Victoria: 2246 posts

Vetiver Mist

Forest Essentials is an Indian beauty brand inspired by Ayurvedic treatments. It has a collection of skincare, creams, lotions, soaps, body mists and perfumes. I can’t comment on the Ayurvedic authenticity of its formulations, but the scents–jasmine, sandalwood and rose, turmeric, vetiver, narcissus–are beautiful. I like that they are based on the Indian perfume palette, and using these products is one of those small pleasures that make a day better.

One of my favorites from Forest Essentials is its simplest–Vetiver Spring Water, which is a vetiver hydrosol. It can be used as a facial toner, body mist or even a middle-of-the-day, pick-me-up spritz. Vetiver is soothing for the skin, and while it can be used on all skin types, it’s especially beneficial for oily skin. It’s also known for its regenerative properties, which is why vetiver extracts are often used in formulations designed to treat scars and acne.

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Boris Pasternak : Let’s drop words as gardens drop orange-peel and amber

The garden stood still and fragile, ready to drop golden leaves at the gentlest breeze. I woke up early and as I stepped out of the house, I didn’t anticipate the ethereal beauty of autumn. I too stood still, my hand outstretched to pick a red apple forgotten on a bare branch. Fall cast its spell on me, and I didn’t want to shake it off.

The last time I was in Ukraine in autumn was in 1993, but I don’t recall visiting Poltava, the place where my grandmother Valentina lives, at that time. When I still lived in Ukraine, I would usually be in school. Once I was already abroad, I would return only in spring or summer. This spontaneous visit happened because of a series of events out of my control, but as I stood in the orchard filled with golden light, I realized what a gift fate has given me. To experience perfect beauty when one least expects it is after all one of the greatest blessings in life.

Such moments aren’t grand. As Boris Pasternak (1890 – 1960) writes in one of his most moving poems, “life, like an autumn stillness, is all detail.” Noticing these details and capturing them is essential. When people ask me why I find the sense of smell so fascinating, I respond simply–it allows me to pay attention to details. If you notice the scent of fallen leaves, you will also notice the delicate etching of their veins, the lemon yellow hue, the silvery mist that turns the landscape into an impressionist painting, the sound your steps make in a quiet orchard. Your ability to slow down and pay attention to such things is the essence of enjoying life, of living it fully, of savoring every moment, whatever the circumstances.

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Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Giveaway

I hope that everyone had a great weekend We have a great giveaway today thanks to Tara. She would like to give away a full bottle of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle EDP, 50ml. It’s a tester bottle, but the perfume is fresh. Tara can send her package anywhere in the USA or Europe.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our entire Bois de Jasmin community for your generosity and kindness, whether it means giveaways like this, advice or comments that you share. You’re the best!

We are not responsible for custom duties, leaks or damage during transit or for lost packages.

To participate, please answer these questions. I will randomly draw one winner.

1.  Tara would like to find a good perfume for the autumn-winter season, “something that feels warm, comforting, but not overly sweet. I don’t like gourmands, vanillas or anything that smells of pastries. Spices and woods are more than welcome.”
2. May I contact you via email to notify you of your win and share your email with Tara?

The contest is now closed. The winner is Maxima. Congratulations! I will contact the winner by email. Thank you everyone for your suggestions to Tara.

Night, Moon and Jasmine

I enjoyed your comments on the recent post when I’ve asked you to match scents to a baroque Spanish still life. In my collection, I have a beautiful Mughal period miniature depicting a woman draped in jasmine. I couldn’t resist tossing it among–which fragrance would you pick to represent the mood of this painting.

As you can see, the lady has a bottle of perfume and a flask of rosewater in front of her.

Image by Bois de Jasmin

The Allure of Extrait de Parfum

If you were a medieval caliph and desired a fragrance to delight your senses, your royal perfumers would have mixed Tibetan musk with an equal amount of Yemeni ambergris and steeped the mixture in ben tree oil over a weak fire. They would have stirred it with a gold spoon and used a silver vessel to refine it further until the liquid itself turned golden and smelled like paradise itself. If you were the wife of the caliph Harun al-Rashid, the one of One Thousand and One Nights fame, then you would have asked for a touch of jasmine oil to remind you of Persian gardens in bloom. According to the 14th century Egyptian scholar Al-Nuwayri, such were indeed the refined tastes of his time.

The luxurious, oil-based perfumes Al-Nuwayri describes in his book are the distant ancestors of the modern extrait de parfum. Today, the extrait de parfum is usually diluted in alcohol, but the proportion of fragrant oils in its formula is still sumptuously high. In my recent FT magazine column, The Allure of Extrait de Parfum, I describe what makes extrait de parfum different and why it still has a place in our perfume wardrobe.

As I’ve noted in my article about perfume concentrations, the proportion of oil alone doesn’t matter as much as the ingredients themselves. However, the parfum, along with the Eau de Cologne, is the oldest way of enjoying fragrance. It was meant to be applied directly on skin, allowing it to envelop the wearer in a soft cloud of scent. For instance, the great classics like Chanel No 5, Guerlain Jicky or Caron Tabac Blond were created as such concentrated blends. Their lighter variations appeared later in the second half of the 20th century when atomizers became popular. To continue reading, please click here.

What are some of your favorite extrait de parfums?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • OnWingsofSaffron in Vetiver Mist: I bought some aged Bourbon vetiver essential oil from the Island of Réunion—from the German essential oil company Primavera—and put a couple of drops in almond oil together with some… October 23, 2019 at 9:57am

  • Jennifer Medlin in Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Giveaway: How kind of you! I am late (possibly too late?) to this party, however here are my thoughts on autumn perfumes. I live in the humid mid-Atlantic/southeastern United States, so… October 22, 2019 at 11:48pm

  • Klaas in Vetiver Mist: Hey there, I’m not much of a skin care person. I used to spend fortunes on Sisley products, but have reverted to Nivea Soft. It’s all I use and my… October 22, 2019 at 9:18am

  • Inma in Chanel No 19 : Perfume Review: I have just got my first No 19 (EDP). Some years ago I started reading about perfumes mainly in this blog – and No 19 was too hard for me.… October 22, 2019 at 6:25am

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