A month or two ago, our dear March introduced us to L, a scent from the Soft Surroundings catalog/Web site. I grinned in delight; great minds 🙂 must think alike because I was at the very same time toying with one of the brand’s other fragrances, Aya Blu, but wanted to wait until cooler, fall weather to test it.
In L, March found a lovely, wearable (for her) echo of Shalimar, and since we are of similar minds on that Guerlain great (it really doesn’t like me), her review had me champing at the bit to try the L.
With Aya Blu, I got what struck me as a kind of Tom Ford Black Orchid lite.
Aya Blu notes per their Web site: Persian lime, early purple orchid, Italian white truffle, wild ginger, Madagascar vanilla, Indian sandalwood, amber, musk.
Tom Ford Black Orchid notes per Fragrantica: Jasmine, black truffle, ylang-ylang, black currant, citrus. black orchid, patchouli , sandalwood, dark chocolate, incense, amber, vetiver, vanilla and balsam.
As you can see, some of the notes overlap the Tom Ford, particularly the orchid, truffle and vanilla.
Both have the distinct truffle/orchid impression going on and also a smackerel of chocolate, but where the Tom Ford is richer, denser, more complicated, the Aya Blu is softer, airier, containing a spark of something bright, almost mentholated (perhaps the lime and/or ginger) that keeps it skirting the edge of TF’s sultry boudoir. Also, the Aya Blu lasts considerably less time. Of course, that’s due, at least in part, to the Aya Blu that I tried being an EDT and via a rollerball. I wasn’t able to test the scent in the EDP spray so can’t speak to its intensity in that form.
Much as I love Black Orchid, once in a while, if the conditions are right (or wrong, as the case may be), the TF can have me teetering on the edge of a headache. I found no such tendency in the Aya Blu, even after several touch-ups.
So for those of you who like the idea of Black Orchid but it’s just too much, or want something in a similar vein but for daytime, Aya Blu might be the ticket. A swipe or two of the cute little rollerball and you’d be good to go.
BTW, just for comparison’s sake, higher up my arm I did try Black Orchid Voile de Fleur, wondering if it might be another link between the Aya and the TFBO, but nope. The floral-centric flanker was still clearly distinctive, despite its obvious relation to its big sister. One day I might just have to try layering the Voile with the Aya Blu, just to see what results.
Aya Blu is available at the Soft Surroundings Web site and at their freestanding stores around the country. The 0.16-ounce EDT rollerball goes for $18.95; the 1.7-ounce EDP spray for $74.95.
So what about you? Do you have a scent that echoes a big perfume gun but is easier to wear? Or what budget-friendly babies are you enjoying now?