Some perfumes really do smell different in winter.
I first bought Night Scented Jasmine a couple of summers ago for its hints of fresh, white and pink jasmine flowers seen through frosted glass, and quite enjoyed it. As jasmine perfumes go, though, it was certainly on the timid and underwhelming side (most jasministas would probably hate it) and it somehow found itself pushed to the back of the cabinets for a while until a couple of days ago, when its singular and rather delightfully subtle and fresh bouquet appeared out of the blue in my mind.
To my surprise, this now works perfectly at this cold time of year as an understated work scent. Where classic English perfumery is often deemed to be too pallid and polite, particularly the house of Floris, which rarely ‘pushes the envelope’ and just smells of country hotel bathrooms, for me that ‘politeness’ can be its strength. Although I like a variety of jasmine scents, it is nice to have one to hand that is non-indolic and fulsome, but rather tightly compacted, cool and subtle. Unspoken, almost.
In colder temperatures (now hovering around freezing in Japan, as it always is from January to March before the cherry blossom, with intermittent snow storms) this perfume really blooms. Where previously I hadn’t really been aware of there being a violet note – a note I tend to be a bit anosmic to in any case – now the scent feels intensely violet centred, with a very English, frosted powdery jasmine and rose accord complemented by a quietly lush bouquet of soapy white flowers and piquant blackcurrant buds. In the undertones is a vetiverish, ‘amber, sandalwood and musk’ base accord, but when Floris say amber and musk it really just means a light and delicately behind the scenes anchoring. As I write this I am about to take a bath and go in to work to do some extra classes this Saturday morning, and I am literally excited about coming out of the water, getting dressed, and spraying on some more of this Floris, which to me over the last couple of days has felt incredibly comforting yet also curiously elegant, wreathing about my person like an aura. The green, violet accord puts me in mind of Grey Flannel, a scent I have always loved; the central floral theme of violets, jasmine and rose like a winter- in-summer memory of a forgotten English garden.