Thursday, May 08, 2008

Jasmine and Rose

The perfect marriage between rose and jasmine is the very heart of perfumery itself. Most perfumes are in fact built on this combination, and the natural essences and absolutes are among the most highly prized ingredients in perfumery. Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of performing one of my songs, "Infinite Tenderness", for a 4 camera video shoot with Fred Kimmel. I was fortunate to have played a really great-sounding-and-feeling baby grand for this recording, and thought the combination with the warm timbre of the guitar was a perfect union like the jasmine and rose. Like a good partnership, the rose and jasmine are equal, one never being more important than the other. Each is a bedrock of perfumery, and the combination, or the accord, is also irreplacably valuable, ever more beautiful as a new union. Likewise, the piano and guitar are like the heart of musical instrumentation, being chordal instruments that can carry the entire arrangement from melodic-chordal (polyphonic) to rhythmic (percussive), high to low pitches, loud to soft volumes, all on their own like a grand choir. Together, they enhance each other and create beauty from two different ways of making strings sing in ways that reach directly to the hearts of the listeners with their range of expression and living vibrations and overtones, allowing us to experience the infinite through a mysterious circle of fifths.

Famous rose-jasmine-focused perfumes include Jean Patou Joy, created in 1930 to bring pleasure to women during the Depression by offering the highest quality perfume as the one still-affordable luxury; Creed Spring Flower, a fresh and luxurious Fruity Floral with a gamine-sophisticated upbeat quality; Schiaparelli Shocking!, a perfume rumored to smell like a woman--literally, said to replicate a woman's musky-animalic vaginal odors (thanks to the honey note); Un Amour de Patou, a modernized, fruity-fresh offering by Jean Patou with green, uplifting notes and a gentle classic heart of jasmine and rose from a youthful perspective.