5 Light and Radiant Jasmine Perfumes

It always surprises me that jasmine, one of the most luminous floral notes, is considered to be heavy and smothering. Then I realize that while my attention is drawn to its apricot jam and green tea facets, many other people can’t get past the indolic, horse-sweat undercurrent. Some of us are sensitive to animalic notes. Others don’t care for the mothball-tanginess that indoles suggest. Yet even more people don’t have the chance to experience natural jasmine, but rather form their opinion based on synthetic jasmine fragrances that don’t even attempt to mimic the real thing. And when we don’t like something, we call it  “heavy.”

I love jasmine in all of its interpretations, and in my new film, I would like to defend this iconic floral ingredient and explain what makes it unique. I talk about the difference between jasmine grandiflorum and jasmine sambac and explain how this note is used in fragrances. Since I appreciate that not everyone enjoys rich white florals, I selected the gauziest, most effervescent jasmine fragrances I could find to illustrate my explanations.

I will start from the richest compositions and descend down to a bright cologne. Despite my earlier comment about synthetic jasmine accords, I would like to highlight fragrances that use both natural and lab-made jasmines. It’s an expensive raw material, and even many fragrances that use the real thing boost jasmine absolute with jasmine-like synthetics.

Annick Goutal Songes

When it comes to jasmine, Songes is one of my favorites for its combination of jasmine, sandalwood and vanilla. The jasmine is radiant and yet sumptuous.

Diptyque Olène

Effervescent and opulent, Olène is a bouquet of sun-warmed white florals woven through with jasmine tendrils. Jasmine remains front and center, standing out among other floral elements.

Dior Jasmin des Anges

This composition blends jasmine and apricot for a charming effect, reminding us that jasmine has a natural facet reminiscent of apricot or peach skin. Creamy and yet luminous, Jasmin des Anges is an elegant take on jasmine.

Demeter Jasmine

The best jasmine under $10. Bright, crisp, with just enough musky twist to be a believable jasmine. Lasts for all of one hour, so think of it as a cologne.

Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint

A hint of anise pulls this jasmine from sultry lushness to radiant brightness. Mint is a perfect cool sidekick.

Of course, I would love to hear what jasmine fragrances you enjoy and what kind of compositions you prefer, rich or light?

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47 Comments

  • Fazal: I do not prefer soliflore jasmine perfumes. I am impressed by Lutens A la Nuit but I enjoy it more as a sniff from the bottle rather than actually wearing it. I tend to prefer jasmine perfumes in abstract styles such as Sarrasins that does a great job of how a gothic jasmine flower might have smelled if it were real or ELDO’s Jasmin et Cigarette that adds a cigarette’s ash twist to jasmine.

    I do think the formula for Jasmin et Cigarette has changed because both the jasmine and the ashy aspect was quite prominent in original batches. Now ashy aspect is very light and jasmine part of the composition is also thinner.

    Probably cost-saving initiatives after ELDO sold equity stake to a Kuwait-based group (not sure if I got Kuwait right but def certain that the new investor is based in the Middle East). August 30, 2021 at 9:56am Reply

    • Victoria: I also think that they changed the formula, since many people complained about the ashy note, which was my favorite part. September 2, 2021 at 4:41am Reply

  • Elizabeth: I’m enjoying the Sana Jardin perfume line. I have been wearing Jaipur Chant all summer. On me the Moroccan Jasmine is more prominent than the Italian Tuberose note listed. It’s light and lovely and has been a great antidote to humid summer days. They have samples to test with. August 30, 2021 at 10:36am Reply

    • Nina Z: I’m dying to try this line, especially the Savage Jasmine because so many friends love it and it has a clove note, which sounds like it would work so well with jasmine. One of these days I will order the sample set. August 30, 2021 at 12:21pm Reply

      • OnWingsofSaffron: Hi, I have 4 scents from their range: Savage Jasmin, Nubian Musk, Celestial Patchouli and Sandelwood Temple. I‘m not entirely convinced. The Jasmin is the best in my opinion: a real lush soliflor which I really like. The Musk (which isn’t a real musk) and Patchouli (also no true patchouli) both smell strangely similar, both have a strange vibe — not unpleasant yet a bit odd. There is some kind of off-fanta smell, a fizzy drink no longer cold or sparkling. I‘m wondering if it is that grape accord? They aren‘t bad, yet a bit of an acquired taste. And somehow the Sandelwood did not really catch my imagination. August 30, 2021 at 3:55pm Reply

        • Victoria: That sounds like a grape-like note. If it sticks out like this, then it means that it’s not well blended. September 2, 2021 at 4:45am Reply

      • Victoria: If you do, please share your impressions with us. September 2, 2021 at 4:42am Reply

    • Silvermoon: Hi Elizabeth, I am also looking to try Sana Jardin perfumes. Good to know they do a discovery box.

      Which is your favourite (should I assume Jaipur Chant). August 30, 2021 at 2:54pm Reply

      • Elizabeth: Hi Silvermoon, I didn’t try all of the scents, as the Discovery Box was sold out for a long time. I just tried a few samples. My favorite is Incense Water. It’s a Rose based fragrance, with some wonderful notes. Here’s the list: Top: Italian Bergamot, Raspberry Leaf, Pimento Berry
        Heart: Rose Absolute, Rose Oil, Rose Water
        Base: Musk, Sandalwood, Patchouli Heart
        The Rose and base notes combine beautifully. It’s a close to the skin scent on me, which I prefer. Would buy a full bottle, that’s how much I love it. I do like Jaipur Chant very much, too.
        I will purchase the Discovery Box and see what else appeals. I tried their(sample) Sandalwood scent. Didn’t work for me, however. I like how it works in the Incense Water blend much better. Happy spraying! You will smell and feel great. 🙂 August 30, 2021 at 3:32pm Reply

        • Silvermoon: Oh my! Incense Water sounds gorgeous. So, I have been inspired to order the discovery box (it’s available in the U.K., but not sure where you are). Sadly it doesn’t include this one. I am especially curious to try Tiger by her Side, Jaipur Chant and Berber Blonde. August 30, 2021 at 3:53pm Reply

          • Elizabeth: Hi Silvermoon, I’m in North America, so I get taken to Sana Jardin’s USA website/webshop. Their Discovery Box on this site does include Incense Water. I think it’s the most recent addition. Now, I am thinking of ordering it, too – lol – it never ends! Enjoy sampling. Hope you find something you love. 🙂 August 30, 2021 at 4:14pm Reply

            • Silvermoon: It never ends 😅 so true!

              [LINK REMOVED]

              (I hope it is okay to post this.) August 30, 2021 at 4:35pm Reply

              • Victoria: It’s fine to post links to any blogs or shopping sites, apart from that one (personal & ethical reasons). My apologies, I have to remove it. September 2, 2021 at 4:53am Reply

                • Silvermoon: So sorry, Victoria. I wasn’t aware there were any ethical issues involved with the site (still not sure about the specific issue, and will try to find out more). However, absolutely accept your decision. September 2, 2021 at 8:09am Reply

    • Zazie: I absolutely love this line!
      I’ve bought revolution de la Fleur as soon as it touched my skin.
      So glad to see I am not alone… I felt the web was oddly silent.
      I also liked Jaipur chant, sandalwood temple, tiger be her side and celestial patchouli a lot. A LOT.

      The jasmine and the musk were my least favorite, as usual in a line… August 31, 2021 at 6:58am Reply

    • Victoria: That sounds lovely. September 2, 2021 at 4:41am Reply

  • Tara C: I love Songes, Olène and pretty much all the various Serge Lutens jasmines. My other cheapie favourite is Korres Jasmine. I use the body cream to amp up the jasmine notes in many of my perfumes. August 30, 2021 at 11:17am Reply

    • OperaFan: I used the Korres Jasmine many years ago. It’s very true to the flower, and was one in a series of light fragrances – well, except for Earth, which was a lovely patchouli fragrance. That one lasts and lasts… August 30, 2021 at 7:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s fantastic! The shower gel is especially good. September 2, 2021 at 4:42am Reply

  • Susan: I have Anima Vinci’s Jasmine Yang. Haven’t worn it in a while not sure why. I just sprayed myself with it because of this column. It is a beautiful “light-ish” jasmine. Sort of tropical.

    I also love Bulgari’s Jasmine Noir but consider that heavier and a rainy day perfume. There is licorice in there so it makes me wonder if I would like the Jo Malone.

    I need to try the Dior. It sounds right up my alley! August 30, 2021 at 12:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: Dior is a very nice jasmine. I didn’t have high expectations, but I liked it from the first try. September 2, 2021 at 4:43am Reply

  • Nancy Chan: My favourite perfumes with jasmine, are Dior’s J’Adore EdP and Chanel No.5 parfum. I’m not a fan of jasmine soliflores.

    However, I love jasmine green tea, the scent and flavour is wonderful. I have yet to come across a perfume that comes close to one of my favourite teas.

    As for the flower, Jasmine Sambac is my favourite. It smells much fresher than Jasmine Officinale, the common jasmine I see in most gardens. August 30, 2021 at 12:55pm Reply

    • Sarah: I know Victoria is not a fan of L’Artisan’s The pour un été, but it marries jasmine, green tea and citrus in a way you may like. I love it for hot summer days, though it is very light and not very long-lasting. I can no longer get L’artisan where I live, but it seems Armani Privé The Yulong is a worthy successor (still need to test it out a bit more) with many of the same notes. September 1, 2021 at 7:05am Reply

    • Victoria: I just enjoy my jasmine pearls tea. It’s hard to find anything similar. September 2, 2021 at 4:43am Reply

  • Silvermoon: Thanks, Victoria, for the informative video. I very much enjoy jasmine in perfumes, and Songes is one of my favourite (and also often complimented) jasmines. I was very interested to hear your comments on Olène and White Jasmine and Mint. I have smelled each separately and am now tempted to smell them side by side to draw out the comparison further. Have you tried Jo Malone’s Jasmine Sambac and Marigold? I have a bottle and find it lovely in the summer (reminds me of the smell of Indian weddings). August 30, 2021 at 2:46pm Reply

    • Christine: Yes I second Jasmine Sambac. It has a luminosity that is rare to find. August 30, 2021 at 5:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t. Jo Malone has a boutique here in Brussels, so I need to check it out. September 2, 2021 at 4:44am Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: I can really recommend „Jasmin Angélique“ by L‘Atelier Cologne. It‘s modern yet no aromachemical bomb; green yet jasmine-y; it‘s no rehash yet not overly artsy; and it lasts well and — most important— it smells quite lovely! August 30, 2021 at 4:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: One of my favorites too! Effervescent, radiant, and it still smells natural. September 2, 2021 at 4:46am Reply

  • Eudora: Thanks Victoria for this video. Jasmin plus radiance reminds me of First. I only tried it once but never forget how much I loved it. It felt radiant and elegant and polished. I just visited your post. I have been tented to buy it for years. It can be found at a very good price..has it change or it is as good in its current version? In that case it is a bargain.
    Thanks again. August 30, 2021 at 5:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s still good, but you’ll notice that the jasmine part smells less refined. September 2, 2021 at 4:46am Reply

  • OperaFan: I love the jasmine in classic Joy, in all its forms. Joy is the first perfume that comes to mind when I think of jasmine. Not sure what the modern version smells like.
    Jasmine, like rose is such an important component in so many fragrances it’s hard to cite favorites; but I definitely prefer to smell the prominent flower, so lighter more than rich. August 30, 2021 at 7:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s been such a long time since I tried vintage Joy, but I still remember the jasmine note in it. September 2, 2021 at 4:56am Reply

  • Nina Z: I love jasmine, both in the garden and in perfume. In my garden I have star jasmine and pink jasmine, both of which are very common in California. For a long time, my favorite jasmine perfume was Songes but lately my favorite is Love and Tears, a green jasmine, very radiant, about which I remember you wrote a positive review. Unfortunately that has been discontinued. A perfume friend of mine found a refill bottle of it languishing at a perfume counter and we split it. So now I can wear it freely and have been enjoying it all summer. August 30, 2021 at 10:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: I didn’t realize that it has been discontinued. That’s a shame, because it was one of my favorites too. September 2, 2021 at 4:56am Reply

  • Zazie: I love the smell of jasmine, in all varieties I have put my sniffy nose upon.
    When it comes to fragrance, as a lover of white florals, I should be spoiled for choice.
    However, I feel that no perfume adequately captures the effect of jasmine, it’s skin like warmth, it’s refreshing nuances, it’s fruity tones, it’s creamy comfort.
    I’m not talking about creating a replica, a faithful soliflore…but capturing the beauty and interest of the scent, always in precarious equilibrium between innocence and filth. That equilibrium is never met. The complexity is lost.

    I own songes, but it is so incredibly powdery, so vanillic, so unapologetically thick, that I often feel overwhelmed. I always wonder how such an opaque smell may come from a liquid!!! 🙂
    A la nuit is a wonderful smell (not jasmine though, to my nose and not a perfume to me…)

    The best (rosy) jasmine perfume I smelled was a vintage Chanel n. 5 miniature extrait.
    Jasmine and roses shining through a veil of aldehydes and a light dusting of powder.
    However, all n. 5 extraits I smelled since then are different from one another and I can’t find one bottle that resembles the floral majesty, with all jasmine facets radiating beautifully, of my small sample. Though I owned and enjoyed many more.

    So, still on a hunt. But feeling hopeless at this point. August 31, 2021 at 6:04am Reply

    • Victoria: A La Nuit used to be my perfect jasmine, but the formula has since been changes and it no longer smells the same. I still wear it, but something is missing. Your description of jasmine is so evocative that I could smell it as I was reading your comment. September 2, 2021 at 4:58am Reply

      • JulienFromDijon: Indeed, A la nuit has changed. It’s still a good natural jasmine, but not worth the bell jar price for most people. I’m not old enough to have known Luten’s fragrance in the 90s, but the landmark of good 00s A la nuit is a mastic note right in the beginning. (eau de mastic, that smells like pistachio ice cream) September 10, 2021 at 11:50am Reply

        • Victoria: I’m also not old enough to know what SL perfumes smelled like in the ’90s, and even in 2000, when À la Nuit was launched, I was still far from perfume. That being said, À La Nuit was excellent until a couple of years ago. September 10, 2021 at 2:11pm Reply

  • Clouzot: The Sauvage Jasmin is an intense and almost repugnant scent- its sillage and dry down has a burnt ink and mildew scent inducing headaches… resembling opposite of what an effervescent and spontaneous, wild”, lascivious jasmine would inhibit just around the peak hour approaching the twilight. In this, I mean vine on the bramble- in the evening amongst a plush landscape. I purchased the sample kit years ago in 2018 at La Parfumerie. Perhaps mine was rancid b/c that’s what my experience equated to.
    Berber Blanc and Revolution de la Fleur do much more justice for Morocco’s bounty of white flowers. I happily spray the back of my neck, hair and décolletage with RDLF and it’s wonderful… Ylang ylang at its best! Especially in humid weather. Do not recommend the sauvage jasmin… in a possibly rancid batch?! September 1, 2021 at 7:11pm Reply

    • Clouzot: That’s regarding Sana Jardin’s version of jasmin’ September 1, 2021 at 7:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: That doesn’t sound good at all. Perhaps that was the idea, though. September 2, 2021 at 5:01am Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: I have the Savage Jasmin as mentioned above. My Jasmin perfume smells nothing like that. And if I think of all the reviews I‘ve read in the meantime there was none at all which mirrors your experience. I guess you got a sample which was quite simply off. September 2, 2021 at 3:52pm Reply

  • Jazz: I absolutely love jasmine fragrances. The most realistic one I tried was Jasmin de Pays by Perris Monte Carlo – but it was not the one I enjoyed the most. I own a bottle of Tom Ford’s Jasmin Rouge and it is my most worn perfume. It smells gorgeous, dewy, slightly spicy and I feel so good when I wear it. I also recently tried in store Lancôme’s new private collection scent called “Jasmin d’Eau”. It was a very nice, aquatic jasmine which somehow reminded me of Jo Malone’s Wild Bluebell, but with jasmine instead of bluebell. Though I liked it I didn’t purchase it as Jasmin Rouge is the ultimate jasmine scent for me. I’m also a huge Serge Lutens fan and i love A La Nuit and Sarrasins ! September 5, 2021 at 3:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for adding more perfumes to the list. I need to try Jasmin d’Eau. September 6, 2021 at 5:41am Reply

  • Colleen Connor: Oh my goodness I have found a Jasmine treasure trove here! I can not get enough. I grow several varieties in my New England sunroom. Next to my tiny lime and orange trees. All of them have set buds and this Christmas will be glorious in here. But I do long for a Jasmine perfume that has staying power. I can’t wait to dive into your video and read all the comments. My entire garden is based on fragrance. I have found my people here! November 14, 2021 at 6:30pm Reply

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