French Fancies: Ormaie

This is where I take a closer look at some well-known, and less well-known, French companies whose products I use and love. 

I’ve recently treated myself to some new perfume. I’d been searching for some time for a non-synthetic one and finally found seven from Ormaie Paris. First I purchased and tried each of the seven samples, the cost of which was refundable when I bought a bottle of one of their perfumes. Choosing was much more difficult than I thought as I liked them all. Guess which two I bought?

How it all began

Baptiste Bouygues and Marie-Lise Jonak are using family ties to make olfactory magic. The mother-son duo have each built impressive careers of their own, with Jonak’s work contributing to several FiFi Awards (the highest honour for fragrance) and Bouygues’ rising talent showcased at houses including Louis Vuitton and Givenchy, but their latest step is a joint endeavour. In late 2018, the two launched ORMAIE, a collection of seven made-in-France fragrances using entirely natural ingredients (a rare feat), bottles coming from the only French glassmaker to recycle its own magmas, and toppers featuring wood from renewable Beech forests.

Bouygues and Jonak’s modern ideas go beyond sustainability: each luxury scent is unisex, even as some lean towards more traditionally masculine or feminine notes. The scents contribute to a strong start for the niche fragrance house, which seems that a family team can provide the perfect mix of artistry and ethics.

When Bouygues and his mother launched Ormaie, sustainability might not have been their first priority, but it certainly has become an important part of their production process, first and foremost when it comes to sourcing ingredients. The brand collaborates with a number of different partners, all of which have different ways of ensuring natural growth to products and economic return to employees. For example, the sandalwood suppliers plant twenty trees each time one is cut down.

The Perfumes

Every Ormaie perfume has its origins in a story, an emotion, a place or even a person. Les Brumes captures a citrus field in Italy. Papier Carbone evokes the memory of paper used in schools, library wood and the liquorice we ate as children. Yvonne is a modern homage to classical feminine perfumes, where the rose and cipher notes are blended with the scent of red fruits making it more contemporary. L’Ivree Bleue is a narcotic scent which evokes the exoticism of Gauguin and the jungle themes or Rousseau; scented with dark vanilla and rum. While Toi Toi Toi is named after a German expression used by ballet dancers to wish each other luck and references wooden floor boards and the wax the dancers rub on their shoes. 28 is the scent of a summer night in the south of France while Le Passant is a tribute to a passing yet intriguing stranger.

So which two did I buy?

15 Comments on “French Fancies: Ormaie

  1. I’m guessing Yvonne and 28. Will you tell?

    A relevant story: Years ago, I had a freelance assignment to update a fragrance directory. One task was to insert a single trick description. Whoever found it won a prize. I invented a fragrance named “Mon Cher Chien,” which I described as “rich in animatic undertones.” It was a fun job.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Actually, I loved them all and pretty much exhausted the samples before I finally settled on Papier Carbone and Les Brumes. They scent is long ladting and never overpowering.

      What a great project!


  2. I would never have guessed of course. I once visited a perfumery in Bergerac with two granddaughters who wanted to buy a present for their Mum. I had to try them all. I must have smelled intriguing

    Liked by 1 person

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