Thursday, November 10, 2011
If you read yesterday’s review, you would know that Kate Walsh Boyfriend was a dismal failure on my boyfriend. Serious scrubber status, to be honest. To make it up to him (and to cover up the saccharine stink emanating off his skin), I decided to take the opportunity to test out another masculine fragrance on him.
I sprayed Ilusionisto’s other arm with Ormonde Jayne’s Ormonde Man, taken from the beautifully presented Discovery Set I had received for reviewing purposes last week.
(photo borrowed from the Ormonde Jayne website)
Ormonde Jayne is a highly-regarded niche fragrance house based in London; perfumer Linda Pilkington aims to create products whose lovely exterior (really, the packaging of the Discovery Set is just so chic and elegant!) house beautiful and unexpected fragrances. The Ormonde Jayne perfume collection consists of thirteen fragrances; Ormonde Man (along with its counterpart Ormonde Woman) falls into the Woody/Signature Scent range. There are also the Florals, The Floral Orientals, and the Colognes - I’ll get to these soon enough!
Over the past few months, I’ve put a hell of a lot of perfumes on my boyfriend. He quite willingly participates in my little experiments, and is really beginning to understand and analyze fragrance. It’s really adorable, and makes it easier for me to review certain fragrances - I like wearing masculines, but sometimes, I just want to see what they smell like on someone with a Y chromosome. I’m thankful I have Ilusionisto for that.
Ormonde Man was love at first sniff for him! As soon as the first spray hit the crook of his elbow, I heard a loud “Oh god, that’s great! What is that?” And it was great on him, better than I expected!
Here is a collection of quotes from my darling boyfriend about Ormonde Man, interspersed with my explanations:
“Oh, it’s...um, what’s that word you taught me? The one about citrus notes? [I remind him that the word he’s looking for is ‘hesperidic’] Hesperdedic? Hesteridic? HESPERIDIC! Yeah, that. It’s hesperidic. Thanks baby!” The juniper berry and bergamot really shined on his skin. The first fifteen minutes of the fragrance was simultaneously bright and spicy. I could smell the fizziness of pink pepper (WHY IS THIS IN EVERYTHING?!) and the deep warmth of cardamom.
[Twenty minutes in, when the deep, textured mossiness of the heart notes and base notes started to emerge] “Oh, ooh, what is that? It’s so...yeah, I really don’t have the vocabulary or nose you do, but I know I like this. What is that smell? The oud + hemlock accord that comprise the heart of Ormonde Man, translated on Ilusionisto’s skin, expressed themselves as something that’s best described as velvet. Fuzzy, dark, intoxicating. A drug of the highest order. At this point, I was comfortably nestled in his arms with my nose in his elbow. It made it hard for him to eat his pint of Ben & Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Cookie, but he managed. I had zero desire to move. There was also an evident hit of vetiver (be still, my rapidly beating heart!) that added to the tangible greenness of this fragrance. I’ve read reviews of Ormonde Man that use forest imagery to describe it, and it’s true: you have soil, bark, decomposing grass, the wind through lush leaves, the midnight sky.
“I see colors when I smell this.” Clearly, so did I. My boyfriend is an artist as well as a musician. I need to remember to ask him to paint what he saw when wearing this. I’m curious to know if our mental images match up.
“Joey, this is the best thing you’ve ever put on me, I think. It keeps getting better.” This was the point when the cedar and sandalwood popped up to say hi. Powdery, cozy, woody and close to the skin; he is so lucky I didn’t eat his arm at this point.
“Baby, I think I need a bottle of this. This is honestly the first time I ever wanted to wear a cologne.” Well, hell. This is going to be one expensive present, but he’s right - he needs this.
I slept very well that night; his natural smell combined with Ormonde Man was just hypnotic. I had to know if it smelled as good on me.
Unfortunately, Ormonde Man isn’t quite as special on me as it was on him. The initial spray was all effervescent, peppery soap - how annoying! I could clearly make out coriander and that pink pepper, and those are the two notes that stuck out for the first three hours of wear. I had none of that magical plushness my boyfriend experienced. Eventually, the bubbles popped and the scent transformed into a cozy, powdery skin scent - all musk and sandalwood. Pleasant, but not quite worth tolerating the earlier soap smell.
I suppose I can’t have all the luck when it comes to fragrances. So, my sample spray will go to Ilusionisto, and I’ll plot to buy him a bottle as a joint graduation/Hanukkah present. What a lucky guy he is, ha.