Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Scent post: Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

I can't get dressed without spraying or dabbing myself with perfume. To leave the house without it would be akin to leaving my handbag behind. Unthinkable.

Good scent makes me feel considerably happier. It's something I do for me, and for me alone. A purely private pleasure. I couldn't bear to wear a scent I didn't like. Loathing vanilla fragrances, I was unamused to read a survey somewhere recently that said that the perfumes men love on women usually have a lot of vanilla in them. Not the cloying, thump you over the head Neanderthal thwunk of Angel, but gentle comforting vanilla middle and base notes. Even Justin Timberlake gave an interview recently where he banged on about how much he and all men loved vanilla scents. (Although I do wonder whether he likes those on boys as much as girls).

I was almost tempted by India Knight's recommendation on her lovely blog of Frederic Malle's Musc Ravageur as another variation on the man magnet scent concept. I dug out the bottle of it I had from from a musk fragrance story I did last year, dabbed it on, waited for the dry down... and promptly washed it all off, remembering how I couldn't live with it last time round. I just can't do it. However single I am.

Unlike India, or my mother, I can't get my head round anything but florals. I wish I could but there will be no chypres or bois fragrances for me. I just like florals, both complex and single note.

Last year I went through a spell of wearing Ormonde Jayne's Frangipani and had forgotten how much I loved it until they sent me a lovely bottle of the eau de parfum recently. I've been floating in a glorious cloud all week.

There's an almost crisp top note of linden blossom, magnolia flower and lime peel but the dry down is an intoxicating complex floral dominated by white frangipani, jasmine and rose and tuberose absolutes. Of course there is a musk/amber/vanilla base to balance out the floral and stop it from becoming sickly, but it just adds a roundness.

The matching bath oil is an exercise in deliciousness: it turns the bath slightly milky, and your skin soft and scented. As the scent diffuses a wonderful haze of flowers drifts upwards in the steam, out the door and throughout the house. It makes me feel as though I am in a seraglio. In the best possible way.

(Quick note: Ormonde Jayne are based in London (in the delightful Royal Arcade, off Bond Street) but ship worldwide. The Frangipani arrived in under a week to New Jersey.)