Jasmine His, Jasmine Hers: Gandahara and Lace Garden

Head from Gandahara

Head from Gandahara

The idea that you can sequester perfumes by sex is sort of an odd one.  I admit though that given contemporary tastes and mores guys can’t spritz themselves silly with tuberose easily, and that gals while they can macerate themselves in pine oil and leather, tend to avoid those smells.  I’ve always felt though that the guys get kind of short shrift with flowers.  I don’t see why men can’t wear roses, or iris, or wisteria, or lilac, if they want to and not come off as whiffy and foppish.

Jasmine is a case in point.  The Queen of the Night ought  to be gender blind and unless she can see in the dark like my cat, probably is. Are there jasmines out there which would suit men?  I’m pleased to say that I’ve been wearing one today done by Neil Morris called Gandahara, and long story short, it’s complex, sophisticated, and a wonderful scent for a man who likes scent.  Here’s the thing, I could I suppose rattle off the notes but what I smell here is a strong bouquet that includes something like mimosa, musk, earth, and salt and then and only then, jasmine. I catch something fresh and green binding this fragrance together, possibly a tea or mint note.  The scents’ tendrils wrap around each other in an organic, lushly overgrown jungle of a perfume which would be perfect on a masculine skin.

Double Jasmine in bloom

Double Jasmine “Duke of Tuscany” in bloom

The notes listed for Gandahara strike me as cursory but they include mimosa, fig, geranium, lotus (which I think gave me part of the earthiness here) and patchouli plus the intriguing animalic castoreum.  You smell  a human body here, heavily draped in flowers but because of the castoreum, this could easily be a male body.

By contrast there is Teo Cabanel’s Lace Garden which is about as far on the feminine spectrum of jasmine as you can get.  This is a dainty perfume which picks its way about a fresh morning garden with a much deliberation as a Siamese but which chooses to poke its little blue point nose into the choicest jasmine flowers.  As opposed to Gandahara which sports a sillage from the beginning, and which lets you know there’s an animalic going on, Lace Garden is a girly mixture of jasmine and other white flowers.  Though there is the customary Teo Cabanel ylang ylang in the beginning, you are almost unaware of the orange blossom and magnolias in the composition.  To me, Lace Garden is a very classic jasmine perfume and its tuberose and gardenia aspects are muted.  This is nothing like Carnal Flower,

French garden sculpture from pinterest.com

French garden sculpture from pinterest.com

but is instead an  ivory petaled garland of  flowers tastefully draped over a golden filigree of benzoin, wood and vanilla.  Lace Garden is very hard to dislike.

These two perfumes both enjoy another good quality and that is their affinity for skin.  The longevity on both is quite good.  Gandahara will stay with me for more than three hours and Lace Garden while a tad softer, is also a good lasting fragrance that will stay with you all evening.  By the way, I should mention that Neil  Morris has done a series of Flowers for Men which includes rose and lilac and is well worth exploring.  In the meantime if you love jasmine, try Gandahara and if you love jasminey white florals and are feminine, try Lace Garden, there are no wrong turnings in its white and green maze.

 

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6 thoughts on “Jasmine His, Jasmine Hers: Gandahara and Lace Garden

  1. Flowers for men, YES!

    I admit, I’ll wear leather and pine but I absolutely cannot wear a fougere. I feel like I’m wearing tighty-whities (without the appropriate stuff in them).

    • Going to say that I don’t have any trouble wearing fougeres myself but then realized that…I don’t own any.

      OK once upon a time in a galaxy far far away I wore Jicky, but that’s about it. Nobody much makes fougeres for girls anyhow so your feeling about boxers vs female undies may be a common concern. Wasn’t Covet supposed to be a fougere? That was for gals.

  2. While I’m not too quick to label any perfume with a gender designation and nowadays I encounter more and more truly unisex creations, there are perfumes that I strongly place in one camp or the other. It doesn’t mean that the opposite gender wearers should not be enjoying these if it pleases them, but I distinguish feminine and masculine-type scents.
    I haven’t tried either of the perfumes from your post but I tried to think of any jasmine-heavy perfumes that I would consider masculine – and I cannot. Unisex – yes (for example, Atelier Cologne’s Jasmin Angélique) but not masculine. It will be interesting to try Gandahara one day.

    • Jasmine is difficult to aim at men and Gandahara is one of the only perfumes I know that really smell of it and are suitable to men. I find Neil Morris’ perfumes are unconventional when it comes to flowers for different genders.

      I should try Jasmin -Angelique I really liked their Rose Anonyme and should watch that firm. One of the best of the niche ones.

  3. Gandahara does indeed sound interesting, for like Undina I couldn’t readily think of a jasmine perfume that is clearly masculine leaning. I don’t know what Jasmin et Cigarette is like, not having smelt it, but it sounds a bit androgynous at least. Lace Garden sounds like my kind of thing for the summer – Teo Cabanel is a line we often tend to overlook, I think.

    • Lace Garden is very pretty for summer, and you’re right that we tend to overlook Teo Cabanel but they make impeccable modern perfumes, wear anywhere things.

      Gandahara is charmingly offbeat and that’s what I like about Neil Morris. At first when you smell his compositions you think, “What was he thinking?” but then you realize that his perfumes tend to be real perfumes worked pretty much all the way out. Gandahara takes the earthy indolic side of jasmine and emphasizes it enough to make it good on male skin just the way a leather scent would be. Dark a bit salty, quite sensual! Also, I suppose I ought to remark, sui generis. Neil’s stuff tends to be original.

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