A couple of years ago my husband and I, seduced by inexpensive tickets, chose the most inappropriate time to travel to Hong Kong - August, the typhoon season. Upon arrival, there was fog at the Hong Kong airport: scarlet snakes on Dragonair planesswam in it like deities who have gone astray. The wind brutally clawed the bay, gray and dull in the absence of the famous ships with red sails. The suitcase instantly became damp, and the passport became wavy from the humidity, like a banana leaf - but life in Hong Kong continued. In general, in case of typhoons, Hong Kongers have clear regulations. At the third level of typhoon danger, when the top of the wave turns red with agitated sand, kite surfers fly to the beach, and housewives routinely remove flower pots from balconies. At the eighth, the sea overflows its shores and floods the embankment: processions of rubber slippers, washed away from the threshold by the wave, stretch along the water, and clouds of whitish spray rush over the water, like evil spirits. And only at the tenth level the end of the world officially takes place - the Hong Kong stock exchange closes. Anything below the "ten"there is no reason to hide behind sandbags at home: while a storm is raging outside, the Hong Kong people calmly move around the city, woven by a network of glass galleries and underground passages.
Here we go, shopping in the midst of a hurricane. On the way, in the lobby of the Hong Kong subway station, a crowd caught our attention. They thought: the queue for tickets turned out to be at a table in a modest eatery, separated from the flow of passengers by a low bulkhead. Orava at the entrance, a nasty cooker hood, a menu without translation - so, according to guidebooks, the best gastronomic trips begin in Asia, and Tim Ho Wan, where we leaked half an hour later, is a good example - the brainchild of the chef Mac Qui-pui, who was in charge of dim sum - women at the Lung King Heen restaurant at the Hong Kong Four Seasons … In 2009, Qui-Pui from Seasons quit his job and opened his own diner, which was soon awarded a Michelin star - an unprecedented case at that time, given the average dinner bill (about 500 rubles). The first point closed, but managed to give birth to offspring: we just got to the branch. After dim sums and steamed buns - that is, pretty soon, nobody stayed up at Tim Ho Wan - they brought a dessert in which we did not recognize any of the sweets we knew. Transparent jelly, inside there are some small star-shaped flowers, frozen in jelly, like ancient ants in a piece of amber. The taste is subtle, but the smell is dense, honeyed, chewy, like a piece of fresh honeycomb. We dived into it headlong.
The golden stars made from jelly, as we were later explained at the hotel, were the flowers of osmanthus, a tree-like shrub common in tropical regions of Asia. In China, it is considered one of the ten sacred flowers: the moon hare pounds the elixir of immortality in a mortar all year round, sitting under an osmanthus tree. The absolute obtained from its flowers smells like a ready-made perfume - apricot and peach, soap suds, tanned leather, honey and violets. "Osmanthus, along with tuberose and hyacinth, has a scent that God must have invented during the period of his passion for organic chemistry" - this is how perfume critic Luca Turin describes this complex scent. If you compare a perfumer with a jeweler, it would seem that all he needs to do with this yellow diamond is to provide it with a simple and noble cut, and you will get a masterpiece. But there are difficulties: first,osmanthus is very expensive - if we talk about the absolute, then the price is comparable to orris. Secondly, it is difficult to work with. “There are too many facets in the scent of osmanthus: leather, tobacco, hay, spices, dried fruits, violets,” says perfumer Jean-Christophe Herault. "It's easier to turn all of these voices into backing vocals than into beautiful, clean solos." I'm still looking for my perfect osmanthus - a luxurious and corrosive "salt" to crown the ten-hour ballad of perfume. But so far the best version is unplugged osmanthus, famously played in the middle of a Hong Kong eatery - in the heart of a tropical typhoon.than a beautiful, clean solo. " I'm still looking for my perfect osmanthus - a luxurious and corrosive "salt" to crown the ten-hour ballad of perfume. But so far the best version is unplugged osmanthus, famously played in the middle of a Hong Kong eatery - in the heart of a tropical typhoon.than a beautiful, clean solo. " I'm still looking for my perfect osmanthus - a luxurious and corrosive "salt" that would crown the ten-hour ballad of perfume. But so far the best version is unplugged osmanthus, famously played in the middle of a Hong Kong eatery - in the heart of a tropical typhoon.
5 of the best osmanthus scents
1 | Oudh Osmanthus, Mona di Orio
Thick, sticky, and hot like liquid gold - and about as expensive. A scent of investment value.
2 | Datura Noir, Serge Lutens
Osmanthus in the kitchen of a Michelin-starred chef - on the same plate with coconut meringue and almond cream.
3 | Osmanthus Interdite, Parfum d'Empire
A ballet in two acts: tea, herbs and citruses in the first, yellow flowers, pollen and overripe fruits in the second.
4 | Osmanthe Yunnan, Hermès
Smell of Chinese osmanthus tea: smoked tea leaves, brazier smoke, dried flowers.
5 | Osmanthus, The Different Company
The reference osmanthus by Jean-Claude Ellen is a delicate and transparent apricot scent with a drop of tangerine juice.
© Press Service The Different Company; Hermès; Serge Lutens; Mona di Orio; Parfum d'Empire>