Wednesday 27 January 2010

Ormonde Jayne Tiare - Small SPLAT Review

Well, after pleading extreme fed upness and a chronically dismal quality of life, I managed to convince the doctor this morning to make me a pointy stick appointment tomorrow, even though he had no slots free for the foreseeable future. My glum faced look must be more compelling than I realised.

So from tomorrow, we hope that my sniffing faculties will be restored, in all their delineated, differentiated and nuanced glory (well, back to what they were, anyway). But today my sample of Tiare arrived from those nice people at Ormonde Jayne and I couldn't wait to try it. The girls had run out of official samples but agreed to my offer to send them an empty 1ml vial and a funnel, so now at last I am able to test this major lemming, belatedly and in my own impressionistic and extra blurry way.

For reference, here are the notes:


Top: Mandarin, Orange Flower and Sicilian Lime
Heart: Tiare, Freesia, Water Lilies, Jasmine, Orris and Ylang
Base: Cedar, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Moss and Musk

When I first heard about the impending release of Tiare, I focused completely in my mind on the Tahitian gardenia note, imagining it to be how I hoped Un Matin d'Orage would smell, ie a watery, sheer, green tropical floral reminiscent of a hothouse in a botanical garden. Un Matin d'Orage started out promisingly, not unlike the gardenia equivalent of Carnal Flower, but became sharply sour and indolic on the drydown, rendering it sadly unwearable. And as it turns out, Tiare is like neither my imagined nor the real version of Un Matin d'Orage...

Tiare is still sheer, but not remotely tropical to my nose - or so ethereally so as not to register on a catarrh-compromised nose. The citrussy opening flows into a light, refined, green floral, anchored by a whisper of moss. It is elegant without being standoffish, and could be worn on pretty much any occasion other than "downright scuzzy" or "on the pull". Comparing it to the other exotic florals in the OJ line - such as Sampaquita and Frangipani - I'd say it was much more "intellectual", thanks to the moss. Moss is a jolly severe note, I have decided. If I had to pick one look to epitomise the person wearing this scent, it would be geek glasses and a pencil skirt, so we are clearly a million miles away from Polynesian flower garlands. I realise now that Tiare ACTUALLY smells exactly as I hoped EL PC Jasmine White Moss would, however, JWM was way too mossy for me, even more mossy than Cristalle, with which I have also seen this scent compared. A comparison of notes shows Tiare to have SEVEN notes in common with JWM (if orange flower equates to blossom, which I don't see why it wouldn't).


Top: Mandarin, blackcurrant buds absolute, Sambac jasmine absolute, bergamot, galbanum
Heart: Indian jasmine absolute, orange blossom, ylang-ylang
Base: Patchouli, white moss mist and vetiver.

If you were to liken Tiare and JWM to those novelty Bavarian weather houses, JCW would be the man and Tiare the woman, for there is a definite "his" and "hers" quality to the duo. By a weird coincidence, I sprayed Stella Nude on my wrist in town today, just below the Tiare test area. Back home, I was googling the notes of Stella Nude and found a review of it by Robin of NSTperfume, directly under her review of Tiare. (Twilight Zone!!). Stella Nude starts out as grapefruit soap, but quickly goes splat and ends up as a soft, faintly soapy skin scent, and the FEEL of it (not the smell, before anyone throws their copy of Perfumes: The Guide directly at my head) is similar to Tiare - ultra smooth and silky, like a satin slip shimmying off a well moisturised thigh.

Patty, in her review on Perfume Posse, states that she is "not the queen of the mossy greens", and likes, but doesn't love Tiare. D'you know, I think I could grow to love this, because the moss is so beautifully soft and unobtrusive.

And I bet you are all curious to learn Mr Bonkers' verdict...

When first applied: "Extreme craft shop!"
After an hour: "Like the bowl of pot pourri half way down the craft shop behind the didgeridoos."

Well, we can completely disregard that, I think. He is clearly playing to the gallery. Oh, and his view on Stella Nude? "Better, because you can't smell it so much." I despair.

I will end with this fascinating titbit from "The Tahiti Traveler" website on the ways to wear a Tiare flower in your hair, and what each position signifies:

"Worn behind your right ear, it means you are single, available.
Worn behind your left ear : you are married, engaged or otherwise taken.
Worn behind both ears : you are married but still available.
Worn backward behind your ear : you are available immediately."

I like the sound of Nos 3 and 4! Maybe "on the pull" is a possible scent occasion after all...


Ines said...

lol - is that actually true? :)
I still haven't tried Tiare but after reading all the reviews, I think I might really enjoy it.

Hebe said...

I do hope the doctor can work some magic for you tomorrow, it will be so nice for you to have all your senses back again.

Tiare sounds very appealing. I am increasingly finding Frangipane to be too tropical for me, or perhaps I just need a tropical holiday somewhere.

Love your description of "scuzzy/on the pull" occasions, I feel that today's choice of Insolence would fit the bill perfectly for that, no need to sully Tiare for those occasions! I do love Insolence though.

Vanessa said...

Ines, the site that quote is from looks genuine enough, so I am assuming the Tahitians have a mischievous sense of humour!

Hebe, Tiare will be a refreshing change for you if you are finding Frangipani too lush. Texturally, think of it as a G & T instead of a pina colada. : - ) Very approximately.

I will report back on the ear situation, thanks!

lovethescents said...

So glad you finally got a chance to try it and enjoy it. I love it, as you know, and would push it on anyone afraid of the tropics ;-)

Rose said...

I loved Tiare- Ormonde Woman is still my all time favourite OJ but Tiare is very good and I think it will be fantastic in the summer. Great facts about the flower wear- shame we don't do that kind of thing here!

Martha said...


"If I had to pick one look to epitomise the person wearing this scent, it would be geek glasses and a pencil skirt"

I love this. _And_ I get moss? Gotta try it.

Vanessa said...

Teensy bit of moss - optimum level for me, but cannot speak for pukka moss lovers.

Gator Grad said...

This is SUCH a great review of the Tiare. I'm wearing it today, and your review is SPOT ON. It's truly one of the most true-to-the-scent reviews I've read. Well done!