Friday, November 11, 2011

Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir

Do you remember what I said about Heeley Iris de Nuit? Me, neither, except it was something along the lines of it smelling like a white tea fragrance on a musk base. I hereby stick to that description, and need to add that it has a slightly (for lack of a better term) glue-like aspect to the musk, maybe in a soapy, China Rain way like the J.Lo Glow series do, and a little bit smoky-powdery like Eau de Cartier, too. I sort of expected this to smell similar, but no, this is something else. Whereas Heeley seems wet with watercolor paint, this one smells clean and dry.

Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir, a scent that came into my life via the most gorgeous Discovery Set filled with generous, glass-vial sample sprays that I've ever seen (available at and also at Harrods), is a different type of orris (iris / violet root / woody) compared to the irises I know such as Iris de Nuit, or any of the other irises I've sampled and analyzed here in detail. They're all different, as with any other note or ingredient, and Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir is a uniquely modern spicy iris, stark and peppery fresh, comparable to IUNX perfumes and reminiscent of L'Artisan Parfumeur Les Epices de la Passion (Spice Trio). The texture in the atmosphere when worn seems light enough not to cloy, despite being a heavy, wooded composition in terms of notes. In a way, the Ormonde Jayne perfumes by Linda Pilkington all seem to share the same quality, that of being sheer and weightless fragrances, including some of the scents that are more traditionally structured.

I love how Orris Noir has a cologne-like feel, bitter and citric like bergamot but not so literally lemony, just an added bracing tone to the rest, which I can only describe as a seriously sugarless wad of smoky, spicy incense gum. It's not quite Big Red but it's no joke, spicy, all right...and yet, it stays cool. I also understand now, that this whole black iris trend started with Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir (Black Iris) (2006 Floral Oriental), described as follows: "The Iris flower is named after the Greek Goddess of the rainbow, the messenger of the Gods and the Black Iris of Amman is the Royal symbol of the Kings of Jordan. Thriving in a landscape of ample sun, it is a rich, purple black flower of smouldering beauty". Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir precedes Odin 04 Petrana, the likewise shared-gender black iris but redolent of coarse iris and mimosas on a bed of peachy, daringly maquillage-powdered and boldly glam'd-up rose. Instead, there are no roses here to speak of - only a graceful touch of Sambac jasmine absolute.

Pictured above is the bath oil, which I'm contemplating for myself the way women might have done once with Estée Lauder Youth Dew. From "In 1953 Lauder introduced her first fragrance, Youth Dew, a bath oil with a sweet fragrance that doubled as a perfume. "We created a mini revolution. Instead of using their French perfumes by the drop behind each ear, women were using Youth Dew by the bottle in their bath water."" Visit the web site for more options, including the smart & giftworthy Ormonde Jayne Discovery Set.

The notes according to Basenotes:
Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir (2006)

Top Notes
Davana, Pink pepper, Coriander seed, Bergamot

Middle Notes
Iris, Sambac absolute, Pimento, Bay

Base Notes
Incense, Myrrh, Patchouli, Cedar, Gaiac