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.