What to wear when Mercury is in retrograde?
I don't know if it's the alignment of the planets, the weather or the pollen, but some days just feel off. A disturbance in the Force, if you will. So I wear Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne, and I'm not sure if it's the cure or simply a reflection of my mood. But it's beautiful, dark and has a lot of spicy incense of the kind you smell in Donna Karan's Black Cashmere, only rounder and a lot more balanced with a touch of fruit macerated in liquor.
Orris Noir has the signature Ormonde Jayne notes- red and pink pepper and a very dry musky wood. They serve as bookends to a black velvet mantle of incense, gorgeous jasmine and a surprisingly pale iris. I was a little disappointed the first time I tried Orris Noir. I hoped for a more distinct and edgy iris, maybe with some unresolved anger. But I've learned to love and respect the subtleties and elegance of this composition. It's dramatic enough without going all the way to Bertha Rochester's territory.
While the first 20 minutes of Orris Noir are quite strong and bold, it calms down a bit later and hovers just above the skin. That's when the incense and wood are at their best. Ormonde Woman has a similar feel, but I actually prefer this one because the wood isn't as austere and I can sometimes smell an animalic touch. I find Orris Noir warmer and sexier on my skin; while I think it's a perfectly gender neutral scent, when I'm wearing it there's a distinct femininity. This is one I think I want in the parfum concentration (though I've only tried the EDP), preferably with an engraved stopper, just because. Just thinking of it is already making me feel better.
Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne can be purchased at the London boutique (12 The Royal Arcade 28 Old Bond Street) or from Harrods. Thankfully, it's also available online directly from Ormonde Jayne and they ship oversees. I originally bought the discovery set (£35.00, free shipping) which I highly recommend.
Photo of Tina Modotti by Edward Weston, 1921