Ormonde Jayne is a small London perfumery dedicated to making rare perfumes and fragrances. The one I like most is Sampaguita, the name of the national flower of the Philippines. Sampaguita (jasminum sambac) is a type of jasmine that grows profusely in the Philippines. When I was young, we had a large sampaguita plant in our garden and I can still remember the exquisite scent the flowers would give off when they are in bloom. Filipinos also string sampaguita flowers into leis and place them in the home to create a distinctive home fragrance.
If you prefer a more oriental spicy scent, try Tolu (frankincense, tolu and myrrh). For those who court danger, there’s Ormonde Woman and Ormonde Man, made with the heart of black hemlock, Socrates’s poison of choice. Ormonde Jayne’s fragrances are available in the form of scented candles, bathing oils, travel purse sprays and bath cremes.
I like getting my perfume from small perfumers like Ormonde Jayne, Annick Goutal and Parfums Frederic Malle because I know I won’t smell like everyone else. I want to support small artisan perfumers who struggle against the massive marketing machines of the multinational beauty brands and their horrid celebrity scents. These small perfumers make limited quantities and use special oils that are not used in mass market fragrances.
Indeed, going into a boutique like Ormonde Jayne in London is like stepping into another world with its black glass chandeliers, ivory stone floors and black lacquered walls. You can order online, too, but it’s not the same.
12 The Royal Arcade
28 Old Bond Street
London W1S 4SL
NOTE: They now have a shop on Sloane Square: 192 Pavillion Road, London SW1X 0BJ.