When I think about London perfumery Ormonde Jayne's Woman, the imagery I keep coming back to is that of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. I imagine Eve, reclining and languorous, scented to an intoxicating degree, sans fig leaves.
Here is the notes list from the Ormonde Jayne website:
Top: Cardamom, coriander, grass oil
Heart: Black hemlock, violet, jasmine absolute
Base: Vetiver, cedarwood, amber, sandalwood
This blend instantly drew me in with the sharp verdancy of the grass oil, but it is not so uplifting that it sends you careening into the sky without care; the rich notes of black hemlock and spices immediately ground you once again. If that were not enough travel, you are dragged swiftly beneath the soil to be immersed in salty vetiver, powdered violet, dry woods and slightly sweet amber. What makes you want to stay there forever, ensconced within the earth's breast is the complexity of the overall effect of these notes together. Can something be emotionally unsettling, yet comforting at the same time? I did not think so until I tried Ormonde Woman, many, many times over. I am magnetically pulled towards this perfume like a moth to a flame. It feels almost forbidden to identify myself with it so closely, it's like one's hidden nature being discovered accidentally.
Ormonde Woman is a fragrance that is sensually emboldening. It's as if the primal essence of woman has been captured in a bottle to be used either wisely or foolishly, depending on the personality of the wearer. To me, it is more of an artful potion than a perfume, and on the right person, creates pure alchemical magic. This is a scent suitable for Complicated Women (you all know who you are), and while I am not proud nor ashamed that I count myself among them, I am thrilled that I have come across a scent that I am so clearly meant to wear.
Each time I wear Ormonde Woman, I look for more clarification as to why the scent works so well, but it gives the impression of a hazy collection of emotions without explanation. It is a scent that just IS, like the idea of love or death; its truth rocks the soul.
A 50ml bottle of Ormonde Woman EDP is available for 70 GBP, also available in Pure Parfum concentration, candles, EDP travel sprays and bath & body products. The Discovery Set (highly recommended to try all Ormonde Jayne blends) is available for 44 GBP, which includes shipping to anywhere in the world. You get a 2ml spray glass vial of each of their 12 scents.
[Discovery Set was sent to me for review by Ormonde Jayne. My opinions are my own and I was not financially compensated by the company]