Dear Scent Diary,
To my husband’s utter dismay, I’m a jasmine lover. If I wear a jasmine perfume in his presence he respectfully pretends not to notice, but if we’re in the car, he’s been known to roll down the windows dramatically and hang his head out, mock gasping for air. You now know what I’m dealing with. We’ve finally traced his repulsion to an association he has with his mother wearing jasmine perfume in the car when he was a boy during a time when he was prone to being carsick. Okay, based on that, I suppose I’ll allow the goofy histrionics.
Jasmin de Nuit is not exactly a jasmine scent. I know this to be true because my husband likes it. He nods his head and pushes his bottom lip out when I slip my Jasmin de Nuit perfumed wrist under his nose.
Jasmine is of course a part of the perfume’s composition but the impression the fragrance gives is not of a sweet, bright white floral. Clearly. The dry down is in fact more akin to carrot cake than it is to a flower. But something about this spicy, amber-y jasmine tinged with humanity and sadness breaks my heart. Just like a chord of music that can somehow embody the feeling of heartbreak, Jasmin de Nuit takes me to a melancholy place almost immediately. Guerlain’s L’heure Bleu, while a different scent altogether, has a similar effect on me.
The fragrance opens with cardamom, cinnamon, anise and an undercurrent of low-register indolic jasmine. Musky humanity is present, either as a part of the indoles or as a note unto itself. Within ten minutes, the cardamom and other spices become even more dominant while sandalwood and amber begin to seep in. Still present though is the low-pitched, melancholy indole of the jasmine. The bright, sweet, high register portion of the note that we expect when we hear ‘jasmine’ is missing, and with it, its cheer.
Perhaps if perfumer Celine Ellena and The Different Company had named this scent Sunday Evening (in French of course), fewer people would be frustrated by their expectations of a heady, uplifting jasmine scent. Perhaps instead, they would enjoy the spice, sandalwood, amber and indole of this gorgeous fragrance and succumb to the exquisite sadness its beauty brings.
That, or just have a spouse that keeps the perfume’s name a secret.