Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ormonde Jayne Zizan for men: fragrance review

Zizan by Ormonde Jayne comes as a prolepsis of sorts after a variegation of scents that want to appeal to men's feminine side, getting them in touch with flowers or traditionally girlier concepts such as Dior Homme, Kenzo Power and Prada Infusion d'Homme. Not jarringly different than announced, Zizan is hairy-chested in a supreme Sean Connery Scottish-accent-in-place way when he's stoically sighing "Oh, the things I do for England" as he undresses yet another of his female conquests atop a helicopter no less, getting us right back to 1967. A fragrance of the good-old times when men were men (and the sheep were very nervous!); when they opened the door for you and never offered to split the check. I could live without some of the other addendum to that era, but one can't deny a certain sweet nostalgia for things ironically one hasn't lived through.

Although to the world traveller the name recalls the Zizan people of Myanmar, in fact it simply derives from vetiver zizanoides, the Latin taxonomy for vetiver species (and if you're missing out on what this mysterious grass is and the magical things it does to fragrances read our Vetiver Series). Funnily enough, the name "zizan" is given in Greek to any stubborn weed that emphatically refuses to be eradicated and metonymically to personalities in a similar vein. Perhaps this is exactly the description of the sort of man (or emancipated woman) that would fit Ormonde Jayne Zizan perfectly: stubborn, sturdy yet gentlemanly solid.

The crescent of the duration of the fragrance on skin resembles the course of dawn to dusk with the brighter citrusy elements gaining momentum to then slowly pave the way to autumnal shades of lightly smokier mists. Three varieties of vetiver and hesperides' essences combine to produce a lasting and refined old-style cologne that outlasts Isfarkand (with its bracing opening that soon pales). With elements of the refreshing, refined and care-free style of classic Roudnitska creation Eau Sauvage (citrus, hedione, vetiver) along with the aromatic accents (laurel, clary sage) of Paco Rabanne pour homme, Zizan includes a discreetly sweet little note that surfaces much later along with the woody, dry elements coalescing on the skin and lending it the mantle of humaness. I think Ormonde Man is more unusual and perhaps therefore more intriguing, but I cannot deny the charm that such an elegant allusion to a bygone retro handsomeness produces.

Women could partake of this essentially burly, macho fragrance as a memento of a close encounter that retains the dejection of parting or as an exploration of how liberating it feels to wear something so wonderfully masculine. King Leonidas is guarding his own Thermopylae as always, he's smelling fabulous and I don't think he's set to lose this time!

Notes for Zizan:
Top: Sicilian lime, lemon, bergamot,clary sage, pink pepper, juniperberry.
Heart: Bay, violet and jasmine.
Base: Vetiver, cedar, musk and amber.

Ormonde Jayne Zizan for Men comes in Eau de Parfum ceoncentration in 50ml/1.7oz bottles for 64£ in the classic Ormonde Jayne presentation. Available directly from the Ormonde Jayne boutique in London and Dubai and from her site.

One sample will be given to a lucky reader! (Enter your name in the comments)

Further related reading on Perfume Shrine: an interview with perfumer & founder Linda Pilkington here and a review of Tolu.

Pic of Gerlad Butler via gerald-butler.net. Pic of Zizan bottle via Ormonde Jayne.


  1. Oh, this sounds like fun. I wonder if I could have spritzed on me whilst atop a helicopter? ;)

    Having just been a lucky winner, don't put me in the draw, but do have a wonderful day. Thanks for another delightful review/fun read.

  2. Oh, S, you woulnd't need to spritz this on the helicopter! Those paws would do the transfering for you! :-))

    Have a great day you two, sweetie (and a lovely holiday!)

  3. Sounds intriguing! I'd love to be entered in the drawing...I haven't yet had a chance to sniff any of the Ormonde Jayne perfumes, and they do sound so yummy...

  4. Stephan14:40

    Sounds very interesting. I'd like to get to know this fragrance.

  5. Hi, E! Nice review. I'm intrigued, and would love to be entered in the drawing.

  6. This sounds so good. I confess while I like a man to experiment I also really like a man to smell as a man should sometimes, by that I mean of the traditional scents. I don't even mind if they have a bit too much on, I even quite like it... Gerard Butler is totally a man in the old school sense isn't he- and all the more lovely for it I think.

    I feel I should also sit this one out because I have so recently been a lucky winner and Scentscelf's example is very good. Plus I am planning an OJ visit where as others can't go so easily.

  7. Kathryn17:35

    It is a rare scent that I can share with my DH, but it is always nice when one comes along. This one sounds like it has those possibilities. Please enter me in the draw. Happy Thanksgiving from the US to all perfume friends abroad!

  8. Noy,

    you're in! Hope you get to sample an OJ.

  9. Stephan,

    thanks for stopping by. Good luck!

  10. Thanks J! You're included, naturally :-)

  11. K,

    you're very thoughtful to say so (readers, here is a generous soul!) and thanks for the comment: I agree; I like some old-fashioned virility :-)

  12. Kathryn,

    hope you get to share this one: I can't say that he will suspect an ulterior motive (contrary to some girlier frags), LOL!
    Hope you have a lovely holiday!

  13. Helg, my husband does not wear aftershave or splash. My daughter and I have given him lovely ones for Fathers Day etc but it goes in the cupboard and then rots.
    Never mind, he has two girls who shower in scent!! Even my little grandson gets wiffs of scents we try when shopping together. We are both hoping he grows up to be a "nose" Carlos is getting alot of experience!
    So - if I win - I shall wear it! LOL

  14. Rappleyea01:56

    Well be still my beating heart! As a huge Butler fan, it was a treat to open up the blog today to his handsome face.

    I laughed at: "but one can't deny a certain sweet nostalgia for things ironically one hasn't lived through." Awww, I did live through those times (peace and love!) and I'm still nostalgic for them. So it's okay.

    Love your reviews!

  15. Elizabeth06:17

    Oh yes, I'd love to be entered for a sample! I am dying to try this....thanks!

  16. M,

    that's a shame...leaving those gifts unused....but of course one has to respect one's wishes.
    But how utterly cute to try to introduce little Carlos to this all!
    Best of luck then!

  17. R,

    glad you liked the visual. I thought it was fitting the scent's vibes :-))
    And thank you for your warm words: your support means a lot to me.

    Peace and love are things one can be wishing for at any era, I guess. The 60s must have been a very interesting period to live through: I feel like I missed out.

  18. Elizabeth,

    you're included! Good luck!

  19. You had me at "hairy-chested!"

    Please enter me in the drawing...

    O aka P

  20. P,

    yeah: can you imagine Gerald (or Sean for that matter)shaving that chest? Neither can I!You're included!

    PS.I will be leaving the draw open for those holiday-ing souls till the end of the weekend.

  21. LisaCarol22:14

    If there's anything reminiscent of Gerry Butler at the end of the deal - count me in!

  22. abigail08:31

    This was a delightful read, thanks! I am now curious and want to explore more. Please count me in!

  23. K,

    it's a little macho in the old tradition scent. I have included you!

  24. A,

    thanks for saying so. You're in, good luck!

  25. Ben A00:06

    If it's not too late, please enter me in the draw!

  26. Ben,

    you were included, rest assured, but didn't win in the end ~sorry...(I have announced the winner on the blog on another post)

  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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