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.
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,
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.