"High quality Honey and Ambergris", nothing more, nothing less. The Honey is so rich it's medicinal like Manuka Honey. And the Ambergris feels oh so good. I adore Orca, but I can't justify buying a full bottle because Orca fades too quick. Orca gets a mandatory Thumbs Up when I should give Orca a Neutral Rating.
It smells very good. I like the incense and get ambergris and woods and amber-y warmth and it's lovely. I can tell it's made with quality ingredients and it's well blended, but unfortunately I don't get the performance necessary to justify the price point. Projection is pretty much nothing after about an hour, which isn't always something I look for, but the longevity is an issue too. Even thoroughly sprayed, I have to really bury my nose in my wrist to get anything and it fades quickly. I know this is a common issue with natural perfumery. Sad because I love the smell and the aesthetic of this house. I also love a good incense and a drier amber, and I like that the perfumer is a fellow Seattlite! Too bad. If it lasted and projected I'd be hooked!
Composed of honey and ambergris, House of Matriarch Orca seems to aspire to embody amber in all of its greatness, and in that respect, I find that it succeeds, showing the creamy and sweet sides of amber as well as the dull animalic side of it that makes the accord so alluring.
Orca is certainly slightly saltier at the opening, but quickly dries down into the rich amber / honey combination that constitutes the listed notes of the fragrance according to the HOM website. Comparing to other fragrances that feature amber/resins, it's not as woody as Le Labo Benzoin 19 nor is it really that animalic along the lines of Parfum d'Empire Ambre Russe nor as dark AND animalic as Profumum Ambra Aurea.
Like most amber-centric fragrances, it's functionally unisex and cold-weather leaning, despite having a bit more versatility due to its more modest projection than say, the heartily animalic Ambra Aurea or sweetly boastful Tom Ford Amber Absolute. Orca is nevertheless bold and long-lasting but not loud in terms of projection a sign of a high concentration of natural ingredients.
As seemingly with a lot of other House of Matriach fragrances, Orca does not come cheap, at $330 for 50ml / $120 for 15ml per the house's website.
It's a tough sell per volume but the fragrance is a wonderful expression of amber, and I'm happy to have a decant of it, if nothing else. A recommended try for amber lovers.
Definite thumbs up. Meshell creates some interesting fragrances. I got a sample of HOM Devotion thinking it would be the solid incense scent of the line. That's how it was marketed, but Orca (at least to me) is the true incense. It starts out dusty and churchy (but richer than say CdG's Avignon), but dries down to a wonderful amber that lasts the longest of her line that I've tried. I'll be honest, I don't get the briny saltiness or the ocean, but HOM Albatross has it in spades.