Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir : Perfume Review

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Blackiris

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Even if Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir does not present its promised black iris, it more than makes up for it with its exquisite combination of spices, incense ashes and velvety woods. Its form crafted out of resinous and balsamic notes is nevertheless rendered as luminous and weightless, like silk, rather than wool. …

The spicy notes provide an opulent leitmotif that persists as Orris Noir develops. They frame the lemony green top notes and foil the sheer floral heart. The echoes of sweet warmth of allspice can be noticed in the rich woody base. The chilly breath of iris is quite a subtle accent in this vivid arrangement, yet it lends a certain restraint. Incense, smooth and smoky, envelops the composition in its translucent dark veil.

Although I admire Champaca and Ta’if, Orris Noir is now vying for the top rank among my Ormonde Jayne favorites. The alluring spicy warmth complements the sensual richness of amber, while the green notes serve as a bright counterpoint to the rubbery rosiness of wood in its base. These contrasts, while subtle, serve to retain one’s attention as the fragrance develops, and though iris gets lost in the midst of the rich mélange, I still enjoyed this fragrance.

Orris Noir includes notes of davana, pink pepper, coriander seed, bergamot; iris, jasmine sambac absolute, pimento berries, bay; incense, myrrh, patchouli, Chinese cedar and guaiac wood. It is available directly from Ormonde Jayne.

Photo: Black iris from Iris Jardin.

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30 Comments

  • chayaruchama: What a lovely, vivid description, Vika.
    So nice to have you share your impressions… November 1, 2006 at 6:33am Reply

  • Judith: Beautiful review, making me want to try this again! For some reason, though I like most of the OJs, I can’t seem to love any of them (except for Man on DH). November 1, 2006 at 7:29am Reply

  • March: V, this one is driving me nuts — Patty sent me a sample, and every time I try it on I sneeze violently — which just doesn’t happen to me. I think I’d really like this if I could stop sneezing 😉 I’m going to try again this morning, now that you’ve inspired me… November 1, 2006 at 7:52am Reply

  • Elle: I think this is just an amazingly beautiful scent – definitely my favorite from this line (and possibly my fav new release for this year along w/ Bois d’Armenie). I’m still trying to decide, however, if I need the parfum or the edp. Do you have any thoughts on the differences between the two formulations? November 1, 2006 at 8:32am Reply

  • Marina: Totally second Judith’s sentiment. I like most OJs and love none. For some reason there is never any “magic”, they are beautiful and well done and everything, but…something just doesn’t click. So sad. November 1, 2006 at 8:35am Reply

  • Patty: I love this one too, and a lovely review! November 1, 2006 at 8:41am Reply

  • k-amber: Fascinating review. I like Champaca, Tolu and Ta’if very much, definitely try this one.

    Kaori November 1, 2006 at 9:15am Reply

  • Madelyn E: Dear Victoria,
    I know I can always count on you for AM inspiration – or any time – for that matter. What a beautifully written review of OJ’s new Orris Noir.
    At your suggestion — for a “sexy, summer scent ) this past June .(remember ) I did run to order Ormonde Jayne’s sample pack . It came exquisitely wrapped in their trademark orange & black tissue paper. But more than that – it came with an lovely combination of all their frangrances – wafting through the air . I could not resist calling London to speak with someone (polly) to inquire which one of their scented treasures adorned the wrapping paper !
    I did order the full size Champaca – love that Indian Gradenia !
    I also was partial to Ta’if and Ormonde Woman ! They have quite a unique essence of black hemlock – an essence very rare .
    I was not completely enraptured , however with Orris Noir- but will look forward to revisiting it along with the many samnple vials they so generously sent .(not scent) !
    Thank you again for such a lovely review !
    Madelyn E November 1, 2006 at 10:50am Reply

  • Madelyn E: Dear Victoria,
    I know I can always count on you for AM inspiration – or any time – for that matter. What a beautifully written review of OJ’s new Orris Noir.
    At your suggestion — for a “sexy, summer scent ) this past June .(remember ) I did run to order Ormonde Jayne’s sample pack . It came exquisitely wrapped in their trademark orange & black tissue paper. But more than that – it came with an lovely combination of all their frangrances – wafting through the air . I could not resist calling London to speak with someone (polly) to inquire which one of their scented treasures adorned the wrapping paper !
    I did order the full size Champaca – love that Indian Gradenia !
    I also was partial to Ta’if and Ormonde Woman ! They have quite a unique essence of black hemlock – an essence very rare .
    I was not completely enraptured , however with Orris Noir- but will look forward to revisiting it along with the many samnple vials they so generously sent .(not scent) !
    Thank you again for such a lovely review !
    Madelyn E November 1, 2006 at 10:50am Reply

  • Madelyn E: Dear Victoria,
    I know I can always count on you for AM inspiration – or any time – for that matter. What a beautifully written review of OJ’s new Orris Noir.
    At your suggestion — for a “sexy, summer scent ) this past June .(remember ) I did run to order Ormonde Jayne’s sample pack . It came exquisitely wrapped in their trademark orange & black tissue paper. But more than that – it came with an lovely combination of all their frangrances – wafting through the air . I could not resist calling London to speak with someone (polly) to inquire which one of their scented treasures adorned the wrapping paper !
    I did order the full size Champaca – love that Indian Gradenia !
    I also was partial to Ta’if and Ormonde Woman ! They have quite a unique essence of black hemlock – an essence very rare .
    I was not completely enraptured , however with Orris Noir- but will look forward to revisiting it along with the many samnple vials they so generously sent .(not scent) !
    Thank you again for such a lovely review !
    Madelyn E November 1, 2006 at 10:52am Reply

  • Madelyn E: Dear Victoria,
    I know I can always count on you for AM inspiration – or any time – for that matter. What a beautifully written review of OJ’s new Orris Noir.
    At your suggestion — for a “sexy, summer scent ) this past June .(remember ) I did run to order Ormonde Jayne’s sample pack . It came exquisitely wrapped in their trademark orange & black tissue paper. But more than that – it came with an lovely combination of all their frangrances – wafting through the air . I could not resist calling London to speak with someone (polly) to inquire which one of their scented treasures adorned the wrapping paper !
    I did order the full size Champaca – love that Indian Gradenia !
    I also was partial to Ta’if and Ormonde Woman ! They have quite a unique essence of black hemlock – an essence very rare .
    I was not completely enraptured , however with Orris Noir- but will look forward to revisiting it along with the many samnple vials they so generously sent .(not scent) !
    Thank you again for such a lovely review !
    Madelyn E November 1, 2006 at 10:53am Reply

  • Robin: V, I am meaning to revisit this one, which I liked very much but didn’t wholeheartedly love. I found it overshadowed by Ta’if, maybe. Will have to pull it back out and put it on again! November 1, 2006 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Ina: Orris Noir is simply gorgeous! The incense is quite translucent on my skin. November 1, 2006 at 2:00pm Reply

  • BBliss: This sounded perfect for me, I awaited it anxiously. Just tried my sister’s EDP fresh from London – it started lovely and then nearly killed me. My skin took something and magnified it so strongly it was choking me, and my family around me – had a v. similar reaction with Tolu awhile back. So, I will stick with Osmanthus and Woman which I do very much get along with.

    I wonder which particular element went so wrong on me? Oh, well – I thought your review was lovely and enjoyed reading it much more than the actual scent! November 1, 2006 at 3:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Chaya, thank you very much! I really like this fragrance. November 2, 2006 at 4:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, I find that while some of the florals strike me as sharp, the woody notes of fragrances like Orris Noir and Ta’if give them a very comforting quality. Orris Noir is definitely my favourite out of the existing range. However, I think that I will switch back to Champaca for the spring. November 2, 2006 at 4:43pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, hmm, that is strange. Well, please report back and post about it on PP. I always love hearing your impressions. November 2, 2006 at 4:44pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elle, I only had a chance to try the parfum, so I cannot compare it to the EDP. If I can judge based on the differences between Champaca parfum and EDP, then the EDP should be airier. I actually love the heft of the parfum, and it is exactly what lends the fragrance that interesting, brocaded quality. November 2, 2006 at 4:46pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, the magic is definitely an important component, and I do know what you mean about its absence not making you want to wear a fragrance. November 2, 2006 at 4:47pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Patty, thank you! I am so glad to hear that you like it too. November 2, 2006 at 4:47pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kaori, thank you. If you like those fragrances, then you definitely should try Orris Noir. November 2, 2006 at 4:48pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Madelyn, sounds like you made a beautiful choice! Champaca was my staple in the summer, but now it is time for something darker and richer (hence, my little selection of “Fall Favourites” on the left sidebar). Thank you for sharing your impressions. I am so happy that you found an Ormonde Jayne to love. November 2, 2006 at 4:50pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, it is definitely not as dark as I imagined, but it is still beautiful. Ta’if can sometimes be a bit too sweet, but I know that I will wear it often this winter. November 2, 2006 at 4:51pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ina, you are absolutely right–the incense is very sheer. November 2, 2006 at 4:51pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: BBliss, it has plenty of that ambery woody material that sometimes can be overpowering to some people. Thank you for your kind words about my review! November 2, 2006 at 4:53pm Reply

  • Nick: Dear Victoria,

    RE: Le Parfum by Mugler.

    Only you could review this collection with such scholarly and sensorial excellence!

    Will this review appear in the Reviews section soon? November 3, 2006 at 7:37am Reply

  • Laura: Oh, V, I just love this one! I bought the perfume strength. In the past, I’ve bought the edp versions of Ormonde jayne fragrances and they are much handier and easier for travel and the like, but I’m glad enough to have the chunky bottle of this rich and complex perfume. November 6, 2006 at 1:29pm Reply

  • Victoria: Nick, thank you, yes, it will be added shortly. I have been behind on updating the list, and I am trying to catch up. November 7, 2006 at 12:44am Reply

  • Victoria: Laura, it is wonderful to see you back! I agree on the difference between the EDP and the parfum. Wearing the parfum is always such a luxurious experience for me. November 7, 2006 at 12:45am Reply

  • Gentiana: I tried it on Saturday,together with Ormonde Woman.
    I think I have to revisit it in order to say something coherent about it.
    As a resumee of first-spritz imression: not so much Orris as I expected. Somehow hidden among incens-y, spicy smells. February 17, 2014 at 12:46am Reply

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