The Osmanthus, or Osmanthus fragrans, is a flower famously associated with the Chinese provinces of Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan as well as Taiwan and Southern Japan. In fact, it is the city flower of Guilin, the beautiful city by the Li River, whose name actually means “Forest of Sweet Osmanthus.” Osmanthus is famed for its fragrant flowers which have a strong, sweet fruity scent often associated with smell of peaches or apricots.
With its strong ties to the lore of the Orient, the Osmanthus fragrance note is often paired with tea notes like Oolong (Providence Perfume Company’s Osmanthus Oolong) or Yunnan (Elléna’s Osmanthe Yunnan for Hermès). However, given its Far East associations, Osmanthus is used in a surprisingly large number of perfumes (Basenotes lists over 400 perfumes containing the note) across a wide spectrum—it is even successfully paired with oud (Tom Ford’s Oud Fleur, Mona di Orio’s Oudh Osmanthus and Xerjoff’s Oud Stars), which, given the current craze for oud fragrances, comes as no surprise. Given its distinctive nature, it adapts well to the soliflore category, like a The Different Company’s Osmanthus and Absolue d’Osmanthe.