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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint: Cooling Down the Hot Stuff

By Donna

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

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Blogger Martha said...

Ahhh. I love this one so much - it's been one of my favorites since before the perfume obsession really took off. For me, it has combined prosaic and romantic associations - I had a sample with me on a hot summer day, and kept reapplying while Himself and I were doing a lot of dusty box-hauling work Since then, that's its role - it's what I wear when the two of us are doing things like cleaning out the garage.

1:56 AM EST  
Blogger Tama said...

This is a good one, and I just received a back-up bottle from someone it didn't work on that I keep in my desk for "forgot perfume" days. She smelled it on me from a surprising distance once, and any time I wore it she asked me what I was wearing, because it was so different on her. More for me!

I love Jasmine in just about any form, but this is a very wearable, natural-smelling version.

3:41 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried WJM on a steamy summer day, thinking it would be perfect, but instead it was a garbagey mess on me, sour and unpleasant.

Urgh. I waited two weeks and tried it again, but NO.

I do tend to have difficulties with jasmine in particular, since it can go all dirty-panties on me and smell like the Walk of Shame (see Patou Joy, for example). I can usually wear the greenish jasmines, though - I really like Septimanie Pavillon des Fleurs and Hanae Mori Haute Couture, and Carnal Flower is quite jasminey on me as well.

I'm not sure whether the failure of WJM on my skin (it smelled fine on paper) was due to the jasmine or something else. There's nothing in the notes list that gave me pause... so I don't know why it's so awful.

I should get out my Vintage Gardenia, though.

10:53 AM EST  
Blogger Tammy said... jasmine, but not a fan of mint at all. YOu make it sound lovely, whilst Mals down there.....

12:55 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Tammy, it might just be ME, and not the fault of WJM at all... don't let me stop you! I appear to be the only person who doesn't like it, according to reviews I've read.

2:41 PM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

ChickenFreak, I don't think I have a designated housecleaning perfume, but that sounds like fun!

4:19 PM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

Tama, the jasmines I can wear in public are so very rare, I am so glad this exists!

4:20 PM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

Muse, I hate to think what would happen to Songes on you... ;-)

4:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

Tammy, do give it a try, the mint part is much more subtle than it sounds once the jasmine takes over.

4:22 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D - Songes was a bit... ripe. (But not as slutty as Joy. Mind you, I like a bit of civet, but jasmine? iffy.)

9:13 PM EST  
Anonymous Marian said...

I, too, am not a fan of mint, although I actually enjoy it in Memoir Man, where it's a cool counterpoint to the drier wood, and sweeter and heavier vanilla, amber and tobacco notes. Jasmine is one of my favorite notes and I'm always astonished how much absolutes of the different varieties can differ on my skin. I wonder which one(s) are used in WJM? You've intrigued me enough to make me want to stop by Jo Malone's to find out.

8:10 AM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

Marian, it is definitely not one of those "skanky" jasmines, and I expect there is some synthetic stuff in there too, but all in all it works very well.

6:11 PM EST  
Anonymous john Francis said...

Good post. Recently only I bought 1872 Perfume Spray (Jasmine) for 50% discount at Zumali online shopping. Next time must try for this one. I am humble lover of Jasmine smell.

4:48 AM EST  
Blogger J'Amy Tarr said...

I love your blog! Have you tried White Jasmine & Mint combined with Jo Malone's Wild Fig & Cassis? I love fragrance combining. I write about Jo Malone Fragrance combining

Thank you for your wonderful fragrance reviews!

1:43 PM EST  

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