October 18, 2017
Spellbound fashion editorial, photo by Steven Meisel, W Magazine, Sept 2012©
If you walked through the looking glass and into the forest of the Brothers Grimm, what would greet you on the other side? In this wood’s branchy recesses, sheltered from the everyday, odd is commonplace, beauty comes with strings, virtue is rewarded. And Ormonde Woman, with its incantatory ingredients of black hemlock and grass oil, is its fragrance.
Linda Pilkington and Geza Schoen courtesy of Linda©
Ormonde Woman, created in collaboration by Ormonde Jayne Founder and Creative Director Linda Pilkington and perfumer Geza Schoen, is a dark beauty who walks an edgy line between woodsy and spicy, obliquely current and primeval, provoking and enveloping.
Into the Woods fashion editorial, photo by Emma Summerton for Vogue Japan, October 2014©
With its strange, deeply alluring green-black beauty, it’s what the modern witch is wearing. This fragrance has one of the most remarkable openings in perfumery. That first hit of scent is a sensation rather than a smell: deep warmth, vaporous and smoky, the way heat hangs in the air for a moment when embers have just died out. Then, in a second, arid spices and roots begin to swirl in a smoky kaleidoscope: cardamom and cedar step forward, then bone-dry vetiver, the soapy perfume of coriander seed.
Alone in the Wood, photo by Ken Gehring©
Woods are the heart of the fragrance. Cedar is immediately noticeable, but rather than acting as an anchor to the plant notes, the cedar twines with them as it rises alongside those heated spices of the opening. Sandalwood quickly smooths out the cedar’s new timber aroma while the velvety fragrance of violet stays, just noticeable in the background. And yet, Ormonde Woman never feels at all heavy. Schoen has orchestrated just enough delicate, sweet notes to come through in small doses, like tiny pale brush strokes on an impressionist painting.
Fox, photo by Alexandra Bochkareva©
Then, some time into Ormonde Woman’s development, a sweet, clear note of jasmine comes through – a shaft of light cutting through the trees. It mingles with tender green notes that have crept up slowly; the clovery smell of grass, blending with coriander and vetiver. The floral and leafy aromas add a lighter dimension to what could otherwise have been a gothic woody fragrance.
Light Flurries by Rob Gonsalves ©
Ormonde Woman is a masterpiece. Its strange but seamless assemblage of notes are as beautiful and unsettling as a Michael Nyman score — it jitters and entrances at the same time. It smells as it you sliced into an urban streets cene and inserted a Brothers Grimm forest, complete with witch, lost serving girl and hunstman. In all of perfumery there is nothing like it.
Notes: Cardamom, coriander, grass oil, black hemlock, violet, jasmine, vetiver, cedar, amber, sandalwood.
Disclaimer: Sample of Ormonde Woman from my own collection.
— Lauryn Beer, Senior Editori and Art Director for this review
Ormonde Jayne Woman
Thanks to the generosity of Indigo Perfumery and Ormonde Jayne, we have a 50 ml bottle of Ormonde Woman for 1 registered reader in the U.S or if you are in the EU, Ormonde Jayne will send you a 50 ml bottle. There is ONLY 1 winner. To be eligible, please leave a comment saying what appeals to you about Woman based on Lauryn’s review, where you live , if you have a favourite Ormonde Jayne perfume and what you think of the idea of revisiting perfumes we love that may not be new but still enthrall us. Draw closes 10/22/2017.