It’s always a great day when you discover something new, particularly when it seems to be everything you were looking for.
I was a little reluctant to write about and recommend a perfumier given that aftershaves and colognes are personal things; and describing scents requires a certain type of linguistic dexterity I’m not confident I possess. But specialising in unusual oils and ingredients Ormande Jayne produces something very different, so I thought it a perfect Mensflair recommendation.
I decided to visit having received a press release from the company. While plenty of sites are happy to re-print company propaganda I like to check things out for myself, so I popped in on Saturday.
A very small boutique based in the Royal Arcade on 28 Old Bond Street, the antipodean girl that served me was both extremely knowledgeable and very polite. As it happens I also met the founder Linda, who came down to say hello. A woman who was eminently approachable, even a little nervous when talking about herself, I found her very pleasant. Her background is as exotic and original as the scents she produces; having travelled the world running boutique hotels, a soya bean farm, a small chain of ice cream parlours she started her scented career selling flowers by the roadside and learning to make scented candles and bathing oils.
Ormonde Man is my favourite of the scents. Rich and layered, if velvet had an odour this would be it. At the top end it’s spicy and woody with floral undertones that provide balance and stop it from being heavy and old fashioned. It lasts for the day and as it wears the top notes fade and the floral undertones take over, providing a clean fresh smell reminiscent of lavender, roses and talc, but without the sickliness or smelling too feminine. Occasionally catching a sniff as one moves around you feel cocoon in pleasantness.
Ingredients include; Juniper Berry, Bergamot, coriander, cardamom, cedar, sandalwood, musk and unusually Black Hemlock.
At £68 it’s at the top end of the cost spectrum but worth every penny in my view. It’s my birthday in March so I may well treat myself.
There are other fragrances to choose from, Isfarkand being another notable one, and Linda is keen for people to take sample scents to try out for themselves. Ormonde Jayne has an online presence and they ship to the rest of the world.