When the weather gets cold, I often find comfort in incense and amber fragrances. Most of the amber fragrances in my collection are heavy, linear “exotics”. I love for my fragrances to be olfactory versions of Orientalist, John Frederick Lewis paintings. I thought I was fine with my current collection of thick resinous, spicy amber scents and then I tried Ormonde Jayne Tolu.
Tolu is refined. Tolu is a modern sweet resinous scent. It doesn’t attempt to recreate 19th century spice routes. If Tolu reminds me of anything “old”, it only reminds me of late 1950’s Vogue fashion photography where the graceful, long-necked model is draped in taffeta and honey-hued furs. Tolu is an elegant, modern amber.
Tolu opens as spicy and fresh with an interesting “nuttiness” to it. It’s like honey-soaked tree nuts toasted over heady orange blossoms. I was taken off guard by this caramelized sweetness of this perfume the first few wears. Tolu gets better with time. In fact, every hour of wear it gets better. This is one of those perfumes that really starts to smell “louder” or blossom with wear. The heart is this amazing blend of spicy orange blossom, rose attar and resins. It reminds me slightly of Hermès 24 Faubourg but in the Ormonde Jayne style. The dry-down is a rich and warm with sweet resins like tolu with powdery amber mixed with frankincense.
Notes listed include juniper berry, orange blossom, clary sage, orchid, Moroccan rose, muguet, tolu, tonka bean, golden frankincense and amber.
Give Tolu a try if you like amber or resinous fragrances or perfumes like Hermès 24 Faubourg, Calvin Klein Obsession, Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial, and/or Sage Amber. Tolu is unisex in my opinion. It’s a great choice for anyone that enjoys wearing resinous scents. And with Tolu you get sweet resins paired with sheer, spicy neroli and florals. Try it if you are looking for a cool-weather orange blossom.
I find that the fragrance is long-wearing and has great projection.
I admit that I didn’t “get” Tolu at first. It took a few wears for me to fall in love with it. Why? I’m conditioned to like heavy, thick, “literal” amber perfumes…think Serge Lutens. By the 3rd wear of Tolu, I couldn’t get enough of this sophisticated amber.
The 1.7 oz EDP of Tolu retails for £80 and is available at Ormonde Jayne.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Powdery, floral spiced, modern amber oriental. The addition of heady orange blossoms is what makes this fragrance stand out from the rest. It’s one I want to add to my collection.
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Nathan Branch (a quick sniff)