Sleeping Queen – Review: Ormonde Jayne Ta’if

Rose perfumes are a special category.

They can be hit or miss for me, seldom anything in between. I either adore a rose perfume or hate it, I have yet to meet one that leaves me unaffected or indifferent.

The roses I love are spearheaded by THE ONE ROSE to beat them all – Amouage Lyric Woman. Also firmly in the love category are Portrait of a Lady, Une Rose and Une Rose Vermeille. My roses need to be dark, oriental and mysterious. No carefree lovelies like Jo Malone Red Roses Cologne.

One exception is Rose Ikebana, but that is more a rose by name than anything else.

Ta’if fits my idea of a dark, mysterious and regal rose perfectly.

A damask rose from Arabia. Ta´if, a town rising 5000 ft above the shores of the Red Sea and overlooking the Arabian desert, is renowned for its plantations of Ta´if rose. Ta´if by Ormonde Jayne is an intoxicating and audacious rose scent. This perfume dislikes daylight preferring dusk, the night, parties, promises and assignations. It is an opulent composition which makes a bold entrance and is confident enough to sweep everyone else to one side – a real belle of the ball. Ta´if is flamboyant but also sophisticated, a torrid blend of saffron, pink pepper, rose, dark sappy tree resins and broom – it is dynamic, daring and madly in love with life.

-from the Ormonde Jayne website
Notes include pink pepper, saffron, dates, rose oil, freesia, orange flower absolute, jasmine, broom and amber.

There is a spicy opening courtesy of pepper and saffron that is absolutely swoon-worthy. It is like a drum roll before the curtain is lifted and the Queen emerges. Trumpets sound and here she comes, decked out in a heavy dark red velvet dress with a long train. A rich, warm, full rose accompanied by her adjutants jasmine and orange flower, she makes a round through the big hall to the delight of her jubilant underlings and then climbs the dais to sit down on the throne. Slowly she settles in and the music starts playing a quieter tune, the people in the hall quiet down until a hush lies over the great throne hall. Everybody is looking up: the beautiful Queen is asleep on her throne made of wood and amber, resting peacefully in a sweet cloud of warm resins.

Ta’if is exceptionally longwearing and despite its opulence it is not dense or cloying, but holds on to the Ormonde Jayne signature transparency.

It is a classic floriental scent and while I adore this category, I am prone to get a headache (as PoaL proves time and again). This never happened with Ta’if.

The drydown is my favorite part, it is rich in spices and amber, the rose is only present as a memory or a dream. A good one.

Other Ormonde Jayne reviews: Tolu, Orris Noir, Osmanthus, Champaca.

Image source: harrods via,

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43 Responses to Sleeping Queen – Review: Ormonde Jayne Ta’if

  1. lady jane grey says:

    That’s the parfum wich came nearest to become my HG. Ever. I have it in EdP, candle, bath oil… – and I still dream about the parfum concentration.
    The EdP is more peppery on me – the parfum is pure rosey loveliness with a pinch of saffron. Blisssss !

  2. RH says:

    Someone once told me there is a rose fragrance for everyone as well as there is the right shade of red lipstick for everyone, so I’m still on my quest for a rose I can love. I will definitely try this as well as Rose Ikebana- you make them sound wonderful! It seems that Taif will be a little too much for warm weather though?

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is a good sentiment, I must remember it! 🙂
      I wore Ta’if often last summer, mostly at night though. It is a fantastic sleep scent or great for an evening out (of which I did not have many last summer 😉 ).
      Rose Ikebana, the extreme opposite of Ta’if is a perfect summer rose.

  3. Undina says:

    I LOVE Ta’if. This is my evening out/party scent. For now I’m happy with couple of decants but later I’ll have to decide if I want to get a bottle of the perfume.

    Olfactoria, now I think I will start reading your blog going back to before I started reading it regularly because after today’s post and looking back I just realized that we have many “likes” in common: Lyric, PoaL and Une Rose Vermeille are all my favorite roses. So now I’m curious what else you liked (and I haven’t tried yet).

  4. Tara says:

    Ah, my favourite OJ (so far!). Ta’if is truly glorious and “regal rose” is a perfect description. It really is an achievement to create such a rich oriental that is never overwhelming. Like you, I admire PoaL but couldn’t wear it. Ta’if may be better suited to the evening but it is incredibly easy to wear. Love it!

  5. k-scott says:

    Absolutely my favorite OJ, and one of my favorite rose scents. Thanks for you review!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi k-scott, thank you for commenting!
      I have such a hard time picking a favorite from OJ, but I think Ta’if could be it, for its sheer beauty and timelessness.

  6. Alyssa says:

    Love this one–thanks for the wonderful review. I’m especially fond of the contrast between the peppery opening and the velvety rose. I do find it a bit much in the Texas humidity, but I can see how it might bloom on a clear, not-t00-warm summer evening. But I always think of it as a winter rose, maybe because of Ayala Sender’s beautiful review of it, illustrated by a rose with snow clinging to it. Just fit my idea of the scent somehow…

  7. deeHowe says:

    Ta’if and Orris Noir have been battling it out on my skin for second place next to Woman. My dear husband has agreed to get be a bottle of an OJ perfume for Christmas—and it’s a good thing that is many months away, because I cannot decide! Ta’if is so lovely!

    Ta’if reminds me of Lyric, that queen of all roses, in it’s smooth sophistication. And I think too, that because of it’s transparent character, it could easily be worn all year round (obviously only by those of us who think that any oriental is appropriate in summer). But really, I do think that this could very easily be worn every day—it never feels “done”.
    It’s like the perfect shade of red lip gloss that goes with jeans and heels as well as a LBD.

    • Olfactoria says:

      So right, impossible to decide, I have narrowed it down to Ta’if, Orris Noir, Frangipani and Osmanthus now, thank God I already own Tolu!
      And I have only until Monday to decide! I am allowed to buy one bottle. What to do???

      • deeHowe says:

        You are in desperate straights my friend! LOL! A top four is much harder to narrow down than a top two, so all I can do is wish you luck! When you are there, I’m sure that one of them will speak to you, and maybe Linda will gift you with another! We can hope, right???

  8. Tarleisio says:

    I didn’t think I’d like or even love Ta’if, but I did. Heaven help me, I did. I need another rose like I need a …never mind.

    Am I the only one, is it just my alien nose, but are there definite similarities between Ta’if and Epic Woman? It’s not just the notes, for they’re different, but these two could be siblings, at least on my skin.

    In any case, in any universe, Ta’if is totally, utterly fahbulous.

    And just like you, B – that’s how I felt when I wore it! 😉

    • deeHowe says:

      That’s so funny T., that you smell Epic, because I smell Lyric! LOL, I must be anosmic to something in one or the other that causes my “read” on it to skew that way… but there it is surely a positive thing, that it makes each of us think of an Amouage! 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      I find similarities to Amouage too, but like Dee, I smell Lyric in there.
      As you say, a fahbulous rose! 😉

  9. vanessa says:

    I am also a huge fan of Ta’if – I seem to be drawn on some subliminal level to scents featuring saffron. When I wear it I do feel like one of its own “jublilant underlings”, mind… : – )

  10. Cymbaline says:

    I love OJ Ta’if and had the hardest time deciding between it and OJ Woman when I ordered a FB a couple of years ago. I ended up with Woman, but still really need(?) Ta’if-then again that Frangipani is a real beauty…: ) !

  11. Oh, how I love Ta’if. And you might be thinking, “Well, of course you do, Ormonde Jayne freak!” But me and rose do not get along. I mean, very, very rarely. Like you, it gives me potent migraines if used in a classical way. But Ta’if sparkles and floats, it is an olfactory dream.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Well said, Carrie! Is there an OJ perfume you don’t like?
      For me it is OJ Woman, sadly, but all the others are winners.

      • Well, a couple of the more cologne-style citrus and vetiver-based scents are just not for me. Also, I’m not wild about Sampaquita, and I was really hoping to love Tiare, but I don’t. I need to give it another chance, though. Woman, Orris Noir, Tolu, Man, Champaca and Ta’if are all full bottle-worthy to me. Considering that’s half of Ormonde Jayne scents right there, that’s a pretty good ratio! I’ll always have something to long for. I’ll be ordering a bottle of Woman edp, but am already feeling almost bereft that I can’t swing a Woman candle as well. Have you ever tried any of their candles?

        • Olfactoria says:

          I have Tolu mini candles, they are great in winter, and have been burning regularly this past season. I also adore the bath products. All in all I think we can say: Great line, huh? 😉

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  14. Caro says:

    Both Ta’if and Lyric are my favorite rose scents, although I also enjoy immensely Poussiere de Rose (and La Rose de Rosine and Sa Majesté la Rose).

  15. andrea says:

    Just when I thought I had decided (well almost, I am down to frangipani or tiare) which Ormonde Jayne perfume to buy, I read your review on ta’if and find myself with a curve ball thrown at me, I am also not a lover of Jo Malone red roses nor indeed rose fragrances per se but this one sounds like a rose fragrance that is right for me. I may well have to beg Ormonde Jayne for another sample before I make a decision.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Nothing harder than deciding between Ormonde Jayne perfumes! 🙂
      After agonizing for months, I now own bottles of Ta’if and Frangipani, I have had Tolu in my collection for a while. I feel those three represent the range well. Are you in London? The perfume portrait OJ offers instore is lovely and may be helpful. 🙂

      • andrea says:

        I am sadly not in London (York does not have much to offer perfume wise other than run of the mill department stores) I am sending my ex husband to get me a bottle of OJ perfume when he is in London in a couple of weeks time but alas I don;t think it would be wise for him to do a perfume portrait on my behalf. A perfume portrait from OJ is on my to do list some day. I dont suppose you have smelt the Jo Malone rose water and vanilla intense cologne as this is what I imagine the OJ ta’if to be like, I love and own this fragrance even though my BF says I smell like joss sticks – how rude.

        • Olfactoria says:

          No, I have not smelled the Jo Malone. Ta’if is a spicy rose like Amouage Lyric or Malle Portrait of a Lady, Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose or Perles de Lalique, if you maybe know one of those.

          • andrea says:

            Yay – I have a sample of amouage lyric winging its way to me now, I will let you know what I think and comparatively to the Jo Malone. Thanks for your advice, its always welcome to a novice perfumista.

          • Olfactoria says:

            That is great! Amouage is awesome, but it can take a little time to get to know it. I look forward to hearing your thoughts! 🙂

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