Ormonde Jayne Ta’if

Last night, I experienced a tender moment with my younger son. During the goodbye to my boys, as my husband and I were leaving for a night out, my five year old leaned into me and said, “Let me smell you!” He nuzzled into my neck and exclaimed, “You smell good!” He smiled and scurried off to play with his babysitter and brother. I always get such delight when my sons comment on my perfume. This small pleasure doesn’t happen that often, so when it does, I know they are expressing their olfactory preferences and creating potentially powerful memories.

Ormonde Jayne’s Ta’if was the perfume that elicited my son’s lovely and loving acknowledgment, making me adore this ambery rose scent a little bit more. Ta’if is beautiful no doubt, but it’s complex with an air of cultivation brought about by the interesting and unique combination of notes. He’s got sophisticated taste my little guy!

The top notes are listed as pink pepper, saffron and dates, but Ta’if is not overly sweet, peppery or fruity. The opening is opulent with a hint of spice that seems to come more from freesia’s petals rather than pink pepper. Rose is immediately present as well, but as a silhouette, not a rose in full bloom. The dates and saffron are not detectable to me as individual notes, but combine subtly to create the exotic feel that a perfume bearing the name Ta’if should possess. Ta’if  is a Saudi Arabian city and I imagine strolling through its bustling markets amidst spices, chewy delicacies and flowers when I wear its namesake perfume.

Freesia, which is listed among rose, orange flower absolute and jasmine as the heart of Ta’if, has as a strong presence. The interplay between the freesia and rose is dynamic. The green, pepperiness of freesia allows Tai’f to become more than a “rosy” scent. Freesia, in my opinion, is the backbone of Ta’if, bringing together the flowery and spicy components harmoniously and compellingly.

The basenotes of Ta’if are broom and amber. Broom, I am not familiar with, but amber has become a friend of mine lately, and in this perfume it adds another dimension to its unfolding. Ta’if evolves into an ambery rose fragrance in the drydown, allowing freesia to fade as it acquiesces to the soft amber and vanilla finish.


Tai’f is also available as an Essential Bathing Oil that is presented in a gorgeous glass bottle. The oil, like the perfume, is not 100% natural as it does contain some synthetics and petrochemicals, but is free of parabens, genetically modified ingredients and colorants. I have not used the Bathing Oil in the bath as I am loath to use it up too quickly. Instead, I use a drop or two to moisturize my hands and smell Ta’if’s sparkling aroma throughout the day. While the oil is not as smooth as the EdP, it is a more affordable way to indulge in one of Ormonde Jayne’s stunning bottles.

On the Ormonde Jayne website, it is stated that Ta’if “prefers dusk, the night, parties, promises and assignations.” I do think it’s appropriate for the day, especially the Bathing Oil since it’s not quite as rich as the EdP. But Ta’if does take on a more magical quality in the dark hours, causing my sweet boy to declare emphatically, “You smell good!”

Ta’if is available at the Ormonde Jayne boutique in London and at the Ormonde Jayne website. It is £68.00 for the 50ml EdP and £48.00 for the 100ml bottle of Essential Bathing Oil.

Disclosure: Samples from the company’s PR agency were provided for this review. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.


16 thoughts on “Ormonde Jayne Ta’if

  1. How beautifully expressed! Even if I have not fentured into non-all natural fragrances, I still enjoyed reading this and learning of this perfume. And hearing about your ‘sweet boy’! 🙂

    1. Dabney,
      I thought the Bathing Oil was going to be a bit more natural, but then read the ingredients! But, it is such an amazing scent, I had to try the EdP, and obviously I fell in love 🙂


  2. Your description of this fragrance is fabulous. I agree that it’s amazing when children respond to perfume. I really encourage my children to be aware of smells in general, as it’s so much fun. And as you say, it’s great to think that they will be making associations in the future.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, SS 🙂
      It was so sweet when my little guy noticed and loved Ta’if. Scent memories are so intense, and you’re right, it’s so much fun to instill that in kids.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. Ok, I have to admit. You hooked me here! I’m going to have to try it!!! Sounds absolutely spicy and up my proverbial fragrance alley! Woohoo! Love the peppery rose silhouette – and freesia and saffron.

    Must get some for me to try. Mmmmm. Delicious and deloverly descriptions. Thank you, Trish!

  4. Alas, I tried to go to the website and google says link is broken? Any ideas? Is it possible the entire Ormonde Jayne website is down? Drat.

    1. duV,
      I just tried too and it appears to be broken. I googled Ormonde Jayne to get to the site that way, and it still does not work. I hope they get their site fixed ASAP, it is gorgeous. They present everything so beautifully!

      And yes, I think Ta’if is very you!


  5. OMG, the painting you used to illustrate this piece is by a friend I went to school with at Otis, Darren Waterson! Darren is so talented, must go look him up. Thank you for the reminder dear Trish.

    1. R,
      I don’t know much about him, only that I have been admiring his work online for months now. I love his website and how his pieces are presented. How amazing that you went to school with him!


  6. Trish, so interesting that your son could “read” Ta’if! Did I send you a sample of it when we swapped, I hope it was me who got you hooked ; ) Thanks for clarifying in my mind the floral aspect of this mysterious scent, Freesia is much closer to what I’m smelling than Rose. Almost every time I wear it I think “Why do people call this a Rose scent?” I love the saffron sharpened by the pink pepper, and I recall smelling Scottish Broom in it’s natural state, which I can imagine in here. It never evolves to amber or vanilla on me (a plus in my book) but stays higher pitched, which makes it unique in my collection. Someday I’ll have the bath oil too! Thanks for an illuminating post! And I love the artwork!

    1. Hi Wendy,

      It’s interesting about the freesia isn’t it? The rose kind of lurks in the background, but the freesia is really present for me. The two floral scents combined though are really magical!

      The Ta’if sample that I got for this review was sent to me by Ormonde Jayne. Just to let all readers know, OJ has a terrific sampling program where you can get all of the samples in a lovely pack. Check out the website for that!


  7. I just got a chance to try the body oil you sent me, I love it!
    I put it on in the shower, and the heat rose the scent up around me strongly, and I put more on afterward. I love body oils anyway, and this one is light and sinks in instantly, and the middle eastern fragrance quality of it is done in a subtle way that still kicks up a notch when you are close in to it. Wonderful for the winter! Thank you!

    1. Lucy,
      I am so glad that not too much leaked in shipping and that you were able to experience Ta’if fully. I had a feeling you would love it, something about it made me think of you. The EdP is stunning if you ever get a chance to try it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and impressions regarding the oil! 🙂

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