Purple Silk – Review: Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir

I own the Ormonde Jayne discovery set for years now (highly recommended btw!) and so far this has led me to aquiring Tolu in many incarnations, perfume, bath oil, candles. I did my best to ignore the rest of the set since I fear getting intimately acquainted with the other fragrances will undoubtedly lead to further purchases.  That is something good reason, not to mention good budgeting, should prohibit (for now).

But I think in the case of Orris Noir putting it off is no longer in the cards.
Orris Noir was one of those scents, where from merely reading the notes and concluding from the name, I thought would be to dark or heavy for me, this quote from the Ormonde Jayne website –

This dark, spicy Oriental scent is for those who want to leave their mark. A spellbinding perfume, Orris Noir is a rich, seductive aria of unmistakable individuality, not for shrinking violets.

– doesn´t help either, but this perfume is nothing of the sort as far as I am concerned.

Orris Noir is a light, soft and spicy floral oriental, light enough to lift one´s spirits but spicy and deep enough to be more than just a little interesting.

It was launched in 2006 as part of Linda Pilkington´s niche line Ormonde Jayne. This very talented perfumer from London seems to be extremely dedicated to what she does. The line´s  aesthetic is one that also highly appeals to me. If looking for a gift or just a recommendation for a friend this is always one of the first brands I turn to.

But back to Orris Noir: featured notes include davana (an Indian herb), pink pepper, coriander seed, cardamom, bergamot, iris, jasmine sambac absolute, pimento berries, bay, saffron, incense, myrrh, patchouli, cedar and gaiac wood.

Just reading these notes combined with the assignment of Noir to the name, Orris Noir sounds like a heavy affair. But throughout its development and considerable weartime it remains a light – as in lighthearted – and sheer perfume.

I envision purple silk when I wear it, a purple, flowing, elegant and light as air silk shawl, that caresses my shoulders.

Orris Noir starts with a spicy, citrus-y top note that is soon rounded and sweetened by the incredibly soft heart of jasmine and iris laced with coriander. The flowers are bedded on the softest layers of a sweet and spicy base, where I smell a lot of Myrrh and powdery iris.

It is an understated and elegant fragrance, the inclusion if incense, most apparent in the late drydown, makes it a winner for me. It is one of those fragrances that are perfectly fine and nice, but somewhat underwhelming in the beginning. But if you give them a chance they grow on you, and with every passing hour you like what you smell even more.

Orris Noir is not dramatic or dark, but its cool and airy silkiness has me captivated all the same.

Picture Source: harrods.com, flowerpicturegallery.com, some rights reserved, thank you!

About Olfactoria

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This entry was posted in Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Oriental, Ormonde Jayne and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Purple Silk – Review: Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir

  1. I recently had the opportunity to try Ormonde Woman, and I did not expect to go completely insane for it. I’ve never tried any other Ormonde Jayne scents, and to be honest, I had no plans to (I have no reason to feel that way, just unfamiliar). Someone sent me a sample of it, and I spent the next day or so spritzing with abandon until it was gone. What I have learned is simple: give everything a chance, because you never know.. and, try every single Ormonde Jayne scent as soon as possible. I have a hankering for those tropical floral scents, and Orris Noir sounds very lovely as well.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Ormonde Jayne has a very nice collection of perfumes, I have yet to find one I didn´t like, EXCEPT Ormonde Woman 🙂 There is something in it, I can´t stand. I would so love to find out what!
      Carrie, I updated your link on my blogroll with the new address.

      • Thank you so much Birgit! 🙂 Now I’m interested too, and will try to help you figure out what is in Ormonde Woman that you are averse to. There is something slightly disturbing about the blend, but that sort of mystery gets me hooked! (i.e. Aftelier Tango).

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  3. Tarleisio says:

    I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it! Someone else besides me who cannot stand Ormonde Jayne Woman! Here I thought I was the only one…but to me, it smells, well, Evil – not in a good way, so I gave it to my villain, a certain entity named Lilith, Queen of the Succubi…;)

    My sister loved it, so there you have it – one woman’s Obsession is another woman’s Poison!

    I’ve never tried any other OJ – not that I don’t want to, especially Tolu, Frangipani and now…Orris Noir. I’m always on the lookout for my next favorite iris.

    Note to self…OJ discovery set goes on birthday wishlist. Along with all the other ones…;-)

    And speaking of iris, has anyone had the opportunity to try Odin New York’s 04-Petrana? I’ve heard great things about it, and I’m mightily intrigued…

  4. Tara says:

    I didn’t ike Ormande Woman either so that makes three of us! I also found a dark, unpleasant note in it which I assumed must be the black hemlock because it is so “witchy” and like nothing I’ve come across before. Need to try the others though and especially Orris Noir – purple silk sounds lovely.

  5. lady jane grey says:

    I’m a big admirer of Linda Pilkington, there is hardly a trip to London without a visit at her shop (she has a new one near Sloane sq. now, but I loved the tiny old one in one of the Arcades near Piccadilly…). I felt for Ta’if right after I got the very frist sniff of it – it was during the good old times, when I thought a floral never could become my HG…
    I had to smile when reading your review : in the meantime I also got Tolu in all its versions, made by Linda Pilkington… Today I was awaken by the doorbell, and I found the postman ringing there, with a package. I couldn’t remember any perfume samples ordered… – it was a birthday present from my dear friend, living in he US: a Ta’if candle. Isn’t it a perfect bliss ?!
    Though it looks like I’m having a longer day in the office today, but I’m looking forward to re-sniffing Orris Noir first thing first when arrive home tonight.
    Thank you for the lovely review for this lovely scent !

    • Olfactoria says:

      Happy Birthday, Lady Grey! Let us know about your other fragrant gifts 🙂
      Ta’if is beautiful, what a nice friend!
      I go to London in April, a visit to OJ is a must for me.

  6. Marina says:

    ‘Purple silk’ describes it so very well!

  7. Oh no, where is the love for Ormonde Woman? Hah, I didn’t expect to see such a long string of people who don’t take well to it. It made me sad, yet laugh at the same time. 🙂

    • Tara says:

      Just think I’m too easily spooked! It’s obviously very well done and gets loads of love on NST & elsewhere, if that’s any consolation 🙂

    • Tarleisio says:

      I can’t speak for everyone, obviously, but for me, it was that green hemlock??+ some strange musky base that was the deal breaker. It threatened to eat me alive, and usually, I’m not averse to perfume carnivores, but I. Just. Couldn’t. Stand. It.

      So not for me. Which only means there’s more for those of you who love it! 🙂

  8. deeHowe says:

    “… a purple, flowing, elegant and light as air silk shawl, that caresses my shoulders.”

    That sounds so lovely; and, if you substitute the color *green* for *purple* it would be a good description of OJ Woman for me 😉

    I still haven’t bought my discovery set! Must do this Soon.

  9. Victoria says:

    Purple silk….. Mmmmmmm, that description really makes me want to wear it. Which I will do the moment I get home!
    I wore it on Christmas Eve the last time, and it was so enjoyable.

  10. vanessa says:

    I have the discovery set two, and Orris Noir is one of my favourites, along with Ta’if (the bath and shower gel is gorgeous in that too) and Tiare. I have a very high success rate with OJ as a house – as in the % of scents I like out of the whole range. It is possibly the highest of any house – with relatively few scents LP has covered most bases, like a fragrance capsule wardrobe.

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