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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Perfume Review: Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman

If perfumes were being categorized in some sort of Synesthesiac's Guide to Fragrances, Ormonde Woman would represent color Dark-Green. Black-Green even. It is the deepest green imaginable, the color of ancient trees in a witchy forest, on the darkest night of the year. It is not a feminine perfume, at least not feminine in a sweet and dainty or come-hither and vixenish, obvious, way. I imagine Lilith, "the witch Adam loved before the gift of Eve", smelling like this, dangerous and disturbing and strangely, insinuatingly sensual.

Famously featuring a black hemlock note, Ormonde Woman has the kind of meaty green earthiness that I usually associate with immortelle. The oily powderiness -yes, I know, sounds bizarre, but this is a bizarre scent- of violet in the heart contributes to that fleshy, robust feel. Compared to an immortelle-heavy scent like Dior' s Eau Noire, however, Ormonde Woman is spicier, sharper, with cardamom and especially coriander being very prominent. In fact, it, to me, smells more masculine than the very unisex Eau Noire and certainly more masculine than the sweet Ormonde Man. Having said that, I feel uncomfortable using words like "masculine" or "feminine" when describing this perfume. It is beyond definitions like that. Like Lilith, this perfume is not human and requires a whole other vocabulary. My synesthesia is not enough to write a better review of Ormonde Woman. I need the gift of xenolalia.

Ormonde Woman is available at Ormonde Jayne online boutique, £58.00-£112.00.

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43 Comments:

Blogger elle said...

What timing! I just ordered a sample of the parfum version of this earlier this evening. I didn't love this initially - actually, for over three years I didn't love it. Wanted to, but it simply didn't work on me. A few months ago that all changed. It's sheer magic on my skin now and I think I may need the parfum to supplement my edp supply. Can't wait for her US site to open!

10:19 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

anyplace we can get this in the US?

10:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous leopoldo said...

Xenolalia, eh? I'd like to see that happening. I'm sure I was channeling Aramaic just the other day...

7:12 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the most rich, complex, and freaky perfumes on the market. It was too much for my skin, but it is amazing and definitely worth a go. There's nothing else like it out there, and that's really saying something.
-Masha

8:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

L,
Same here! Didn't work before, works now.

8:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Tom,
Not in an actual store, no. We can order from the UK site, and I believe the US site is in the works.

8:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Lee,
I'd like to see it happening too. it would put me in a state of apor...ecstasy for sure.

8:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Masha,
I totally agree! It is unique.

8:28 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Well, I was going to just say something polite about how much I admire this scent, but now that I see Elle is onboard with it, I need to retry it! I found it really, really masculine, although I think I love everything else in the line...

Your vocab fills me with aporia. As always.

PS I just got vatflop as my verify! What do you suppose it means?

8:29 AM EDT  
Anonymous Silvia said...

Oh... Ormonde Woman... I am so happy that it works for me so well. This is a perfume that touches something deep inside my soul, a work of genius.

8:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

March,
I think it means that the next perfume to be released in a vat will be a flop. Of chthonic proportions.

8:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Silvia,
It is genius. Even when I didn't love it (up until now), I thought it was superb and unusual.

8:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Erin said...

Ormonde Jayne being one of my favourite houses, I often try to rank the scents in terms of which I love most. OW usually ends up somewhere around 2nd (preceded by Champaca and succeeded by Frangiapani, mostly.) There are times when it is absolutely right, but being so much it's own beast, there are also times when it is absolutely wrong. At the times when it seems to be clashing with my temperment of the moment, I often wish I had worn Orris Noir, which seems to me like a sweeter, more civilized version of OW. Unfortunately, my husband does not like OW, calling it that "whorish perfume" (what's not to like there? ;)

Love the choice of image by the way (where is it from?). We obviously have some similar thoughts about OW - I included it in my Creatures of the Night list at NST, and I think of it as black with a green sheen, like snake skin.

9:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Erin said...

Hey, Blogger is duplicating my comments today. Silly old Blogger...

9:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Erin,
Whorish? That I really don't see. :-) She is evil, but she ain't a whore :-)
Sorry about the blogger!

9:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous AngelaS said...

I love this one and have from the get-go. I don't find it girly at all, but certainly not masculine. It's definitely more Lilith than Eve. Thanks for the review!

11:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Angela,
I agree, masculine is not the right word. It is just SO not girly. :-)

11:06 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Lovely review :-)

1:05 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you, R! :-)

1:06 PM EDT  
Anonymous Flora said...

I am SO intrigued by this now! I can't wait for the U.S. site to open. Black-green is MY color, you know...the color known as Viridian in artist's oil paints is the color that reflects my own personal "harmony" for lack of a better term. Viridian is almost always mixed with other colors on a canvas, but if I had my way it would be splashed everywhere in its primal state. If this perfume invokes that for me, I am on board. Shall we call it Malachite Madness? ;-)

3:49 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a newbie, and am awed by the knowledge and powers of expression evidenced on this wonderful site! I'd never heard of Ormonde Jayne before, but having had a quick look at their website, the Osmanthus and Orris Noir sound very enticing and more me: Ormonde Woman sounds rather frightening! But I agree with Erin that the image you've chosen is gorgeous.

4:52 PM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

I adored my sample-
But it didn't last.
I would probably need to spray it, or try the parfum.

It was gorgeous, and Rachel avec serpent is phenomenal.

4:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Ormonde Woman! It is absolutely one of my all-time favorite perfumes. Every time I wear it I just sink into ecstacy; it transports me to a fantastical, magical, witchy dark green forest.
Okay, I must go put some on now...
Molly :)

5:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Patty said...

Perfect description -- dark green. I always think of it as an emerald, but not as cold. It stays always in my top five perfumers.

7:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Patty said...

*running for dictionary aporifically*

7:23 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Donna,
Funny thing is, turquoise is MY color, but I wouldn't wear a perfume that evokes it :-) Veridian- yes! :-)

7:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Dear Anonymous,
Welcome!
Ormonde Woman is not frightening, just perhaps a little unusual. Orris Noir is gorgeous too.

7:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Ida,
I would not say it has tremendous staying power either.

7:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Molly,
The it transports us into the same sort of place!

7:39 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Patty,
I know that you love it.

PS Just don't run chthonically :-) Ask March what it means coz I dunno :-)

7:39 PM EDT  
Anonymous GGS said...

Love. I second the posters congratulating you on the art you chose to accompany it! This is going to be in any top 10 list I create. Wore it on Easter Sunday, using up the last of my TPC decant. I find it lasts at least 4 hours on me. Time to order a full bottle from the web site, but wish Ormonde Jayne would make this available in the US...
--Gail

7:55 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Gail,
Thank you! I had this photo of Weisz for ever, and finally I realized what scent would go with it :-)

7:56 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Amazing review! Late reply--I guess I really need to try this again. I remember admiring it, and finding it very unusual in its grassiness, but I didn't pursue it. Perhaps I should have. . .

7:17 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for welcoming me :)Heavens above, I've just succumbed and ordered the "Fragrance Directory" set of samples from Ormonde Jayne... (any excuse). Am looking forward to trying out a perfume that arouses such strong feelings. (The other ones I've tried that arouse strong emotions haven't been big hits with me - 'Rose Poivree' smells just too much like rude parts, and 'Fracas' made me feel a bit sick, it's so cloying. But I'm curious)... :) - Emma

9:52 AM EDT  
Blogger Erin said...

Hello Emma: Hey, OJ's sample kit was what started my mad fragrance addiction. I'd read some articles on fragrance as well as Burr's Emperor of Scent and bought me one or two of the scents mentioned in that book. Then I stumbled on Now Smell This and ordered the kit. Wowza! It's been a wild, expensive ride since then and I've enjoyed every minute of it. Sounds like you've already caught the bug. Welcome and enjoy your OJs!

10:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Existentialist said...

I am ashamed that I did not know the word "aporia" until today, but I'm grateful to you all for introducing me to it.
http://tinyurl.com/2krcfj
"Aporia" would make a terrific name for a perfume. Too bad the Prix Eau Faux is over for the year.

Erin, you made me laugh out loud:
"Unfortunately, my husband does not like OW, calling it that "whorish perfume" (what's not to like there? ;) "

2:44 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Erin :) I ordered The Emperor of Scent from amazon just this week! - Emma

6:41 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

J,
What! :-) You know I was sure you not only love but own it, because it so so you :-)

7:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Emma,
I think strong feeling are great, whether they are positive or negative. It means the scent in question is at least interesting.

7:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Existentialist,
The world just would be the same place without words like aporia :-)

7:47 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, Columbina. I'm looking forward to finding out how perfume that has an oily powderiness with grassy top notes smells to me! :) - Emma

5:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous poppyfield said...

Hi. First post linking in from Now Smell This. Just had to add to this thread although it's a few months old! Have been obsessively reading up on OJ since I requested and got the sample set for my birthday as I'm fascinated to hear what others think of her. I absolutely adore Ormonde Woman - it's top of my list although every goddamn thing this woman produces is exquisite! I'm eeking out my sample until the full sized bottle arrives. I don't care that I can't afford it - I HAVE to have it! And, finally, a range of perfumes that demonstrates to my bf why I'm so in love with scents. The only problem with buying some? Will I ever wear any of my other (many!) perfumes again...!

8:36 AM EDT  
Anonymous geraniumgirl said...

Hello everyone. What a wonderfully eloquent and fascinating site.

I first came across Ormonde Jayne through the sampler pouch and found (after a while) that Ormonde Woman was having a strange effect on me. I don't normally go for 'green' scents but there is something about the drydown of this scent that is really magical - I think I almost mean this in the real sense - strange things happen when I wear it...!

It is really the first perfume I have worn that I just can't stop topping up during the day. Unfortunately the edp doesn't last well on me and I am seriously considering buying the perfume although I have never spent that amount on any perfume before! Has anyone tried the perfume and does it last considerably longer than the edp? Best wishes Geranium Girl

4:09 AM EST  

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