I like jasmine. Soft, subtle jasmines are fine — I have quite a few — but big, bold jasmines are even finer. I don't think anybody has made the jasmine too big and bold for me to wear just yet, although Norma Kamali made a valiant effort.
I figured Diptyque's new Essences Insensées 2015, from their La Collection 34 series of limited edition harvest-based fragrances, would be on the soft, subtle side, because that seems to be the style at Diptyque in recent years (and possibly also because I pretty much ignored Essences Insensées 2014, which was based on mimosa). But no, this year's Essences Insensées is J-A-S-M-I-N-E, especially in the top notes, where the jasmine is loud and full and rich, and satisfyingly indolic (just enough and not too much). It is, as advertised, fruity and bright in the opening, with a tingle of citrus over berry jam undertones, and briefly, just enough banana that I wondered if there was some ylang in the mix. As the jasmine settles, the orange blossom gains ground, and then it's cleaner and a bit more subdued. The basil becomes more obvious at about 30 minutes in, by which time Essences Insensées has an herbal and grassy air, and the jammy notes have settled to a quiet murmur. The base is a pale woody musk, light enough that the florals stay front and center, likewise light enough that it's not a powerhouse of longevity.
It's not as much of a BWF (big white floral) as Diptyque's Olène used to be, and it's not as loud (or as sweet) as Lush Lust. If you want your jasmine fragrance more tightly focused on the jasmine, you'd probably prefer Serge Lutens A La Nuit or Bruno Acampora Jasmin, or maybe By Kilian Love And Tears (which most people liked much better than I did). If it's all just more jasmine than you can stand, do see last week's review of Atelier Cologne Jasmin Angélique.
Verdict: Perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin did a lovely job with this one, so if your jasmine cupboard is not yet full, do give it a try. I have no business adding another jasmine to my collection in any case, but I'd be tempted if the bottle were not so huge, and the price so spendy, and if I had not had such poor luck with bulb atomizers. I will try the solid if I ever see a tester.
Diptyque Essences Insensées 2015 is available in 75 ml Eau de Parfum ($175) or 3.6 g Solid Perfume ($60). For buying information, see the listing for Diptyque under Perfume Houses.