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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Perfume Review: Antoine & Lili Holy Champa

According to The New York Times Paris Travel Guide, Antoine & Lili is a bright fuchsia store packed with eclectic objects from the East and its own line of clothing. (…) There is an ethnic rummage-sale feel, with old Asian posters, small lanterns, and basket upon basket of cheap little doodads, baubles, and trinkets for sale. The clothing itself has simple lines, and there are always plenty of picks in raw silk.” The description sounds extremely appealing to me; just as attractive in a playfully-exotic sort of way seemed to be Antoine & Lili’s fragrance, Holy Champa, with notes of neroli, magnolia, nag champa, jasmine, amber, incense, gurjum.

Luckyscent very honestly warns us in their description of the scent that “interestingly, (…), it’s not a super heavy or earthy fragrance”. Even though, thanks to that notice, I did not expect a rich, intense composition, I was still disappointed in Holy Champa’s lack of depth and character and its poor lasting power. The incense note makes a very brief appearance in the very beginning only to vanish once and for all leaving behind a pleasant, “pink” (although not as brightly pink as the wonderful packaging), summery, vaguely floral, indistinctly fruity blend that smelled to me like Bois de Paradis Lite. Very, very lite. A certain succulent, ripe ambery-fruity richness was almost-there, like a ghost of a scent that Holy Champa might have been if the creators did not choose to go the lighthearted, “diet” route.

In all fairness, this is a pretty, fun little scent that is easy to wear and hard to dislike. If it ever goes on sale, I might even buy a bottle; if nothing else, the packaging is a feast for the eyes.

Holy Champa is available at Luckyscent, $60.00 for 50ml.

*The picture is from


Blogger marchlion said...

This reminds me of the Fresh line (at least the bits I have sampled): really great-looking, streamlined packaging containing (sssshhhhh!) the VERY SAME juice Guerlain's been sticking in all those boring Lovely Secret Cherry Heart LEs for the last 3 or 5 years. It's a .... fragrance conspiracy!

7:53 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Thank you so much for this! At last, a fragrance I don't have to buy!
In latest Vetiver46 news, my husband thinks I should give my 5ml. to him, on the grounds that I have "enough" and he doesn't (this from a guy who told me awhile ago that I had already bought him enough fragrance to last several lifetimes)! Well, it does smell wonderful on him. . . .

8:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Caitlin Shortell said...

The fuchsia is drawing me like a little girl to Barbie's dream house.

10:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is a conspiracy. Pink Scent Conspiracy.
There was one really great fragrance in Fresh Index line, called Grape & Vine, I swear it was amazing...of course they discontinued it. Nowadays it is easier to find Djedi on ebay than Grape & Vine. Hrumph.

10:41 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Wow, go Vetiver! Well, I guess there is no other alternative but to buy a big bottle now :-P

10:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That is my cunning plan too...:-D

10:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is very pretty, but- and I am sure you are tired of hearing me say this- it has no Oomph :-) I need Oomph!

10:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Same here. So basically all I need is to get an empty box from Holy Champa somewhere :-)

10:47 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I also liked the packaging better than the scent...

1:34 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I might just swap for an empty box and be done with it LOL

1:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You put it so well, "something that makes a statement". Antoine & Lili's company is certainly full of character, at least judging by their site...why such dull scent...sad.

9:49 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I really need to try Pink Jasmine. You know, I have been hearing nice things about it. Some of Fresh's scents are lovely. Especially their discontinued Grape & Vine *cries*

9:51 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just bought Holy Champa unsniffed on a whim and was underwhelmed and, checking the blogs (yours from 2006 - what an early bird I am), found everybody else also underwhelmed by the lack of incense and general howza...Until in the evening, when my son sniffed me. He fainted with glee. Seems I had turned into the total smell clone of the prior of his confessional , roman catholic high school. Who is quite a heavy man with beetle eyebrows, effeminate beringed white hands and a big dangling cross...What might those Benedictines using in mass?
Holy Champa by Mark Buxton?
Best, Andrea

6:02 AM EDT  

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