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Orris Noir – Dark seduction – September 21, 2015 New Fragrance Listing

Image - - Iris Noir bloom and Orris Noir bottle

I love chocolate. I don’t eat it often but when I do I like really good chocolate, dark and not too sweet.  A few bites of an 80% pure dark chocolate bar, with bits of almond or orange rind sprinkled throughout, is the perfect ending to a dinner with rich food and possibly too much wine.

However, at Christmas I also love traditional run-of-the-mill chocolate boxes, like Pot of Gold or Russell Stover or Cadbury, and I’m always happy when we get a gift box. It takes me right back to childhood Christmas, when Aunt Agnes, my mother’s aunt, would arrive for her annual visit with the familiar rectangular box wrapped in wrinkled red tissue paper. My sibs and I could hardly contain ourselves while sherries were sipped and family news exchanged. We wanted to tear that lid off and get down to business choosing our favourites from the drawings on the legend that always covered the delicious layers beneath – caramel hazelnut swirls, vanilla crèmes, toasted almond clusters, maple crunch, chocolate mints. Mmm, what should I chose next? And will it taste as good as the description?

I get that same little frisson of anticipated pleasure when I open up a sample set of perfumes, especially when it’s from an exceptional niche perfume brand like Ormonde Jayne. I’m a fan of this British line created by Linda Pilkington  – see my posts on Ormonde Woman and Ormonde Man.

The website often offers free shipping anywhere in the world, so a while ago I ordered the 12 piece sample set. And wouldn’t you know, I found another Ormonde Jayne fragrance I absolutely love. A few sniffs and spritzes of Orris Noir and I caved, sat down at the Mac and ordered a bottle of the gorgeous scent about the black iris.

The Ormonde Jayne website describes Orris Noir as “so haunting, it almost defies description. The Black Iris flower is the Royal symbol of the Kings of Jordan and thrives in a landscape of ample sun. This dark, spicy Oriental scent with notes of pimento, bay and patchouli is for those who want to leave their mark. A spellbinding perfume, Orris Noir is a rich, seductive aria of unmistakable individuality, not for shrinking violets.”

Linda Pilkington is known for using unusual high-quality materials, and unique signature notes throughout her scents such as pink pepper, woods, incense, and jasmine. Her scents always have a seductive edge to them, and Orris Noir is no exception.

The first peppery spritz, edged with the faint fruity strawberry-sweet of davana, the limey citrus of bergamot, and spiced fragrance of coriander, is dramatic. Strong in the first moments, it transforms as a soft iris comes up with dry powdery wood and incense, making the scent seem almost sheer, translucent as it moves into the heart, the iris perceived as through a haze of thin smoke. In the heart, jasmine blooms quickly adding a lush feminine fullness, along with sweet myrrh, and in the base, patchouli with its green–edged vegetal aroma mixes with the resins of the woods, cedar and guaiac wood into dusky smooth accord. The long dry-down of Orris Noir is absolutely gorgeous - warm and velvety, with echoes of spice, and subtle whiffs of soft iris and ashy incense.

Ormonde Jayne describes Orris Noir as a “dark, Spicy Oriental”. I was expecting a “noir” scent à la Donna Karan Black Cashmere, or Montale Black Oud, which are deep, heavy, and relentlessly dark scents, but Orris Noir is all about an elegantly beautiful and seductive iris note, highlighted with white jasmine blooms, and the black part is a weightless silk.

There are nine more samples to try in my Ormonde Jayne sample box. Will they be as good as the description? Dare I open it again?


Orris Noir is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00.