Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ormonde Jayne Ta'if

Ormonde Jayne's sample pack started my adventures in perfume. I have sampled them all, but I haven't recorded my thoughts on every one on this blog. Early on I kept notes in a journal, and sometimes I didn't write down my impressions at all. I wore Ta'if for the first time back in the spring. I remember being convinced it would probably end up as my favorite. Today, I think, it leaves me slightly underwhelmed.

The notes in Ta'if are:
Top: pink pepper, saffron, dates
Heart: Rose oil, freesia, orange flower absolute, jasmine
Base: Broom and amber

Ormonde Jayne scents typically have very bright openings, and this one's no exception. The top is peppery sweet and deep, but shiny. When I applied it this morning, I thought, "Too much." I loved the pepper, but as it sometimes does in cooking, it felt a bit over the top. But it quickly transitioned to florals, and in this had more of that distinct Ormonde Jayne brightness. I don't find it as beguiling as Ormonde Woman or Tolu, and it's not as wrist-to-the-nose for me as Frangipani. What leaves me perplexed about this fragrance is the way it just falls away to a demure ambery sweetness that almost isn't there. I get a picture in my head of Wylie Coyote falling off a cliff and hitting so hard at the bottom he's accordioned, shrunk to a quarter of his actual size.

I'm confused. It's nice, more uncomplicated than other OJs, but still pretty. But...I wonder now if I liked this so much last spring because it felt safe. It's not so far away from ordinary (but well done) perfumes one might find at the deprtment store counter. My reigning favorites are still the cedary-tropical Frangipani and the jasmine rice and tea-scented Champaca. Tolu, which still feels too big but is no less wonderful for it, rounds out the top three. Maybe it's just my mood today, but Ta'if lacks the grand or unusual styling of the other Ormonde Jayne perfumes. But I guess it would be a nice way to ease into niche perfumes.

*photo from Ormonde Jayne