Whether you love perfume and can’t live without scented candles or don’t have much time for it and walking into the perfume department of a department store overwhelms you, tonight’s event at Ormonde Jayne, the London-based perfume house helmed by Linda Pilkington, will stir up your senses, or at least the champagne, nibbles and chatter will!
‘We are inviting people to come and talk about the very first perfume we made, which was the Osmanthus’, Linda told us when we visited her new Sloane Square jewel-of-a-store to have our ‘perfume portrait’ taken. ‘It also represents spring and everything that’s this time of year.’ Starting at 6pm, with Mother’s Day just a few days away, Linda will be talking not just about the flower and the inspiration behind it but also about the process of creating a perfume and as she reassured us that, ‘getting to know about making the perfume is very interesting and it doesn’t require a chemistry background’, we’re intrigued. Guests will also get to walk away with an Osmanthus mini candle created at the studio especially for tonight’s event!
With her interest in making things sparked at a young age, ‘I started by just learning from hobbies books I used to get for Christmas and birthdays, like “how to make a hair mask”’, and her first perfume bottle given to her by her mother when she was twelve, ‘Madame Rochas in a beautiful Venetian glass with a big gold stopper, and the perfume a dark cognac colour - it was on my dressing table and no one was allowed to touch it’, it was a surprise encounter with an old friend, now working for Chanel’s fine jewellery, that put Linda on the road to creating Ormonde Jayne. ‘He said that he bought some scented candles, he spent £300 from the petty cash, and they weren’t burned properly so could I melt them down and reset them for him’, Linda recounts. ‘I did and then he asked me if I could make some for their shop that would smell really good. Four-five months later, through showing them different ideas, eventually they said, “that’s very nice, we’ll order 50 and you must invoice us!” so I had to create the company just to write the invoice!’ And the name Ormonde Jayne? ‘I’m Linda Jayne and my first street, where I worked at, was called Ormonde so I came up with it to write this invoice for Chanel! I wanted it to look professional, I didn’t want to write one a piece of paper!’
So, back to that very attractive sounding ‘perfume portrait’! I sat down with Linda (and you’ll get the chance to do so tonight) who asked me some questions like, ‘what type of perfume are you looking for - something for a wedding, a signature or something for spring’, ‘which perfumes have you worn in the past that you’ve enjoyed’ and ‘have you got any particular dislikes in smells and not just in perfumes’. I then proceeded to smell my way through a number of pure oils, devised by Linda in seven categories like Hesperidic, Delicate Florals, Oriental, Woody and Atmospheric, and sitting in rows of beautiful black vials. This is how I found out that, surprisingly, I don’t like mandarin oil or pink pepper whereas Hemlock, yes – the poisonous wood, I loved! After ticking away on my chart Linda took a look at it and picked two perfumes from her collection that she thought I would like. One was Ormonde Woman (‘green and woody with a heart of black hemlock’) and the other Frangipani (‘soft with a sharp lime top note’). I let the both settle onto my skin for a while and after I smelled each arm - surprise surprise! - I loved them both!
A final set of brief questions like, ‘do you like scented candles’, ‘do you like to bathe or take showers’ and ‘would you keep a travel bottle in your handbag or just spray in the morning and go’ and my perfume portrait was complete and kept in a file to offer help and guidance to the odd someone who might be interested in buying me a gift! Really, that’s one more reason to go to tonight’s event and did we mention the nibbles?
Evenings with Linda Pilkington will take place tonight, Wednesday the 30th of March, at 6pm at Ormonde Jayne at
For future events leave your details at email@example.com and Ormonde Jayne will be in touch with details of the next one.
- Kiki Georgiou