For anyone happening by midstream, this week I am featuring the fragrances of the London boutique Ormonde Jayne. Earlier this week, I posted an interview with Linda Pilkington, Ormonde Jayne’s founder and owner. Today's fragrance is Frangipani Absolute, and the notes are linden blossom, magnolia, lime peel, white frangipani, jasmine, rose, tuberose, water lilies, plum, green orchid oil, amber, musk, cedar and vanilla. Frangipani, by the way, is also known as plumeria, or sometimes West Indian jasmine, although it is not related to the jasmine family.
When my set of samples arrived from Ormonde Jayne way back in December of 2003, Frangipani Absolute was the last fragrance I tested. At that time, I had not yet developed much of a taste for floral scents, and the tuberose alone was enough to frighten me off. As it turned out, the Frangipani was far and away my favorite of the line.
The opening is very rich, but the linden and a lovely, true note of lime peel temper the sweetness; it perhaps verges on heady for a few minutes, but it is never cloying. It soon takes on a fresh, green quality, and just a bit of creaminess from the magnolia. The frangipani, jasmine, and tuberose are bright rather than heavy; I cannot make out the rose at all.
There is something slightly watery or aquatic — perhaps the water lily — and something else gorgeous hiding in the florals that I assume is the green orchid oil. The dry down adds hints of vanilla and musk. Sometimes I can smell the cedar, sometimes I can't. For a short while, there is the vaguest hint of something resinous that must be the amber.
It smells tropical, but fresh, like a greenhouse right after the flowers have been watered, with just the right number of windows left open. It has good lasting power, and stays bright straight through to the end.
I assume that it is already patently obvious that I have a slight problem with fragrance addiction. At times it is fun, as a kind of parlor game, to try to pick my favorite 10, or 20, or 50 perfumes, but the real truth is that just thinking of actually paring my collection down to a finite number makes me break out in hives. So I will not go so far as to say that Frangipani is my favorite perfume, but it is certainly up there in the top ranks, and I would be very, very sad if I could never smell it again.
Ormonde Jayne Frangipani Absolute is available in 50 ml Parfum or 50 ml Eau de Parfum; matching body and home products are also sold. For buying information, see the listing for Ormonde Jayne under Perfume Houses.