Orris and Sandalwood ($170 for 100 ml) is a captivating fragrance. If you think of most Jo Malone fragrances, you often think floral or fruity. This one is unique - and stunningly beautiful. I purchased mine the moment I smelled it at Neiman Marcus.
The copy on the Jo Malone Web site describes Orris and Sandalwood as, "The surprising duality of orris. Woody and floral. Powdery and deep. The scent of Tuscan hillsides with irises in bloom. Orris’ woody intensity wrapped in creamy sandalwood and sensual amber. Steeped in sunshine."
That's all true, but it doesn't completely describe it. Orris root (rhizoma iridis) is a term used for the roots of Iris germanica and Iris pallida. These are the irises that most of you visualize when thinking iris. Clumps of irises often grow around older homes. They are glorious in the spring. Fabienne Pavia, in her book L'univers des Parfums (1995, ed. Solar), states that in the manufacturing of perfumes using orris, the scent of the iris root differs from that of the flower. After preparation, the scent is reminiscent of the smell of violets. Hence the duality of irises and violets that grace this fragrance.
When you first spray on Orris & Sandalwood, you will smell a dry floral, without a hint of sweetness. Then, as the fragrance matures on the skin, it develops a dry, powdery, luscious scent that lasts on my skin for about seven hours. When I spray some on my arm, my nose seeks it out continuously.
I'm excited about this fragrance. If it intrigues you, you can find it anywhere Jo Malone of London is sold, for example, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and the Jo Malone Web site linked above.
Photos courtesy of Jo Malone, words4it.com, and homescentscandlecompany.com