Poet's Jasmine

Jasminum officinale, poet's jasmine. Botanical Magazine vol.1, J.Sowerby (1787)

Poet's Jasmine, one of the five fragrances that make up Ineke's Floral Curiosities collection is one of the synonyms for Jasminum officinale - the mainstay household jasmine that has been naturalized throughout Europe through historical routes little known.

Poet's Jasmine opens with a very tame, fruity and light jasmine accord, and hints of tea accents. The fruity body takes over within a few minutes, revealing a summery composition that reminds me first of the candied-flower fragrance of methyl-antrhanilate that is prevalent in Serge Lutens' Fleur d'Oranger; and quickly developed into the amber, ylang ylang and jasmine accord of Annick Goutal's Songes. This phase remains on the skin for an hour or so; and then turns into a skin musk type of scent, the like of the musc and patchouli base that's Crazylubellule and the Poppies' ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli. If you dislike the indolic aspect of jasmine, this would be a nice jasminesque scent for you. I also noticed a huge difference between wearing it in cool weather vs the warm weather we're blasted with right now. In the cooler weather it smells more watered-down and distant. I'm happy to report it is much better in the heat, taking on more floriental and dreamy personality.

According to Ineke's website, the notes are:

Top notes: Citrus Fruit, Rosemary, Absinthe, Star Anise
Heart notes: Jasmine, Frankincense, Cardamom 
Base notes: Hinoki wood, Guiacwood 

And it also provides some whimsical images, as always, including this jasmine tea recipe:

"Poet's Jasmine Tea
1 handful freshly picked jasmine flowers and leaves
2 cups boiling water
slices of orange
honey to taste
Place the poet's jasmine flowers and foliage in a teapot, add the boiling water and allow to infuse for about four minutes. 
Remove the jasmine with a strainer, add a slice of orange instead of lemon, and a little honey for added sweetness if you like. 
Serve with a sprig of jasmine flowers and a few bon mots." 

Sweet William

Ineke's Floral Curiosities anthology of soliflores for Anthropoligie continues, and the newest flower in this poetic garden is Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus).

I had the pleasure to smell & wear Sweet William over dinner & Kir with Ineke and her husband Bill - and immediately fell for this delicate, spicy, warm yet fresh composition.

Sweet William opens with fresh balsamic peppery notes that reminded me of another favourite - Si Lolita. It is, however, more dusky and violetty than the latter. Carnation accord being the centre of attention, with complementary strokes of ionones, redolent of candied violets and accompanied by velvety cedar (a wink to Evening Edged in Gold, which also had a rich cedar, fruit and spice accord), which give it a purplish hue and a slightly serious, almost regal personality.

The base notes are those of rich woodsy patchouli and powdery musk, which dries down to a clean, dry patchouli and white musk notes. It is not in the least overpowering, but has an incredible staying power and stays on even after a swim and a shower, with slightly berry like musky notes.

Ineke's soliflore treatment is modern, abstract and rather than just dissecting and replicating Sweet William, she's created a stylized impression of this carnation's particularly sweet-spicy-velvety personality (other carnations have a slightly rosy-green aspect that you won't find in here), and create a memorable scent from an otherwise low-key, modest flower.

The notes, according to Ineke's press release, are peach, cloves, cinnamon, cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli and bourbon vanilla.

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