Jasmin 17 Smells Like the Best Day of Summer and You Can’t Convince Me Otherwise

My Le Labo Jasmin 17 review: I’m obsessed with it. The thing about fragrance reviews is that we always have what the brand wanted and how the perfume actually operates, on the skin, in the real world. Le Labo says of Jasmin 17: “This natural jasmine is the floral perfume par excellence, and was created as a modern alternative to the old-fashioned traditional floral signatures. Its short formula gives it such a distinctive character that once you wear it, you’ll never forget it.” And yes, exactly, that’s precisely what it smells like: jasmine, at midnight, in a courtyard in Tunis: Jasmine is the national flower of Tunisia, which I did know, and also a symbol of the Tunisian Revolution of Dignity, a.k.a. the Jasmine Revolution. In Thailand, it is a symbol of motherhood. I didn’t grow up with up, but get lucky and walk near jasmine at the right time, with just the right amount of warm humidity in the air, and it travels like a dart. A powerful, important flower. That said, when I first smelled Le Labo’s Jasmin 17, I thought immediately of Diptyque’s Jasmin candle: They are very similar, and there are no other registers to Diptyque’s fragrance; it stays right there, smelling like a lovely hot night in a place where jasmine grows. A lovely smell, one that turns your head, but monotonous. And that’s what I expected from this Le Labo scent, even knowing how dramatically my favorite La Labo fragrance, Poivre 34 (the London city exclusive) transforms from something hot and peppery into something soft and powdery and sweet, like a drawer in a desk in a country home in rural England. And so it is with Jasmin 17. It’s not instantaneous. You have to wait, a little. But then it changes on the skin, so that the jasmine flower is lost and what remains is even better, citrusy and sweet. I think of a blood orange salad, served on a patio overlooking the ocean. It smells like the breeze above a citrus grove in Greece. It smells like the first warm day of the year. It smells like opening up the windows at noon in a summer house a block from the beach. It smells like the breeze coming through a bouquet of orange blossoms. It smells like white flowers that smell like oranges, under the deepest blue sky. It does not smell like clean laundry on the line — that would smell differently, faintly of detergent — but like the breeze that blows through it. When I think of summer fragrances, I think of extremely literal ones, like Bobbi Brown’s Beach, which I love and which smells exactly like the beach: sand and towels and ocean water dried on skin and a certain kind of sunscreen from the ’80s that’s illegal today. But Le Labo’s Jasmin 17 smells like summer itself, the best day of summer: June 19, when it is still warm and not hot, and when the best of the season is still yet to come. Final Jasmin 17 review: It’s perfect. If summer is your kind of thing. Buy it at Nordstrom. Photo by Dagmara Dombrovska on Unsplash. Affiliate links above and throughout the site.

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