Orcas EDP. A natural marine fragrance by Ayala Moriel Parfums.

Riding the ferries throughout the San Juan Islands is a memory that conjures up fresh marine air, gorgeous vistas of the northernmost Cascade Mountains and tall evergreens that meet the water’s edge. I find it challenging to describe the feeling of being on the water amidst the Pacific Northwest’s humbling beauty so I’m going to rely on my trustiest source for help, National Public Radio.

So I was listening to NPR the other day, Here and Now to be specific, and Robin Young was interviewing the writer Touré about his recent essay in the New York Times on writers writing about tennis. In the interview, which captivated me as I am an avid tennis player, Touré read David Foster Wallace’s description of Roger Federer’s style of play:

“Inspiration, though, is contagious, and multiform — and even just to see, close up, power and aggression made vulnerable to beauty is to feel inspired and (in a fleeting, mortal way) reconciled.”

When I heard those words read aloud, I nodded in agreement, not only because Federer is such an incredibly powerful yet balletic athlete, but also because these words can be applied to most anything sublimely beautiful. His quote embodies my feeling of being on that boat, surrounded by the overwhelming grandeur of nature which as Wallace said, is made vulnerable to its own beauty.

Orcas by Ayala Sender, is an homage to the unique land and seascapes of this region and the Wild Pacific Trail in particular which runs along the westcoast of Vancouver Island. Like all of Ayala’s fragrances, Orcas is expertly blended and as a result the natural materials move like water over a stone, seamlessly and fluidly. The opening is the one moment you’ll take notice of a singular note, as a bitingly green burst of lime initiates the Orcas encounter. Quickly though, after just a few minutes, the remaining notes begin to swell.

Spruce, moss, rosemary and seaweed tumble together in an herbaceous and slightly salty wave, ushering in exhilaration, and renewal. Another passing wave brings forth violet leaf and cedar which heighten the herbal and basalmic aspects of Orcas in their own unique way. Violet leaf is deeply green and leafy thereby ramping up those tones in the rosemary and seaweed while cedar’s smooth and dry quality imparts the spruce and moss with warmth.

In truth though, all of the notes complement each other and meld into one another making note deconstruction feel a bit insignificant. In the end, Orcas stands as a gorgeous, all natural oceanic fragrance that bathes the skin in a maritime-woodland dew. But for those of you who are drawn to vetiver and ambergris, I will say that the drydown has something very special in store for you.

Above is a photo of Ayala Sender in her studio. I took it two summers ago when my family and I visited the San Juans, Vancouver Island, and Vancouver BC where Ayala lives. She has graciously offered to give away a EDP mini to a Scent Hive reader. Just leave a comment and you will be entered. If you have a favorite from her line, please share it!  Drawing is now closed.

Orcas is available at ayalamoriel.com $120 for 15ml splash/spray bottle or a 4ml mini for $45.

Photo of ferry and Mt. Baker is from Panoramio.com

Disclosure: A sample was sent to me for consideration by Ayala Sender. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.


30 thoughts on “Orcas EDP. A natural marine fragrance by Ayala Moriel Parfums.

  1. Hi Trish, this sounds absolutely beautiful. I love ocean notes in perfume and was a huge fan of Roxana Villa’s Greenwitch. Should I win this mini I will be very excited but if not (and regardless) I will be sampling some of Ayala Sender’s work in the future.
    Thanks for the competition 🙂

  2. Wow this fragrance just sounds so lovely and calming! Perfect as I prepare to enter my last few weeks of pregnancy. Thanks, Ayala, for the generous giveaway!

  3. Oh what a beautiful review! I can’t wait to smell this. It sounds unlike anything I may have ever tried. I’ve sampled several of her perfumes and was enamoured by several but Orcas may be my new favorite. Thanks for entering me in the draw.

  4. Trish,
    What a lovely review. The quote is beautiful while thought provocing, your right the quote could be applied to really anything also. I have been really wanting to order a sample of Orcas since it’s release and I need to do it soon along with another bottle of Ayala’s gorgeous custom scent for me. It is serendipity that are hosting a drawing, I was just thinking of ordering a bottle too. Thank you Ayala and Trish for the oppertunity to win a bottle of this oceanic dream.

  5. Orcas sounds wonderful! I have not yet tried any of this line, although I am familiar with it and have read good things.

  6. i really love the magic of Ayala perfumes, i have 5ml of Espionage, and i keep it as a treasure :), all the Ayala perfumes are included in the bucket list of my nose 🙂

  7. I am a huge fan of natural perfume and my favorite of Ayala Moriel’s line so far is Palas Atena. It starts out all citrus then goes quickly to smoky, spicy jasmine then saunters off to a lingering yummy amber. I love it!
    Thanks for the draw!!! Orcas sounds so different from anything I’ve smelled before. xoxo

  8. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I am surrounded by this beauty. I would love to smell this translated into a perfume!

  9. bottling the san juans?! i can smell the clean cool air from the ferries already! it’s a magical place and undoubtedly a magical potion! please enter me in the draw!! i would love to revisit the pacific northwest again- if only in my nose!

  10. Ayala is such a talented women! I can’t wait to inhale this new perfume in person. My current fave of hers is “Cabaret”, but there are so many others that are just delicious.

  11. Gorgeous photo. Haven’t done the ferries through the San Juan Islands, but have done through our very similar Gulf Islands a bit farther north. I’d love to be wearing Orcas the next time.
    Of the few Ayala scents I’ve tried so far my favourite is the smokey, leathery goodness of Espionage.
    Thanks to Ayala for the draw offer and to you for hosting it.

  12. I am not fortunate enough to have tried any of Ayala’s scents yet, but my interest is piqued. Many thanks for the giveaway!

  13. I know how long it took her to finish this perfume and I believe it is well made!
    I’ve tried several of her perfumes and I found myself mostly in Les Nuages de Joie Jaune.

  14. My favourite scent of those sampled from Ayala’s collection would have to be White Potion – love it, although my sample ran out a loooong time ago. I’ve been wearing Roses et Chocolat of late too and adore the rose that lingers on my skin for ever!

  15. I can’t wait to try this one! I haven’t tried a single scent of hers that I didn’t like. Right now, favorites are Gigi and Espionage-completely different scents, but both equally affective and beautiful. I love her range of scents….she has more than one for every genre and you can tell they are Ayala scents but without being repetitive. Thanks for the drawing!

  16. Having sampled several, I think it would be truly difficult to have an Ayala Moriel favourite. For me it would have to be a close tie between Roses and Chocolate and Black Licorice. Sublime worn together, the Black Licorice gives the Roses and Chocolate an etheric, sexy edge, and I was simply bereft when the 1ml samples came to an end ;( Her perfumes melt into your skin and mix with your own natural scent, creating a unique and personal experience of the fragrance. These two perfumes disappeared on my friend, but exploded like a fireworks display on my skin. Ayala is a true alchemist.

  17. I have a sample of this-will try it tonight. I wasn’t tempted by the marine notes but that drydown sounds gorgeous..
    I really need to sample more of Ayala’s scents- I keep meaning to : which are your faves? I am very tempted by Razala..also Cabaret (because of your review), Fête d’Hiver, Palas Atena and White Potion are on my to-try list..I heard White Potion was similar to Vamp NY-is that true- I know you didn’t like Vamp but love White Potion. I like Vamp (thought it was fun) but did not love it..

  18. Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments! I have been too busy this weekend to comment after every one like I usually do. But everyone is entered and I’ll be closing the draw tomorrow (Monday) and will post the winner Tuesday.


  19. My favorite from Ayala is two of her limited editions: Kinmokusei and Vetiver Racinettes. A good osmanthus always gets me and the Vetiver Racinette is one really amazing Vetiver~

  20. i love a scent that can take you on a journey ( or a book, film, theatre piece). Orcas sounds like some place I would want to go. Meanwhile, would be intrigued to try MOON BREATH !

  21. I’d love to try it! I like oceanic perfumes but it’s not easy to find one that’s really good. And the name Orcas couldn’t be more perfect!
    I have never tried Ayala’s perfumes, but I usually read her blog and I know about her lovely line.

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