Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint: Cooling Down the Hot Stuff
I adore jasmine perfumes, but you won't find me wearing a sexy bombshell like A La Nuit in public very frequently; this is a perfume ingredient that just gets bigger and bigger on my skin until I feel as though there is a cloud of it around me, entwining itself around everyone within reach. Unfortunately other people are not always fans of strong florals, but I have found ways to sneak them into my life without causing undue alarm to those close to me. My first Jo Malone fragrance was Vintage Gardenia, which combine the indolent florals with bracing cardamom and incense to make it the only gardenia scent I can wear to the office. Now I have discovered another under-the-radar white floral from this house that works for me, White Jasmine & Mint.
I had tried this 2007 release several times in the store, but I was a bit leery of the mint part. I do not normally wear anything with mint in the list of notes unless it's a light cologne with other herbal essences in it; I don't want to smell like toothpaste. However, I was intrigued by the idea of this fragrance and decided to take it for a test drive to see if it would work. I do like the unusual juxtapositions and contrasts in the Jo Malone line. They seem to have a color wheel theory of perfumery, where the main notes are balanced out by things that are the opposite of each other; not only the Vintage Gardenia but Amber & Lavender, Sweet Lime & Cedar, Wild Fig & Cassis. Jasmine and mint is certainly in this category of perfume notes, and at first it's a little bit strange and dissonant but that part doesn't last very long. The mint part is not at all reminiscent of personal care products, but rather a pleasingly grass-green and freshly cut burst that subsides after about fifteen minutes but never quite goes away. Once it has settled down it's not really all that minty, just something to keep the jasmine reined in and behaving itself. Now, no one loves a properly indolic jasmine more than I do, and I do own some pretty knockout perfumes, but for a “family-friendly” jasmine this is hard to beat. The floral notes also include lily, orange flower and rose which combine to remind me somewhat of another tender white floral that I really love, L'Artisan's La Haie Fleurie du Hameau. White Jasmine and Mint is not as wistful as that, but it is soft and pretty and it blooms on my skin just enough so that I know I am definitely smelling jasmine.
All the Jo Malones are called “colognes” but they are really Eau de Toilette (strength except for the house's “signature” scent called 154, an Eau de Parfum) and they can be surprisingly tenacious for something so sheer. This one keeps going all day on me, but I am not too surprised since white florals do the Vulcan mind meld on my skin anyway. I would feel perfectly confident wearing it in close quarters as long as I don't overdo it on application. It's definitely a floral scent for people who like to smell like the actual flowers instead of a more abstract effect, but in my opinion, if you are going to smell “literal” it may as well be of jasmine.
Jo Malone fragrances are available from their web site or at better department stores such as Nordstrom. $55 for a 30 ml spray is reasonable, and Jo Malone was one of the first perfume houses to offer everything in the line in a smaller size, something which I appreciate. This one is especially nice in the body crème, shower gel or foaming bath oil formulations, which really bring out the softness of the floral heart.
Image credit: White Jasmine & Mint promotional photo via jomalone.com