Lisa Hoffman Beauty: Madagascar Orchid. The velour pants of perfumery.

Sometimes you just need a hug. And sometimes a perfume doesn't have to be groundbreaking and blow your mind with its weirdness. Sometimes it's enough to just be good and comfy. Lisa Hoffman Beauty's Madagascar Orchid is such a scent to me.

Obtaining this perfume to try was a trial. The PR folks who sent it to me are lovely (this is no PR rant!), but somehow my address was input incorrectly and the package never came - in fact it went elsewhere, got turned away, and was eventually returned to the sender, damaged. Oy. Then, when I got this lovely bottle on the second try, I was thrilled--- however, I thought I was testing Lisa Hoffman Beauty's fragrance jewelry, which looks really interesting. Instead, I have a bottle of the (liquid) edp.

So... since I thought the fragrance jewelry concept was cool, and I thought that was what I was going to be reviewing here, I'll talk about it briefly, then tell you my impressions of Madagascar Orchid edp. Sound good? Well, then let's dive in...

Fragrance Jewelry"It's perfume. We just reinvented the packaging."

This clever idea consists of some pretty, very wearable jewelry. The bracelets, necklaces, and earrings are all outfitted with scented beads which emit their fragrance without touching the skin. Since it's jewelry, you can simply slip it off if you find yourself in a situation where perfume is inappropriate - or if you just desire a scent change.

A round filigreed "cage" charm holds the small round beads which, by the way, you can order as refills when the scent of the original beads fade (each product comes with some extra, btw). The bracelets are composed of round beads with accents in metals and a pop of color  (the type of bead varies, depending on the fragrance you select). The charm hangs off the bracelet allowing your scent to waft as you move your hands. For the necklaces, the charm hangs on a 22-inch bead chain. The earrings are hoop-and-post style that dangle the charms nicely - not too long! - and are perhaps the version that most intrigue me, though they all appeal. 

This system, with its "proprietary bead-scenting technology", really interests me thanks to its apparent versatility and because it seems like it would allow women with contact-allergies to wear perfume without issue. Clearly, women who are allergic to smelling perfume will likely still have issues, but we can't solve all of the world's problems in a day, can we?

For me, the downside to this system, and perhaps a deliberate marketing manipulation, is that the charms themselves come in pre-arranged scent + jewelry combos. In other words, if you buy Tunisian Neroli, the jewelry is gold-plated. Like Tuscan Fig? Your jewelry will be rose gold-plated. Madagascar Orchid equals "brushed gold-plated", Japanese Agarwood is antiqued bronze-plated, and French Clary Sage is an oxidized silver tone (plated). Seeing how I don't wear yellow metals (they make me look sickly), I could be "stuck" purchasing a scent that might not be my first choice ($65 for each jewelry style), dumping out the beads, and buying the refill scent beads at $20 a pop - all just to have the color and scent combo I prefer. That, to me, is unacceptable. I would think selecting the charm color would be easy enough for Lisa Hoffman Beauty's website to manage (hello dropdown menu) and for their order fulfillment to handle (grab box of the right type of jewelry in the right color, grab box of scent balls - voila!) (hehe, I said "scent balls")

Anyway, the idea is great, if incomplete. Wish I could tell you how they waft, but I can't. So let's get back to what I can describe...

Madagascar Orchid edp
Available in an edp spray ($65),
2 vials of perfumed oil ($55),
bath and body products
and, of course, the jewelry.
Let's get back to that "cozy" concept, shall we? I mean, I don't know about you but after the stress of the missing and delayed package and the strain of the jewelry metal selection process (or lack thereof), I need some cozy up in here! Luckily, Madagascar Orchid delivers. 

The soft, sensual notes of Madagascar Orchid inspire feelings of romance, femininity, and true love. A modern bouquet of Sheer Jasmine, Ylang Dew, Mimosa Mood & Pink Peony perfectly frame the exotic, unforgettable aroma of Madagascar Orchid.

Here's the big selling point on this scent: the thought-to-be-scentless Madagascar Orchid actually does have a scent! Luckily, the folks who make Lisa Hoffman Beauty's perfumes (OK - chemists who work for the perfumery) were able to capture the scent, released "just before the break of dawn", by hovering over the jungle tree canopy in a blimp. This process of catching the scent is called "headspace technology" and it has enabled chemists to "capture, analyse and reconstitute the plant odour molecules into ‘living' replicas of the previously unobtainable oils"[1]  without damaging the plant, which in some cases might be endangered, and in others might not stand up to normal perfume processing.

Madagascar Orchids

So Madagascar Orchid resembles the plant of the same name*. Ostensibly. I have to believe them, having never been in Madagascar (though the film is a trip, no?).

To me, Madagascar Orchid is a soft, fuzzy thing that reminds me of my favorite lazing-around-the-house pants. Yes, I wear velour sweats. What? 

When you tell me there's jasmine, ylang ylang ("dew"), mimosa ("mood") and peony in there, I nod in agreement. Yup, there is. I can smell them all. But the overall impression is a soft blend of all of these flowers, with none standing out in particular. Madagascar Orchid is gentle, fairly light, and very cuddly. I can't imagine a situation where it would offend - unless you're with someone who is enraged by soft perfumes! I have put it on my daughters without worrying that it was "too old", yet it's not childish. It's simply pretty and comfy.

By the way, each time I spray this I get the slightest "suntan lotion" vibe. It's just a hint, but it's there. Fair warning.

Madagascar Orchid isn't particularly long-lasting on me (I get maybe 4 hours of cuddling), but that kind of suits me well. After that length of time, I'm ready for a bit more spice or pizzazz. But if I still need more comforting, I can respritz without fear. I imagine it's impossible to overdose on this perfume!

All in all, I'm glad to have Madagascar Orchid in ye olde arsenal. It's going to come in handy a lot, bringing comfort like my favorite pair of velour pants. (Stop judging me!)

Now, if only I had some pretty jewelry to wear with those pants...

See? I told you. Cuddly!

This product was provided to me by the manufacturer or a representative thereof for consideration only. 

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