81/365 - Convinced she can do everything she's ever dreamed of with just a little more space

This exotic name is no more than the Philippine name for Jasmine Sambac. Here is it accompanied with lychee and grass oil top notes, which makes it sweet and almost cloying and backed up with patchouli the result is quite reminiscent of the hippie era...
This opening accord (sambac, lychee, grass oil, patchouli) is actually quite pleasant on its own and is awfully familiar - however soon a superficial water lily note interferes and makes the scent somewhat irritating for me.

Definitely an interesting scent to try - but not my favourite from this house. I didn't find myself reaching for the sample very often. Also, once I apply it I usually want to switch to something else pretty fast. I love the name of that perfume - it sound romantic, exotic, mysterious and sweet.

Top notes: Lychee, Grass Oil, Bergamot, Magnolia
Heart notes: Sampaquita Absolute (Jasmine Sambac), Freesia, Muguet, Rose, Water Lily
Base notes: Musk, Vetiver, Moss, Ambrette Seed, Pathchouli

Ormonde & Ormonde Man

Ormonde is quite a surprising scent. It starts off with a foresty black hemlock note (which is also apparent in the masculine version of the scent). However, this is no usual woody scent. In fact, it is a mysterious and subtle violet scent!
The violets here are very dark, as if hidden in the shades of the forest. The final drydown is quite sweet - almost like an oriental.
An interesting and versatile fragrance that can be very individual when it finds its match!

Top notes: Cardamom, Coriander, Grass Oil
Heart notes: Black Hemlock, Violet, Jasmine Absolute
Base notes: Vetiver, Cedar Wood, Amber, Sandalwood

Ormonde for Men hasn't impressed me quite as much, but admittedly I haven't quite given it that much chance. It starts off coniferous - with the black hemlock as in Ormonde, but then dries down to a tolu balsam base note, something vanillic and simplistic reminiscent of the drydown of Dior Addict and synthetic musks. I didn't find it particularly interesting - but as I mentioned already, I didn't give it enough chance. It sadly pales in comparison to the originality of Ormonde (which, by the way, I think will be stunning on a manly skin as well).

Top notes: Juniper Berry, Bergamot, Pink Pepper, Cardamom, Coriander Seeds
Middle Notes: Oudh, Black Hemlock
Base Notes: Vetiver, Cedar, Sandalwood, Musk


I first encountered Ta’if on a chilly winter day in London some three years ago, when searching for perfumeries that can be found nowhere else but in London. Ormonde Jayne’s miniature store front, furnished with polished black ebony and tangerine accents was an immediate fascination. Perhaps the fact that Linda Pilkington spoke fluent Hebrew helped too… She spent a few years in the Hebrew University studying anthropology, and so the conversation between me and my friend Yasmin was completely transparent to her ears…

In no time it was quite obvious that Ta’if was my favourite. Perhaps is was the humorous glint in Linda’s eyes when she mentioned saffron and dates... It smelled right to me on first inhalation, yet my nose was a bit tired of all the former sniffage (Penhalligon’s practically exhausted my sense of smell with their far more sharp creations just a few stores away from Ormonde Jayne), and I had to postpone my complete union with this scent until my return to the similarly chilly city of Vancouver.

I left the shop wearing Ta’if to try on one wrist (and Sampaquita on the other), and feeling happy that there is another Hebrew speaking perfumer in the world. In fact, Linda was the first perfumer I met first-to-face at that time. Perfumery is a solitary work, and even more so when you are an independent perfumer - the only board meetings you ever attend are your own, which will most likely involve clients rather than colleagues…

In the briskness of the foggy London night, there was something exalting about that cloud of roses and spice floating about me. And from than on, whenever I wear Ta’if I’m immediately reminded of that one chilly night in a bigger-than-life city, finding a perfume to be excited about and enjoying a rare moment of friendship that is usually separated with one big pond and the whole width of the largest country in the world…

Ta’if opens with saffron, dates and pink pepper, to an overall tangy-spicy composition. Than comes the dusty, desert dryness of cedar and the opulence of roses along with honeyed broom note. The base is ambery-sweet, powdery and musky, in what I would later discover to be a signature component of most Ormonde Jayne’s perfumes. This base may not be for everyone - especially if you dislike musk in any form, but on the right skin it is magnificent.

Unlike most perfumes with oriental elements, Ta’if is expansive rather than introspective. In that regard, it is reminiscent of other favourites of mine from the powdery rose genre – Tocade and Parfum Sacré.

Ta'if may be inspired by the roses of the desert city of Ta'if (see image above), but it reminds more of the illusion of softness the look of frosted roses evoke:

roos, originally uploaded by bhermans.

The official notes per an old Ormonde Jayne catalog:

Top notes: Pink Pepper, Saffron, Dates, White Peach
Heart notes: Ta’if Roses, Orange Blossom, Broom, Freesia, Lily of the Valley, Jasmine
Base notes: Amber, Tonka Bean, Musk, Vanilla Absolute

Like all the Ormonde Jayne perfumes, Ta'if is only available through Ormonde Jayne store in the Royal Arcade on Old Bond Street, and her online store.

Note: Despite its relative lightness, Ta'if must be applied with a light hand to avoid adverse reactions such as sneezing or eye-watering (I'm talking from experience here...). Sometimes too much of a good thing will not get you what you want...

Dim Sum with Champaca

zong zi (粽子)., originally uploaded by theshanghaieye.

The exotic, tea-like champaca notes of champaca flowers are at the heart of this unconventional soliflore by Linda Pilkington. Accompanied by basmati rice and tea notes, this accord is prominent throughout the fragrance evolution.

Champaca opens with a hint of fruity citrus freshness that offers a temporary distraction from the champaca concept is backed up strongly by the champaca and basmati notes. These are warm, enveloping and comforting, like steaming dim-sum of tea flavoured rice dumplings.

Champaca is quite gourmand due to the prominent basmati and green tea notes; yet in a sophisticated way which makes it smell actually woody. It sheds a different light on the otherwise rather mundane, simple and subtle. Served in a stylized dish, even the most basic nourishing meals can seem sophisticated…

As for the drydown - as in most Ormonde Jayne's fragrances, it boils down to her signature musk base, which is clean and warm and vanilla-sweet.

Top notes: Neroli, Pink Pepper, Bamboo
Heart notes: Champaca, Freesia absolute, Basmati Rice
Base notes: Myrrh, Green Tea, Musk

Ormonde Jayne's Osmanthus

Ormonde Jayne's Osmanthus is my least favourite from this collection of exotic-flower-themed line. The citrus and marine scents that are amongst my favourites are scarce - so it shouldn't surprise you. Ormonde Jayne's Osmanthus is a citrus woody with hints of florals that are hard to detect. I cannot find the osmanthus notes there at all but than again it could be my body chemistry playing tricks on me.

It is very similar to the Creeds in my opinion - something metallic in there. The base is woods with light musk. My favourite part of the perfume is the beginning -though I wished the Pomelo note was more true to the real fruit. I don't find the davana there, nor the osmanthus or jasmine sambac or even a hint of spicy pimento that are listed in the notes. It is mainly a citrus, musk and cedar scent on my skin. When I smell it I miss the originality and mystique of Cahmpaca, Ta'if, and Ormonde.

I found this one quite anemic in comparison to the rest of the Ormonde Jayne line, but it is a fun scent to wear sometimes, when running along the grey-beach-sand early on a chilly morning.

Top notes: Pomelo, Davana, Pimento
Heart notes: Osmanthus absolute, Water Lily, Jasmine Sambac
Base notes: Cedar Wood, Labdanum Resin, Musk, Vetiver
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