Molinard is one of the oldest French perfumeries in existence, established in 1849 in Grasse, in the ancient European capital of perfumery for raw materials. Jasmin is a jasmine soliflore, whose first incarnation appeared in 1860 at the time when Molinard following the fashion of the times was building its reputation thanks to its soliflores and eaux parfumées.
The scent is part of the collection Les Fleurs de Provence (Flowers of Provence), which to this day continues to propose a range of single-note scents. It continues a cultural tradition that associated the personality of a woman with her particular bloom of choice. Like a medieval lady exhibiting her personal colors, a 19th and early 20th century lady would have left her signature trail of violet, heliotrope, rose or tuberose...
Jasmin de Molinard therefore smells principally of jasmine with certain characteristics that distinguish it from other jasmine soliflores. These nuances are not glaring but noteworthy.
It strikes us foremost that Jasmin seems to be characteristically equal parts floral and animalic. The indoles, which belong to the flower, with their sexual scent, are present from the beginning and quite strong in the initial development of the perfume, to the point where they start suggesting the scent of leather.
Molinard Jasmin however is not as animalic as Bourbon French Jasmine, the most animalic jasmine we have encountered so far and which immediately brings to mind the image of a bears' pit at the zoo in the summer. In this case, the animalic side is equally balanced out by fresh, sweet and soft floral notes. There seems to be a crisp bluish hyacinth note in the mix, as well as some muguet.
When you apply the scent, it starts off fresh and then the heady jasmine makes its entrance. The sharp notes are toned down by the roundness of orange blossom while retaining a discreet, crisp green quality. The perfume progressively mellows down and becomes less aggressive, staying closer to the body while drying down to a musky floral impression. The animalic bear's skin impression fades away a bit, but does not leave entirely, always there in the base while the fecal notes of indoles are quite discernable when one pays closer attention. The dry-down is soft and floral. Because of its leather whip-like effect, it makes us think that this could be considered a jasmine perfume conventionally suitable to men.
Top notes of this eau de toilette are fresh ones. Heart notes are rose, jasmine, orange blossom. Base notes rest on a musk accord.
The perfume's packaging has recently been changed to an Art-Deco inspired one. The scent can be purchased on Molinard's website for 28 Euros or it can also be found at numerous discounters in its old packaging.
(Photo is from Office de Tourisme de Grasse)