Perfume Review: Nawab of Oudh by Ormonde Jayne (Four Corners of the Earth Collection)

The Nawab of Oudh is a nonpareil, an oriental perfume of such magnificent richness and beauty that it left my jaw agape. There is no chance that I shall be — as the famous writer, William Safire, once famously penned — a nattering nabob of negativity. No, Ormonde Jayne‘s latest creation is simply spectacular.

The Raja of Mysore. Source: Victoria & Albert Museum.

The Raja of Mysore. Source: Victoria & Albert Museum.

OJ NawabNawab of Oudh is one of the new Four Corners of the Earth collection which was released in late 2012 and which pays homage to the different parts of the world that have inspired Ormonde Jayne’s founder, Linda Pilkington. The collection is the result of collaboration between Ms. Pilkington and the perfumer, Geza Schoen, and consists of four fragrances: Tsarina, Qi, Montabaco and Nawab of Oudh. (I have samples of all four fragrances, provided courtesy of Ormonde Jayne, and am working my way through the collection. You can find my review for Tsarina here.)

A nawab (sometimes also spelled as “nabob”) can mean, alternatively, a ruler of an Indian province, or a European person who made a vast fortune in India or overseas. Ormonde Jayne was inspired by the first meaning for the term, describing the fragrance as follows :

Source: Shanti Barmecha blogspot

Source: Shanti Barmecha blogspot

Nawab (Ruler) of Oudh is a province of central India. The perfume is inspired by the Nawabs who once ruled over it.  It is a potent blend of amber and rose with a soft oudh edge. Yet surprisingly not one ingredient stands out from the others. It achieves a perfume synergy that defies traditional analysis, releasing a pulsating pungency, brooding and hauntingly beautiful, a rich tapestry of fascinating depths, a jewelled veil to conceal its emotional complexity and extravagance.

Every single part of that description applies to the magnificent richness of this stunning perfume. It is no doubt helped by the perfume’s long list of notes, seventeen in all:

top: green notes, bergamot, orange absolute, cardamom, aldehyde. 
heart: rose, magnolia, orchid, pimento, bay, cinnamon, hedione. 
base: ambergris, musk, vetiver, labdanum, oudh.

The Nawab of Oudh opens on my skin with a burst of bright, juicy, sweet green notes that have a distinctly tropical, fruited underpinning. There is something that feels very much like green mangoes, alongside the bright, fresh, plump, sun-sweetened lemons and oranges. There is also a heady rose note — sweet, fragrant, dark as the reddest damask, and almost beefy in its richness. Following closely in its footsteps is a spectacular element of velvety magnolia. The whole combination is beautiful beyond words, and I actually said “Wow” out loud as the symphony of notes wafted up to my nose.

The bright, fresh, sweetly floral and fruited tonalities quickly give way to something earthier and spicier. The bay leaf starts to appear, adding an unusual herbaceous and earthy aspect to the sweetness. Dark, rooty vetiver also helps undercut some of the richness, but it is the surprisingly fiery note of red chili peppers that really adds the perfect counterbalance. Together, they work to transform the scent into something much more than a mere floral with zesty citrus notes.

Further depth and complexity are added with the advent of ambergris, and I’m convinced this has to be the real stuff. It smells much richer, almost dirtier, and definitely slightly muskier than the usual amber accords, though the labdanum undoubtedly plays a role in that impression, too. Whatever the particulars, the ambery note has enormous depth but it’s never heavy, molten or gooey. Rather, it’s sheer and light. At the same time, the perfume itself is very strong and heady, encompassing me in a lovely cloud of scent that projects about two feet in distance in these opening moments.

Ten minutes later, the orange absolute is much more noticeable, as is the orchid flower. Both accords mix with the magnolia and rose to create a floral juxtaposition to the various herbaceous, woody, citrus, ambered and slightly musky notes. The final result is a beautifully balanced opening that is never singular nor too sweet. The sweetness is further undercut when the woody notes start to appear. Speaking of appearing, on my second test of the perfume, the bay leaf gained in intensity in opening moments of the scent; during the first test, however, to my surprise, it disappeared after ten minutes. So, too, did the fiery red chili pepper and the earthy vetiver. I point this out because I know some of you struggle with those notes, respectively, and I want to reassure you that (to my nose) they are not an enormous presence or particularly sharp.

Purple rose at Warwick Castle, England. Photo provided with permission by CC from "Slightly Out of Sync" blog.

Purple rose at Warwick Castle, England. Photo provided with permission by CC from “Slightly Out of Sync” blog.

In fact, nothing in this beautifully crafted, smooth as a well-buffed piece of amber, perfume is sharp or unmodulated. That applies to the agarwood (or oud) as well. It is simply perfect: never medicinal, astringently sharp, pungent or antiseptic. No camphorous elements or images of pink rubber bandages. Instead, you have a very smooth, incredibly rich, and highly sweetened oud note. It waxes and wanes in prominence in that first hour, never dominating but floating just under the flowers. The oud is perfectly interwoven with that rich, dark rose, but neither are the primary focus of the scent at this time.

Instead, Nawab of Oudh is in harmonious balance; this is a superbly well-blended perfume that throws off notes the way a chandelier throws off prisms in the light. I am strongly tempted to add the phrase “it’s beautiful” to the end of every paragraph, but I fear I will sound like a broken record before I’m halfway finished. Nonetheless, my God, is this perfume beautiful!

Magnolia. Source: Kathy Clark via

Magnolia. Source: Kathy Clark via

If any single note were perhaps to dominate in the first ninety minutes, it would be the magnolia. There are many global varieties of this velvety, opulent flower, but it is an incredibly popular and symbolic part of America’s Deep South, in particular. In fact, there is a Texas town called Magnolia that is just outside Houston. In addition, the flower has been the symbol of the state of Louisiana since 1900. (I won’t even get into the famous movie, Steel Magnolias, involving the state of Georgia.) Magnolias have a creamy, rich aroma with a slightly citrus-y nuance and a floral scent that is somewhat similar to gardenia at times and, at other times, closer to jasmine. Here, however, there is a definitely tropical feel to the flower’s velvety lushness and creaminess. It’s heady and strong, but never indolic or sour. Its combination with the orange absolute — and with what I am convinced must be green mangoes — adds a beautiful tropical aspect to the scent. And, yet, its citrus-y aspects also provide some freshness and lightness. The whole thing is simply an incredibly creamy, velvety floral composition of great complexity.

Sir Digvijaysinhji, Maharaja Jam Saheb of Nawanagar in 1935 wearing the emerald and diamond necklace created by Cartier London in 1926 for his uncle, Maharaja Jam Saheb Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji. Source:

Sir Digvijaysinhji, Maharaja Jam Saheb of Nawanagar in 1935 wearing the emerald and diamond necklace created by Cartier London in 1926 for his uncle, Maharaja Jam Saheb Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji. Source:

Two hours in, Nawab of Oudh changes. Now, it is oud with cardamom, what feels like cloves, red chili peppers, and the very first hint of labdanum. The magnolia is still present, but it has now receded much more to the background. For the next two hours, the perfume reflects different facets — much like jewels gleaming around a maharajah’s neck. There is: agarwood sweetened by sweet damask rose; dusty, dry spices (cardamom in particular); a touch of muskiness; a hint of jasmine; and rich ambergris. The red chilies pop up now and then, but the perfume is not fiery. It’s a perfectly modulated rosy, spiced, woody amber perfume that is endlessly luxurious, and made with what are, clearly, very expensive, top-quality ingredients.

From the fifth hour until the perfume’s end around 8.5 hour mark, Nawab of Oudh is labdanum heaven. Now, as some of you know, labdanum is one of my all-time favorite notes; I simply adore the more nutty, slightly leathery, dirty and masculine twist on a resin. Here, it’s treated beautifully — intertwined in a lover’s kiss with the heady red rose. It’s a bit too light for my personal, utterly biased tastes — and I would have preferred a more molten, opaque treatment — but nothing about this airy, lightweight (though strong) perfume is about molten heaviness. Instead, labdanum’s ambery note is light, warm, sweet, and infused by a subtle undertone of spices. Its interplay with the heady rose was so beautiful that I will make an embarassing confession: I spent a good chunk of 30 minutes simply lying on my sofa with my nose glued to my arm and inhaling the nutty, rose-strewn amber in ecstasy. It was, quite simply, the perfume equivalent of a food coma.

Nawab of Oudh has good sillage and longevity. The opening phase of the perfume had about 2 feet in projection for the first hour, before dropping considerably. However, it only became really close to the skin around the 4th hour. To be honest, for some of the remaining hours, I had to forcefully inhale at my arm to detect it — though, clearly, I found that no hardship whatsoever! As for longevity, as noted above, it lasted around 8.5 hours on my perfume-consuming skin. I should note, however, that the sillage and longevity drop even further if you don’t put on a lot; on my second test, the sillage became close to the skin at around 2.5 hours and the scent lasted only seven hours. As a whole, Nawab of Oudh a wee bit too airy for my personal liking, but not everyone shares my passion for the most opulently heavy, powerful scents. For those who prefer a less forceful, and more modulated, tempered fragrance, Nawab of Oudh will be ideal.

The only real problem with Nawab of Oudh is its cost. I winced and grimaced when converting the British pound sterling price of £335.00 to U.S. dollars; at the current exchange rate, that comes to approximately $506! The perfume only comes in Eau de Parfum concentration and in a large 100 ml/3.4 oz bottle, so there aren’t cheaper alternatives in a smaller size. If, however, it were more affordable, I would buy Nawab of Oudh in a heartbeat; without a doubt, it has shot up to replace Tolu as my favorite Ormonde Jayne fragrance.   

It is probably, therefore, a mixed blessing that Nawab of Oudh is not widely available at the moment. The perfume is not even listed yet on the company’s website (though it probably will be soon). It doesn’t seem available at other European retailers and, as always, Ormonde Jayne fragrances are not sold anywhere in America. However, Nawab of Oudh is available at Ormonde Jayne’s two boutiques in London and is also available online at Harrods. [UPDATE: My apologies but, reading the fine print, it seems that Harrods does not export this item. I assume it has something to do with the UK’s postal regulations on the shipment of perfume. I’m afraid that I have no other purchasing alternatives for you at this time if you live outside London or the UK.]

If you love spicy, rich, complex Orientals (as I do), then Nawab of Oudh will be your personal heaven. It makes me think of Klimt’s The Kiss with its initial start of green, turned into creamy, lush, almost tropical florals, then to sweet, spicy roses and woody, nutty, oriental ambered richness. Frankly, I can give no higher praise than The Kiss.

Klimt The Kiss

Disclosure: My sample of Nawab of Oudh was provided courtesy of Ormonde Jayne. However, that did not impact this review. My primary commitment is, and always will be, to be as honest as possible for my readers.

Price & Availability: As noted, above, Nawab of Oudh is an Eau de Parfum which comes only in a large 100 ml/3.4 oz size and which costs £335.00 or, with today’s present exchange rate, $506. Although Nawab of Oudh and the Four Corner Collection are not presently up on the Ormonde Jayne website, you can find the entire collection in the Ormonde Jayne stores, as well as at Harrods which ships out internationally. Ormonde Jayne’s two London boutiques are at Old Bond Street and Sloane Square with the precise addresses listed on the website here. As for samples, none of the perfume decant sites in the US currently offer any of the Four Corners of the Earth collection. When places like Surrender to Chance start selling the collection, I will update this post accordingly.

43 thoughts on “Perfume Review: Nawab of Oudh by Ormonde Jayne (Four Corners of the Earth Collection)

    • And the price is killing me!!! I cannot even begin to imagine spending $500 on a single perfume. But, God, is it glorious! *sigh*

  1. Wow, I have to say I wasn’t super excited about this one – it probably ranked the least desirable for the four (although, admittedly, it’s probably because I’m so sick of every single new release containing oud). This review changed my mind. It sounds positively glorious, and from your review, it seems like I would like it quite a bit. But…$500+. Ug! Hopefully I’ll be able to get a sample of this collection at some point in time.

    • $500 is….. my mind just comes to a skidding halt. Unless I had all the money in the world, I can’t imagine ever spending that sort of thing on one single bottle. But, if I ever win the lottery, I’m buying Nawab of Oudh — even though it is, as I said, for my *personal* preferences, a bit too airy and the sillage is too moderate.

      As for you, I haven’t figured out the extent to which even *some* Bay Leaf is an issue for you — I know it’s been a huge problem in the past. Plus, you have the problem of your skin’s chemistry eating up a perfume’s sillage, so that would be another issue for you. But, all in all, and those two things excepted, I think it would be your cup of tea. It’s not a boozy amber which you struggle with but, rather, a really harmonious, complex perfume that is far more than just a mere amber. An absolutely beautiful oriental, all around.

      • Honestly, I think I’m coming around on booziness, so yay for that (I mean, I’ve grown to really, really enjoy Alahine)! Actually, tonight I will put on some 1740 or something else boozy to see the extent to which I’ve changed my mind.

        I think I can tolerate bay leaf in moderation, or mixed with other things. It’s not an absolute dealbreaker, but if it were hugely prominent or dominant (which doesn’t seem to be the case here), I probably wouldn’t seek it out, though I’m willing to try just about anything. As you allude to, longevity doesn’t seem to be the issue for me – but rather sillage. I don’t know what causes that, in particular. It seems like they would go hand in hand, but perhaps I just expect too much from my perfume. LOL.

        At any rate, your review was lovely and the perfume sounds divine. Ug, damn my champagne taste on a beer budget! Oh well, when samples are available, I will blow a few bucks on it and enjoy it. Beautiful perfume is beautiful perfume, even if you are only allowed a “taste” of it due to financial constraints. 🙂

        • It’s really odd how sillage is the issue for you, not longevity! I think given the moderate-to-low/dropping sillage here, you would be disappointed. But with the perfume itself? You’d adore it. I fully applaud your attitude, however, of enjoying whatever one can, even if it’s just via a sample. Better to have a taste than nothing! Now, if only the bloody US perfume decant sites would hurry up and buy a bottle of each of the Four Corners collection, so that non-Londoners could try it for themselves!

          • Perhaps I’m drawn to things with low sillage? I get great sillage on some orientals – Opium, Coromandel, etc. But most stuff stays pretty close to my skin.

            And the last time I wore Cuir de Russie in a vintage concentration (yes, I got a vintage bottle of EDC) I got a gentle breeze and it smelled absolutely divine, especially because someone was smoking a cigarette, and for some reason the combination of the two smells mixing together resulted in some sort of unbelievably sexy scent that I stopped for a second just so I could remember it. I know it’s probably uncommon/unpopular to associate cigarette smell with something so good, but dammit if it didn’t just about knock me off my feet!

            As for sampling the unattainably expensive perfume, it’s sort of like going to an expensive restaurant. Yes, I could get a giant meal at Cheesecake Factory for $15, or I could spend $100 for a small but amazing meal at a fancy restaurant. In the end, the $100 meal is likely to be more satisfying because you can really, really enjoy it. In that regard, I’m happy to test something, even if it’s unlikely I could/would ever pay for a full bottle of it. I’m sort of dreading the likely $5.99 for 1/2ml vial that is likely to be charged, but I suppose it beats shelling out $500+!

          • I’m trying Nawab of Oudh tonight! It’s really, really beautiful. But really not so much so that I desire to have a bottle. Or maybe it’s because I knew the price at the outset. LOL.

            So it seems the bay leaf here isn’t a problem, which is good. The oud here doesn’t have the grotesque element I typically find so off-putting, so it works for me. But the price! So I will remain contented with other, less pricey orientals for the time being. 🙂

            You were exactly spot on – the perfume is very much my taste and is incredibly beautiful, but I do wish it had a tad more sillage. But I can cope with low sillage, since I usually do anyway. However, at $500 for this one, I don’t have the choice of coping with low sillage anyway! I’m curious as to how it’s selling for OJ! Quality perfume that does stand heads above the rest, but my god – steep price.

  2. I loved reading this review (I really look forward to them every day!) and I’m glad that you found something you enjoyed this so much, but I have to admit I’m relieved that this sounds too much for me. If I got it into my head that I needed to have this it would be a miserable year. (I wonder if I can convince my union that fragrance is a necessary health expenditure.)

    • Heh, perfume as insurance-covered, non-prescription medicine? I like that idea. A LOT! If only…. *sigh* As for Nawab of Oudh, I don’t think this would be for you. You like your orientals more powdery and floral; less ambered and resinous. You’re not really a hardcore Orientalist at all, I don’t think. I also don’t know how you really feel about oud. Regardless, for some reason, I can’t really see you in this. : Which is probably just as well for your wallet.

      • At the very least, it should be covered under a Flexible Spending Account as aromatherapy! 🙂

  3. The opening sounds beautiful, everything else sounds not so beautiful to me and my nose. I think I like the Tsarina better, only basing on your reviews.

  4. I do not need 100 mLs of anything, although it hasn’t stopped me from buying…but the 100 mL bottles I have cost < $250 (or thereabouts). mL by mL, NVC still costs more, but Neela has made the perfumes more accessible – it has not cheapened anyone's view of any of the perfumes AND they are attracting legions of fans. As of right now, my opinion of Ormonde Jayne is haute perfumery in its worst form.

    I really really really wish Linda Pilkington would do a coffret of the Four Corners collection. She already has the packaging for the 4 x 10mLs…all she has to do is get the right stickers and sell all 4 in a box for …. $150 including the shipping — I bet the sets will get snapped up in a nano-second…or do a 4 x 2mL set for $50 including shipping (a la the Amouage 6 x 2mL samplers for $55).

    Oh wait…you wrote a review! Nicely done as usual. Now if you can convince Linda to offer alternatives…you will be my heroine. As of now, I can only wait patiently until I can visit the boutiques but my crystal ball already knows that I will leave without making any purchase of this line unless the packaging/pricing models change.

    • I’m really glad you wrote such a thoughtful, nuanced and detailed assessment of things, Hajusuuri, and that others chimed in to agree. My hope is that this will be seen and taken under advisement, because your points are excellent ones. Accessibility is key and does not tarnish a brand’s reputation if done well. Consider both Hermès and Malle who offer more reasonable travel minis of their lines. Hermès’ Hermessence perfumes are around $265, if I recall correctly, and they go even further than Malle in allowing the mixing and matching of any 4 Hermessence perfumes in travel sizes of 15 ml (for a total of 60 ml) for $152. No-one can say that Hermes’ is an undistinguished, common or cheap brand.

      So, let me ask you this, you sound as if these prices have changed your opinion of Ormonde Jayne for the worse and that it was only these prices which did that. If that’s accurate, then I hope Ormonde Jayne will take heed since you are someone who buys a lot of perfume. I’m sure you’re not alone but I would be interested to see how many others have had their opinions of the brand as a whole drop substantially.

      • Dear Kafka, I wrote a longer rant to get it out of my system and deleted it as it was not fit to be published. I like your use of Hermes and Frederic Malle as examples of luxury brands that offer reasonably priced and packaged perfumes.

        What bothered me about this specific collection is the pricing model and not the price itself. I fully understand that some perfumes are just that much more expensive to make because of all the special/rare ingredients – I get it. In my misinformed past of thinking you get what you pay for, I have spent $100 for 10mLs of perfume (I’m looking at you Clive Christian) and I would bet that it is only half as good as any one of the Four Corners of the Earth collection. I have NO ISSUES spending $500+ on perfume in one shopping spree but I prefer not to spend the entire $500 on ONE 100 mL perfume.

        OK, rant over. By the way, I also highly recommend Sonoma Scent Studio. I am currently obsessed with To Dream.

        • I couldn’t spend $500 in one go and on one SINGLE perfume either. I really don’t think I could, unless I won the lottery. But I hope that the numerous comments on the pricing model here will be heeded and that more approachable, accessible alternatives are offered. It would be a shame if they weren’t. 🙁

    • The two London boutiques are selling the 10ml of each of the Four Corners approx. $40 US dollars each.

  5. Khubsurat indeed.
    Definitely with Hajusuuri here. Surely that must be ambergris from New Zealand at that price and with that scent profile.

    • You know I have to agree with Jordan and Hajusuuri on this one. Perhaps on an unconscious level I have steered clear of the high end niche as I remember the days when one could purchase very unusual fragrances (that by today”s standard would parallel or even surpass many of the niche/exclusive perfumes everyone rants about) for under $50 for 100 ml. Even Annick Goutal (which was my segue into niche) I could get at Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC in the early 90s with BOGO I would get TWO 100 ml bottles for $98!!!! (that is under fifty dollars for each!).
      I have sampled a select few niche and so far nothing has made me want to run out and purchase full bottles. I suppose I gravitate more towards artisanal and natural lines nowadays. My absolutely all time favorite perfume house is Sonoma Scent Studio: quality perfume that harkens to the perfumes of my youth and most definitely affordable! It saddens me to see that perfume companies are charging close to $500.00 for a bottle of perfume that could potentially be drained in a month of daily use.

      • I definitely want to explore Sonoma Scent Studio as I hear nothing but wonderful things about them. As for the prices of the early ’90s, it would be interesting to compare cost of inflation increases across several lines over the years. I have the vague memory that there have been a few articles on the explosive price increases in perfumery over the last few years alone, let alone as compared to prior decades. I know that, for a large number of mainstream fashion houses, perfume is the main way in which they support the line’s fashion ventures! When their prices increase, it undoubtedly triggers increases across the board for the niche houses who need that added cost to seem prestigious in comparison. Then, there is the whole separate issue of the niche houses needing the increased revenues to support their use of increasingly rare, expensive materials to make their perfumes stand out in terms of quality and seem distinctive.

        Still, $500 a bottle…. *sigh* A short while ago, I reviewed a magnificent perfume from Puredistance that was $600 a bottle. And you know what? At the time of my review, Luckyscent was completely SOLD OUT of those $600 bottles! So, there is a market for these bottles at these prices. It’s just that we aren’t part of that group of buyers. I don’t think many people are. But, clearly, they’re not catering to us. 🙂

        • You must get samples from Sonoma Scent Studio! I don’t think you will be disappointed:) !!

    • I’m curious, have the prices changed your opinion of the brand? I should point out that Ormonde Jayne’s regular line of perfumes start at £80 for Eau de Parfum and, while these are not 50 ml but 100 ml bottles, the cheapest in the new line is £260.00 with the most expensive being £335.00. That seems like a substantial increase. And, by the way, going on memory, I believe that only Nawab of Oudh has something as hugely pricey as ambergris as one of its ingredients.

      • I guess on an unconscious level the prices of certain brands do affect how I feel about that brand. I try to avoid the Bond no. 9 (although both of my daughters love this line so I have broken down and spent $140.00 USD on a bottle -it was DEEPLY discounted as it sells for $230 retail for my eldest’s birthday last year! and I also won a very large bottle of Chinatown in a draw which my daughter swiftly confiscated from me!). We have about 30-40 FBs floating around the house amongst myself and three kids so there is also the guilt factor in buying yet another bottle. I can get a 30ml perfume concentrate from Sonoma Scent Studio for $65-$80 USD and I love just about every fragrance that this line carries so I haven’t really bothered exploring some of the more expensive niche. I sampled a few of the Tom Fords and nothing blew me away- which is good as those retail for $230.

        • I don’t know, Kafka, maybe after almost 42 years of daily perfume wearing I have become a bit jaded and it takes a lot to excite me 😀 !!

  6. Your description of this fragrance makes me wanna never try it in my life! Not that it sounds bad(due to the”bay leaf effect” 🙂 ), or anything wrong with you review(by the way it’s fascinating, as always), but that price is just makes me wanna stay away from it in case I love it and wouldn’t be able to afford it… That what happened to me with Mona Di Orio’s Oud fragrance. I love it but the price doesn’t justify for me to get a bottle of it(also in a range of $500). Why they have to charge so much or won’t be able to come up with different sizes of the bottles?

    • I think this would be a scent that would be completely up your alley, Ross, so I completely understand your frustration. You’re someone who spends a lot on luxury niche perfumes too, so it’s not as though you are unfamiliar with expensive bottles of fragrances or unwilling to spend money on them. I really hope the comments here by so many readers will lead the company to offer some alternatives, as well as to make them more widely accessible. I just noticed today that the Harrods website won’t export or send these perfumes out of the country! So where can anyone get them from unless they are a Londoner with access to those two shops??! They’re not even on the website yet, either! The whole thing is an exercise in frustration. I will review the remaining 2 perfumes in the line but I don’t expect the responses to be any different than what they are now. 🙁

      • Oh ok. So they are playing one of those “hard to get” scents where not only it costs a fortune but its super exclusive. Well I guess it’s their loss. The same concept is provided with Le Labo city exclusives. Not sure it’s a smart move to be honest. Oh well there are tons of other beautiful creations out there that will get my attention:)

  7. I am gradually coming round to the oud note in perfumes, and your assurance that “No camphorous elements or images of pink rubber bandages” are detectable is most encouraging. I am also squirrelling away samples of oud perfumes for a friend who recently discovered the delights of perfume through oud scents, so will put this one on the list. Based on your Klimt analogy, do I infer that you think it worth the very considerable outlay?

    • IF someone is willing to shell out $500 for a single perfume and IF someone likes rich, spicy orientals or oud fragrances, then, yes, for that sort of person, this would absolutely be worth it. It’s a glorious, glorious perfume! As I always say, price is subjective and really depends on the person. However, as the discussion in this thread demonstrates, $500 for a single bottle is too much for many hardcore perfumistas, including those who buy expensive perfumes regularly or who might not have issues spending $500 as a whole for several scents. The price is certainly more than what I could afford given my current and upcoming medical expenditures for The Hairy German. Even without a $5000-$7000 surgery in his very imminent future, I couldn’t see myself spending $500 on a single bottle of fragrance.

  8. OJ? Geza Schoen? Ambergris?! Oh beating heart be still. I am positive that if I smelled this thing, I would be an instant goner. Maybe it’s not so bad to keep temptation on the other side of the ocean? 🙂

    • It is — quite simply — GORGEOUS!!! If it weren’t so impossible to get a hold of, I suspect a lot of people (albeit, with more funds than you and I perhaps) would completely give in and succumb. Totally outside my reach, however. 🙁

      • Yes, I have a few on my fantasy list: Mona di Orio’s Oud, Amouage’s Tribute Attar, Casamorati/Xerjoff’s Dama Bianca, the trio from Neela Vermeire, a big bottle of Mandy’s Cepes & Tuberose . . . Sigh!

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  13. I have just recently found your site and others and was happily surprised to find that technology could link me with such information! I have ordered many samples based upon review and found this Ormond Jayne fragrance to be my favorite. I lack the nose for individual notes and don’t yet understand sillage etc. But I know what I like, and I love this fragrance! I made the mistake of taking my sample on a fabulous vacation and I will now forever evoke that setting when wearing this.

    However this fragrance doesn’t last on me even for as long as it did on you. Perhaps my skin eats fragrance too. Ive worn Angel for years which lasts well on my skin. But I am ready for something less commercial and more mysterious.

    Having said all of this, can you point me in a direction of other scents in this genre that I shouldn’t miss, or one very similar with more staying power?

    Thanks in advance. This has been an amazing discovery for me!

    • I’m glad you’ve found a fragrance that you liked so much, even if the longevity was a problem. BTW, few things are quite as … er… tenacious…. as some of Mugler fragrances, let alone Angel! That said, there are definitely a lot of ouds on the market with spices and/or incense. In fact, Oud fragrances are amongst some of the most common type nowadays and come in almost every single sort of genre or style.

      However, I don’t really know your tastes, the notes that you like, things that you dislike, or your perfume style. Given how big the oud fragrance market is these days, it would be very difficult for me to make a recommendation. Do you prefer things more spiced, or more fruited? With more roses, or more amber? With drier woods and incense? More masculine, sweet, feminine, gourmand? There’s an oud in every category and price range.

      Have you tried Tom Ford’s Oud Wood? That’s a very approachable, unisex oud. LM Parfums’ Black Oud is an incredibly refined one. If you love leather, animalics, some dirty sex appeal lustiness, and real Mysore sandalwood, there is LM Parfums’ Hard Leather. Kalemat by Arabian Oud is a very honeyed, rose fragrance with light oud and incense. Roja Dove’s Aouds are extremely expensive, simple, luxurious, smooth and refined. Amouage has a ton of Ouds in all sorts of combinations. Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 is a line I love that is very refined, with some lovely ouds, including the complex woods-oud-incense fragrance with a smoky, dying, velvety rose called Oumma. You can find reviews for all of these on my website, but there are many more oud fragrances as well. This is just the tip of the iceberg, I’m afraid.

  14. That Picture is NOT of Sir Digvijaysinhji, Maharaja Jam Saheb of Nawanagar !!!!!!!

    That’s Maharaja of Patiala!! Yadvindra Singh Sidhu

  15. I tried this after reading your review and I do love this.
    The first time I tried this I was unsure as the main thing I got was a really prominent, disconcerting note in the opening.
    Maybe the bay?
    I have noticed that if a note is very unfamiliar/unexpected then it is hard to get a balanced impression of the whole thing until the whole ‘my nose is flagging up the strangeness of something effect’ goes away. I just had to wait and retry a few more times and, in fact, I never got this effect again, it is now exhilaratingly harmonious from start to finish.
    A lot of these negative comments here are now out of date since they are based on the limited availability – the need to buy a huge, bottle – but as later comments clarify, this collection is now available in travel sets as well as in 50 ml parfum strength as well as in various offers/sets. (I got an 8 ml travel spray of both this and Qi for £40, post free.)
    I do not suppose anyone actually wants to pay over the odds for perfume but I find their range uniquely gorgeous in that everything always smells intensely real (as in authentic, not as in ‘natural’).
    I also find it interesting that OJ gets such a lot of flak over their pricing in a way that say Neela Vermeire does not. That Trayee is expensive to make seems to be widely appreciated but this is not true of the cost differences in the OJ line – and yet, according to a base notes article written when the OJ 4 corners collection was first released, Linda explained that the formulas for this new range cost 4 or 5 times as much as those for her main range.

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