Some flowers work best as supporting cast members in a perfume, adding a pleasant, petal-y backdrop to a blend. Others, however, stop you in your tracks with their heady, luxurious potency. When it comes to the latter, one of the best examples out there is the subject of the latest in our Fragrance 101 series, jasmine.
Unlike rose, whose exquisite blooms match its intense scent, jasmine shrubs have a humble appearance. Even so, the tiny white flowers’ intoxicating fragrance make them one of the most important ingredients in perfumery. Jasmine is lush, exotic, sensual, and just a little bit animalic (thanks to indole, a molecule present in white flowers that gives them a distinctly rich, ripe-smelling quality). The plants grow best in tropical and subtropical regions and are valued well beyond the flacon: Jasmine is a sweet-smelling offering in Hindu religious ceremonies, strung into aromatic garlands around the world (Hawaiian pikake is used to make leis, whereas phuang malai, a thicker, more colorful weave, is Thailand's take), and has been a prized ingredient in tea for centuries. In aromatherapy, jasmine is beloved for its mood-boosting effects.
Jasmine blooms and is at its most fragrant in the evening hours and, as a result, has earned a reputation as an aphrodisiac. Still, there’s more to jasmine than romance. Explore three interpretations of the opulent white flower, below.
The Dreamy, Elegant Escape: White Flowers
White Flowers is inspired by the heavens and the result is nothing short of ethereal. This version of the flower is pure, clean, delicate, and radiant. The scent opens with a green, velvety mix of violet leaves and tart green apple and then blossoms into a heady, lush jasmine heart that’s balanced by cool, confident geranium and a rich base of narcissus and musk. To smell White Flowers is to smell nirvana—and you’ll want to experience it again and again.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the world—Virgin Island Water is a passport to the Caribbean. The fragrance showcases a lighter, softer side of jasmine: Sunny top notes of Jamaican lime, bergamot, and coconut call to mind endless blue seas and sand between your toes, while the sweet and lush combination of creamy Indian jasmine, hibiscus, ylang-ylang, and tropical wood is borderline narcotic. It’s warm, salty, tropical vacation air, bottled.
Spring Flower combines jasmine with another one of perfumery’s most iconic flowers: rose. Together they make for an unapologetically feminine mix that is reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour. It isn’t all nostalgia and brushed-out curls, though: Sugary, refreshing top notes—apple, apricot, peach, and melon—keep it modern and add a playful, youthful vibe.