ormonde jayne: 13 posts

Ormonde Jayne Cuir Imperial : Perfume Review

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A certain type of leather scent is guaranteed to catch my attention. Dark, spicy, with a hint of birch tar smokiness. Think Chanel Cuir de Russie on the elegantly austere end of the spectrum or Serge Lutens Cuir Mauresque on the opulent dimension.  Ormonde Jayne Cuir Impérial falls somewhere in between. It places a trimmed down and polished leather accord against a Nezami garden of pleasures–rose, sandalwood,  saffron and iris.

Cuir Impérial reveals all of its treasures readily, and its opening is exciting. The blend of spicy and lemony notes makes for a bright start, and if you wonder how a spice can be zesty, try crushing a pod of cardamom. The lemony bite in the top notes of Cuir Impérial is fueled by cardamom, along with a dose of bergamot and pink pepper.

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Cult Perfumes

Elisa on what gives perfume a cult status.

What makes a fragrance a “cult fragrance”? It’s not enough for a perfume to simply be popular; bestsellers like Coco Mademoiselle and Light Blue don’t qualify. A cult fragrance needs obsessively devoted fans, while remaining a little mysterious and under the radar. Thus its fans can form a kind of counterculture – they understand something that the general population does not.

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So what enables a perfume to develop a small but intensely devoted following? The following criteria certainly help:

  • The perfume is hard to find – it’s a limited edition, discontinued, only available online or in Europe, etc.
  • The perfume has a love-it-or-hate-it quality; there is something weird or off-putting about it on first sniff, which some people end up finding addictive.

Sometimes only one or the other is true, but when both are true, you have the making of a cult fragrance on your hands.

If you read perfume blogs, you’re bound to hear about these cult fragrances over and over. With some of the below perfumes, the descriptions I read gave me desperate lemmings; they haunted me until I found a sample. With others, just the opposite was true – I actively avoided them, fearing their notoriety would make them hard to love or worse, easy to hate. Here they are in the order I managed to try them.

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The Essence of London : In Perfume Bottle

I have a new article in the Financial Times Magazine’s fragrance column. Titled The Essence of London, it describes my quest for a fragrance that captures the scent of London, a city I once called home. Once I left London, I missed it so much that I longed even to get a whiff of The Thames at low tidy (yes, that’s how much I longed for London!)

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When I mention to people that I love the smell of London, they usually make a quip about smog and exhaust fumes. Like most big cities, London has its fair share of unsavoury odours. The musty smell of the Thames at low tide is the least irksome of them, but I would paint an olfactory portrait of London with the freshness of daffodils in Kew Gardens, the antique-wood sweetness of the National Portrait Gallery and the pungency of the spices at Portobello Road Market. I would add the heady, creamy accent of Neal’s Yard Dairy for the rich base notes. Please read the rest by clicking here.

What environmental scents do you experience on a daily basis? Please don’t hesitate to tell us about the unpleasant ones! Brussels often smells like vanilla thanks to the ever-present waffle stands, but you only need to enter the subway to experience that ineffable musty rag odor hovering in the underground passages.

Photo via FT

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani Absolute : Fragrance Review

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

The idea of wearing one type of perfume in the summer and another in the winter doesn’t sit well with me, because I may want a rich vanilla perfume on a chilly June evening and an uplifting citrus blend to arouse me from the slumber of winter. While I do rotate my selection every season, I choose my perfumes based on the moods that they convey. Ormonde Jayne Frangipani Absolute smells like summer to me—peaches eaten on the beach, white stars of night-blooming jasmine tangled in my hair, a breeze leafing through the pages of a book forgotten on the patio.

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Ormonde Jayne Tiare : Fragrance Review

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Toj

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

Ormonde Jayne is a small brand with one of the most solid fragrance collections on the market. The fragrances have a distinctive character, whether effervescent florals like Sampaquita or voluptuous orientals like Tolu. There is enough diversity to make the range fun to explore, and the quality is invariably impressive. That being said, I am not that fond of the latest fragrance, Tiare. While pretty and elegant, it lives in the same universe as Chanel Cristalle—a crisp, champagne-like floral.

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