I’m incredibly excited to announce that Oriza L. Legrand (“Oriza“) has generously offered a really huge giveaway of ten (10!) prizes. Ten winners will each get one 10 ml travel spray of their choice of Oriza eau de parfum. There are no geographic restrictions, either, so you can be anywhere in the world.
Oriza is an ancient, once-renowned perfume house whose history goes back to Louis XV and 1720. It made perfumes for the Tsar of Russia, and numerous European royal families, as well as winning prestigious prizes in World Fairs of the late 1800s and early 1900s. The perfume house died in the 1930s, but it has been brought back to life by its current owners, Franck Belaiche and Hugo Lambert. I’ve met them both, they are true gentlemen, and, for them, Oriza is a labour of love. They want to return Oriza to its old glory while staying true to its heritage and history by offering its original fragrances, only with lightly tweaks to appeal to modern tastes.
Each of the fragrances is sophisticated, unusual, and smells like absolutely nothing else on the market. One of them — Chypre Mousse — stopped me in my tracks on my way to Serge Lutens, made me turn back, and buy it then and there without any further testing. Those of you who know me (and my feelings about Serge Lutens) will understand just how remarkable that is. Chypre Mousse is one of my absolute favorite chypres, an otherworldly foresty, leafy, damp, green, mushroomy fragrance that feels like a homage to Nature itself.
The rest of the fragrances in the line range from an Oriental patchouli-cognac-amber, to a Serge Lutens-like twist on white lilies, to incense-y High Church fragrances, to a delicate green floral that evokes Spring, and more. All of them are unusual, and all of them have a long history going back to their original release date in the early 1900s. Oriza’s modern fans include Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Adjani, and, hopefully, now, some of you as well.
Ten (10) readers will each get ONE (1) purse spray of 10 ml/0.33 oz of the Oriza perfume of their choice. Just to be crystal clear, the prize is not a full bottle, but a travel spray of 10 ml.
If you’re unfamiliar with Oriza L. Legrand, you can read my three-part series on the house and its perfumes. The reviews include other people’s impressions of the fragrances as well:
You will find below a cursory, nutshell synopsis of my thoughts on the seven Oriza fragrances. You should be aware that my very brief description doesn’t cover the full (and very lengthy) list of notes in each perfume, or any possible issues of sillage and longevity:
Chypre Mousse: This one is almost impossible for me to describe, a perfume that isn’t really a “chypre” in the way that we usually understand it. It has notes of wet leaves, damp earth, mushrooms on the forest floor, moss, violet leaves, and dark resins. That description still doesn’t really convey just how unusual the fragrance is, or its haunting beauty. It’s truly spectacular. Some of its many notes include: violet leaves, galbanum, oakmoss, pine needles, vetiver, fern, clary sage, chestnut leather, green shoots, wild fennel, wild clover, resins, and labdanum.
Horizon: a patchouli fragrance with aged brandy and cognac, candied mandarin, spices, smoke, hints of leather, tobacco, ambergris, and vanilla. This is my second favorite from the line and the fragrance that I had originally intended to buy before Chypre Mousse swept me off my feet. Horizon is a beauty, a true patchouli oriental with discreet sillage after an opening burst of aged cognac. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t last a huge amount of time on my skin, but I find it really beautiful.
Reve d’Ossian: Frankincense, pine woods, dust, myrrh, resins, cinnamon, leather and amber. For me, this started out as a High Church fragrance in the vein of Bertrand Duchaufour’s Dzongkha before turning into a warm, ambered, cinnamon fragrance centered around myrrh.
Relique d’Amour: a very twisted lily that feels like something Serge Lutens would do. Another fragrance that starts out feeling like an old monastery infused with cold white smoke and dust, it soon turns into a sweet white lily fragrance infused with pollen, incense, myrrh, wax, woods, a touch of soap and powder, and green notes. It’s as though a ray of light shone through a monastery window to light on a vase of lilies, release their aroma, and have it mix with the other notes in a complete paradox. This is a another favorite of mine. It is also Isabelle Adjani’s perfume.
Oeillet Louis XV: Oriza’s homage to their original patron, King Louis XV, this fragrance is centered around white carnation with rose, powder, cloves, iris, and many other notes. On me, it opened sharply like Serge Lutens’ carnation fragrance (Vitroil d’Oeillet) before turning into something much more powdery, in the vein of a very old Guerlain creation, atop some mysterious green, fresh parts and a light, woody musk. You have to like carnations and powder for this one, but it’s very well done.
Jardins d’Armide: hardcore powder and floral soap. Too much so for me, though the fragrance has its fans in Ida Meister of Fragrantica. This one is the most dated of the seven, in my opinion, and feels very much like something from the 1800s. I had to scrub it, but I have no tolerance for intense powder or soap. The notes include: iris, iris powder, old rose, violet wild, glycine, carnation, almond, tonka, musk, and more.
Deja Le Printemps: a green floral with galbanum, mint, fig, vetiver, cedar, moss, orange blossom, clover, grass and more. On me, it opened exactly like Serge Lutens’ Iris Silver Mist. I can’t explain it, especially as the fragrance contains no iris (let alone that funky iris nitrile that Serge Lutens used), but it was shockingly alike on my skin. Then, the galbanum and other green parts take over, creating very much a Spring bouquet that people say evokes a walk in the countryside. This one is Catherine Deneuve’s fragrance.
If you’re interested in trying the whole line, Oriza offers a very affordable sample set of all seven perfumes. I have further details at the end of the post.
To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment about what you found interesting or appealing about Oriza L. Legrand, its history, and its new mission — or — a comment about whichever one of the perfumes struck your fancy thus far. You won’t be tied into your perfume choice. If you win, you can always change your mind, and choose something different for what you want as your 10 ml travel spray.
WHEN DOES IT START & END:
The entry period starts today, Friday November 8th, 2013 and lasts until the end of Wednesday November 13th, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST) in the U.S. which is -6:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
WINNERS & EMAILS:
The 10 winners will be chosen by Random.org, and will be announced sometime the next day on Thursday, November 14th.
Once I post the winners, you have THREE (3) days to contact me with your shipping information. Deadline is end of the day, my time, on Saturday November 16th. Please send an email to Akafkaesquelife @ gmail . com (all one word, scrunched together) with your shipping details and your choice of perfume. I will then forward the information onto Oriza L. Legrand.
If you don’t contact me, and if I fail to hear from you within the deadline, I will give your prize to the next person on the list.
Oriza L. Legrand will send the prizes directly to the winners, and pay for all shipping costs. Given that Oriza is located in the Paris, it may take some time (up to 2 weeks, depending on your location and Customs processing) for you to receive your gift. It may take even longer if your country has really nightmarish customs issues.
Please be aware that neither Oriza L. Legrand nor I am responsible for items that are destroyed by customs or that are lost in transit for some reason.
I’d like to express my enormous gratitude to Mr. Hugo Lambert and Mr. Franck Belaiche of Oriza L. Legrand for their generosity, kindness and thoughtfulness in offering so many fantastic gifts. Some companies may give away a small sample, but travel sprays of such a wonderful size and to TEN readers all around the world without restriction?! Amazing! I cannot thank Oriza enough. My real excitement, however, stems from the fact that more people will get the chance to experience a really unique perfume house whose high-quality creations are done with elegance, finesse, and sophistication.
Good luck to everyone! May the perfumed winds take you back in time to the very heart of French history and to Oriza’s royal European courts.