Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Today’s Sample: Ormonde Jayne Frangipani Absolute

Before I talk about today’s fragrance, I want to talk for a sec about yesterday’s post. I received a few comments that I have chosen not to publish, and I am afraid I gave some people the wrong impression. I have learned a great deal from the perfume blogs I read every day. In fact, if those blogs didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have started this one! I never begrudge people their expertise. When I made the comparison yesterday between the wine connoisseurs and the white zinfandel lady, I only meant to express that I sometimes feel overwhelmed at how much I don’t know. Everyone has an entry point. I know plenty of people, who know a lot about wine, who started off drinking white zinfandel. But because they enjoyed it, they started to try other things, and the years went by, and now they know a great deal. Learning is a great pleasure. I never feel small for trying to learn something—only for turning my back on things that seem too difficult to learn.

On with today’s sample! Once again, I am working without a net here folks. The Ormonde Jayne Web site lists the notes as follows:
Top: Linden blossom, magnolia flower, lime peel
Middle/Heart: White frangipani, jasmine, rose and tuberose absolutes, water lilies, plum, and green orchid oil
Base: Amber, musk, cedar, and French vanilla absolute

First, I’ll start with a question: With the magnolia, the white frangipani, and the tuberose, could this be considered a white floral, even if it doesn’t finally develop into anything remotely floral (at least on me)? I’ll look this up once I have posted, but I wonder. I’ve often noticed that perfumes are marketed as (or named after) scents that are often in the top notes that tend to fade away.

When I applied it this morning, I expected to walk around smelling like a bright flower all day. It was a light, sharp sweet citrus. In fact, it seemed so light, I put a little more on after breakfast, at Bob’s recommendation. (Bob is very sensitive to the over-perfumed thing, so I trust him.) The floral hung on all the way to work, although it was somewhat more subtle. The tartness (and I say that because really, it made my mouth water a little) had worn off, but it retained the brightness of what I would think of as a white floral. (From what I have read, “white floral” has a rather broad definition, at least to reviewers and lovers of perfumes. Maybe not so to the “Noses.”)

But then the most remarkable thing: I’m at my desk, and I can smell the cedar. (Mind you, I have not even looked the notes up at this point! But I can smell it!) And I wonder, where is that coming from? I kept getting whiffs of it every now and again, the softest incense. And lo and behold, when I looked up the notes, there it was: cedar, tempered with this lovely vanilla and amber. I usually find vanilla overpowering, but this is so soft, it’s truly lovely.

I am not sure yet if I think this might be a little heavy for summer in Atlanta, but I think this would be the perfect fall or winter fragrance. In fact, it makes me think of a bright late fall or early winter day, where the sun makes everything gleam and all the lines are crisp, and then the sun starts to go down and the sky stays bright even as it darkens, but then night ascends and it gets cold, and the air gets filled with smell of wood smoke from people’s chimneys. At least that’s how it works on me. I like it so much though, it may not matter.

I must say that I have yet to be disappointed by any of the Ormonde Jayne samples I’ve tried (Osmanthus, Champaca, Ta’if, Sampaquita, Frangipani). The Frangipani and the Champaca are my favorites so far. But I think I should try the Osmanthus again, maybe, to compare it to the Keiko Mecheri. I may do that tomorrow.

Find a review of Ormonde Jayne Frangipani Absolute at Now Smell This.

**Okay, everywhere I look, it says this is a TROPICAL floral. A SUMMER fragrance. My excuse? I've never been to the tropics, people. Can someone pass me a glass of white zinfandel?