I’ve found myself in the posession of a few great jasmine soliflore samples, so I decided to compile them into a single review.
Untitled #1 opens with an indolic, rich, jasmine sambac and (and a touch of grandiflorum), it smells both honeyed and intense on one side, and sweet/floral/aquatic on the other (hedione?). There seems to be a touch of fleshy lily, and a little rose – but the jasmine dominates in full force. I say in full force, but it’s not hard-going – infact, it’s totally different to what I expected from the previous three. Untitled #1 is more classical, well-mannered, intelligently balanced and completely harmonious. There are no sharp edges or avant-garde supporting notes… it’s just a really good jasmine.
As it settles the indole turns a little soiled, giving off a subtle animalic vibe (civet?) sweetened by a gorgeous vanilla. It almost feels like a tropical jasmine, with a frangipani alongside it. It’s a little “meaty”, feminine and full-bodied – with a touch of galbanum-like greenery keeping it fresh and natural smelling. The vanilla drydown is really beautiful, full of soft woody accords and just a subtle touch of smoke.
The honey turns a touch too sharp on my skin, not urinous, but sharp in the same way that Viktoria Minya’s Hedonist turned on my skin… it’s much more acceptable here though, due to a much greater floral heart (without the equally sharp peachy fruit of Hedonist). This jasmine is fruity though, a softer peach accord that smells more like peach-tea.
The lily gets louder as it dries down, turning Untitled #1 into a pollen heavy, tropical jasmine atop smooth, classical vanilla (and the tiniest smidgen of cocoa). Seamless and timeless. Lovely work.
Photo stolen from CaFleureBon
Calypso opens with a spicy, raw jasmine that smells almost fungal. It similarly has a tropical floral accord underneath of frangipani and tuberose, but whilst it’s earthy and should be overly pungent, it remains surprisingly muted and close to the skin. The jasmine is spiced with a bitter green cardamom and again, is sweetened with honey. It’s a gorgeous scent, if it only threw itself off my skin a little more – I have to get really “in there” to smell it.
The tuberose/tropical floral accord is “fluffy” – as I often find some varieties of natural tuberose etc. to smell. It’s butter soft, enhanced with a fungal, earthy quality rather than an intense narcotic scent that we’re more familiar with in most releases. However, I love the rawness to it all, and the mushroom-like aspect of the jasmine (similarly – although treated different – to Tawaf by La Via Del Profumo’s rough jasmine opening). The honeyed floral is enhanced by ylang ylang, and Calypso begins to slightly resembled the floral accord in Aftelier’s Haute Claire – only calmer without the “urinous” quality, and it’s undoubtably more feminine. Still – I really like this, I just wish it threw off my skin more.
The late drydown has a sticky, dark vanilla, identical to that used in Ajne’s Vanille (which I own and really love).
Then there is A La Nuit, blasting off the skin in a narcotic, bubblegum overload of a jasmine. Almost medicinal up top with an astringency not too dissimilar from Tubereuse Criminelle, although jasmine based.
The top is tart and fruit, with green apple and a hefty dose of what smells like phenyl-ethyl-acetate, a honeyed pear aroma. The apple, pear and honey is sharp and translucent, giving way to the obnoxious bubblegum jasmine underneath.
Along with the jasmine there is the merest hint of carnation, spicing the fruits up top just a touch. A honey is treated differently again, even sharper and fruitier than the others (the aromachemical mentioned above I suppose). The indole is scrubbed up to a point where it is present, but squeaky-clean – making the jasmine smell almost hyper-fresh whilst being extremely potent (and thankfully not soapy).
There’s a hint of fluorescent greenery that pops in and out – making A La Nuit the most photorealistic fragrance of these three – as in, smelling like the plant itself. Whether something so literal is to your taste or not is up to you, but it’s lovely to wear, if not a little too straightforward for me. It has a linear development, settling into a slightly woody, vanilla that’s so light, the jasmine atop feels heavier and finishes the fragrance. Still, a great summer jasmine :)
So there you have it!
Untitled #1 50ml EDP Magnetic Scent – £80 http://www.bloomperfume.co.uk
Calypso Ajne – http://www.ajne.com
A La Nuit 50ml EDP Serge Lutens – 82 Euros www.sergelutens.com