When Now Smell This first announced the release of Armani Privé Eclat de Jasmin, the blog quoted the Giorgio Armani website, saying “Eclat de Jasmin was created to represent dawn - the particular time of the day when jasmine flowers are warmed by the sun, releasing their deep, rich scent.” From this description I imagined a dew-like, non-indolic jasmine: fresh, liquid, and quiet.
Maybe because I don’t live where dawn is ever warm enough to draw the scent from jasmine, but Eclat de Jasmin feels like the late afternoon of a summer day to me. I imagine sitting outside, next to a stone wall with jasmine climbing up it. I can smell the lush but surprisingly clean-scented jasmine, and maybe the flowers on the potted Meyer lemon tree nearby. Although the afternoon is warm enough to feel heat reflected from the wall, the flower beds are still damp. It’s still just slightly too hot to nap in the sun.
Some jasmine fragrances are real divas, but Eclat de Jasmin, while definitely all about jasmine, is friendly and relatively easy to wear. Its top notes are bergamot, plum, and lemon; its heart is jasmine, osmathus, and rose; and its base is patchouli, amber, and vetiver. I can smell the citrus sparkle of the topnotes, and Eclat de Jasmin’s rose is barely perceptible but adds some fruitiness to balance the jasmine. Armani bills Eclat de Jasmin as a chypre, but it isn’t mossy at all like Yves Saint Laurent Y or other heavy duty chypres. Eclat’s patchouli has never been to a Grateful Dead concert, and the amber is not creamy or overly sweet. After eight hours, the fragrance is still going strong.
All in all, I’d compare Eclat de Jasmin to a well-made T-shirt. It might be an Armani T-shirt, in fact, woven from Egyptian cotton in Italy and having a deliriously silky hand and a flattering cut. In the end, though, it’s still a T-shirt. If money were no object, maybe I’d have a drawer full of $300 T-shirts and a — get ready for this — $185 bottle of Eclat de Jasmin Eau de Parfum. Yes, $185. And that’s for only 50 ml. As pretty as Eclat de Jasmin is, it is still a T-shirt of a scent, and $185 will buy a bell jar of Serge Lutens with money left for an armload of Hanes T-shirt value-packs.
Like the other Armani Privé scents, Eclat de Jasmin comes in a wooden chunk of a bottle with a polished stone on its lid. (I know I’m in the minority, but I’m not wild about the bottle. I think it looks like something you could pick up at the import shop for $3.99, and although the bottle might suit Privé Bois d’Incens, it doesn’t fit the character of Eclat de Jasmin at all.) After Christmas, stores stocking the Armani Privé scents will start selling Eau de Parfum refills for $135. A 6.35-ounce Eclat de Jasmin candle is also available in a wooden holder for $95, with refills that can be used alone for $65.
For buying information, see the listing for Giorgio Armani under Perfume Houses.