Ormonde Jayne Woman: Fan fiction and La Fée Verte

Don’t try and sell something. Ever. Just don’t do it. Either don’t try at all, or fearlessly sell it. That’s right. Sell it like there was no tomorrow (hear the zombies knockin’? This is the start of world war Z.)

I was watching Moulin Rouge, a favorite of mine (remember VHS tapes? I wore one out), when it became apparent to me that while Nicole Kidman doesn’t stand out to me as a great actress (never really “sparkles” as her Sateen character does) in the media or onscreen, she fearlessly sells it. She goes for broke. You’ve got love that.

Two thoughts followed:
1. Lilith was the first bitch to fearlessly sell it, (and damned if that broad didn’t go down in history);

2. I wonder what perfume Sateen was wearing?
Totally hypothetical, of course. I have no illusions about what that historical hen house was wafting.

Agent Provocateur came to mind first, but… Too obvious. My thoughts did stray towards L’Heure Bleue for a millisecond, but that’s not right either; close— with it’s cool melancholy, but ultimately too peaceful.

What would the archetypal Lilith’s fragrance be?

To me the choice is obvious (don’t roll your eyes at me!). Ormonde Jayne Woman! Yes, black hemlock! Yes, absinthe! An icy cold note right up top, to let you know where you stand: is that you, hemlock? Maybe the grass oil? The effect is Chilled green, hidden. The cool shadow of earth near a river—the pacific northwest is such a great setting—a little nook that has never met the sun directly, just knows him online.

Woman is the perfect name for this scent. I no longer think of it as “Ormonde Jayne Woman,” but as “Woman,” because it references not the signature of Linda Pilkington’s perfume house, but of primal woman (Rawr!). The first, rejected, wife of Adam (she had ideas) smells like this.

I wonder who the guy was, that guy who didn’t buy what she was selling? Lilith, I mean. I don’t think she ended up a lesbian. Succubi were inferiors, right? Lilith isn’t a gal to waste her time with inferiors. So the guy— who he was?

Why, the god of music. Of course.
Marina scented Lilith with Woman before I did; check out her take at PST.

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12 thoughts on “Ormonde Jayne Woman: Fan fiction and La Fée Verte

  1. You’re spot on, Dee! When I did my review of OJ Woman months ago, the imagery I kept going back to was Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, so we are totally on the same wavelength here (except, your gal got there first). Maybe this perfume is spurring on a connection with the collective unconscious, it evokes such strong feelings in the people who love it. Actually, the people who don’t love it have pretty strong feelings about it too. 🙂 Woman is the closest thing to a signature scent I think I’ll ever have. It’s one of a kind and embodies everything I love most about perfume. I also LOVE how Tarleisio assigned the fragrance to her Lilith in QD. I felt some kind of wacked solidarity with the character. I have no excuses for that, it just IS.

    1. Haha, yes, I can absolutely empathize with your solidarity with Lilith—I felt it too!

      There is something terribly primal about Woman; it seems to resonate with some deep place within. I like that you mention the collective unconscious, because I feel the same way about it. The last two days I’ve been drenched in it, and in that state feel more confident, more optimistic, even fearless. It would be a powerful signature scent.

      Writing about this perfume was hard (can you tell, by the philosophical mess above?), and I still don’t feel any real clarity when I think about it—which is rare. The idea of “hidden” rings true for me with Woman, even when just responding to a comment 🙂

      1. Oh, thanks Dee! Woman is particularly inspiring to write about, I’d like to give it another go someday. It’s sad for me to think about writing a review of a fragrance I’m in love with, and that’s the end of it. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially concerning Woman. I used to use it every night, and I was afraid I was becoming a bit anosmic to the Iso E Super, or maybe something else in it, so I gave it a break. When I came back to it, everything was bright and clear again, I really do think that some of the aromachemicals we love so much can cause mild anosmia. Something for me to remember when perceptions change, I think.

  2. Ahem. Well, blow my mind! 😀 Isn’t it just so freaky-strange when the collective conscious latches on to the same thing…I’m SO incredibly flattered you brought up QD! Who knows, maybe it will gain another reader or two? 😉

    At the time I was writing Lilith, I participated in a draw on PerfumeShrine, whereupon the first two hundred commenters would be sent a sample of Ormonde Woman. Being the curious cat I am, I entered.

    I was completely taken aback when it did arrive. I’ve had a lot of different things challenge my nose before and since, and not even anything ELdO ever smelled this…poisonous! Not that it was bad – it’s excellent. But the genie inside Ormonde Jayne was some kind of perfume nemesis or antagonist, on me or to me, I wasn’t sure.

    So when I wrote the chapter titled ‘Latte with Lilith’, where Lilith makes her unforgettable entrance, it seemed to fit her perfectly. It stayed.

    I really do feel I gave Lilith a raw deal in my book, but on the other hand…the real villain did infinitely worse to her…;)

    1. It’s no secret that I love QD! 😉

      I know what you mean when you say “poisonous;” Woman wears wonderfully on me, but there is an element of discord that, if it didn’t work with your chemistry, probably would be extraordinarily difficult to pull off!

      Old Lil’ didn’t get a raw deal in QD—you just showed a snapshot. I never felt like you suggested that that was all there was to her! In fact, hinting at her past left my imagination wide open to fill in my own vision of Hell’s queen 🙂

      1. Now, here’s a strange little factoid for you…I can’t wear Woman. At. All. However, I can wear Ormonde Man exceedingly well…so well, I’m thinking about getting a bottle! 😉

  3. When I recently ordered the discovery set, Ormonde Woman (and Taif) were the ones I was most looking forward to trying. I was waiting to try the green disturbing hemlock-ness of Woman..However, the first time I tried it , it smelt comforting and slightly edible to me and in a good way..But I would have enjoyed it a bit more, if I hadn’t been desperately waiting for the evil to emerge..lol..Now, after many ‘trys’, I get more of the lovely greenness, which is vaguely reminiscent of basil pesto on my skin (in an entirely good way) but it is still more comforting than disturbing to me (To be fair- My skin does amp up sweet notes and perfume generally drifts to the base notes pretty quickly on my skin. Maybe that’s why?)..
    I mean comforting in a fluffy, White Aoud kind of way..:)

    1. Isn’t the discovery set wonderful?! It’s just such a wonderful way to explore a perfume house.

      That is interesting, Lavanya, that your skin tames the witch! It’s not very sweet on me, but I’d love to smell it on you 🙂

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