Ormonde Woman opens with a thick, vaguely Lutensian harmony of sweet woody notes with a slight “syrupy” texture, above all a cedar note quite on the sweet side (like in Lutens’ Cèdre, in fact) with detectable notes of citrus, violet, coriander, vanilla, jasmine, something mossy-herbal, an almost-sticky and warm texture of amber and something resinous and “pine-woody”, and a subtle salty-balmy aftertaste which I recall having found in Tolu as well by the same brand. The blend is cleverly made a bit lighter and brighter by a dusty-talc breeze which smells something like a “violet-flavoured” incense, even if it’s probably only violet with Iso E – a couple which reminds me of another scent by Lutens, Feminité du Bois, that in fact included cedar, violet notes and (correct me if I’m wrong) some 40% of Iso E Super. There are many differences though, but they seem to share a sort of common inspiration. The vetiver note emerges more clearly after a while, as soon as the scent gets a bit more dry, although it never gets prominent – it rather just lies there providing a “woodier” (I mean: more “realistic”) counterpart to cedar. Frankly, this fragrance smells much unisex to me, not to say more masculine than feminine – basically it’s a balsamic woody scent with a light and quite subtle sweet-floral breeze. The drydown is quite long-lasting and unexpectedly substantial, although a tad linear. A bit bland perhaps, but solid and effortlessly refined.
Ormonde Woman goes on with peppery green citrus top notes that are tangy, moist, and pleasantly bitter all at once. The citrus note bows out even more quickly than most to leave a refreshing peppery, herbaceous accord. The heart is all herbaceous, violet-seasoned woods in the manner of (believe it or not,) Geoffrey Beane’s Grey Flannel, though much lighter, sharper, and more transparent. In fact, so clear and simple is the texture that it can be compared with the most minimalist of Jean-Claude Ellena’s compositions. (Un Jardin en Mediterranée comes to mind.)
With time the herbal elements dissipate, leaving a very dry, clear cedar and moss base. Ormonde Woman is an extremely understated and transparent scent that does not project far from the skin and leaves no sillage to speak of. It’s not terribly long lasting either, so you’re likely to go through that expensive bottle very quickly if you wear it at all often. On the plus side, Ormonde Woman is a very sophisticated fragrance and belongs to a rare genus of dry, green woody scents aimed at women.
I don't think I have ever experienced such a dissonance between what I expected this perfume to smell like and what it actually does smell like. To say I am disappointed is putting it mildly. From everything I had read, I was ready to make this my next blind buy - a signature even! - but thank God I decided to send off for a wee sample first.
What is my problem? Well, the top notes of this fragrance bring to mind a very unfortunate smell association. To my nose, it smells exactly like a medicated cream from La Roche Posay that I use once in a while to calm down spotty skin. The smell is heavy, acrid, medicated, and quite unpleasant. Every time I put it on, I have to fight the urge to scrub it off my face and put something else on. So, this unfortunate smell association has caused this fragrance to be the first ever that I have ever considered scrubbing off. But I won't - I want to be fair and see if this gets better over the course of the day. I doubt I could ever get past the opening notes, but I promise to give it its fair due today.
Update: the same unfortunate smell association occurs on repeat wearings. Not for me.
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The initial experience for me was green and spicy. The hemlock came through beautifully, would that it had stayed. It turned acrid in the dry down - too much cedar and grass oil and reminded me of a number of awful men's scents from the 1980s.
I would give this an A for effort, but like Jayne's Tolu, I'd send the perfumer back to the lab to re-work it to something unique and definitely better.
In both Tolu and O. Woman, I like the notes selected and the "idea" of their combination, but find the end result not up to par.
Perhaps my sample, although labeled Ormonde Jayne Woman, is actually something else. I have never experienced such a divergence from other reviews as I have with this scent. Upon opening the sample vials (edp and extrait) I smell . . . . . nothing. Absolutely nothing. On my skin it does bloom and increases in strength for hours and hours but never becomes a sillage bomb. However, I get no green, no musty mysterious bitterness, no challenging medicinal brew. I get sweet, then I get sweeter, and then I get sweetest. It is actually very much like Amouage Jubilation 25 for women but without any of the interesting skank. Boring and disappointing. I will give it full marks for the apparent quality of the ingredients. It does smell natural but not particularly expensive, altlhough it is. Maybe I should order the sample set from the website because I can't wrap my head around how something could be quite this different. Oh well, more money for my my wallet which will, in itself, be a unique experience!
Another top class delivery from Ormonde Jayne. Ormonde Woman opens with an extremely green/dark green accord that immediately brings to mind of a wet forest in the morning while subtle spicy notes add an extra oomph to the general outdoorsy vibe. Links to Ormonde Man are unquestionable but where the masculine version of this masterpiece turns into a cedarwood-vetiver-black hemlock drydown, Ormonde Woman pairs all of the above to a terrific amber-incense base of immense beauty. Intensely woody, thick but never overwhelming, elegant yet not too mannered. Pure perfection.
The woody-resiny element may lead to suspect the presence of Iso E Super but, even if so, the fragrance is so well balanced and orchestrated to result incredibly pleasant and, somewhat, novel. By all means, a masterpiece.
Boys, don't let the name mislead you, Ormonde Woman makes a terrific masculine.
I have anosmia to this fragrance in its totality. Despite being able to smell the same notes in other scents I cannot smell anything but fresh air from Ormonde Jayne Woman. I've even tried the warm bath trick to open up dense scents and still .... Nothing.
I definitely like this fragrance despite the fact that it smells slightly medicinal (to me) when I first put it on. I agree with everyone who says the name is misleading. This is not a feminine fragrance, it's unisex for sure. A man could easily wear this. On me, the top notes are very strong and smell very much like a man's cologne. It also has a smell that distinctly reminds me of Tea Tree Oil, as well as the wood in the Ikea warehouse. I really wasn't too sure if I liked this perfume at all when I first smelled it on my wrist. However, it definitely "softens" somewhat as it dries down. The heart notes and base come out smelling a little more sweet and flowery, and mixed with the top notes the smell is really nice. However, I probably wouldn't pay full price for a whole bottle of this. It's a good fragrance, but I think it is way overpriced. I would buy this if it was a fairly inexpensive cologne. Also, you can buy Tea Tree Oil soap that is really cheap.
The signature Ormonde Jayne scents, the Adam and Eve of the Ormonde line, each tread their own paths through the same primeval forest. They're both green (vetiver) woody (cedar) marvels, refined and bewitching in equal measure.
Ormonde Man is more piquant and grassy than its earlier counterpart, and noticeably aromatic up top, with prominent coriander and pink pepper and a superlative cardamom note. It tapers to an astringent vetiver finish, akin to French Lover from Frederic Malle. Ormonde Woman is more cedar inclined, with a distinct sawdust vibe, along with a sandalwood creaminess and an ambery glow that feels like the golden pulp of sunlight being squeezed through silhouetted tree branches.
While Ormonde Man covers more ground – and although I miss its absent cardamom note – I undoubtedly prefer Ormonde Woman. Ormonde Man is a very good masculine fragrance; Ormonde Woman is boundlessly mysterious and is an exercise in pure magic.
OJ Woman is a beautiful, green forest. Blended and smooth, never sharp. She opens with a green, creamy texture, even a hint of mint. Sappy almost. The wood floats in (hemlock from the notes, although I've never smelled this before), and if the scent never strayed from this smell, I'd swoon all the way through it. Truly gorgeous. This part is actually exactly what I've been looking for in a green fragrance, as most greens are just too sharp for me to enjoy. It is also softly powdery at this stage.
But then, the forest starts to burn - incense rises up. There is an acrid smell to this. I've taken motorcycle rides through forests recently burned by fire, and this was the smell. This was a little uncomfortable for me, as I wanted my green forest back. But it smoothes back out to finish softly green and woody again. This one is a shape shifter, with distinct phases, while at the same time transitioning so smoothly that the overall impression is one of a gentle jarring of the senses. Beauty.
If you love green Chypres like I love green Chypres, run, don't walk, to try a sample of this. In a market where like-minded "meh" frangrances abound, here's one that stands out. Dominant notes smell like evergreen boughs, dry pepper, woody violets (ionones), and woody amber. I thought they quit making perfumes like this after they pushed the original Miss Dior into the background and gave her name away to the ho-hum fruity Cherie version. What a relief to find something this new, this good. Longevity is not as good as I would like for a perfume that costs $125 for 50 ml, but it probably has a high percentage of top-note heavy, natural ingredients that disappear shortly. Can't be helped, so don't expect day-long sillage. Worth a splurge to have a bottle. Ravishing.
14th January, 2011 (last edited: 30th April, 2013)
I ordered it from their website about 3 weeks ago after reading reviews and sampling it first.
I'm new to fragrances so I don't have the descriptive language down, but I can say this: its a fairly tame and comforting scent. I read other reviews from perfume blogs that made it sound all witchy and strange and exotic in a foresty way, - yet I get none of that.
To my untrained nose, I get a light woodsy marshmellow smell with slight pepper thing going on that all together is kind of powdery.
ETA: I've been wearing it often over the past month and a half and it has an interesting way of growing stronger throughout the day. It starts off comforting and kind of quiet, and a few hours later its grown stronger and louder. Lasts about 18 hours.
14th December, 2010 (last edited: 04th March, 2011)
I tested from sample I received straight from the boutique in London. It's got spices, grass, black hemlock, violet, jasmine, vetiver, cedar and I am sure there is amber in it. I find this to be a green,spicy and peppery - beautiful fragrance and definitely different, unique in it's own way. It's chypre to me - reminds me of a nicer version of Nasomatto Absinth . I am sure this would make a good unisex scent !
Longevity on my perfume eating skin was good.
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(Again I find myself following up on Hilliare, which is always intimidating because she is such a fantastic perfume critque)
Ormonde Jayne Woman- yep, well said, as this is too bold to be a 'Miss' and too classy to be a 'Madame'. This scent could be fronted by Merryl Streep very comfortably.
Now this is another bombastic jasmine creation. It reminds me of Drama Nuii and Oiro in how this note develops. STRONG. Do you like it when jasmine is in your face? I do, and when the middle phase is prominent, like Hillaire, i love catching a sniff of myself.
I have one comment in general about this house, because this is the third scent I've tried and all have had the same issue: a stinky drydown. ok, Vetiver has been in every scent, which is a note i'm not fond of.
**EDIT** I'm editing my rating to a neutral. I"ve worn it two more times and now I"m getting too much vetiver, which has slipped this into the 'need to change my shirt' category. Sigh. Sometimes that happens when your nose gets more attuned to something.
15th March, 2010 (last edited: 19th March, 2010)
Jayne Ormonde Woman is a scent of contrasts: masculine yet feminine, sharp yet comforting, dark but effervescent. The mental picture it evokes is that of a long walk alone in the woods, looking up at the night sky and the moon through the shaded tops of hemlock trees--are you afraid, or glad to be alone? On my skin, this fragrance is so sharp and green that it almost makes me yearn for a note of spice, or a hint of something creamy. This scent is challenging enough to make me take multiple sniffs to keep an eye on how it is behaving, or what mystery it will reveal. I never know each time I wear it if I will feel refreshed by a cool forest breeze, or be stabbed by the sharp needles of an evergreen. For this reason I hesitate to purchase a bottle. And for this same reason I keep returning to the edge of Ormonde Woman's deep, dark forest.
Ormonde Woman enchants me. I rarely make friends with sharp, almost caustic florals; my skin just makes them sour grapes. But Ormonde Woman is the kind of sharp I cannot stop inhaling. It almost sears my nose with its intensity, and I feel as if it wields a more precise blade, if you will, into my pleasure sensors!
I think this is a sophisticated and mature scent, but it isn't a powder bomb; it isn't staid; it isn't tame, and it isn't trite.
The drydown is even sharper than the opening. I keep catching pleasurable whiffs of myself, that refresh my nervous centers like cool breezes on a hot day!
Some buildings and paintings hold such universal truths for me, it is as if they are proof of a cosmic, universal consciousness, a place we all know, a heavenly ideal..Ormonde Woman achieves that with scent.
I do not conjure wooded landscapes, though, as many apparently do. I am transported to someplace, clear, crisp and ethereal, and just out of reach... as beckoning as the proverbial "light".
A personal story: a colleague of mine, who is rather off-putting and distant in her demeanor, recently sat next to me while I was grading papers. She rarely speaks to anyone, other than the pleasantries of co-workers who aren't close but respect each other. I can't envision her as a fragrance-lover - she's all business and theory. Suddenly, she grabs my arm and says, "I'm so sorry, but what in the world are you wearing?! Not to scare you or anything, but I want to take a bite out of your arm (*insert funny munching sounds here*), you smell so yummy!" This is my Ormonde Woman pure perfume story...and I can't say much else about it because to analyze such a unique fragrance would destroy the magic : )
04th December, 2009 (last edited: 11th January, 2010)
Not really a perfume but more of an impression, Ormonde Woman is the clearing in a dense forest and the bubbling spring in that clearing. It is fresh and green without a hint of bitterness. It is as transparent as air. It astonishes me. I am smarter for the experience. Yet, I probably will never make a purchase, because the impression is too fleeting. To get any longevity would diminish the beauty. A truly amazing, but impracticable beauty!
Grass oil and cedar are the two most prominent notes. I wish the jasmine and violet had a stronger presence, or any presence at all. I'm just "meh" about this one. Gets on my nerves, kind of boring as it wears on...I really don't find it to be anything special.
My 6th grade class toured a huge Everett, Washington sawmill back in the 1950s, and I had forgotten it completely until it was brought vividly to mind by a sample of this scent.The massive stripped trees, the huge machinery in every direction thrashing and cutting and buzzing, the infernal noise, the pungent scent of the slashed, raw wood, the dark vats of chemicals for dipping the wood into. It was an interesting memory, but I would not want to wear this as a scent. I smell nothing in it, sadly, but devastated evergreen forests.
A perfume of contradictions! Is it transparent, or completely and mysteriously opaque? Is it familiar and comforting or strange and unique? Yes. and Yes.
It is transparent, a la Ellena, with a fresh herbal/piney layer, but look (sniff) closer and that surface clarity reveals the dark, enticing undercurrent of a sweet and mysterious floral oriental. Similarly, though I feel the fragrance is familiar, it is more the familiarity of a recurring dream, or a distant pleasant memory. Not comforting, but not unsettling either. It is both provocative and calming. A masterpiece of perfumery IMHO. Get thee a sample, and try it for yourself!
This is the smell of Twin Peaks, my favorite TV show. Walking in the woods at midnight, to the eerie themes of Angelo Badalamenti. When I go to visit my relatives in the Pacific Northwest, I get this strong smell of clean, clean air with the pine woods all around. Violet weaves in and out of Ormonde Woman (and I am no violet lover, but it is not candied or sweet in this fragrance.) The drydown is a soft amber, not terribly interesting, but I will still give it a thumbs up, because no other perfume I have tried has reproduced the "head-space" of the Northwest like this. It is rather addictive.
Ormonde Jayne has a lovely sample kit that they will ship anywhere in the world for free. It comes in a beautiful presentation box. A class act all around.
"If you go out in the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise..."
I love how this one smells like faint crushed pine needles ay first then settles into a soft sweetish amber. I sprayed it in my shirt first then 2 hours later on the outside of my shirt, waited a few moment then smelled inside my shirt. The notes blending were incredibleI could bathe in this.
This reminds me of Chanel's No 19 - not because it smells like it (it doesn't) - but because, like No 19, I can immediate appreciate how expertly blended and well made this is. The notes just seem to naturally fit together, creating a shimmering, coherent perfume that is a work of art and genius, and very individual. And yet I don't actually like it, and wouldn't want to wear it. I certainly don't find it unpleasant, or overpowering, or cloying - it doesn't make me sneeze or my eyes run - it just doesn't appeal to me and it is not the way I want to smell. Try before you buy, because it is expensive.
I experienced Ormonde Woman not so much in terms of notes (which are unusual to my nose, and I can't identify them individually), but rather in terms of similarity to other fragrances. The opening is *exactly* like The Body Shop's discontinued Pink Pepper/Poivre Rouge, my autumn/winter staple. It progresses somewhat differently, though: it takes on a faint similarity to a refreshing sweet scent overlaid on that dark oriental base, reminding me of perhaps a Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger scent for a few minutes. The drydown is lovely, warm but not too sweet - and although still very like my Pink Pepper, it sits quieter and lasts longer.
This is a fragrance that has captivated me with its golden warmth. Its blend of woody notes is pleasing, it is warm and sensual without being at all heavy. It smells like love. It is impossible to wear this and not feel your heart opening.
This scent on me and to me is like a purple velvet cloak - there's a slumbrous, heavy lidded richness that has a sinister quality - a sweet floral undercurrent that may put you in a trance. You've read the notes and as others have said - it's unique. I love it.
Spicy, sweet, resinous, green, purple, yet glowing with an golden amberous light. This reminds me of the sunlight that glows through beautiful cathedral glass.
This is quite a surprise. It starts off with a foresty black hemlock note (which is also apparent in the masculine version of the scent). However, this is no usual woody scent. In fact, it is a mysterious and subtle violet scent!
The violets here are very dark, as if hidden in the shades of the forest. The final drydown is quite sweet - almost like an oriental.
An interesting and versatile fragrance that can be very individual when it finds its match!
Top notes: Cardamom, Coriander, Grass Oil
Heart notes: Black Hemlock, Violet, Jasmine Absolute
Base notes: Vetiver, Cedar Wood, Amber, Sandalwood
Ormonde is very much a scent of its own, I know no smell-a-likes. This is probably due to the use of black hemlock, a note no other fragrance has.
Ormonde is a cool, wet, mysterious dark fragrance with grass oil, alluring jasmine and a velvety touch of violets. If it were a colour, it would be either almost black green or almost black violet.
Ormonde reminds me of a nightime forest or a swamp, the mood is one out of a Gothic fairytale. The drydown is an unforgettable mixture of murky green vetiver, cedar and sandalwood notes melting into smoothest amber.