Saturday, February 25, 2012

In the mood for Spring - Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus

Winter seems to have (at least temporary) lost its grip of Sweden and we've had a week of melting snow, water dripping off roofs and green patches showing up all over the lawn. I'm so amazed with how this affects my perception of perfume. All of a sudden I'm no longer interested in "cozy", "comforting" or even "chilly ethereal". I want florid fruits, vivid florals and prolific playfulness, I've even been wearing my dress with bunny rabbits printed all over it, and I can tell you, that's not a dress for just any occasion :)

A perfume that has proven itself to be perfect for the last few days is Ormonde Jaynes Osmanthus. This is the only perfume that I know of where pomelo plays a major part. Pomelo are sometimes as big as a persons head and believed to be an ancestor to the grape fruit. In latin it's aptly named  "Citrus maxima". The flavour can best be described as a sweeter, milder and more floral variety of grape fruit.

Pomelo also happens to be one of my very favorite fruits and one I'm very familiar with - in high school I spent a year as an exchange student in Thailand and one of my host families there were pomelo farmers. After dinner we used to cut up a pomelo, tear off pieces of the flesh, dip in "nam jim" (= a mixture of sugar, salt and chili that seems maximize the flavors of any fruits it's applied on), shoveit   into our mouths and just "sabai sabai", a quintessential Thai expression that means to relax and feel good about things.

But back to perfume, the intro of Osmanthus is like digging your nails deep into the zest of a pomelo. There is that aromatic sharpness you get when using grated zest in foods, and there is an extra boost from pimento, but there is none of the tartness you get when using citrus juice itself.

About an hour into wearing, Osmanthus goes a bit watery. The zesty sharpness of the intro has mellowed down and I'd almost say it has an aquatic phase. But not to worry, one hour more and the osmanthus absolute seems to be in full bloom, intimately intertwined with the pomelo note. This is my favorite phase, the perfect balance between citrus, flowers and basenots and this is pretty much how it stays for the remainder of the wear.

In all, Ormonde Jaynes Osmanthus is a great scent for spring. It's sunny, happy and energizing, without being annoyingly cheery (as some citruses can be). And it goes great with bunny printed clothes.

Top Notes: Pomelo, davana (sweet Egyptian herb), pimento
Heart Notes: Osmanthus absolute, water lily and sambac (Indian jasmine)
Base Notes: Cedarwood, labdanum resin, musk and vetiver


  1. Interesting info about the pomelos, I have thought about them as small citrusfruits, instead they proved to be gigants!
    When I sampled OJ Osmanthus it was in the middle of the summer and the weather was warm and sunny. Maybe that is the reason to the fact that Osamnthus more or less collapsed on my skin in some pale, slight sour, citrus-metallic notes and soon thereafter it just disappered. Your description of it makes me want to dig out the sample again and test it in more fair conditions.

  2. Anything that goes with bunny printed clothes must be great! Like Parfumista, I'm inspired to find my sample of Osmanthus and re-test it while re-reading your review. I've never eaten a pomelo fruit, except as part of salads with other flavors, so I don't have a distinct memory of how they taste or smell. You review is suggesting I may really like them on their own!

  3. Parfumista, I think it's well worth giving it another try. It wasn't love at first sniff for me either, but now, all of a sudden, it's just beautiful :)

  4. Nathalie, if you like grape fruits I can't see how you can go wrong with pomelos :) Even though they're native to South East Asia there is supposed to be a Californian type named Chandler (I'm looking at Wikipedia here).

  5. I was too intrigued and distracted by this "nam jim" to even think about perfume! Is it only eaten on fruits??

  6. Ari, as far as I know this type of dry dip is used only on fruits. It's especially good on very sour fruits (as the salt tends to cut the edge off the tartenss) or on bland fruits to boost them up, but anything goes. Here is a recipe (only they call it "prik kab klua", which means chilli with salt) and more info, at

  7. I did enjoy reading about the pomelo angle to Osmanthus, which had totally passed me by before, as well as hearing about your own personal connection with the fruit. : - )

    I see you are in Stockholm, like some friends of mine. Shall I tell them to look out for the bunny dress in Sodermalm? They are quite funky dressers too and I have several garments from Indjska (spelling is approximate!) that cut a dash over here. (sorry for the lack of accents.)

  8. Haha, just up until a few months ago I lived just across the water from Södermalm (in Hammarby Sjöstad) and it used to be my favorite thing, taking the boat over and stroll around.

    Indiska is a great place to shop, I go there a lot! That bunny dress is actually from H&M. They, pretty recently, had several garments with bunny prints, so it's probably available all over the world :)

  9. I will look out for it, and shall tell my friends about your blog. One in particular is a perfume fan! It was she who gave me the bag featured in Part 2 of my PG blog post, as well as many other interesting (Swedish) accessories down the years! : - )

  10. Vanessa, that's one killer bag, it look great! You're very welcome to tell your friends. I don't have any real life perfume buds so I would absolutely love to meet some :)

  11. nice opinion.. thanks for sharing....