Post by Sister Mary Magdelene, Patron Saint of Perfumers
Worshippers rejoice! Another year given us to praise the fragrance!
New Year usually means hot and dry midsummer where I am, and although on the calendar Summer commenced a month ago, this season she drags her feet. I’m delighting in this extended Spring with its long season of jasmine flowering.
The earliest variety is even now providing heady sprays of indolic pinky tipped blooms borne on their vigorous vine. When the flowers first appeared I dipped some briefly in vodka and the result served over sorrel sorbet was a taste of spring garden. Later the Chinese Star variety popped, its dark handsome foliage and pure white flowers providing such pretty visual contrast to complement the quite different fresh citrus blossom fragrance of those blooms. Both these jasmines seem to feature in today’s fragrance.
Let us spray…
Jasmin et Cigarette by Antoine Maisondieu for Etat Libre d’Orange 2006
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Jasmine asbolute, tobacco notes, apricot, tonka beans, curcuma, cedar, amber, musc, hay
When I first smelled Etat Libre d’Orange Jasmin et Cigarette I was startled to have novel nuances of that indolic pink tipped jasmine flower brought front and centre. These smoky stale aspects evident both in the flowers’ natural bouquet and in jasmine absolute became so obvious to me as Antoine Maisondieu accentuates them in this composition. He gave me an “Aha!” moment of observational clarity that was enough to intrigue me with this perfume from the outset.
Ah and a memory came – shameful confession – of my younger self, a mere novice, happened upon in a clandestine moment behind the chapel where the exuberant jasmine vine frothed and tumbled. I had just inhaled the fug exhaled by the flowers commingled with my first (and last) gasp of a gasper. Sister Ignatia’s smile on seeing me was quiet and indulgent. She wisely intoned: “Tread carefully with anything you cannot set down as readily as you have taken it up…” and strolled on.
Ancient entwined echoes of shame swirling with Jasmin et Cigarette’s initial intoxicating headrush of indolic jasmine fragrance and ashy, smoky cigarette fumes soon dissipate. The fragrance becomes expansive with notes of crushed greenery, fresh tobacco and earthiness, all scents that also arose long ago as I hastily snuffed my illicit cigarette underfoot!
Jasmin et Cigarette might commence slightly left of centre for some, the bitter earthy note of curcuma (turmeric) reading too ashy or metallic. These dimensions soon recede as the earthier side of turmeric emerges, a sweet dust that merges with the anchoring warm cedar whilst the tonka lends hints of honey and hay to the now rather delectable aromas of fresh cured tobacco. Over all this a light citrusy jasmine blossom floats and the fragrance hums thusly quiet and elegant for several hours.
Photo Stolen DeviantArt
Although it seems to wear quite close, I have several times wandered into the delicious light floral breeze of my own sillage. I have worn Jasmin et Cigarette in a range of contexts to numerous yums and no condemnation. After 5 or 6 hours its last whisper fades with the warmth, sweetness and wisdom of a benediction.
Sister Mary Magdelene, Patron Saint of Perfumers.