The Beauty of Scent, Scrutinized for Pleasure

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

O Tannenbaum! [a joint blogging project]

Around Christmas time every year, I think back to my much-cherished days in 'a capella' choir in high school. Singing holiday songs in different languages was one of my favorite parts about choir, and no song was more beloved by me than "O Tannenbaum" sung in its original German, which was also my favorite language to sing in (it's so satisfying and earthy). So, when Joanne of Redolent of Spices first contacted me to see if I wanted to participate in this blogging project and told me the name and theme, my heart leapt just a little bit.

I could have chosen dozens of fragrances that I love with a woody and/or tree resin theme, but alas, we could only choose three. I decided on Aftelier Perfumes Fir solid, Odin 01 Sunda and Ormonde Jayne Man. Please do check out the following blogs who have also participated in "O Tannenbaum", we are all very excited to share the spotlight with one another:

Joanne of Redolent of Spices
Ines of All I am.. A Redhead
Mals of Muse in Wooden Shoes
Krista of Scent of the Day
Victoria of EauMG
Meg of Parfumieren
Joey of Beauty, Bacon, Bunnies
Dee of Beauty on the Outside
Suzanne of Suzanne's Perfume Journal
Birgit and Tara of Olfactoria's Travels
Julia of Undina's Looking Glass
Thomas of The Candy Perfume Boy
Nick of Fragrant Reviews
Natalie of Another Perfume Blog

Now, on to the perfumes!

Aftelier Fir Solid
Fir solid perfume has a particular bright, jammy quality that I've found in several of Mandy Aftel's perfumes. One of the golden threads running through many of them is a flair for adding fruity elements to enhance the major notes and to cast some sunshine on the entire blend. This technique is used to great effect in Fir, and it makes me think of fir trees in Mandy's native California instead of those found, say, in the Midwest this time of year. These are not snow-covered trees, these needles have been sun-warmed and are sticky with resin. It's a truly charming and sensual fragrance and a year-round favorite of mine.

Odin 01 Sunda (formerly Nomad)
Surprisingly potent for an eau de toilette, Odin 01 Sunda really delivers all the best mouthwatering bits of a woody, musky perfume. I've been consistently impressed with Odin's fragrance offerings, but so far, Sunda is my favorite and the only one I have a full bottle of. There are notes of juniper berries, cedarwood, bergamot, palmarosa, black pepper, heliotrope, tonka bean, West Indian sandalwood and grey musk. Right off the bat, you get a soft but persistent pinch in the rear from a really lovely bergamot note, followed very closely by an amalgam of juniper, cedar and sandalwood. If Sunda were a person, it would be Barry White. By that I mean that it's one smooth cat. Nothing is ever too sharp or too soft, and it melds with the skin to create a musky, sexy scent that can very easily be worn by both women and men. In fact, my husband loves to wear it too (maybe there is a god?).
P.S. Odin, if you're reading this... hey... it's me, Carrie. You should have left the name at Nomad, it's cooler.

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Man
Okay, I need to compose myself for this one. Ormonde Man, the slightly more masculine version of my beloved Woman, is less sweet and powdery, more herbal and the grass oil has been replaced with juniper- but it's got that sigh-inducing level of Iso-E Super and natural sandalwood that still makes a massive impact on me every time. What's more, it has oudh. Oh yes, there's oudh. I personally think that Man and Woman are equally good, so if you're going to have one, you really must have both. If you've spent any amount of time at all with these two fragrances, you'll know how each one satisfies different moods and whims, and they beg to be shared with your significant other. Ormonde Man is sexy, intelligent and defies you to categorize it with anything other than its female counterpart.

Please enjoy visiting the other bloggers involved in "O Tannenbaum", and have a lovely Winter Solstice, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas! Now go hug a tree and tell it that you love it.


  1. Love your description of Fir!

    Trying to ignore any references to Ormande Jayne, though, since I have yet to try the house and my wallet is begging me not to. ;)

  2. Such beautiful choices, Carrie!
    I recently grew to love Ormonde Woman and Man and I have you to blame, I mean, thank for that. ;)

  3. Barry White is calling my name... Seriously, Sunda sounds gorgeous!

  4. Carrie, what a wonderful, warm review! I treasure your classy writing, and am overjoyed to have you understand my perfumes so well. Thank you so much for sharing so graciously!
    -xo Mandy

  5. Is there anything better than hearing Barry White say, "We've really got it together, baby" in that deep voice of his? I'm skipping the Christmas music today and putting him in the queue instead. And if I had some Sunda, I think I might be bathing in it right about now. ;)

    Your writing always slays me, Carrie. Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a fabulous 2012!

  6. Odin Sunda sounds quite intriguing. I love those subtle, musky unisex scents.

  7. Oh, Jen. I can send you a decant of Woman if you'd like? I know, I'm an Enabler Deluxe, but I am very free with my juice. :)

  8. Birgit- thank you! Those two scents changed me. You can blame or thank me, either way, it's all the same to me if you love them!

  9. Dee- let me know if you'd like me to send you a decant of Sunda!

  10. Dearest Mandy, as usual, the pleasure is all mine!

  11. Suzanne, thank you for your lovely comment! I do love Barry White, and feel rather gratified that I've found the perfect scent to express his suave style. :)

  12. NK- I can recommend sampling Odin 01-04 (I haven't tried the two newest ones yet), they are ALL stunning and versatile. I would be happy to send you a sample of 01 if you'd like!

  13. You nailed it with Sunda. It's a Barry White. It's been a difficult one for me to explain. I tend to use the adjective "smooth" and then stop there.

    Love the lolcat.

    Happy holidays!

  14. OMG! I have to recomment to tell you that my word verification was "Danzig". OMG.

  15. You're right that "Nomad" is better. But as someone who names products for a living, I suspect the name was changed because of a legal challenge -- probably a preexisting trademark in the same class of goods.

  16. Dear Santa,
    Please send me one of each. Please? Also, bring Carrie along when you stop by! ;)

    Aftelier Fir sounds gorgeous, but unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to enjoy that delicious jammy scent fully. However, I shouldn't have any problems sniffing Odin 01 Sunda and Ormonde Jayne Man.

    OJ Woman doesn't work on me, so I am definately going to try Man. It sounds divine!

  17. How so very generous of you! Let me see if I can score a sample locally at The Scent Bar. I have to pop by to refresh my Vanille Insensee. You had me at Barry White, as I can a smooth flawless whiskey in hand when wearing this scent.

  18. I loved these reviews, Carries, but especially your take on Ormonde Man. You've inspired me not to set it aside as second fiddle to Ormonde Woman. I will be revisiting!

  19. Victoria: if there's a better lolcat out there for me to use with this blog post, I haven't seen it. And I can't believe your captcha was Danzig, why don't I ever get the Danzig?

  20. Gnosmic- I have wondered about it- my first thought was that somewhere, somehow Nomad is an "Un-PC" term, and maybe there were complaints. I think your explanation is more likely, though.

  21. Joanne- I'll send you a sample of Sunda. Maybe I'll just show up with it at your door on Christmas with a wreath around my neck!

  22. Hi Natalie! I'm glad I've inspired you to pay your Man a little more attention. :)

  23. I own Ormonde Woman and love it but Ormonde Man is one of the few OJ perfumes I've never tried. Thanks for the great review and for participating in O Tannenbaum!

  24. Carrie, do you know what I like the most about your post? There is just one perfume I have to add to my "to try" list - Aftelier Fir :)

    Joking aide, I agree with your description of Ormonde Men. I really enjoy this perfume. As to Nomad, I smelled it at the store after reading Birgit's great review for it, liked it and got a sample - and haven't found time to test it on skin. Now I will definitely try it soon. Thanks for a nudge :)

    ~ Undina ~

  25. Agree with you wholeheartedly re: Barry White being reincarnated in a perfume bottle as Sunda. Super-smooth! (And Nomad WAS an evocative name... but speaking as a reference library worker, I'm happy if "Sunda" actually makes people pick up a world atlas. ;)

  26. Hi Krista! I'm looking forward to your take on Ormonde Man. I had a blast with O Tannenbaum, thank you for helping to put it together!

  27. Undina- I am curious to know what you think of Aftelier Fir and Odin Nomad! I know what you mean, it's kind of frustrating when you read a post with multiple fragrances, and you must try them all. I'm glad this was only 1 out of 3 for you. :)

  28. Meg: I love love love that you're a librarian. I believe that learning about perfume and the ingredients involved in making it is indeed a roundabout way of learning about different cultures and geography. History, too!