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.