An intriguing blend of woods (unsurprisingly), jasmine (again, not exactly a shock) and a dark, steamy, intriguing skankiness (which made us blush).
Plum, pear, jasmine and sambac jasmine, rose, dhavanam (an aromatic herb, also called davana or Artemisia pallens, this is sometimes described as smelling sweet, fruity, with a wine like note and is one of those notes that changes depending on the chemistry of the wearer), incense, vanilla, patchouli, labdanum, cypriol nagarmotha (a herbaceous plant with a dark, musky, deep scent).
BDK Parfums are a French brand with an extremely irritating front page to their website (at the time of writing it flashed migraine-inducingly between white on black and black on white, horrible). We shouldn’t judge them for that though, we’re here for the perfume and not just the marketing.
The child of David Benedek, BDK hold a collection of five scents. In their blurb they talk about using one driving force note which the rest of the scent is then shaped around. They say they obtain all their perfume essences from Grasse to ensure that they are using the highest quality materials in their scent composition.
Wood Jasmine itself is a strikingly interesting perfume. It feels traditional in how it wears, and yet there is this modernity about it too. It retains wearability whilst introducing little intriguing facets that give it a more modern, and relevant slant.
Wood Jasmine opens with a bright, warm, woody and sweet top. It feels a bit like the smell of the golden hour of light that photographers prize so highly. There is a real ambery-golden quality to it which at times strays towards a warm plastic type smell, but in a pleasant way.
There’s also a really fruity nuance that emerges in the top of the fragrance. The listed notes have this at plum, and it does eventually get around to that, but at first it smells more like a ripe cherry and there’s an almondy facet to the fruitiness. The fruit is really, really ripe and you get a real sense of the juice being ready to burst forth from it’s fragile skin and run down your chin as you bite into it.
It is possible to find a certain woodiness in the top notes of the scent but that provides the backdrop. Centre stage is this vibrant fruity, ripe abundance that feels almost bacchanalian in it’s excess.
In many perfumes that fall into this family of scents, the heart of the perfume becomes a much more sombre affair, slowing down and cooling off, but in Wood Jasmine the opposite is true. The heart becomes even warmer, fuzzy, boozy and sticky, almost syrupy. The jasmine emerges properly and you get that real sense of the florals buzzing around the slower notes, much like wasps round a jam-laden scone at a tea party. There’s a real energetic nuance to the perfume here which is underpinned by a much slower, more languid ribbon of scent flowing underneath and it is that which pulls us towards the final destination in the base.
What is really great to notice though is that throughout this scent narrative sense is retained. The perfume does change a fair bit from top to base, but the way that it is constructed makes it feel like we are being led on a journey, told a story. There are no abrupt shifts in tone or feel but the base we end up with is very different to the top that started and it’s a real pleasure when perfumers manage to pull that storytelling arc off.
The base of Wood Jasmine becomes much deeper, darker and muskier than the rest of the scent. If this scent were a fairy tale (which it is compared to in their marketing blurb), this would be the point at which the innocent young woman (or man) realised darkness was falling and there were things to be feared in the deep forest. It’s darker, meaner, and more suggestive than the rest of the scent which suddenly appears quite PG in comparison.
The notes of the scent really work together in the base to give us something which is full, warm, well-rounded and suggestive of naked skin and hot bodies. The perfume is sweet throughout but here it becomes much more sensual and dangerous. The patchouli and vanilla add those hits of sweetness, and the sambac jasmine does an excellent job of providing enough indolic notes to make your toes curl. The wood in the composition is dry and again, much like in the top, it provides a solid backdrop on which the rest of the scent is built.
This is the first of the BDK Parfums line that we have smelled here at The Sniff and, we have to admit, they’re off to a strong start – a line we hope to bring you more of in future.
The other stuff
The longevity of Wood Jasmine is great. It lasted until the end of the working day when applied at 7am on several tests. It isn’t necessarily a scent we would advise wearing for work though, it’s a bit to risqué and seductive for that. Bring this one out for evening parties and dates when you want to really seduce.
The sillage of the scent was also pleasing. It seemed to go just beyond handshake distance. The fact that it is such a sweet scent in tone may put some of your audience off so exercise caution during daytime wear, but no holds are barred when it comes to a nighttime scent.
The presentation of the BDK line is also lovely and worthy of a mention. The bottle caps, which are shaped after the Grand Palais in Paris, are heavy and substantial, and the bottles themselves are elegant and a pleasure to hold in hand.
In terms of the gender of this scent, we would suggest it’s use by dangerous women and men who fancy themselves as a bit of a dandy. In other words we can imagine it working across a pretty wide spectrum. Wear it, enjoy it and let us know what you think.
BDK Parfums are available from Mood Scent Bar in Warsaw who kindly supplied us with a sample of this scent. You can also buy it from the BDK Parfums web boutique. Wood Jasmine retails for around €170 for 100ml EdP.