Finding the one (fragrance, that is)

By Amy Lawrenson


Today I visited Ormonde Jayne a tiny perfumery in the Royal Arcade, off London's Old Bond Street. There I met Linda Pilkington who masterminded the brand and creates each of the fragrances herself. Now, if you haven’t heard of Ormonde Jayne it is worth swatting up... Linda was using ingredients such as Oud and Champaca long before the likes of Tom Ford and prides herself on being ahead of the game.


I was there to trial the new Perfume Portrait which has been popular since its debut at Ormonde Jayne in the Harrods Perfume Hall. The Perfume Portrait sets out to find which smells you like and dislike. “Don’t think of the scents and fragrances, just tell me what you think of them as a smell” says Linda. I then spend the next five minutes smelling 21 different oils from bergamot and freesia to vanilla and pink pepper. From the results Linda can tell me exactly which fragrances in her range I am more likely to enjoy. I smell three; Sampaquita, Champaca and Tiare. I love Champaca, I like Tiare and am indifferent to Sampaquita. I am then asked how I like to enjoy fragrances - I like candles, baths and miniatures that I can carry in my handbag (FYI boyfriend, if you’re reading this).


I realised that I'm not a fan of florals and that I like more eccentric fragrances (Champaca has notes of basmati – yes the rice - green tea and bamboo). I am also on its store records so if my friends or family want to pick out a gift and don’t know what I’ll like, the assistant at Ormonde Jayne can tell them straight away. A service perfectly aimed at men... we like.

If you’re in the market for a new fragrance I strongly recommend heading to a perfumery like Ormonde Jayne (others include L’Artisan, Penhaligons and Miller Harris). Its offerings may cost more than a high street scent, but you’re much more likely to find the one.

Linda’s Top Tips

Always try to take home a sample of the fragrance you like before you buy it. Wear it in the morning after your shower before your senses are corrupted by coffee and breakfast. Smell it during the day and reapply. Let your colleague and friends smell it. You’ll soon know if it’s worth investing in.

Don’t keep a perfume for more than two years. Also, try not to have too many half empty bottles - once there is too much space, oxygen will get in and oxygenate the perfume affecting the scent.

Buy small bottles (mine are 50ml) and always EDP (we don’t sell EDT) - that way your fragrance will smell its best at all times.

Once you have applied your perfume don’t rub it. This breaks down the molecules and changes the smell.

Click here to visit the Ormonde Jayne website...

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