It's a very rare occurrence that my friend Charleston Girl from Best Things In Beauty and I enjoy wearing the same perfume. This little miracle has happened with Le Labo Jasmin 17. Out of the other delicate white florals from Le Labo, Fleur d'Oranger 27 and Tubereuse 40 smell better on the husband, while Neroli 36 declares war on my skin and sanity. But Jasmin 17 was a pleasant surprise when it first came out as well as it is now that I've unearthed my decant. No, not just a nice surprise. It's really really good.
The thing about Le Labo's take on jasmine is that it's not a celebration of passion-crazed wood creatures and dragonflies you often find in jasmine perfumes. There's something lively and easy-going about it, almost innocent but not quite. Jasmin 17 doesn't resort to the predictable cliches of too much citrus, too green, too fresh or watery, yet it's never heavy. This perfume is sweeter and more skin-conscious than florals tend to be, as Charleston Girl aptly put it, it's almost like a jasmine-flavored ice cream. The ambery base of sandalwood-vanilla makes it irresistible to me; it's sensuous and smooth, bright and sunny but also hiding an incredible depth. Despite the contradictions in its nature and the notes that are sometimes controversial (if you pay close attention you'll also smell the unmistakable indoles), Jasmin 17 is also very wearable. Not only that, it's a happy perfume, one that can instantly brighten one's day.
It was Maurice Roucel (Iris Silver Mist, Musk Ravageur, Dans tes Bras, New Haarlem,24 Faubourg and many many others) who created Jasmin 17 for Le Labo (ans also Labdanum 18, one of my biggest loves). I may not like every single perfume Mr. Roucel ever composed, but one thing is certain: the man knows skin and how to make sensual perfume that purrs and murmurs when it's worn. Jasmin 17 is a perfect example of that.
Jasmin 17 ($58, 15ml larger sizes available) is part of the regular Le Labo collection. As such it's available through their stores around the world and also from Barneys, Colette (Paris) and Luckyscent and lelabofragrances.com. I highly recommend the 3x5ml discovery sets ($58) that allow you to test several perfumes and really get to know them before ordering a bigger size.
Photo of Grace Kelly: stirredstraightup.blogspot.com