Gelsomino is Italian for jasmine. This vintage beauty from Borsari 1870 is a good reference–I’ve reached for it often this week as I attempt to retrain my nose–first formulated in 1930.
Jasmine is the soprano of the white flowers–the violin, while neroli is the viola and tuberose a cello–gorgeous when on pitch, shrill when off. Jasmine can be milky, too–lactonic–with clouds in the tea that make everything soft, and also very indolic with skanky “Pollinate me, Baby” invitations.
I usually find elements of apple, matcha, and the top lemony opening of roses here, bright cheerful nectar–and I finally do again, though they’re muted. I have to shove my face into my wrist, when I remember it being loud as a struck bell.
So yay, my sense of smell is coming back intact, just slower than I’d like. But hey, I’ll take what I can get. Baby steps. And sinus medicine.
We learned the traditional Chinese “Jasmine Song” in elementary school. The amazing Song Zuying is joined here by Celine Dion, who takes it to Vegas. (More sopranos.)
Vintage rose from an antique reference set. (Perfumeintelligence suggests this one was first formulated in Parma, Italy, in 1880.)
So how do you define what a rose smells like? This one does a pretty good job of it–
Opens with airy pastel buds, lemony with sugar in the tea, then ripens with earthy green leaves and bright fruity rosehip wine. The dry down is exactly that, dried petals–dusty, musky and spicy sweet with a hint of powdery cloves.
Starts out sugar sweet, the dust on marshmallows, then turns jasmine-like, with a touch of honey. Finishes fruity-juicy, more gourmand than neroli’s greener woody-spice edge.
It’s the floral note easily found in the opening of Coco Mademoiselle, and tastes delicious in Italian Cream Cakes.
This one was bottled for a mini collection for tourists from the Borsari 1970 Museum in Parma, in the seventies–the caps are hideous plastic, but they’re effective–it’s quite well preserved for being so old.
The middle of a Venn diagram of all the purples–where violet and concord grape and lilac overlap into a unique creamy/fruity/floral, with a hint of clove to spice it up. A sharp leafy green at the bottom keeps it from going gourmand.