Indie Perfume Brand Spotlight: Ormonde Jayne

About You

Tell us who you are?

I’m Linda Pilkington, and I’m the founder and Creative Director of Ormonde Jayne Perfumery which  I launched in November 2000.

How did you get into the perfume industry?

Growing up in a small village in Cheshire, long before social media, a hobby was essential- I loved crafts and making scented and bees wax candles, room sprays from petals and distilled water, making chocolates, and growing plants.

From an early age, I would sell them at the church hall – I suppose that’s the entrepreneurial bit in me. Decades later I bumped into a childhood friend who was working at the Chanel Fine Jewellery Boutique in Old Bond Street. He asked me to create a scented candle to burn in the boutique with a sophisticated scent and a very specific colour to match the antique leather Chinese screens in Coco Chanels apartment in Paris.

I took on the challenge which took many months of research and experimentation, trips to Grasse, the kitchen turned into a petite atelier. The result was a success and Chanel Fine Jewellery immediately placed an order for 50 more candles.  After that initial order, word spread at lightning speed around London and I was asked to create scented candles  for  boutique hotels, Burberry, and numerous Interior Designers. It gave me the confidence to make Ormonde Jayne Perfumery  a full time job and I’ve never looked back.

What was the first perfume you ever purchased?

White Musk from The Body Shop when I was about 10. After that, my mother gifted me a bottle of Madame Rochas and my eyes opened into a whole new world of perfumery. It looked like a bottle of treasure, rich cognac coloured perfume and a big heavy gold stopper.

What is your favourite meal?

Ossobuco, polenta and a green salad with a carafe of red wine.

Where is your favourite place?

Home.  We moved to our present home twelve years ago and it’s decorated with eclectic pieces I have collected from around the world. Its both homely and interesting.

Do you have an interesting party trick or any hidden talents?

I’m quite keen on a karaoke duet with my husband when the party gets going and a kitchen disco is regularly open!

Who would play you in a film of your life?

In my dreams, it would be Natalie Portman.

Ormonde Jayne fragrance - Arabeque
Arabesque, the latest addition to Ormonde Jayne’s Four Corners Collection of fragrances

About your Brand

Describe your brand in one sentence.

Intelligent perfumes made with exquisite and rare ingredients, championing British craftsmanship and detail with truly beautiful results.   

Where does the name of your brand come from?

After I was commissioned by Chanel to make my first official order, I had to quickly register my business at Companies House in order to write an invoice! I didn’t want an eponymous brand and at the time, as I was living in Ormonde Terrace and my middle name is Jayne my husband came up with the idea to name the perfume house Jayne Ormonde or Ormonde Jayne.

Who are your perfumes for?

I would like to think our brand is totally inclusive because I can see all walks of life stepping over the threshold into our boutique in Mayfair. We treat everyone like an A1 Celebrity and one of the most gratifying aspects on being at the boutique for so long, is that they remain loyal to the brand. I still see clients who came in the first week, and I’ve watched them through the years, meeting their spouses and children who are also wearing Ormonde Jayne now.

We have also been gender-free since 2005 which was a time when perfume was still firmly divided into men’s and women’s. We quietly removed all mention of masculine and feminine off our website and training manuals overnight.

 Our perfumes have also graced some of the world’s most powerful people and people who are just beginning their working lives. Perfume is an accessible luxury.

Tell us about your latest perfume.

Arabesque launched on October 1st  into The Four Corners of the Earth collection.  It’s the first time the name of the perfume has come before the perfume itself.  Arabesque refers to the intricate details within Islamic art and is also a graceful dance move and of course it’s a nod towards the Middle East.  The perfume is amberesque with gourmand and floral notes, and from this week, we have preview 8ml samples available online.  

If someone wanted to try your fragrances, which one would you recommend they try first and why?

I would always encourage new clients to begin with the Signature Collection which contains Ormonde Jayne’s foundation and DNA.   If they lean towards floral notes, I suggest Osmanthus, Champaca and Frangipani.  If they prefer amberesque notes, then I would suggest Tolu, Ormonde Woman, Evernia.  We are about to launch a “Tasting Menu”  which is great for this as there are 12 samples with a brochure explaining the notes and origins. If I had to pick just one, it would be Ormonde Woman with Black Hemlock Absolute, violet, cardamom. It’s the first fine fragrance to use Black Hemlock Absolute and there is nothing else like it. I adore it!

What challenges do you want to overcome for your brand?

I have an exact vision for Ormonde Jayne and I don’t allow tedious conversations about value engineering projects. My way of working is to create the very best it can be first, and then look at the costs.  We are constantly upgrading all of our components as they come to an end – we always look to source more sustainable improvements and our motto is to strive to do better.

What is unique about your brand?

After 23 years, I’d like to think that we have established ourselves in the world of perfume. The fact that we are manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and committed to British craftsmanship and British manufacturing makes us stand out.  Ormonde Jayne is family owned so we can act with extreme agility to any situation.  

We are known around the world for pioneering rare ingredients as Ormonde Man is the world’s first fine fragrance using Oudh, as well as other ingredients like Ta’if and Black Hemlock which are all confirmed ingredients in the perfume industry today.

Find out more about Ormonde Jayne at the website here.

Basenotes Readers can enjoy 10% off their Ormonde Jayne order by using the code BASENOTES at checkout.

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A really excellent interview, Grant. I need to spend more time with this house. I appreciate the values revealed here.

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Informative interview.

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