Ah, these jasmines, these white jasmines!... Thus opens the poem The First Jasmines composed by Rabindranath Tagore in order to pay homage to jasmine sambac, the ubiquitous flower of South Asia. In it, he attempts to re-capture the essence of his childhood, nostalgically linking it to the scent of the flower as well as conveying his deep love for the fragrant blossoms.
For those, like me, who have lived in regions where these flowers grow in abundance their smell as well as their sights remain with oneself like an enchanted souvenir. In India, Jasminum sambac is also called by the very poetic name of "moonlight of the grove". This refers to the blossoming of the flower at night around 11 pm. Jasmine sambac has a scent that is headier than that of jasminum grandiflorum grown under our latitudes. It is also sometimes called Arabian jasmine and Grand Duke of Tuscany. Ormonde Jayne likes to use the Tagalog term for it, Sampaquita...
I am so very happy to report that Armani Code pour Femme is very true to the natural scent of jasmine Sambac.
In Trouble by Boucheron, the jasmine Sambac colors the perfume whereas here it takes center stage. It is a trendy note in perfumery and so we can expect to see other jus that will make use of it. Armani Code pour Femme was released just this spring. It was composed by triumvirat of perfumers Carlos Benaïm, Dominique Ropion and Olivier Polge.
The fragrance interestingly enough is almost constructed like a soliflore, or more correctly put, offers the illusion of a soliflore scent.
It is not overly complex but reproduces the natural richness of the scented flower itself well. Jasmine sambac absolute is predominant having been added to both the top notes and heart notes. The top notes also comprise bitter orange and Italian orange which serve to reinforce the freshness and the natural notes of orange blossom that you find in jasmine sambac. Orange blossom absolute is also present in the heart. Similarly the honey note in the base alludes to the natural sweet honeysuckle facets found in the flower. Jasmine sambac is naturally a hybrid scent offering a rich range of aromas on its own. In Armani Code pour Femme the complexity of the notes has been used to refer to this one flower instead of composing a bouquet.
Different natural characteristics are reproduced such as a slightly herbaceous note together with a slightly aqueous note and finally tea-scented notes which are all present, as they should, in this rendition of jasmine sambac.
Armani Code pour Femme warms up progressively becoming even a little gourmand due to the vanilla and honey. However, the jasmine is allowed to blossom throughout retaining its fresh, slightly watery and verdant notes, almost to the very end. I also smell some ginger and sandalwood which bring some nice spiciness and sexiness to an otherwise very sweet and flowery/fruity scent. Finally, there is a balmy and waxy feel to the scent that appears at the end which prevents the perfume from offering a completely satisfying depth of development, in my opinion.
Armani Code for Her is exotic, feminine, and although it gives the impression that it is opulent and rich it is casual too. It sends the message that you do not need to think too hard about whether or not you want to wear it; in a way, it is simply sensual. The flacon is very nice with an ergonomic feel to it which renders the act of spraying very pleasing, normal and easy.
I think that the staying power and the depth of the drydown could be improved but other than that it is a gorgeous fragrance for the jasmine sambac lover. I fell in love with it at first sniff.
Notes according to Osmoz:
Top notes of bitter orange, Italian orange, jasmine sambac
Middle notes of orange blossom absolute and jasmine sambac
Base notes of vanilla and honey
Notes according to Sephora:
Blood Orange, Ginger, Pear Sorbet, Sambac Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Seringa Flower, Lavender Honey, Precious Woods Complex, Vanilla.