Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ormonde Jayne Ta'if

Ta'if by British perfume house Ormonde Jayne is both playful and romantic. Sort of like the images I chose above. In theory- Ta'if is a rose scent, so the romance isn't a surprise. The unexpected elements are three:
1. the sparkling, peppery opening
2. the spicy, not very feminine drydown
3. I love it

I had several expectations when I ordered the Ormonde Jayne sample pack last year. I knew I was going to love Tolu, the big-boned, balsamic oriental (and I do), shrug off the white florals (ditto), adore Woman and Orris Noir (not so much) and dislike Ta'if on account of the rose- this note tends to go sour on my skin.

Ta'if became my first full bottle of this line.

I could tell from the very beginning that there's something different about this fragrance. Pink pepper might have become a modern perfumery cliche, but when it works it really does a bottle good. In this case, the top notes sparkle and shine. It feels uplifting and fun from the first moment, and also very pretty. The rose is pretty big here. It's honeyed, sweet and rounded with rich fruit. I can't really spot the dates, but I believe they are responsible for the honey-like part. I get some peachiness, in the best possible way, or maybe a peach liqueur, because there's some very pleasant booziness, balanced by a dry wood-spice drydown.

As the hours go by it's no longer all about rose. The big red flower is still there, but other notes are more pronounced and there's a spicy feeling. The obvious question here is about a possible similarity to Malle's Noir Epices, but I get none. I like Noir Epices well enough, but it doesn't move me. It's sharper and definitely not as sweet. I also can't compare it to some of the rosy Montale fragrances, as each and every one I tried so far turned into a sour mess on me.

The final drydown of Ta'if is an amber-wood-vanilla with a gentle rose floating just above. It's not projecting much, but it wraps the skin in a pleasant, soft and inviting aura that holds for about 8 hours. The perfume blooms nicely, both in the heat and while working out (don't give me this look: I do it in private, not in a crowded gym), but I loved it just as much last winter. It had a summery promise.

For a male perspective read Dane's review over at PereDePierre.

Ta'if, as all the other Ormonde Jayne perfumes (£68.00 for 50 ml) is available from the London boutique (12 The Royal Arcade 28 Old Bond Street). Thankfully, they have a beautiful and functional e-commerce site, ormondejayne.com , and they are happy to ship overseas. They also have a sample program that gives you generous samples of all 11 fragrances for £35.00 (shipping is free, but they do not subtract the VAT. Just pick a day the exchange rate isn't too atrocious).

images: Vogue Red Rose cover from art.com, Valentino Rose Vertigo purse from Bergdorf Goodman


  1. lady jane greyJuly 29, 2009 2:00 AM

    I ordered the sample pack earlier this year and adored the packaging - in spite of the fact that during the transport one of the little spray bottles broke. Strangely, the spilled perfume washed off the name from some of the other bottles, so it became a quiz to find out their names (there are few of them with more or less strong pink pepper note...).

  2. OJ scents are my favorites, hands down, especially Ormonde Woman and Champaca. I own and enjoy Orris Noir, but it's temperamental. Lately I've tried to find a wearable rose, so I've played with a sample of Ta'if. The candied rose is barely there, but it's a beauty. Sillage is HUGE. Lasts forever. Impressive.

  3. lady jane greyJuly 30, 2009 2:00 AM

    With the help of Gaia's review I found Ta'if - and loved it.

  4. Lady Jane, I'm so glad you figured it out.
    A similar thing happened to me. One of the samples broke in transition(it was one of the masculines or a citrus one). It didn't do much damage to the other ones so I had no problem identifying them, but it was a pain to clean up.

  5. Dissed, it's a great house, for sure. I find Orris Noir and Woman a little too similar in the drydown, but that might be a skin chemistry issue.


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