We can only imagine the 277- year old history of daily foot traffic that took place around the now venerable Floris institution. Testimonials abound in literature and could constitute an anthology of reminiscences about the store and its most beloved products. To quote but an example, the irresistible Beau Brummel himself could not resist the charm of Floris and is reported to have spent long stretches of time in the Floris premises discussing with Juan Floris about the fashion and art of toiletry at the beginning of the 19th century. As a matter of fact, the dandy loathed perfumes but was fastidious and hygienic to a fault and if there is a trace, however minuscule of his influence, it would be discernable in the clean soapy undertones of even the most sensual of perfumes from the house. During the Regency, the Beau had an important influence on leading a trend for fashionable cleanliness. In a certain sense, he could be seen to be the spiritual forefather of clean perfumes as he is reported to have said that the only acceptable scent for an elegant man was that of a freshly laundered shirt in the countryside. A statue of George Beau Brummel can now be seen on Jermyn Street.
To us furthermore when we attempt to think of a main characteristic of traditional English perfumery we tend to identify its character or at least an important enduring branch of its development with realistic, natural-smelling floral perfumes, soliflores especially, with a clean fresh streak in them. The variety of fresh dewy English soliflores seems unparalleled. The love of the British for their gardens and their at times glorious countryside seems to be captured in this manner in fragrances as well.
Night Scented Jasmine is both an indolic and fresh jasmine perfume, which skillfully displays elements of both carnality and innocence. It starts with the evocation of a trail of intoxicatingly fragrant blooms peaking through the greenery in a garden, most notably jasmine and gardenia with some peppery green violet, soon followed by musky animalic and indolic notes that are almost leathery in nature. A certain green overtone remains. The floral accord reveals a contrast between succulent round juicy notes rounded off by neroli and an underlying sharpness that offers a husky aldehydic impression even though it might be derived from the sandalwood and vetiver in fact, and which prolongs itself into pepperiness at times. Having exhibited its snarl and its paw, the she-leopard retracts its elegantly filed claws and transforms itself into a femme-enfant who loves nothing more than to dip her mischievous finger in fruit cups topped with whipped cream left over from a wedding banquet, lick her finger, and finally smiles at you with some Chantilly left on the corner of her mouth (it feels like a wedding guest scent at this point). In this manner, the heart of the perfume becomes fruitier, rosier, more vanillic, peachy with slightly aqueous undertones. The vanilla and peaches impression is counterbalanced by the now softer purr of a musky cat still revealing some flickers of animality. There is a fluffy gourmand undertone that smells like cake and conjures up the scene in Sofia Coppola’s movie with Marie-Antoinette played by Kirsten Dunst, surrounded by pastel-colored pastries (as a compensation for feeling overwhelmed by the strictures of Versailles’ etiquette).
The scent then starts soaring becoming more transparent with melon-y and citrus-y undertones. The naughty indolic vibes persist. The jasmine now has thirst-quenching jasmine tea-like nuances to it. The dry-down is fruity, floral, clean, soapy with tea undertones.
Night Scented Jasmine appears to be a better perfume in the fruity floral genre thanks mainly to the high quality of its ingredients and the richness of its composition. It retains a natural character that makes other comparable popular perfumes in this category smell like nail polish next to it (on their own, they are fine). It is more floral than fruity and more frankly indolic than average.The scent reveals a genealogical link with L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci. It belongs to a generation of perfumes that is very contemporary in character as rather than to emphasize one main characteristic of the scent, it attempts to remain versatile as it is sensual, sexy, romantic, comforting, and gourmand all together. People who like jasmine laced with gardenia with medium-strength, yet noticeable indoles, yet a soapy ending in their fragrances will be attracted to this luscious scent.
The bottle has a nice heft to it, holds well in the hand, and offers a beautiful antique-looking style.
Top notes are violet, citrus, neroli, and mandarin. Heart notes are jasmine, lily, rose, mimosa, iris, ylang-ylang, gardenia, and narcissus. Base notes are musk, amber, vetiver, and sandalwood,
The Night Scented Jasmine Luxury Soap is triple-milled. The lather is noticeably creamy, non-drying, and it lathers well without excess. The scent left on the skin is lightly floral and musky.
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(Sources: Floris press release, Floris website, Harrods)