The Beauty of Scent, Scrutinized for Pleasure

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My home in the forest: revisiting Ormonde Jayne Woman

As I was choosing my scent of the day today, I was drawn to one of my favorites, Ormonde Woman. I wore it a  lot last Winter, and I associate it with the minor thrill I get when freezing cold air first hits my skin when I go outside. Despite today being relatively warm, Woman ushered in the mood and the emotion of Winter and a slight giddiness bounced around in the pit of my stomach. This fragrance, in all its evocative glory, is a harbinger of the cold for me, and I wear it today in celebration of the beauty of this time of year- when Fall ripens into Winter and I become the best version of myself. Intentions become clearer, my mind moves along at a pleasing clip and ideas are more likely to be brought to fruition.

When I reviewed Woman back in March, I had already figured out how much gravity and power this perfume held. It's one of a kind, and from the very first sniff, I knew that it was made for me. When I spray it, I experience its gifts: to be led by the hand into the forest where this scent lives, underneath the canopy, at the base of a massive oak tree with moss growing all around-- this is where Ormonde Woman lives, and this is my home as well.



This is where I curl up on the half-frozen ground- I am practically impervious to the chill. There are shades of brown and green all around me- a thousand colors with minute differences between them, but each so completely necessary to the scene. Each twig, leaf and insect is exactly where it should be, every inhabitant of every inch of space, living or no longer living, is accounted for and perfectly in place. A shimmering veil of dreaminess touches the hyper-real landscape.



Ever since I was a little girl, this has been my happy place. I picture myself here, sinking into the ground, becoming part of the glorious earth beneath me. Nothing has ever made me happier than knowing the peace I feel here, a place where fear does not exist. It is a place where I accept all the miracles and tragedies of nature for what they are, what they must be. It is a perfect place, my home in the forest. There have been physical places I've been to that are very similar to the forest haven in my mind (or heart?), so many times when I have been overwhelmed by the beauty around me. I have felt small in the presence of mountains and California Redwoods, and I try to keep that feeling with me always. To become small when confronted with great beauty (in whatever form) is a rite of passage for humans, and if you're not lucky enough to be around that beauty all the time, you can seek out an emotional shortcut. Mine has been found, it is Ormonde Woman. The forest in my soul is accessible by a single spray of an atomizer.

Do you have a particular perfume that serves as an emotional shortcut to your happy place? I'd love to hear about it.

18 comments:

  1. Atelier Cologne Vanilla Insensee always re-energizes my mopey moods. It somehow manages to stroke my ambition side and gears me up for work whenever I spritz it on at 6 am. Cannot get enough it.

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  2. N.K.- OH that's a good 'un! I love Vanille Insensee, it is SO beautiful.

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  3. Ormonde Woman is definitely a special fragrance, and so good at this time of year. I have been wearing SSS Fig Tree a lot over the past week, and it is great for my mood. Woods and vetivers are most soothing to me lately.

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  4. This is a beautiful post, Carrie. I too feel at home in the forest and come alive in the cooler weather.

    Unfortunately, as gorgeous as Ormonde Woman is, it smells awful on me. I gave my sample to my best friend and when she applied it, I finally understood just HOW gorgeous the perfume really is.

    The perfume that zaps me to a happy place is Dior Poison. It reminds me of being a carefree teenager. Us suburban girls would take the bus to the city shopping center and get samples at the perfume counters. I still wear it today, and love it even more

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  5. Oh that sounds beautiful! I was lucky enough to grow up in the mountains, so a pine forest was always close by, and the scent of walking home after a good rain remains one of my favorite scent memories.

    My memory lane perfume is a bit more mainstream. I bought Bvlgari Jasmin Noir on holiday to the ocean, and spraying it on always makes me feel more alive, just like swimming in buoyant salt water.

    xo Tara

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  6. I guess I'd have to say that most of the perfumes in my collection take me to my happy place -- that's why I wear them!

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  7. That was a lovely description of one of my favourite perfumes. I haven't found the perfume to match my happy place yet. It would have smells of northern Ontario in the summer: wet cedar, dry pine needles, rasperries, green leaves, lake water drying on skin, bonfire smoke.

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  8. Joanne- I thought you might be able to identify with this post. :) It's been so long since I've smelled Poison, and even though I remember what it smells like, I ought to give it a sniff with my newly calibrated nose. ;)

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  9. Tara- I like Bulgari Jasmin Noir, it's very pretty.

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  10. kjanicki- I sure hope that one day you find a perfume that reminds you of your happy place, it certainly sounds like heaven!

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  11. Carrie, as a fellow nature girl, I loved your review -- and Ormonde Woman is my favorite from the Ormonde Jayne line. In a similar vein, I love Sonoma Scent Studio's Jour Ensoleille and Incense Pure (not that they smell anything like Ormonde Woman, but they are scents that are reminiscent of place/nature). Since I love hot summer weather the most, though, my happy place perfume is Carnal Flower, for its solar nature.

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  12. Opus IV takes me to a happy place! It's a little bit different sort of place: warm, dry, arid, with mountains and rivers close by. It's the smell of happiness shared with the one I love best! :)

    Such a beautifully evocative reflection; thank you Carrie!

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  13. What a beautiful piece of writing, thank you for taking us with you into the forest.
    For me there are several perfumes taking me to different places of happiness, I like to keep my choices open. ;)

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  14. Suzanne- thank you! I am imagining what it's like to be the opposite of how I am, a lover of hot weather, and how perfect Carnal Flower would be! A very nice choice.

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  15. Dee- I think Amouage's scents are all little teleportation devices in a bottle, such power and energy, and imagination!

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  16. Birgit- thank you for commenting! I just re-read the review of Woman in Turin & Sanchez' book, and the two word descriptor for it is "forest chypre". All I can say is, YES! And having many choices is one of the greatest joys of loving perfume as dearly as we do, so many places to go, so little time!

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  17. This sounds like a really special scent. I currently love Guerlain Angelique Noire in the evening and cooler weather. It makes me feel womanly and sexy.

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