|Jasmine field in China|
Jasmine is my favourite note in perfume and I am constantly searching for a simple, green jasmine that smells sweet and true. Jasmine scents (and other white florals such as orange blossom, gardenia, honeysuckle and lilac) can be tricky as they often contain indolic compounds- hard to explain although Bois de Jasmin does a superb job here– that need to be finely balanced in the dilution of the perfume. Indoles have a narcotic quality that can knock you over if they are too strong. There is also an odd, well, animalic quality to jasmine, a compound that shares a few molecules with horse sweat. I prefer a more gentle sparkling white floral. I know some people who wear animalic type scents beautifully; as I fully believe how we wear perfume is so individual. Our own body chemistry, skin type as well as personal preference of course, dictates what smells good on us. The many years I worked in the perfume industry did teach me a few things about what smells good on what people so I can often suggest or guess perfect perfumes for you if you tell me one or two of your favorites. But, I digress. Jasmine is what we are talking about today.
As time goes on I find myself liking simpler, gentler scents that I wore in the past. Oh, the 80s- remember Giorgio anyone? I would never have thought I would enjoy wearing soliflore scents (soliflores are fragrances replicating the scent of a single flower) as I really enjoy the development of a perfume. The top notes can sparkle and shine, then slowly warm to a lovely gently blooming heart note, and then later, a warm base note develops on my skin. I enjoy the journey a complex perfume takes me on. But lately, I find many contemporary scents are a mish mash of notes, all jammed together in a big crock pot with little or no evolution from top to base. I’m at the perfume counter, feeling overwhelmed by synthetic notes in various levels from tester to tester that after awhile, all smell the same. So lately I’ve taken to wearing simpler scents that I can layer myself, which I find much more satisfying. I can keep it simple if I like, then mix it up when I need something more interesting and complex.
Today I will suggest some of my favorite jasmine scents:
|Keiko Mecheri Jasmine|
Keiko Mecheri Jasmine: This is simple pretty jasmine. Slightly green and dewy, this one really feels like you are sticking your nose into a lush jasmine bush. It is a delicate scent with a touch of musk in the dry down. A hint of petit grain keep it from being sweeter, although I like sweet, this one is lovely and summery. Very nice and if you are a jasmine lover you should seek this out.
Creed Jasmal: Jasmine and only jasmine. Very clear and green but in the end a little more than I want. Not sweet enough perhaps and too strong, even though it is a soliflore. It has a watery quality to it that is difficult to describe. This one gets a lot of love though, so it is worth a try. A classic elegant and understated perfume, it was created for Natalie Wood in 1959. I love a perfume with provenance!
|By Killian Love and Tears (Surrender)|
By Kilian Love & Tears (Surrender): Ok this is not a gentle soliflore, this is JASMINE and lots of it. It is heady and lush, and the word “narcotic” applies here. Love & Tears is a sultry jasmine, and a heartbreaker too. There are other floral notes in here but they are beautifully blended. The odd addition of cypress in this one adds a tenacious green aspect that makes it “chewy” which is one of my favourite qualities in a perfume. That feeling of almost wanting to eat it. Yes, I am a crazy pefumista.
|L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons|
L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons: This one is not a soliflore at all, but it is quite gentle and deliciate and jasmine is the scent that rises above the others in this. Sparkling is another word I would use for this delightful perfume. I adore it and it has been a summer staple for me for years. It is like walking through a garden of jasmine on a hot summer day. There is a “honeyed” aspect to the flowers in this one and you can almost see the butterflies flying by when you wear it. If you have not tried this and you like white florals, please give it a try. [Note: there is an Extreme aka Eau de Parfum version of this which is lovely, but different for sure. There is a pink pepper note that, while pretty, is strong in this version, making it a whole other scent than the original]
|Old style bottle|
Chantecaille Le Jasmin: An odd but pretty jasmine, this is one that challenges me a bit in the top note, which is weird and difficult to pinpoint. I think it may be the mimosa they use but I can’t be sure. I have a love/hate thing going on with the top as I tend to love a perfume that makes me think and puzzle a bit. It dries down to a simple pretty jasmine with a very clean musk base. Its lovely and wearable and very summery. I can see wearing Le Jasmin at a summer garden party with a pretty dress. Noting that this is an older bottle style. They have redone their perfume collection which is a pity. Also a pity are the new perfume bottles they introduced. The old style bottles were elegant & simple with a heavy glass high quality feel. The new ones are a bit tacky and just don’t have the same appeal.
|The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit|
The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit: This one is really beautiful. I wonder why I haven’t got another bottle of this. Its sweet and gentle with a subtle dark aspect – the “Nuit” part. Some soft whispery spices on the top (cardamom and cinnamon) with some black currant added into the heart add a sweet almost edible feel to this beauty. Its a sexy jasmine I suppose, but not in a diva way at all. Love it.
|Nuxe Huile Progidieuse|
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse: This is not a perfume nor does it seem to be officially jasmine scented but that matters not. It is simply gorgeous. I do get a gentle jasmine scent, similar to the jasmine that grows in my friend’s back yard in Florida. I adore this and this is the jasmine perfume I have always wanted. My only wish would be for it to be a) an actual perfume and b) stronger, but then it might not be as lovely as it is. It makes skin feel and look sublime, especially bare legs in the summer, and manages to be an oil that isn’t oily- a magical “dry oil”. But the scent is the winner here. Soft, gentle, with a hint of indole & green, this is my dream jasmine.
|Love’s Soft Jasmine|
Love’s Soft Jasmine: Ok this is just for fun, but does anyone remember this one? I recently found an older bottle on ebay and was surprised at how pretty it was. It was as I remembered it, and it was funny how that scent took me back in time. It is a bit of a rubbery jasmine, which doesn’t necessarily mean fake, as there is a rubber aspect to white florals. It has the pretty powdery Love’s Baby Soft base and is about as inoffensive as you can get. It has a little more alcohol that I like in my perfumes so I spray my sheets and lightbulbs with this one. Soft, innocent and summery.
I have a few more soft jasmines I need to try. Annick Goutal Le Jasmin, the new Guerlain Acqua Allegoria Jasminora and Diptyque Olene and Child, both of which I tried years ago, when I didn’t know how much I love jasmine so they are worth a re-sniff. What are your faves? I’d love recommendations.