Suzanne's Perfume Journal

April Aromatics Jasmina eau de parfum is composed of 100% natural extracts of Jasmin Grandiflorum from India and France; Ylang-Ylang from Thailand, and Pink Grapefruit from the USA. It can be purchased from the April Aromatics website, where a 30-ml bottle is 189 euros, and in the U.S. it is now available from, $225 for 30-ml. My review is based on a sample sent to me by the perfumer.

Photo of me (at age 8) and my sister Heather was taken on a fall day when we were gathering things like milkweed pods and pine cones for my mother, who liked to get all crafty and make wreaths with them. Photo of Jasmina bottle is from the April Aromatics website (see link, above).

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April Aromatics Jasmina: Sunshine, Almost All the Time . . .

December 13, 2012:

If I had a day that I could give you
I'd give to you a day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I'd sing a song to make you feel this way

                        --lyrics from "Sunshine on My Shoulders" by John Denver

It’s not often that I write back-to-back reviews on perfumes from the same fragrance house; it’s rare for me to flip my lid over a line of natural fragrances; and its rarer still for me to fall in love with a jasmine-heavy perfume. But I have fallen into a swoon over the line of organic, botanical perfumes from April Aromatics (created by Berlin-based perfumer Tanja Bochnig)—and if you find me writing about these perfumes for three weeks in a row, understand that it’s not because I don’t have other perfumes to sample, but because they are that good. In fact, this week’s review is attributable to an email conversation I had with my perfume-blogging friend Jasia, who pointed out the excellence of April Aromatics Jasmina, and who was so right about it that I feel like I should thank her. Very few jasmine-centric fragrances have ever wormed their way into my heart, so I didn’t expect Jasmina would worm its way there either, and I probably would have sampled it dead-last were it not for my friend’s enthusiasm. As it turns out, I now feel like I’ve found my perfect jasmine perfume—one that is floaty and easy-to-wear while also managing to be sensual. A balancing act that is pretty hard to beat.

If I tell you that Jasmina is the olfactory equivalent of sunlight, then you might get the impression that this is a happy perfume, which it is. But there is also a tender whiff of flesh (of skin) that is like a kite string which tethers this olfactory sun to the Earth, or more precisely, to its earthly occupants. Wearing Jasmina, I think about people and places that have a sunlit easiness to them and an undercurrent of something else I can’t name, except to call it a sense of the personal (rather than the breezy impersonal). Hopefully you will know what I mean when I say that wearing this perfume makes me think about Butters from South Park; and John Denver singing “Sunshine on the water looks so lovely”; and certain bends in a river in upstate New York I once knew intimately, thanks to a boyfriend who liked to canoe. It’s a perfume that makes me think about my childhood and the times I spent outdoors with my sisters, and how easy it was to entertain ourselves when we were a certain age. And in the way that it makes me think of all these things, I would have to say that this perfume makes me feel a genuine sense of gratitude for every smooth-sailing moment of my life.

Jasmina starts off with a very discernible and lovely burst of grapefruit that is just tart and juicy enough to make one feel uplifted and groovy, as if the sun has been out for days and the sky is the perfect shade of blue. As it melds with the jasmine and ylang-ylang accord, there is a hint of the wintergreen facet that often accompanies white-floral perfumes, and that reminds me of the natural world and of being outdoors. The top notes hang on for a delightfully long time, and so does the “main event,” which is the straightforward and dreamy smell of jasmine that is nectarous and pretty. In the first hour of wear, one can detect a sheer amount of indoles that smell fleshy and have a tinge of the urinous about them, but they are so light that only a perfumista who is seriously sniffing her wrist would recognize them. That they are present, though, is what lends Jasmina its gentle sensuality and takes it from smelling merely lovely, in a way that a landscape painting is lovely, to smelling poignantly lovely: like a landscape you once stood in; a landscape in which you can see yourself taking part. The perfumer, on her website, describes Jasmina as an aphrodisiac. I suppose it is, from the standpoint that it’s a perfume that makes one remember how beautiful life is, and in the remembering, the wearer of this perfume is the one who falls in love first. Anyone else who catches a whiff of it is certainly welcome to come along for the ride.