As we move into the days after New Year with the gray skies overhead, I begin to look for comfort from my perfumes. There are different types of scents that will do the trick but there is one ingredient which almost always does it, vanilla. I think there is a reason vanilla-centric fragrance are so popular because they tap into the smell of fresh pastries along with a sense of inherent warmth. I’ve found another to add to my dreary day collection, Ormonde Jayne Byzance.
Linda Pilkington released a four-perfume collection called La Route de la Soie at the beginning of the summer. As the name implies all four are inspired by the trade route known as The Silk Road. Each creation is meant to capture a place along the trail connecting China to Europe through the Middle East. Ms. Pilkington does a nice job overseeing the collection. There is a coherent through line as if you are traveling as you move through each one. Damask is as you might expect that type of rose drenched in amber. Levant is a bright peony which will be ideal for spring. Tanger is the only other one which fully tries to integrate Eastern and Western aesthetics. In this case through neroli and vanilla. Byzance does it just a little bit better. The way Byzance does it is to create a gourmand accord of the East, chai tea, over a floral of the West, orris.
The beginning of that chai tea accord is where Byzance begins. A milk accord is given some texture through blackcurrant buds and vanilla. It moves it towards becoming the chai tea accord. That fully reveals itself over the next few minutes as a richly gourmand accord. As if it is arising out of the steam a gorgeously balanced orris butter appears. It has a shimmer of powder along with some of the carrot-y rootiness. It feels as if an elegant European has stopped for a chai tea. The duality of both flows together in a comforting way.
Byzance has 12-14 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
Byzance rode very close to my skin. Which is an advantage for a perfume I want to wear on the coldest days of the year. There is nothing better than being under a blanket from which I get little reminders of Byzance wafting up every time I adjust it. It is a comfort that comes from chai.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Ormonde Jayne.