Technically speaking, perfume and music make for easy bed fellows. Both are a construction of notes and accords; however, let’s set that to one side. The beauty of considering perfume through the medium of music as demonstrated by Sebastian Wybrew at last month’s Perfume Lovers London meeting is in the immediate emotional response. Seeing perfume in this way is liberating. A perfume can once again be viewed as a whole and complete work rather than just a sum of its parts or fetishization of ingredients. It brings the act of experiencing a fragrance back to its raw, visceral level.
“Is Jasmine then the mystical Morn – the centre, the Delphi, the Omphalos of the floral world? Is it the point of departure, the one unapproachable and indivisible unit of fragrance? Is Jasmine the Isis of flowers, with veiled face and covered feet, to be loved of all yet discovered by none? Beautiful Jasmine! If it be so, the Rose ought to be dethroned and the Inimitable enthroned in her stead; suppose we create a civil war among the gardens and crown the Jasmine empress and queen of all,” Charles Dickens, Household Words as quoted in Mandy Aftel’s Fragrant.
There are other Jasmine-centric fragrances that strive to capture the essence of Jasmine freshly bloomed, in its first flush of life. Nasomatto’s stirring soliflore, Nuda, captures Jasmine after she’s been out all night in the deepest twilight hours.