Has one of the mighty titans of niche perfumery lost its way or are they on to a winner with this sweet floral composition?
Bergamot, grapefruit, apple, aquatic notes, magnolia, jasmine, cedar, vetiver, vanilla, tonka bean.
Pierre Guillaume is one of the most well-known names in niche perfumery and his brand encompasses scents across the whole spectrum; they’re frequently easy to wear, accessible, and well-composed fragrances. That said, a couple of left-field releases including an odour neutraliser for the loo have left us wondering if the brand has lost it’s way. Nothing says niche luxury less than a toilet-focussed product.
We’ve previously reviewed the green and refreshing PG 9.1 Komorebi, the sweet leathery PG 03 Cuir Venenum, the apricot and chocolate confection of PG 04 Musc Maori, the flowery leather handbag nuances of PG 5.1 Suede Osmanthe, the spectacular fig and twigs of PG 16 Jardins de Kerylos and the exceptional Bois Naufrage. Also by Pierre Guillaume we’ve looked at the awfully-named Superlady, the fat-free-naughty-treat of Sucre d’Ebene, the manly vibes of Shermine, the classy combination of Aqaysos, the spicy jungles of Jangala and the French patisserie vibes of Tonkamande. It’s a significant list!
PG 23.1 Jasmagonda opens with a clean, bright opening. It’s fluffy, sweet and very feminine-leaning. A very pleasant and refreshing, crisp apple tone combines with white petal notes to produce this melee of a scent which is a collision between fruity and floral. The perfume is warm but with cooler undertones which evoke a light breeze on a spring day.
There’s something about Jasmagonda which reminded us of clean sheets drying on a washing line, a little washing-powdery hint, along with that crispness of cotton dried outside.
The scent is part creamy and part powdery and at times we detected a slightly pear-drops vibe from it. It’s a relaxed and languid perfume to wear, not frenzied and buzzy like the smell of pear drops can be, but nevertheless there was that hint lurking in the background.
The heart of the scent is woodier, muskier but retains a rather all-encompassing sweetness which becomes a little tiresome. There are flurries of white florals here, magnolia and jasmine, and the tones are airy and evocative of fleshy petals blowing on the wind. Here at The Sniff we are jasmine addicts, but despite this note being heralded as the star of the piece on the Pierre Guillaume website, we felt that the whole perfume wasn’t quite jasmine-y enough. You don’t inhale it and fall in love immediately with that magical, fresh-yet-sweet, intoxicating floral. This is jasmine that has been neutered, tamed, cut off before its prime (and the apple and magnolia were much more powerful to us anyway).
There’s a backdrop of aquatic notes lurking behind the showers of petals but it’s pretty subtle and, although it definitely enhances the scent, unless you go looking for it you may very well not even notice that it is there.
A rather compelling papery nuance also lurks, playing hide-and-seek with the wearer in the middle of the perfume and it’s by far the most interesting thing about Jasmagonda. Dry, slightly woody and very addictive, we would have enjoyed experiencing more of this in the wear. It was the only slightly unexpected element we encountered in the whole composition.
The base is more pink fluffiness, at times bolstered by hints of iris to anchor it. There is greenery in the mix and when you can smell it it is crisp, leafy and inviting, but all too often it’s obscured.
Imagine if you will, a very pleasant wooded glade, sunlight streaming down through the trees and dappling the forest floor. Now imagine this viewed through an absolute blizzard of petals of magnolia and jasmine. You still want to see the pretty woodland scene but it’s increasingly hard to do so as the petals blind you. That’s what wearing Jasmagonda is like.
There’s nothing wrong with this perfume at all, in fact it’s very pleasant, but it’s also very average and very safe. It doesn’t smell as intriguing and captivating as a niche scent should, nor indeed as many of Pierre Guillaume’s other concoctions do. We’ve heard the sweet floral story from this brand before, and it’s time for them to start pushing the envelope of their creativity again, leaving the sweet treats on the shelf for the time being.
The other stuff
Jasmagonda doesn’t change very much throughout the wear and is reasonably linear. There aren’t any huge surprises here. But, if you like very stereotypically feminine-leaning floral explosions then this could well be the scent for you. When imagining the main customer for Jasmagonda, we keep getting stuck between a girl in her early 20s buying her first niche fragrance, and someone in old age who wants something very feminine and very easy to wear. Try it for yourself and if you love it, let us know what demographic you fit into.
Jasmagonda projects to just under handshake distance and the longevity of the scent is moderate. On the days we tested this it seemed to last to around lunchtime before it reduced significantly.
We were kindly gifted no strings samples of this scent by Bloom Perfumery London, and also by a friend of The Sniff. So you can be sure we tested it thoroughly!