Saturday, May 13, 2006


It's so nice to be out of my no-perfume phase at last. Today's Fragrance: Le Labo Jasmin 17. It's official, even though no one else smells it but me: the dry down of Jasmin 17 is almost identical to the dry downs of Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur and Lolita Lempicka "L". All three were created by the same nose (and team), Maurice Roucel. The word in perfumeville is that he works backward, meaning he builds his compositions from the dry down or bottom up. I always thought that this animalic (or indolic) note I smelled in Jasmine 17 was Sambac jasmine, but then I'd read somewhere that animalic notes are added to (synthetic) jasmine (to simulate natural jasmine oil which is indolic). Here's a definition of animalic on

..."Animalic. Animalic notes may be best described as Faecal and unpleasant. However, experienced perfumers recognise that in extreme dilution or clever combination they often display a very pleasant note. Civet Absolute is very faecal at 100% but at 0.1% gives a Lily Of The Valley note. Good use of animalic notes gives a perfume a natural character"....

Hmm...interesting. So, if I like Jasmin 17 for its dry down, does that mean I like the fecal element in it? I have to face the truth and say yes, that must be what it is that Maurice Roucel keeps using in his bases that I'm apparently hooked on. What kind of a freak am I that I like the smell of civet? Civet according to Wikipedia:

..."Civet musk is gathered by scraping it out of the civet's anal sacs, a very painful process"....

It's horrible. That's why civet absolute is synthetic today. By the way, I think it's fascinating how lily of the valley is created with civet absolute. That would mean those clean and proper greens are really down and dirty scents in camouflage.