jasmine: 8 posts

Serge Lutens La Religieuse : Fragrance Review

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“Whatever you do, just don’t be boring,” used to say my longtime ballet teacher. In her class, being off music and being boring were the worst crimes, because while everything else–a wrong arm position, an awkward turn or a weak jump–could be corrected through careful guidance, not listening to the music and not caring to excite the viewer spoke of more serious flaws. My teacher’s admonition flashed in my mind when I first smelled Serge Lutens La Religieuse.

serge-lutens-la-religieuse

La Religieuse belongs to the collection of understated compositions from the master-duo, Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake. It’s in the same polished and well-mannered corner as Nuit de Cellophane, Un Lys and Sa Majesté la Rose. If you want a pleasant fragrance that doesn’t try too hard, the type of perfume that sales associates call an “office scent”, it’s a good choice. If you want a soft, fluffy jasmine, La Religieuse will also hit the spot. But if you come to Serge Lutens to be thrilled and surprised, then you might want to pick another magic carpet ride.

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Strawberry Scented Jasmine from Grasse

The Mul farm in Grasse has been growing roses and jasmine for Chanel for generations, and these precious essences are used in No 5 parfum. ELLE takes a look at the fields and interviews Chanel in-house perfumer, Christopher Sheldrake. Did you know that jasmine and strawberries share many similar components?

chanel parfums-pv

You can watch the video over at ELLE’s exclusive look at the creation of No 5. Sheldrake narrates the video.

Chanel claims that each 30ml bottle of No 5 parfum contains 1,000 jasmine flowers and 12 roses from Grasse. Since 1 kg of jasmine absolute and rose oil require 6 000 0000 jasmine blossoms and 1 600 000 rose blossoms, respectively, you can work out for yourself how much essence No 5 contains. On the other hand, what makes No 5 special is not just the rare materials, but their balance and harmony. Since the flower fields in Grasse have been steadily disappearing, the Mul farm is especially precious.

Photo by Bois de Jasmin

All About Jasmine Perfumes

Bois de Jasmin is turning 9 years old this spring, something that I find hard to grasp. Has it really been this long? But what I need not reassert for myself is my love of jasmine. The small white flowers don’t have the Hollywood glamour of roses or the regal elegance of iris, but their scent is so luscious and complex that it has few rivals. One of the first articles I had written for Bois de Jasmin was about jasmine. I described how jasmine essence is obtained and mentioned representative jasmine perfumes but an update has been long overdue.

jasmine

Although most jasmine used by perfumers comes from Morocco, Egypt, Italy and India, the five petaled flowers are still the symbol of the French art of perfumery. At one time the hills of Grasse in the South of France were thickly planted with jasmine, the picking of which involved the whole town. It is one of the most revered and intriguing materials in the perfumer’s palette. Jasmine smells of bananas and apricot jam but also of horse sweat and mothballs. One moment you notice the springlike freshness of white petals and the next you’re seduced by its hot animalic breath. Even a hint of jasmine essence can lend a seductive, voluptuous layer to the composition.

Romance aside, most perfumes named jasmine don’t contain any natural jasmine essence. It’s one of the most expensive ingredients, and few brands can afford it.  Depending on the origin and quality, a pound can fetch anywhere from $4,000 to $9,000. The sheer effort involved in producing jasmine essence is astounding. The flowers have to be picked by hand and processed immediately, before the rot darkens the delicate petals. Six million flowers are needed to create 1 kilogram of jasmine absolute. That means more than 800 hours of picking.*

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Aerin Collection : Perfume Reviews

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Aerin, the lifestyle brand of Aerin Lauder, recently presented five fragrances: Gardenia Rattan, Amber Musk, Lilac Path, Ikat Jasmine and Evening Rose. So what can you expect from the collection? Each fragrance is built around a distinctive theme and painted with delicate, pastel tones. The word that comes to mind is tasteful.

aerin

At first, I was a little disappointed to find such mild-mannered blends, but the more I wore the perfumes, the more the collection made sense as the scent equivalent of pret-a-porter. Wearing these perfumes is like slipping into a cashmere dress or silk camisole, a garment that may not look flamboyant but that makes you feel wonderful. The perfumes are not dramatic, to be sure, but they are a pleasure to wear.

While the perfumes don’t come cheap, Lauder didn’t skimp on high-grade materials when making Aerin’s collection. For instance, Evening Rose contains beautiful rose absolute and Amber Musk features a particularly luscious musk note. Overall, it’s a good fit with Aerin Lauder’s understated aesthetic and emphasis on quality. But if you want haute couture drama and panache, you’ll probably have to look elsewhere.

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Caron Acaciosa : Fragrance Review

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One cannot deny perfumer Ernest Daltroff’s genius in reinterpreting classical compositions and making floral bouquets seem like Impressionist paintings. When making a jasmine focused fragrance in 1929, he added a large quantity of synthetic component mimicking the scent of a pineapple. Jasmine in nature possesses a fruity note, and Caron Acaciosa presents it in the most delicate way.

Acaciosa

Upon application the green notes are vivid, and as they gradually dissipate the opulence of jasmine resurfaces. Ylang ylang, lily of the valley and mimosa add to the floral bouquet. The pineapple becomes more pronounced in the heart. The delicate harmony of floral notes is my favorite aspect of Acaciosa. The drydown of heavy amber and resinous woods is much less interesting, and while the composition is pleasant, it is not distinctive.

Notes: rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, orange blossom, ylang ylang, pineapple, jasmine, sandalwood, amber, vanilla, musk.

On Reformulation (12/7/2010):
The original Acaciosa is a jasmine-orange blossom composition with an intense animalic note of leather and musk. The latest version misses the dark amber and animalic facets almost entirely, which makes Acaciosa a pretty, but unremarkable jasmine.

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