Jasmine... A name steeped in languorous, sensual abandon. Whether you call it Spanish jasmine, malati or mallika, jasmine is synonymous with intoxicating aromas that we tend to associate with holidays somewhere warm and inviting. Cast your mind to the Mediterranean and to the Indian peninsula, where the vines of this small white flower naturally sprout their fragrant webs to entice and seduce in the embrace of the moist nightfall. Jasmin Antique by Rogue Perfumery is the latest jasmine scent to pace assuredly with confident steps into the vineyards of the jasmine fields and it makes a vivid impression, upon anyone who encounters it, with both its aching beauty and its glorious adherence to nature itself.
In an move unprecedented in modern perfumery, Rogue Perfumery, former chef Manuel Cross's indie perfumery project out of California, has built a reputation for eschewing excessive, and, more or less, politically correct regulations that most perfumeries nowadays follow in the composition of their fragrant formulas. Jasmin Antique’s name itself alludes to the lush floral compositions of yesteryear, a nod to a more glamorous era, when women would wear their fragrance with a devil-may-care swagger; devastatingly beautiful, unapologetically sensuous.
The heady scent of jasmine grandiflorum itself, the varietal that grows in the south of France, Spain, Morocco, Italy, and Greece, is front and centre in the composition of Jasmin Antique. One of the most prized essences in perfumery, jasmine grandiflorum keeps a stimulating animalic background element which recalls living skin. The fascinating chemistry of the essence derived from this little white blossom, cut in the first few minutes of dawn by hand in the fields where it’s grown, to protect it from the ravages of the sun, is complex and multi-faceted, flesh like, yet fresh at the same time.
It’s a piercingly sweet and precious essence with the ability to diffuse its pollinator attracting aroma for miles. Similarly, Rogue Perfumery’s fine fragrance is faithful to the mating call that natural jasmine acts upon by Nature’s design.
Nevertheless, the artistry in Jasmin Antique lies not only in producing a photo-realistic image of a living flower, but rather to garland it with accents that speak of a certain mood. The tiny citrus-like facet, revealed upon spraying, aids in lightening the load of the flower note, like the beginning of nightfall, where the sun is still suspended in the horizon as if by magic, while the piquant, spicy note of cloves helps the melody further unfold as the colours meld into a purple gouache. The balance is precarious but executed expertly, with the floral part never losing its sheer force. When the night finally falls, the aroma of supple skin, expressed through a smidgeon of musk and vanilla, comes to the fore, to embrace the jasmine and to soften its exciting floral cry into a seductive whisper.
Beware of reaching for Jasmin Antique. Far removed as it is from the fake jasmine and “white floral” impressions that many modern designer fragrances emit, in a sterilised attempt to be inoffensive and excessively polite, it might spoil you for ever; you’ll never look back again!
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