Today Marlen and I are comparing notes on Ormonde Jayne Tolu. Tolu has notes of juniper berry, orange blossom, clary sage, orchid, Moroccan rose, muguet, tolu (a Peruvian tree resin, see picture at right), tonka bean, golden frankincense and amber.
He says: Being a huge fan of orientals, especially those that highlight amber and vanilla notes, Tolu was an instant love-love relationship. Opening with a full blast of orange blossom tinged tolu and amber, this is one of Ormonde Jayne’s richer and heavier scents. This one can take its place aside Keiko Mecheri’s Loukhoum when it comes to cloying factor, and I will admit that even for me the first 10 minutes of Tolu are, well, intense. But it really doesn’t take long for the magic to appear, the golden frankincense notes to open, and the warmth to envelop my senses.
It doesn’t surprise me that this is one of Robin’s least favorite Ormonde Jayne scents, considering that Miller Harris Terre d’Iris wasn’t really her cup of tea either. The two scents share a kinship in the richness of those sweet basenotes. If Terre d’Iris had a buttery and mossy flavor, Tolu has a more honeyed and amber flavor. For me, Tolu is strictly a cold-weather scent, and a rather formal one at that. If you love Guerlain L’Heure Bleue, Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum or The People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo, this one might be perfect for you!
She says: As much as it pains me to take the "thumbs down" position on a fragrance from Ormonde Jayne, Tolu is the only fragrance from the line that I simply can't wear. It starts with a lovely, spicy-aromatic orange blossom, then quickly turns into a heady mixture of sweet resinous notes. The dry down is calmer and milder, with frankincense and what Marlen aptly describes as a honeyed amber. The florals in the heart notes are hardly noticeable, and there is the vaguest hint of powder, lending a velvety finish.
Like all of Linda Pilkington's fragrances, it is beautifully crafted, and the quality of the raw materials shines through in the finished product. But unlike Marlen, I am not a huge fan of orientals, and there is something about the combination of the rich, heavy base and the persistence of the clary sage note that I find overwhelming, even on a cold winter day.
Ormonde Jayne Tolu has excellent lasting power. A 50 ml bottle of Eau de Parfum is £54.00, the parfum is £78.00 for 17.5 ml. For buying information, see the listing for Ormonde Jayne under Perfume Houses.
Note: image of Tolu Balsam via Wikimedia Commons.