The first time I smelled Times Square, I screamed, “Osmanthus!”
Times Square begins with a gorgeous, glorious scent of osmanthus flowers. It smells so natural that it brings me back to my trip to Shanghai during autumn when the flowers are blooming. It was easy to spot osmanthus trees because of the bright yellow and orange flowers, and the scent. Osmanthus flowers project a blooming scent that smells fruity and slightly powdery and waxy, with a hint of apricot. The scent effortlessly makes the air fragrant.
Times Square is the perfect fragrance to introduce osmanthus scent in perfumery. It perfectly captures osmanthus’ natural scent, and this fragrance is all about osmanthus straight from top to bottom.
Times Square opens with beautiful floral and fruity notes, reminiscent of apricot’s skin. It makes a truly delightful welcome to Times Square with its fresh and delicate character and a little hint of sweet-balsamic notes.
An exciting hazelnut and lipstick accords come from underneath, giving richness and depth to the natural osmanthus absolute.
There’s a faint green-bitterness in the nutty facet, which provides texture to the osmanthus, making it bolder and multidimensional. The waxy aspect of the lipstick accord amplifies the osmanthus’ powdery character, creating an illusion of leather.
The nutty and waxy facet of Times Square lingers until the dry down. A glimpse of sheer and golden honey notes emerge in the middle of this fragrance transition, smelling balsamic with a hint of spicy-cinnamic notes. These notes enhance the leathery facet and render an even more animalic facet into it, making the fragrance somehow more attractive.
Times Square progresses to be more and more woody and smoky.
At this stage, The osmanthus’ floral and fruity facet immerge perfectly in the wood blends, smelling creamy, dusty, and a bit dirty. The balsamic and animalic leather facet transforms into a burnt leather smell–almost like rubber. The woody notes evoke sandalwood’s scent, for the creamy part, and guaiac wood, for the smoky effect. In the dry down, Times Square smells floral, animalic, waxy, and burnt.
I personally enjoy Times Square so much.
To my nose, the osmanthus smells realistic and very potent. It blends amazingly well with the nutty, waxy, leathery, woody, and smoky notes. It feels balanced and well-rounded as if other materials are absorbed inside the osmanthus and amplify each osmanthus’ facets.
I am interested in the decision to choose osmanthus as the main ingredient in Times Square. However, after reading the story-telling behind this fragrance, I came to understand why osmanthus.
“New York stinks. It stinks of cheap harsh tobacco and dense exhaust gas. The traffic jam seems endless. And stinks of hot rubber and stale steam. People are weird—the fashionista lady with the glowing-green stilettos orders a huge pretzel. And stinks of lurid street-food of any sort. Cinnamon and fries. Mustard and caramel. The cherry of the whore’s bloody-red lipstick melts with the strawberry of her chewing-gum. The side alleys are just garbage and urine. But find your way through the crowd of bachelorettes waiting for the male-strip show, and it will be a flood of tuberose and carnation. I feel like having a walk tonight. Go get my crab cakes and a burger. And breathe the city miasmas while reaching the place. Oh, I love this city. How do I love it.”Masque Milano Official
Osmanthus absolute is relatively uncommon in the perfume notes as the main component. It can give rubbery, waxy, and animalic notes if it appears without balance. The nose behind Times Square, Bruno Jovanovic, has successfully found a perfect balance to play around osmanthus notes. It is brilliant to put hazelnut and lipstick accord to balance the waxy and rubbery facet, while guaiac wood and sandalwood balance the animalic aspect. All is done without losing the essence of the story, which is the smell of New York Times Square.
I have never been to Times Square, but I heard that the smell is not at all pleasant.
Nevertheless, I am happy to smell this Times Square. Although it may not be realistic, it is dreamy. Anyway, who wants to smell like the real Times Square?
Have you smelled Times Square? A little bit of warning, Times Square can be challenging at first, especially if you are not used to osmanthus. However, I suggest you give it sometimes and let it grow in you. Hopefully, you could enjoy it as much as I do.