicy orange. This was the smell of my street vendor squeezing my orange juice. There is a hint of green which floats above the juice and that is on display here. Where this perfume takes off is M. Girard uses the creamy green of fig leaves and amplifies the creaminess with a dollop of coconut milk. It is such a clever way to transform Mediterranean to Brazilian tropical. Rose threads its way through the creamy green and orange. A dry woody accord forms the base.
Orange de Bahia has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I am sure some other perfume reviewer will find the gemstone inspiration here. I can’t keep from doing my version of Brazil Dreamin’ of lazy days in Bahia.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Boucheron.