JAR Parfums Boutique at Bergdorf Goodman: Bolt of Lightning revisited


The JAR Parfums boutique is already opened at New York’s Bergdorf Goodman, and it is a beautiful spot. The corner that was previously owned by Guerlain (about to be relocated to its own boutique) is now a vision of dusty rose and purple, with the bolts of lightning decorating the ceiling. The front table of the boutique holds the fragrance bottles arranged on suede pillows, with a large round jar holding perfume soaked chamois placed besides a corresponding bottle. The JAR presentation is to let one first smell the fragrances (the names are displayed on each jar) and then to decide which to sample on the skin.

Among the madness of Bergdorf beauty department, JAR boutique strikes me as serene and calm. The notes of the fragrances are not revealed, which is an interesting concept, which goes at odds with the common way of marketing perfume. However, Joel Arthur Rosenthal, a famous jeweler, is not a conventional persona, therefore the usual is not something one can expect from him. He wants people to form their own impressions of the fragrance, rather than walk away thinking about a list of notes. In the end, what really matters is the scent itself.

Whether or not one cares for the JAR concepts, the prices or the fragrances, the compositions are constructed from high quality ingredients, and it is impossible not to notice that aspect. Golconda is made from the most amazing carnation absolute that scintillates like a handful of precious jewels. Shadow dries down to the smoothest sandalwood I have encountered. Even my least favorite of the line, Jardenia opens up with a fantastic magnolia note, all white petals, cured leaves, leather and salt.

Bolt of Lightning has been my favorite since I first tested it in Paris. Encountering it again at Bergdorf Goodman, I am amazed by the beauty of the composition, which starts out as radiant and green, like a scent of a garden on a hot summer morning. The blinding sunlight, the scents of leaves, soil and flowers are felt in warm green burst of the top notes. Since I have started my tuberose love affair, I tested a fair number of various absolutes and wore many of them through the summer, alone and diluted to 10% concentration. Not surprising that inhaling Bolt of Lightning, what I notice the most this time is the rich tuberose blooming in this garden. At first, it just sheds a few petals that become tangled in the green grass. The heart revels in the cascade of tuberose blossoms which are shimmering and stunning, as if the pure gold of the sun is distilled into the essence that comprises the fragrance. The dark menacing aspect of tuberose is where one is led in the drydown. A green note weaves in gently, yet it is the dark sensual tuberose that takes the center stage. Dark and mysterious, it must one of the most fascinating tuberose fragrances I have tested.

Photo: JAR, Butterfly brooch in silver and gold with rubies, sapphires, amethysts and diamonds.  



  • Sisonne: Dear V, I find it sad that I didn´t manage to go to JAR boutique during my stay in Paris. But on the other hand: If I felt in love with a JAR fragrance I couldn´t affort buying it… August 25, 2005 at 7:17am Reply

  • Lost in Jersey: Finally – the ceiling is perfect. Thank you for spawning another lemming – at least this one I know I cannot afford. I look forward to visiting the boutique and learning about JAR first hand. August 25, 2005 at 9:26am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear C, next time you are in Paris, you must stop by, if only to see what these fragrances are like. The experience of visiting the boutique is worth it. August 25, 2005 at 9:47am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: The ceiling looks perfect indeed. I look forward to hearing your impressions on JAR fragrances. I cannot wait for you to sample Bolt of Lightning. August 25, 2005 at 9:48am Reply

  • Tania: *clap clap* At last! They took so long. Now we can all go in and harass the poor SAs.

    Rosenthals jewels also give you a kind of vertigo in terms of the quality of materials, the quantity of those materials, and the overall impression of an outrageous dedication to effect at any cost, to the point of insanity. The cost becomes part of the effect. You look at one of his butterflies or flowers or whatever, and the sheer sparkle on the surface immediately says to you, “Costume jewelry, rhinestones,” but then that contrasts with the awful fact that these are NOT rhinestones, that this is NOT costume jewelry, that you are looking at something out of an Arabian fairy tale, that the young hero carries out of the dangerous magical cavern—birds made of rubies, wasps of sapphires, that kind of thing.

    So I am entirely ready to be surprised by the fragrances in that way that only things that combine the vulgar with the exquisite can manage. I am ready to be shocked! August 25, 2005 at 10:19am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tania, it is fascinating. There is also something about the jewels and the fragrances that crosses the line between real and artificial, which is why fragrances are often described as shimmering and tangible. They are not vapours that surround and vanish. They are scintillating ornaments like these jewelled birds and sapphire encrusted butterflies. The first time you try them, they are strange. The second time you try them, they are fascinating. The more you revisit them, the more you begin to wonder about the process by which they are created. No doubt, Rosenthal is a very talented persona. August 25, 2005 at 11:31am Reply

  • Dene Callas: is the PAris boutique still open, is there anywhere to get JAR today ? July 24, 2023 at 3:02pm Reply

What do you think?

Latest Comments

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2024 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy