Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir

I was pulling an even smaller sample off an already-small sample vial of Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir to send to someone (perfume loaves and fishes, people!) when it struck me: this is beautiful, and how could I not have appreciated it before?

The notes are davana, pink pepper, cardamom, iris, coriander seed, bergamot, sambac absolute, pimento berries, bay, cinnamon, incense, myrrh, patchouli, Chinese cedar, saffron and civet.

It´s got the signature OJ base, and in terms of weight it´s heavier than Champaca or Sampaquita, but packs less punch than Ormonde Woman or Ta´if. It starts off with pepper and some other spice notes before the iris sweeps in, woody rather than powdery. Then the jasmine starts to bloom, and for several hours the iris and jasmine combined with the smoothness of the rest of the spices and that base is almost too lovely to bear.

On one of the posts recently, a commenter raised an excellent point about preconceptions of a fragrance and about evaluating scents for what they are, rather than what they are not. I thought about that as I sniffed my wrist over the next several hours. Because I know that’s what happened to me — when I first smelled Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir, it just wasn’t noir enough for me. So I turned away in disappointment, instead of appreciating the fragrance for what it is: a compelling variation on the iris theme (and who would have predicted that so many iris fragrances would be issued?) Neither metallic nor powdery, the iris hangs above the languid woody base like the moon over a lake at nightfall. I am beginning to believe that it may, in fact, be possible to have too many iris fragrances. But this is not one of the ones we can live without.

Part of the fun of having your own blog is you can make whatever fatuous, Karl Lagerfeld-esque pronouncements you want to, so here´s mine. Ormonde Jayne fragrances remind me of the JARs. When you smell one of the OJ scents (or better yet, the entire line) there are no Horsemen of the Fragrance Apocalypse (how about: Focus Groups, Broad Appeal, Celebrity, Market Trends?) lurking in the background. There is no sense whatsoever that these have been created by a committee, designed to entice either a broad array of people or some specific demographic. Instead, they have been designed: a) to be beautiful and unusual; and b) to appeal to their creator – and, if you happen to be lucky, to you as well.

Smell Ta´if or Champaca or Tolu or Ormonde Woman and you are smelling a fragrance that seems to have been constructed without awareness of or adherence to conventional, market-driven ideas of what constitutes a finished perfume. You can meditate all day on their genius – the way the top, middle and base notes flow together; their simultaneous clarity and density; their almost indecent, addictive beauty, flouting the laws of perfumery (and for all I know, gravity). Or you can just do what I find myself doing – taking in one of the scents on myself over the course of a day, muttering damn, that is unbelievable. My only complaint about the line is I can´t wear the OJs I love most on days when their incandescence will distract me. That´s a pretty fabulous problem to have to deal with.

So tell me: is there a fragrance you love, once you got past your disappointment over what you thought it would be?

Photo: Moon over Mount Rundel, www.panhala.net


  1. I really need to try these O.J. scents…I have put samples in a shopping cart and then x’d out. Orris Noir sounds very nice so that’s on my list.

    A perfume I love after getting over disappointment….well… White Aoud. I love it and actually just ordered a FB tonight. On my skin it’s all nice roses and then a nice drydown. I thought it would be more striking and more dirty. But the more I sample it the more I lust it! Another is Amaze. I’ve gone in on a split for this. Again…I just thought there would be more Oomph and something unexpected but I still ended up loving it.

    • I think some of my ultimate comfort scents were things I started off disappointed in; they lacked oomph. But then you realize how great the scent is anyway. I’m envious of Amaze on you.

  2. Orris Noir hits me hard every time I spray–which is not too often, it seems, for I always forget. While it may have a different weight than Champaca, like Champaca, I can put it on and forget, surrounded by an aura. OJ Woman needs a night out (never a day out), otherwise it would be all I could think about. But Orris Noir may be my perfect incense fragrance. Perhaps, unlike others, I cannot handle truly noir incense about me, as the lovely SL incenses end up making me morose even on sunny days.

    OJ Osmanthus is one I had a sudden revelation about. I picked up the last of my sample this summer (oh, how I tried for all the winter months to figure out what I was missing!) on one of the hottest, humidest days of July. It was simply sublime. I do not believe in ad copy (the height of fictionalization)–but Linda is truthful. It cuts through the humidity even more eloquently than a tall glass of Limoncello and sparkling water. Chypre Rouge was the other turn about. On a very cold night I sat outside, and suddenly happiness overwhelmed me–the smell of Paris during the Holidays, when the chesnuts roast by a patisserie.

    • Wow, you have reminded me of so much. I REALLY need to get another samp of osmanthus, which I am pretty sure I would appreciate at this point. The first time out it was too light for me, and I gave my sample away.

      Champaca *slays* me. I am deeply in love with it. And I love Woman more than it loves me back… glad to meet another Chypre Rouge fan!

      • Yes, Champaca doesn’t slay me–but I’m learning that it slays those around me. I often wear it to a very closed, smokey bar in town, because it places me in a ray of light. Nearly every time, someone stops to exclaim about something smelling beautiful. Last night, it was my husband. He’s always saying how lovely I smell (and he’s beginning to grow enamored of scent himself), but last night he went on and on. I responded (after grinning widely), “It is the PERFECT perfume.”

        And in saying this, a realization came over me that is fitting to your post’s question. There are many fragrances that I’ve sampled and put aside because they are not Ormonde Jayne. There is not that seamless play between light and depth. (This must be why I love Mona di Orio as well–she is luminous and shadowy all at once.) I must make amends. And the first amends shall be to the Divine fragrances.

        Now, where are those little vials . . .

        • I’m so glad to hear your Champaca story! It always interests me to hear what fragrances elicit favorable comments from folks around you. It sounds like you’ve found a winner.

          I agree with your comparison to the Mona’s, and I second your decision to start sniffing the Divines. Another line you might want to check out at some point in the future is the Delraes, if you haven’t already.

  3. I keep intending to resurrect some from the “perfume graveyard”, a small box of disappointments in my closet covered with a thick layer of bubble wrap and a lot of tape, but I just keep putting it off in favor of smelling my latest acquisitions. My sister’s birthday is coming up and I am thinking of sending them all to her (she has the opposite taste in perfume) or is that a mean thing to do???

    • I don’t think sending your sister a box of perfume is a mean thing to do, assuming you think she’d appreciate a gift of slightly used fragrance (some people want everything new.) If you think there’s a decent shot that she’d like something in there, and she already likes the idea of perfume, it could be a lovely gift. I’d leave “Here, I hate these, so Happy Birthday” off the card…<:-p

  4. Orris Noir might be my favourite of all the Ormondes. It is just perfect.

    I’m trying to think of one that fits this disappointment category, and after much ruminating, I’ve decided there aren’t any. Hell, I’ve always been easy to please.

  5. Patty,
    I have a feeling we are both revisiting a couple of the same scents.;)
    I adore the Frangipani (what a shock, it is built around plumeria and tuberose)…I have a couple bottles…but I have yet to be disappointed by and of the Ormondes. On a side note, the SAs at the lovely boutique in London could not be more stereotypically English….stunningly sweet and elegant with a warmth that almost shocks.
    Love you.

    • Bryan, Patty’s gone AWOL in Paris, this is my post. She’s probably passed out on the floor of the Caron boutique or something, so I took her day… I’m really sorry I didn’t visit their boutique in London, I have heard great things about it.

      • I can reassure you that Patty and Diane are alive and well and sniffing away in Paris. Though Patty and I almost did end up passed out when the SA at Patou left us to play sniffies all by ourselves with about a million perfume ingredients in the “scent bar” above the boutique. But we walked out on our own four feet.

        • Thank goodness! I can’t say I’m surprised not to hear from her, I bet she’s having a fabulous time. That first trip to Paris is mind-blowing. <:-p

  6. I must try more OJs-I smelled Ta’if, and got really stuck there. I do find the base (and from what you said, it’s a ubiqitous OJ base) a bit too sweet at times, but hey, it’s all stunning.

    I change my mind so often about perfumes. Disappointment to joy, joy to disappointment. But one that I initially thought would be dull, and just fancy vanilla, and that has turned out to be just lovely on me is Renee’s, too- White Oud. I dove deeply into really dark ouds this summer, and my sample of White Oud seemed pale at first. But the more I wear it, the more it seems to grow dirtier, and more elegant too. I got my one and only compliment on this one by a colleague, and BF likes it, too.

    • Ta’if seems the most Louise to me of all the OJs, although I wonder if Woman would be nice on you? My secret confession is that I like Woman far more than it likes me, but I keep retrying occasionally. Interesting about the Montale; who knows what you’ll get a compliment on? Often not what you’d think!

    • Louise, read about my difficulties with OJ below. I haven’t tried Ta’if though.

  7. March, I may have been the author of that comment you mention: I was thinking of Kelly Calèche at the time, and possibly of the Chanel Exclusives. Neither were judged on their own terms, Kelly because of the “leather floral” announcement, the Exclusives because of the level of expectation…

    Now for Ormonde Jayne: hers is one of the first niche lines I fell hard for (we’re talking perfumista pre-history). I recently pulled out my flacon of Ormonde Woman, which was one of a trio of scents intensively worn two years ago, and was struck once more by its beauty. But I do have a bit of an issue with Orris Noir: it seems to devolve extremely quickly into the signature OJ base, as does Champaca. I don’t know if it’s a matter of blending or aging. I remember, when I ordered my Ormonde Woman in parfum, Linda Pilkington wrote to me herself to tell me that the remaining parfum flacons were too old and that the eau de parfums were fresher, and she’d prefer to send me that. So they definitely do evolve in the bottle.

    Am I making sense here? I don’t know if it’s my skin, my nose (perception) or the very nature of the composition, but OJs seem to be very base-heavy on me, and Linda’s email seems to confirm this. I wonder if anyone else has experienced the same thing? It’s what prevented me from ordering more than decants. If it’s mostly base, then I’m happy with the flacon of O Woman…

    • You have reminded me that OJ is one of the lines that comes up when people complain about their bottles going off, in smell and/or appearance. I’m not a perfumer and don’t understand the process, but if Linda herself is saying something’s too old… I guess that’s the price we pay for beauty?:-”

      Your comment does make sense, and I wonder if that’s particular to you or the bottle. To the extent that several of the scents have that OJ base pretty strongly, and the base itself is pervasive, maybe that’s all you wind up with … wonder if the same thing would happen if you were wearing one of the lighter ones, like Champaca or Osmanthus… and you’re right about Kelly Caleche, if you can get past the leather disappointment it’s a lovely scent.

      • Crap, you named Champaca (sorry, missed that!) Wow, skin chemistry? I get very little of the base in that one …

      • Funny-I get loads of soft leather with the K. Caleche-that almost never happens with leather for me. Still, it doesn’t blend nicely enough for me to buy.

  8. I have to try Orris Noir after reading this. I am not a fan of iris at all, but I can’t imagine what an iris that isn’t metallic or powdery would smell like. I’ve tried several iris scents, but they were all so metallic that I didn’t know it was possible for iris to be non-metallic. As for disappointments, I have many samples that I do not like, and I do try them all every once in a while to make sure they’re still disappointing, and I guess my tastes haven’t changed lately because they still are. But that’s OK, because you all know that I am very happy to cover myself in Rose de Nuit or Muscs Koublai Khan any day. Or Mitsouko, or A La Nuit, or Mure et Musc… :d

    • Well, you clearly have excellent taste in perfume. I’m sorry you haven’t found an iris to love. I assume you’ve tried Lutens’ Iris Silver Mist? (The mother of all irises?) Andy Tauer’s Orris is very incense-y and I love it. Hmmmm …. what else? And yes, any number of samps may lead you to the same conclusion — yup, still hate it. But always fun to keep trying.

      • PS Please consider trying OJ Ta’if if you haven’t. Given your tastes, it might work very nicely for you.:d

      • I have tried Iris Silver Mist, and it it one of the few Lutens that I do not care for. I just do not like iris, honestly, I can’t believe that smell comes from a flower. Maybe its just my skin. I just know iris does not smell good on me. Hmmm, maybe I should have Robby put some on, things are always different on him. I haven’t tried any of the OJ’s yet, but they are now on the list. I think I may try AT’s Orris as well, I have been loving me some incense.

        • Well, you’re talking to an iris lover here, and the iris smell *doesn’t* come from the flower, which BTW smells amazing in the scented varieties. It comes from orris butter made from the iris rhizome in a long, expensive process. Iris has the same distinctive scent (with plenty of variations) that roses do, and someday someone will make an iris fragrance that smells like a field of blooming scented iris, and I will die of happiness.

          PS Iris Silver Mist is so strong (I do like it) that its smell pervades the drawer it’s stored in, even though it’s in a sealed bag. Potent stuff.

  9. The magic of Orris Noir won me over from the start. Got the parfum of the stuff I love it so much. Need to get the parfum of Ta’if and Tolu next. They’re just a bit richer than the edps (which I have and adore) and I can’t resist them. Of course, this will be *after* you see me on TV talking about my insanely huge lottery win. The one perfume I am starting to appreciate for itself is Cuir Amethyste. I ordered it unsniffed (I know, I know) based upon the promise of that Cuir in the name and the fact that the leather *did* make an appearance on other people I know. Sadly, it has obstinately refused to ever show up on my skin – at all – and I couldn’t have cared less about the Amethyste part. It’s all powdery violet candies on me. I am finally, however, starting to come around to it. Must say I find it very hard to recover from the promise of leather in a scent and then finding its a no show.

    • So I’m guessing you didn’t snap up a bottle of Kelly Caleche … Cuir Amethyste is a fragrance I loved from the start (if I cough up for a bottle, it’ll probably be that one) but I don’t think I have a lot of company in the fan club. I get maybe 1/4 Cuir and 3/4 Amethyste but I love the way it floats in the air around me, and it’s one of the fragrances I get compliments on when I wear it.

      Wait …. “ordered it unsniffed …” do you mean you bought an entire bottle unsniffed?

      • No, I didn’t snap up a bottle of KC…grumble, grumble…still just a tad bitter about that one. Even w/out the leather disappointment, it’s way too transparent for my tastes.
        And…yes, a full bottle. It’s a bad habit. Need to see a hypnotist to break it.
        Silvia’s comment has me thinking I now need to revisit MdO’s Carnation. Off to try to locate my sample.

        • Hey, I’m reorganizing my samples!!! I wish you were here to help, I finally bit the bullet. It’s driving me crazy not to be able to lay my hands on something.

          Remember somebody did a post on unsniffed buys (Robin?) My track record is terrible. Seriously, anything unsniffed tends to be a disaster, no matter how right it sounds. That cured me. I’ll waste stupid money on samples, though, so not sure I came out ahead./:)

  10. One scent that I totally dismissed initially but that has crept up on my lemming list is Mona di Orio’s Carnation. As the cold weather moves in, I crave the comfort of that think, warm, skin scent, which initially left me unmoved.

    Orris Noir is a gem. My love for OJs is infinite.^:)^

    • I should retry that Mona. I remember being underwhelmed, which probably means now I’d like it.8-}

      And I didn’t catch your typo, had to go back and reread several times. I think it’s true, we tend to auto-correct mentally with the right word, and not even realize it.

  11. A while back, when everyone was going on and on about Eau des Merveilles, I bought a bottle and kept trying it during the spring and summer — always disappointed each time because I couldn’t smell anything after the orange and pepper top notes burned off. But then I put it on this fall, and behold! It’s still a very soft scent, but I can now smell its salty goodness even hours after I’ve applied it. I wonder if this is because my nose has now acclimated (I’ve been working with an olfactionary to be able to pick out notes better), or is it because the fragrance is more pronounced in the fall when the air is less humid and less filled with other scents from the environment (i.e., freshly cut lawns and flowers and the smell of foods cooking or grilling that seems to hang in the air in summer)?

    • That’s a good question (and a great fragrance.) Merveilles was definitely one it took me awhile to come around to, and then it was total love. I think it could be a combination of both — you’re training your brain to pick out notes) and certainly the weather affects how we perceive fragrance. OTOH most people (at least in hot, humid climates) read it the other way round — it’s the light scents for summer, the big guns for fall. Merveilles is mentally a summer scent for me, a great alternative to anything citrus-y and green, but I guess I need to try it now!:)

    • You mean, I am not the only one?! My enjoyment of citrusy fragrances has been sparked by fall as well. They make me absolutely giddy. Mona di Orio’s Lux had come out of its hiding place once more. Le Labo’s fizziness gives me extra energy as I rake and mulch. Perhaps it is time, too, that I try this Hermes masterpiece of which everyone speaks so highly.

      • It’s definitely worth a sniff, and it’s relatively easy to smell it in a mall somewhere, which is nice (as opposed to some boutique in Berlin.)/:)

        I tend to dig out the citrusy stuff in January when it’s sleeting and I need some cheer, but I totally see your point.

  12. The entire Ormande Jayne line is wonderful – even the ones I don’t care for on my skin, I can still admire the beauty of what has gone into making the scent. Orris Noir is now my favourite. Initially, I preferred Tolu but Orris Noir grew on me. Now having tried the Orris Noir in perfume, I love it – that first hit of pepper, the smooth iris, and then the long, gentle note of spice in the base. Wow!

    I try to ignore the hype and opinions and go with what I like on my skin – hence, my undying love and admiration of Chanel No 5 🙂
    and my inability to understand Guerlain (with the exception of the new Vanille, they all go sour on me 🙁 )

    As I learn more (mostly through these great blogs) I can pick out different notes better and understand what has gone into making a scent. But usually, if it doesn’t smell great initially, it isn’t likely to later. But I keep trying since I am learning that different weather can make a difference – Chanel’s 38 Rue Cambon is one that I didn’t get initially in the spring but grew to love in the summer. Weather? Experience? Not sure which.

    • I agree, if I don’t love it initially, even if I reconsider and take it out of “quarantine” I never really get to love it. I going to have to try the Orris Noir,(loved your discription) someone on MUA said she smelled a slight “curry” note – is that something you noticed also?

      • Yes, I guess I get what some might call a slight curry note, but on me it is only slight. I think it’s really a combination of the pepper, cardamom, and coriander, all of which are usually in a classic curry. But it is so beautifully wrapped in with the iris and the other notes that I find myself raising my arm throughout the day, just needing a sniff of that amazing scent. Definitely what I would call perfume as art!

      • Joan, I think Kim answered this — it doesn’t really smell like curry to me (new Femme — now, that’s curry!). I think it’s all blended into the other notes very well, if you’re worried about it.

    • Weather is a huge part for many (not all) people. If you live in a strongly seasonal climate, I think most people develop a seasonal wardrobe, consciously or not. There are things I just don’t want to smell when it’s 96 degrees. But definitely no hard and fast rules there.

      It sounds like the Guerlain base, at least in a lot of the traditional Guerlains, doesn’t work for you. You could try the L’Art et Matiere part of their line (sorry, too lazy to look up spelling), those are considerably different. Or you could move on to another of the million choices…

  13. Rousse was one for me. Tried it, “meh”‘d it, dissed it in print, forgot it. I found it too light and a bit dull.

    One day six months later the SA at Barneys grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and sprayed me with it. Instant love. Instant buy. Instant red-faced apology posted to Marina’s blog.

    Oh well, at least I can admit a mistake, that’s something, right?:”>

    • I remember that!!! I keep trying to get Rousse to perform the same trick for me. I want it to love me, it sounds perfect.

  14. I have always lurved Orris Noir and it always made me sad it didn’t get more play (except from Victoria at BdJ) – so glad you’ve fallen for it! The only thing NOT to do is put Ormonde on one wrist and Orris Noir on the other – I often find myself gravitating towards the Ormonde wrist more, and not giving Orris Noir its due. The beauty of the OJs is such that they brighten and intensify my whole day. Sometimes I just look delighted and my husband will say “What’s with you?” And I reply blissfully: “It’s a great perfume day.” It just feels like all the stars are aligned when you’re wearing something beautiful that suits your mood. OJs often give me this feeling – they really are perfume as Art and for this reason it is one of my favourite lines.

    Actually, Tolu grew on me. I didn’t expect the foody orange/orange blossom component at the beginning and felt disappointed for that reason. Since then, when I’ve tried again, people around me have commented: “You smell gorgeous!” I’m hoping to one day have a revelation with Ta’if, which I’ve never quite gotten.

    I think people misjudge L’Artisan Piment Brulant because of the backstory. I have to admit I was very surprised when I first tried it, but I’ve since learned to love it.

    • No no no, no competing OJs!!! Oddly, I’m not even tempted to do more than one fragrance at a time with that line. I wear them so HUGELY — even Champaca. I mean, there just isn’t room for more, and they last approximately forever on me. Definitely perfume as art.

      Tolu is my least favorite, but I consider that a failing on my part, not the fragrance’s, so I keep trying. And Ta’if is one of the very few rose fragrances I love — mentally I file it under rose for rose-haters, because there’s so much else going on.

      I love Piment Brulant — made no assumptions. I think another one like that is (ssshhhh!) Hermessence Paprika Brasil. People *hate* that thing who love the rest of the line. I dunno, I think it’s yum, just the way it is.

  15. Hello Girls and Ghouls!
    I have been reading you. I have not been writing much atall lately, but I still read your bloggie all the time. I saw this photo you posted and said HEY! That’s my Alaskan home! But I see it’s Canada. Beautiful in the same way, though. So, a perfume I loved after getting over my expectations … I would say the L’artisan Narcisse. I find it difficult and then it unfurls into something tenderer than I can say. Or words don’t cover it, anyway. Mwahmwahmwah to you from up north.

      • Hello!
        I hope you are well in your part of the globe. Here, things are rainy and snowy and Day of the Dead generated more altar exhibits and marionette plays and cultural controversies. I sit snuggled at my desk, drink coffee and watch the whole thing transpire.

    • Hey!!! I have missed you!!! I wonder if you are still wearing perfume much? And how your life is, generally?

      I thought that photo was AK too, when I first looked at it. If you actually get to see things like that in person, then I can see a little of the charm of your state.

      • Forgot to thank you for the stunning photo – it is from the amazing Canadian Rockies in Banff, not far from Calgary – every corner has another view like that, truly gorgeous area, great skiing.

        • Looking for photos for this is one of the hardest parts. I’m always pleased when I find something I really like. So thanks.

  16. I thought I would fall in love w/ ON eventually, like I did w/ Ta’if. Never happened. I don’t know why, it is so beautifully done. But hey, I have enough OJ monkeys on my back!

    • I think you pretty much love this entire line, maybe Frangipani most? Am I remembering correctly? Hmmmm, I need to find that decant.

      • Not all. Just Frangipani, Champaca, Osmanthus, Ta’if, Isfarkand. That is plenty! ON & Ormonde both lovely but not me. Sampaquita is the only one I’m entirely indifferent to.

        And it is about time she does another, isn’t it?

        • More than time! I mentally play around with what the fragrance should focus around. I’d love a woods fragrance, but I somehow feel like it needs to be a floral to work with that base.

          Osmanthus, of course!!!:d I’d completely forgotten that one:”>. Once my decants are completely reorganized I think I’ll start re-sniffing by line, I am pretty sure I have that one.

  17. This just happened to me last night. I’d tried L’instant a while back in some airport and was extremely unimpressed. Where was the magnolia under that sweet mess? Sprayed it on a strip at Sephora last night and had to get a sample. Am happily wearing it today. I think it’s because the vanilla doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming in the cooler weather, and I can really smell the magnolia note this time.

    • So funny — I like to call myself a Guerlain sl*t but have always been amused/perplexed that their two best-known mall frags are Shalimar and L’Instant, neither of which I care for. But you have inspired me to give it another go! I am quite partial to L’Instant Pour Homme, though.

  18. I have a problem with Ormonde Jane. I like Tolu, but the only other two fragrances of hers I’ve tried are Woman and Orris Noir and I hate them both with a passion. Last night I tried on OR again when I saw your article. Scrubber! :-& There’s a certain je ne sais quoi I just can’t stand. There’s enough of the Oriental in Tolu that keeps down that Other Stuff.

    • So …. are you saying you don’t like these?

      (giggle) oh, wait, there’s an emoticon for that — ;)) I’m thinking if Woman and ON were scrubbers, I’d move along to another line…

    • I have only tried Orris Noir, and Ta’if. The ON went stinky on me-but I am beginning to think that orris is just a note that hates me. But-Ta’if is wonderful-just stunning. You must give it a spin. Only problem is that noted by Carmencanada above-it goes quickly to the base in both EdP and Parfum, losing some yummy topnotes.

  19. Hi March,
    I need to write you a proper email to catch up. Things are fine here. I AM wearing perfume every day and night. Often I favor lighter weight scents these days. I am heavy into my Number 18. I decided it’s my lucky number according to some cockamamie kabbalah via madonna thing I read on the internet. Apparently 19 corresponds to LIFE. Life is a good thing. Mwahmwah.
    I will write to you soon. Thinking about blogging, too. Hmmm.

  20. Whoops. Losing control, the waves were to Denise. I’ll pipe down now.

  21. Late to the party to say I had this experience (expectation trouble) with Safran Troublant. It was just not at all what I was hoping for, to sweet and vanilla. I first learned to love it layered with Piment Brulant (which I adored from the start) and then, the other morning, on a walk in the crisp fall sun, it just bowled me over with its simultaneous lightness and spiciness.

    Seems like a classic case of “where’s the oomph?” leading to “oh, now wait a minute, this is great!”

    • And that is a classic case, isn’t it? Something that just seems boring or too understated, or missing whatever you thought the goodies were going to be, turns out to have some aspect you suddenly appreciate. As I said up there somewhere (I think) I’ve wound up with several of my favorite comfort scents that way.

  22. Bois Blond. I hoped for the mother of all bois, which this definitely wasn’t. It took me a while to realize how beautiful and complex it actually is and how happy I am when wearing it.

    As for the OJs, they are in my “to try” list, and this post has pushed them up a few places.

    Totally unrelated, but had to share: I’ve gotten my hands on a bottle of Black Cashmere in parfum. Oh. My. God.

    • I retried Bois Blond again last night. CanNOT make up my mind how I feel about it, but it’s very interesting. I wish I got more cereal and less pepper. But then, I can’t stop sniffing it, and that’s always a good sign. Is it that spicy on you? Seriously, it’s like someone dumped black pepper on my arm for about 20 minutes.

      Black Cashmere in parfum!!!!! Yummmmmmmy. Is it smooth? Creamy? Rich? BC is about all I can take in EdP, but I’m envisioning it smoother (rather than stronger) in parfum. BTW you probably already know this, but the body lotion is really nice. I wear it sometimes when I’m not fully up to the regular BC experience.:”>

      • Bois Blond does have this peppery thing at the top, but my nose gets it as candied pepper, or maybe it’s dusted with sugar. Very weird, but I think I like it.

        The BC parfum is spicier, I guess. I get more of the saffron and none of the boozey opening of the EdP. To me, the EdP is like a dense Idole, while the parfum doesn’t have much in common with it. It’s darker, and while I always think of the EdP as a unisex scent, the parfum could have been marketed as masculine and no one would even blink. It’s an amazing scent, but I can see how some would run away screaming. It’s kind of Darth Vader, if it makes any sense.

  23. This is curious… I bought Orris Noir when I was in London last July. It was the end of a long shopping day. I sniffed several scents at the OJ store, but basically I was tired and thought «I came for Orris Noir, I’m getting Orris Noir» even though I had never sniffed it before. And actually the first impression I got in the store was a little off-putting, nothing like iris at all.

    So I return home from my shopping weekend and spritz Orris Noir for the first time proper. Already I was fearing that I would not like it after all, and it would end up on eBay.

    And guess?

    I loved it. I loved every molecule of it. It made me feel sexy and dangerous. It’s the kind of perfume I would wear when planning to seduce a man… I can’t explain. Perfume always evokes moods to me. If I want a «confort blanket», I reach for Bois Farine. If I want to take on the world… Orris Noir it is.

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