L'Occitane x Pierre Hermé Jasmin-Immortelle-Neroli: A Manifesto on Neo Pastry (2015) {Perfume Reviews & Musings}


Jasmin-Immortelle-Neroli is the fruit of a limited-edition collaboration between L'Occitane x Pierre Hermé for Holidays 2015. The French pastry chef known for his variegated, dainty macarons hails from Alsace, a region which has encouraged the vocations of several top pastry chefs in France thanks to their rich culinary tradition and love of sweets; it is no mere coincidence if Angel by Thierry Mugler, which gave birth to the family of gourmands, was inspired by the Strasbourg Christmas market. The Alsatians take their food seriously and know how to delight tastebuds. So, it is interesting a priori to smell what Hermé might have come with in what could be called a transfer of competency...

The opening of Jasmin-Immortelle-Neroli is fresh and citrusy, with hints of green grass, and a nuance of grapefruit in particular; you already discern that there is an abundance of white musks in the base. As the perfume mellows down, it becomes rounder, but still exceptionally citric for a perfume blend meant to illustrate a combo of Jasmine, Everlasting and Neroli notes.

Pierre Hermé in his original medium has certainly worked on bringing lighter sensations than usual to his macarons with the use of ingredients such as yuzu, lychee or rose. And this is what takes place here. It looks like Hermé did not want to offer yet another obvious, calorific, pastry-like gourmand fragrance but wanted to put the accent on his legacy as a pastry chef, which if we smell this right, means that he thinks his contribution has been to make the taste of macarons be more perfumey and lighter.

As the eau de toilette further evolves, it becomes about a light, airy jasmine scenting the air. It is a very desincarnated jasmine. The immortelle's caramel is supremely toned down. Here again, anything too heavy has been avoided.

Where in the end the perfume feels convincing is in the very good sillage it leaves. This is not a perfume meant to be read closely but at a distance with a monocle. It leaves a much greater impression as a sillage perfume than as a skin one. From that angle, it smells like a delicious, pause-worthy, trailing skin perfume thanks to the Corsican Immortelle which reminds me suddenly of the superlative Croatian Immortelle essential oil I once smelled at the Strasbourg Christmas fair. There is nothing like it and this Corsican Immortelle is close enough to remind you of it, without being as extraordinary.

Notes: petit grain, pink peppercorn, lemon / jasmine, immortelle, neroli, orange blossom / amber, white woods, musk.

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