Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy

Ormonde Jayne Vanille d’Iris ~ perfume review

orchid petals

I had to bide my time creating this, because it contains pure orris butter, which is so expensive…Then the rest of the perfume had to match the grandeur of this beautiful orris butter, so we worked with absolutes, using Madagascan vanilla, anything creamy, anything soft that would make it deep, rich and opulent. To make it really special, we created our own molecule. We created a part of the vanilla pod that you can’t buy, the smell of the soft brown sugary bit when you scrape down the seed pod. — Linda Pilkington of Ormonde Jayne1

Ormonde Jayne and I used to be great friends, but we parted ways around the time they started doing what I call upscale luxury — it was already a luxury brand, now it’s just more so. A little comparison shopping, which of course you can skip if niche fragrance prices don’t interest you: Champaca, one of my favorites from the early days of the brand (it came out in 2002), is now $240 for the large bottle (120 ml), rather steep but given niche prices these days, not necessarily out of the question.2 But the prices for the Four Corners of the World quartet (2012) range from $415 to $536, and Black Gold (2014) is an eye-popping $720. Perhaps they are all beyond category, I couldn’t say since I haven’t smelled them and I probably never will.

So I was happy to see a new fragrance in the “regular line” — something for us plebians! — last year, Vanille d’Iris…

Read the rest of this article »

5 perfumes: Euphoria


It has been said of great poetry — as well as of pornography, of course — that you know it when you see it. A few perfumes have struck me with an analogous revelatory force.1 Many of my favorites have crept up on me, gaining in beauty and mystery over the course of several exposures. In a small number of cases, though, a first encounter with a fragrance has been more like being within 50 feet of a lightning strike: no immediate definition or description does the matter justice. Since my perfume hobby started, I’ve watched the epiphanies of several of my fellow fume-heads. Upon processing the first sniff, two enthusiasts have wept. One friend laughed in surprise, and another pirouetted. My reaction to such new love is to blush beet-red, regardless of whether there is anyone around to witness my surrender. Apparently, if I am greatly moved, my sympathetic nervous system must become involved.

Does it say something about me that I have spent a great deal of time ruminating on these singular events, trying to identify a unifying thread? (Short answer: yes.) In fact, I have noticed there are similarities between my own heart-struck moments…

Read the rest of this article »