Jardins d’Ecrivains is a young niche perfume brand established in 2012 by Anais Biguine, who is also a nose behind all of her compositions. The concept of the brand is to create fragrances inspired by characters from literature. Just a short time ago the fifth perfume was introduced to the Perfumeland. It’s name is Orlando. This scent was inspired by the fictional character – Orlando, the main figure of a novel by Virginia Woolf of the same name.
The story of Orlando is a complicated and twisted one. Readers of the novel get to know the character as an England-born young man, the elderly queen lover. The turn of events led Orlando to falling asleep for a couple of days. When he woke up, he was no longer HE. Orlando turned into SHE, transformed into a woman. What more – Orlando was still the same person, had the same personality, memories… Only his/her gender changed.
Orlando the perfume is supposed to show a thin line between being a man and a woman, a border between the substantial world of reality and immaterial world of visions.
On my skin the composition begins with a blast of spicy cloves. Handfuls of cloves start surrounding me swallowing me deep into their intoxicating smell and structure. Their aroma might be a little bit harsh at the beginning but after 5 minutes it’s totally fine. Orlando manifests on my skin with a powerful sillage at the moment, it floats really high above my skin. 20 minutes later the perfume becomes more complex and another notes slowly start to appear.
The second aroma that reaches my nose as I breathe the perfume in and out is the orange accord. Forget about a joyful juiciness and freshness of the orange pulp. This note in Orlando is nothing like a fruit straight from a tree. To me it smells mostly of a peel. A candied peel along with its white elements. After another 15 minutes it develops an interesting and slightly sweet vibe that could be compared with nothing else but a bottle of an orange liquor.
I must say that I have always enjoyed the combination of smells of cloves and orange. Every Christmas I decorate oranges with cloves and put them close to the candle – that’s when they fill the entire house with this wonderful Holiday aroma. In Orlando the effect is similar, but darker, wilder, definitely not in a spirit of Christmas. Another shift to the perfume arrives at the mark of 1st hour.
That’s when the new Jardins d’Ecrivains creation gains a deep and rough woody quality. Guaiac wood is a kind of dark tree and so is its smell. Powerful, intensive with balmy and resinous facets. This note somehow cuts off the earlier accords and marks the new beginning of the scent. From now on Orlando is untamed, wild and slightly unpredictable. Now is the moment when the character turns from he to she. This effects in perceiving things in a different way.
Closer to the 90 minutes of wearing this perfume I begin to smell the musky notes. Since Orlando has gone wild some time earlier one cannot expect the fluffy, airy or coconuty musk. Instead we can experience the oily, kind of greasy and sweaty tincture. It’s animalic, lusty and provoking just like the novel Virginia Woolf wrote many years ago. Amber also isn’t a shiny note within Orlando.
To me the ambery tones in this perfume blend are rough, just like the amber lump that had been brought to the shore by the waves of the sea. This precious material is not polished yet, not prepared to shine and to show its hidden beauty to the world. On the other hand balsam of peru brings undeniable mineral quality to Jardins d’Ecrivains Orlando. It creates a feeling like you were wandering around the forest just after the rainy season. All is damp, the ground is loose and muddy.
Patchouli in this specific composition doesn’t play a significant role on my skin but I can see it turning more dominating on other people. Its smell evokes fall, with its fallen leaves, pine cones and nature preparing for a winter sleep. Moldering leaves are a quilt for the earth…
Just like Orlando wasn’t a typical literature character, this perfume created by Anais Biguine is not a typical fragrance. It’s complex and complicated, even difficult to understand sometimes. The effect of chiaroscuro that accompanies it is really something that could’ve only been inspired by a novel such as Orlando. This perfume is excellent and it has a hidden charm. It also is a kind of perfume that I personally find difficult to wear on a daily basis. It requires more focus, more space and more attention to fully appreciate it. Once you fall in love with it, you’ll never regret purchasing it!
Jardins d’Ecrivains Orlando is a new perfume that was introduced just a while ago. It’s and eau de parfum available in 100ml bottles of a simple design you can notice on the pictures above. It’s longevity is excellent as the perfume lasted on my skin for at least 10 hours. The initial sillage is very strong, after a couple of hours it drops down to just a few inches above the skin surface.
[note] All pictures in this review were shot by myself, all rights reserved.
Excellent, I will save this one for Christmas as I find Nuit de Noël too feminine for me so my Mum now has that as her Christmas Eve scent. I love it on her. Thank you for solving my Christmas scent puzzle.
I hope that you’ll like Orlando and that you think it might work as a Christmas scent for you. Just don’t overdo when applying! You don’t want to kill the people at the table with your perfume.
Ok, will not a test run then I will be fine for Christmas Eve.
You’d better try it earlier and decide on your own if you find it suitable for Xmas
Very interesting. Some perfumes I like to keep just to sniff from time to time, not necessarily to wear, and I think this could be one of them. Although from what you say this is a dark take on Christmas smells, I agree with Jordan that it seems this would be good to have around for the holiday season.
This is a perfume for special occasions I think, or for enjoying while being alone.
I hope you can sample it somewhere close but if you can’t – let me know and I will send you a sample. I own a 100ml bottle of Orlando, I won’t make through it on my own.
My dear Lucas, that would be brilliant – I would love to help you out (ha ha!). Seriously, I would be most grateful to be able to smell it!
Of course! Will send you a sample of Orlando!
Anything else I could include in the letter?
Can’t think of anything (numb brain!), but thank you. Lots.
You can think and let me know in a couple of days. If nothing else will come to your mind I will send the parcel on Friday
Great review Lucas. There is something about this fragrance the compels, yet repels me at the same time. It’s very different, but very powerful and a bit rough…there is nothing really comforting about it at all to me. As for the Christmas comments…Orlando is about at anti Christmas as they come…unless like you said, you want a very dark Christmas!
Thank you Houndie! I agree, there’s something in Orlando that makes me want to try it again and at the same make me a little bit scared of giving it another try.
As for the Christmas comments. I didn’t say it’s a perfume you can wear for a jolly celebration with family. It just reminds me of the season with orange + cloves combination. Nothing more. But it would be a good perfume for a long walk in the snow and chill.
I loved your review! Most interesting house indeed. I really took to their “Gigi” and now I must try Orlando! Bravo!
Thanks Lanier. What did you think of Gigi? I’ve yet to try it.
Good luck in finding Orlando. Hope you’ll enjoy it
Lucas, here is what I thought of Gigi!
I missed it! I was on vacation at the time you posted it.
I believe I have a sample of this one but I haven’t tried it yet. I’m going to have to go and get it and give it a try. I’m testing a few things right now. Why not one more? I hope it smells like you describe it.
Do check it out and let us know your thoughts after you find it and try it
Eeek, what are you doing to me, dear Lucas? Another lemming! This is a very nicely-written review and despite its “dark” theme, you make it sound mysteriously appealing.
Thank you Haj, glad you liked it. Hope you’ll be bale to try it soon
I love it! Just like on you, ambery tones are rough on my skin as well! It’s dirty, animalic, wild…interesting scent!
Whenever I read the story, I smile 🙂
It’s interesting but also complicated and not so easy to wear.
Based on your (great!) description I don’t think I’ll like this perfume but it was an interesting reading and I will give Orlando a try if I come across this brand.
Thank you. I’m glad you liked the review. Too bad it doesn’t sound like something you’d enjoy. I hope you’ll be able to sample it at least so that it won’t fall into “forgotten scents abyss”
[…] of Chemist in the Bottle had a different journey as well. In his review, he writes that Orlando began on his skin with an overwhelming amount of cloves followed by candied […]
Thanks for including my thoughts on Orlando in your review
Interesting review! I fell in love with this perfume at first sniff. Your description of the perfume’s complex character is spot on. The drydown reminds me of Shalimar without the vanilla, more fascinating.
Glad you are enjoykng Orlando
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