A seemingly unobtainable perfume from a maker with a mysterious-sounding name – Ulric de Varens’ simply-titled ‘Jasmin’. I found this in my auntie’s flat all the way in Dhaka. A golden liquid in a bottle saying ‘jasmin’ on it obviously sparked curiosity and excitement.
After a google, it seemed the company is no longer active and that the scent is only sold in very specific outlets, of which the majority show that it’s unavailable anyway. After smelling the perfume, I did indeed feel that it was a rarity, not because it smelled like some complexly-crafted art or an opulent vanity of air, but because of its purity and simplicity in how it unfurls the scent of of the classic and beloved bloom of Jasminum officinale. I think the reason that finding an authentically jasmine-y smelling perfume is more challenging than it should be is, because it’s such a universally loved white floral, it’s thrown in commerco-artificially as a note at every opportunity, however obscure its resemblance to the true flower may be. It feels that this synthetic overuse of jasmine is an unintentional disregard of its natural divinity.
In contrast, Ulric de Varens’ Jasmin shines because a distinctively true Jasminum officinale is the undeniable and stunning key note. It feels concentrated (rather than exaggerated) to the point of having a particularly ‘attar-like’ quality, since the heavenly white jasmine is tinged with the goldenness of sacred oil. Mixed with the the sagaciousness of the glowing oil is also resin, precious and amber-like. Regardless of resin, the perfume skips the lush-woody phase entirely, instead transforming magically and beautifully from airy flower to golden crystal. The only source of brownness in the scent comes from the quality of the coagulating, bronzing resin. This gold-derived brownness combined with the cream-coloured euphoria of the jasmine creates a flower-powered ambrosia more divine than the richest or milkiest chocolate.