This one is for the anise lovers. I happen to not be an anise lover, and there are other champaca scents I like better. So while I won't go beyond sampling, I think this is a well-done fragrance and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes anise.
The Purple Dress opens with a flash of gorgeous happy little white flowers. Then it has a phase of strong black licorice candy, sometimes a little smoky, like keemun tea. It moves back into a brighter, more floral stage, I assume with the champaca. The drydown is soft and clean, not like dryer sheets or shampoo, but the way I like a good lotion to leave that scent-soaked-into-skin feel. Sillage is very low; lasts about 2-3 hours.
Kudos for originality. If I had to compare it to other scents, I'd say it's something of a cross between Douce Amere and OJ Champaca. Exponentially softer than those two, and without the spice and pepper and basmati. The Purple Dress has its own twist. Feels more like drinking tea outside on a blanket in a grove of champaca....
I’m not sure that I know what champaca smells like, so I can’t say whether this smells like a champaca soliflore or not. To me it smells like an earthy floral, warm, spicy. It smells mostly like earth to me, a bit dusty, but not muddy, and also still floral. I do also notice a light touch of star anise. While this isn’t a smell-alike to anything I know, two other scents this remind me of in character are L’Artisan Fleur de Narcisse (this is more floral, slightly sweeter, spicier, less leathery) and Ayala’s own Rebellius (this feels like a more feminine counterpart to Rebellius, though both are squarely unisex). This strikes me as an introspective scent, quietly beautiful.
The Purple Dress is an elegant tannic brew steeped in anise and honey. The Purple Dress is dark and smoky, moody and sexy, and has a gorgeous powdery woodsy drydown. Its champaca is tempered by the lightheartedness of magnolia and an easy touch of honey but also grounded by black tea’s continual presence. According to Ayala’s website, this fragrance is a salute to Alexander Argov, who composed the famous Israeli song which has an evocative melancholic beauty, similar to its namesake perfume.