Armani Prive Eclat de Jasmin

We´re on the countdown to Bangkok, and today´s my day to post, and I´m thinking you´re looking for something more edifying than “I´m still wearing Courtesan pretty much every day and loving it!” Am I right?

Okay, okay. I know what I´m supposed to be doing. I´m supposed to be blogging on something new, something different, something plucked from the tsunami. The release of new fragrances is seemingly endless; pretty soon we´ll be blogging 24/7 just to keep up with the flow. But we´ll never keep up, will we? With Tom Ford, Dior, Chanel and your uncle Bob releasing scents in groups now, it´s only a matter of time before we´re all buried in bottles of perfume. I can think of worse ways to go.

So, as I mentioned recently I wasn´t hot with desire when I saw the new Eclat de Jasmin (the sixth scent in the Armani Prive line) sitting on the counter at Saks. I walked by without a second glance. After all, I have Donna Karan’s Jasmine, Montale Jasmin Full and The Different Company´s Jasmin de Nuit, and, frankly, what more do I need? As far as I´m concerned, Armani´s unlikely to come close to the pinnacle he achieved with Bois d´Encens, although I like the other Prives to varying degrees, and I like Cuir Amethyste more than most folks. And Armani´s amping up the rate of releases to a frenetic level: nine fragrances in 2006 and 2007 alone, and we´ve still got half a year to go. You can´t help but feel the emphasis is not on quality.

But back I went to see what I´d missed. The notes according to the SA are: bergamot, citrus, jasmine, osmanthus, rose, patchouli, amber, vetiver. (Basenotes also lists plum).

Can I just mention that, for no good reason at all, I wanted to hate this? I´m bored with Giorgio and his nine fragrances and his Red Attitude Remix or whatever. Also on the two days I tried this it was in the upper 90s, and with jasmine that´s either great or instant migraine, depending.

Eclat does open with the bergamot/citrus twist, just a bit and short-lived, giving it a green freshness that I liked better than I thought I would. Eclat is quite strong, and it is mostly jasmine, whatever else those notes say, and if you´re going to look on it favorably you should probably keep this in mind. For the first ten minutes it is a gentler, sweeter jasmine-floral (probably the osmanthus/rose), then moves rapidly into a riper, richer, fairly indolic jasmine. The addition of patchouli and vetiver in the drydown give the jasmine a beautiful, unexpected twist – pushing jasmine´s natural dirtiness in a more masculine direction while muting its slightly-rotten-banana-smell. My sister-in-law, riding in the car with me, said it reminded her of when she lived next to horse stables in California and had jasmine blooming on a trellis outside her window (she teaches dressage, and she meant that essentially as a compliment.)

Do you need another jasmine, particularly at $185? Let´s compare it to the three I named above. Eclat is less green, more indolic and much more complex than Donna Karan´s Jasmine essence. It is creamier and less fruity than TDC´s Jasmin (my skin really amplifies TDC´s amber and jammy aspect). It starts off running neck and neck with Montale Jasmin Full in the skank department, with Jasmin Full being initially more in-your-face, and also a “truer” jasmine. But when the Eclat picks up steam and blooms on my skin it makes Jasmin Full seem sugary by comparison. The vetiver makes Eclat dirty the way DelRae Amoureuse is dirty, only Eclat is more sly about it.

After some consideration, I am shocked to report that Eclat de Jasmin may have nudged my beloved Montale out of first place in my heart. Eclat’s lasting power is extraordinary. Jasmin Full typically lasts the better part of a day on me, but Eclat was still going strong a full 24 hours later. Since Eclat’s drydown is the best part, I couldn’t have been more pleased. While it is predominantly jasmine, and thus a “feminine” fragrance, given its masculine elements, I think it would smell amazingly sexy on any man who thought he could get away with it. (Looking at you, Fracas-wearing dudes.) For women who like jasmine, Eclat’s unusual drydown should place it on your to-sample list.

Wearing Eclat de Jasmin, DK Jasmine, Jasmine Full and TDC Jasmine simultaneously is not for the faint of heart. But it was still fun.

By the way, the SA at Saks told me that, starting with this scent and going forward, Armani is making those gorgeous bottles refillable for the entire line. The regular bottle is $185 (Eclat has a pale pink stone, the white stone having been wasted on snoozefest Pierre de Lune), while the refills are $135.

40 Comments

  1. Funny you should mention my Uncle Bob! He died just a couple of years ago, at age 94. Nice man, but found farts very humorous, I’m sorry to say. Hence, I am very, very grateful to tell you that my Uncle Bob will NOT be releasing any scents for sale!

    Oh, hey — Benvenuta and Lee — do you need some of the discontinued Yves Rocher Nature Millenaire pour Homme? I just found a nearly full bottle that was being unappreciated at my friend’s house. You two discussed this one a while back. Basenotes mostly didn’t like it. I thought it was perfectly nice cinnamon-herbiness, but then again, I’m the only one who thinks that about Villoresi Incensi, so your mileage may vary! :d PM me at the bulletin board if you’re interested — otherwise I’ll probably wear it myself. –Ellen

    • *questions failure in memory bank whilst wondering at Ellen’s superlative-defeating storage capacities*

      Did I? You’re a honey.

    • No, no scents from Uncle Bob! Wow, I hope I make it to 94.

      You do have an amazing memory. When I can’t remember some perfume detail, I’m asking you.:)

      • I’ll be willing to bet you that finding farts funny is one of the thyings that keeps you going in old age…

      • Thanks, dear hearts. Actually, I didn’t remember that it was Benvenuta who brought it up — just remembered someone had & did some archive searching. So am heavily relying on the computer’s memory! –Ellen

  2. My parents had jasmine winding all around the patio porch in the back yard. My father would try to tame it but it grew back with a vengeance. Sometimes it would smell pretty rank, almost too sweet and rotten at the same time. Finally, my father obliterated it with a huge blast of weed killer and by digging WAY down to get the roots.

    • I am impressed that he killed the jasmine. I hear once they get established they’re right up there with some varieties of bamboo and wisteria in terms of toughness. I do like that sweet-rotten smell, though.

      • I miss it, in a way. I thought I might have seen it coming back, a decade later! Perhaps I’ll take it and infest my apartment complex with it! :d

  3. I love jasmine, but it sometimes runs away from me. Goutal Le Jasmine? Five minutes on my skin. The ones that last are the ones with big amperage: Serge Lutens A la Nuit and L’Artisan La Haie Fleurie. It sounds as if Eclat is no wimp. Come to mamma.
    ;;)

    • You should definitely try Eclat — would love to hear how it perfoms on you and Louise. La Haie is reeeeeeeeally sweet on me — I love it in theory but finally gave up, there is something in there that lurks in the corner of headache territory. Have you tried the Montale? I think for most people its lasting power is good.

      • It’s too bad about La Haie. I must confess that for me the decision to wear it is not a casual one. It doesn’t turn sweet on me, but it has mega-sillage. I haven’t tried either the Montale or TDC. They’re on my samples wish list, but something else keeps crossing my ordering radar when the time comes.
        @-)

        • Oh, you’ve got plenty of time!;) You’ll run across it eventually.

  4. You’re a brave jasmine-friendly woman.

    i’m trying to learn to love the flower myself and on Tuesday tried out A La Nuit, Jasmin de Nuit and Oiro all on different parts of me at once. Funny how amazingly different they all were…. And my winner?:d

    • I need to retry A La Nuit. So many people admire that one. It gives me the heebie-jeebies, I’m not sure why. Weird.

  5. This one did sneak up on me, too, with how wearably beautiful it is.

    Now, why are you dissing Pierre? That’s one of my faves! But you know, you can just stick with the “I’m still pretty much bathing in Courtesan every day” post if you want

    • Well, P, you know me — probably in 2 months I’ll be doing some forehead-slapping “what took me so long to discover Pierre’s charms” post!:”> In the meantime I could stick to the Courtesan routine… I like the Jade one a lot now, and I didn’t used to.

  6. Impossible to have too many jasmine scents. Well, if they’re variations on the theme that appeal to me. I adore jasmine and was *sure* I’d love EdJ. But I don’t. I like it. I *wish* it reminded me of horse stables. Instead, it reminds me of well dressed women at the country club (card carrying Town and Country types). It’s polite. Too polite for me. It also reminded me very much of another scent and I couldn’t figure out what it was at first, but then Cale posted on MUA that it reminded her intensely of Ysatis and it all clicked into place for me. That was it. I checked the notes for Ysatis and, although there are a hell of a lot more given than there are for EdJ, all the notes listed for EdJ are in there, including the patch, vetiver and amber. They’re not twins, but they are definitely friendly relatives.

    • Ysatis!?!?!?

      Okay, I’m going to cover my head in a bag and flee now.

      Ysatis smells … okay, it’s been quite awhile, but it was sort cheesy on me. One of those big-shoulder-pad perfumes. Lots of tuberose and coconut along with the jasmine. I’ll have to retry it.

      • LOL! Honestly, it’s undoubtedly doing very different and wonderful things w/ your skin chemistry than what it does on mine. This is probably my karmic payback for making catty comments about T&C card carrying types. I am going to start sharpening my claws w/ comments about people who muck out horse stalls and hope for suitable retribution (one can only hope the cosmos is unaware enough to realize I secretly love mucking out stalls myself).

        • Well, this is going to be one of those areas where our skin is just really, really different. I can STILL smell that thing on my arm (the Montale is long gone) and you would not describe it on me as T&C. I actually offered to hang my arm out the window of my sister-in-law’s car. It was that rank (for me in a good way) — she declined to sniff it up any closer but said across the space in her SUV the skank was working for her.

  7. I’m with Elle here. This was very pretty on me, but not much more than that. I want my stables!!:((

    • Wow. Maybe all my dirty bits wandered over from the Voilette? Or maybe the vetiver is just the perfect skank combo for my nose? It’s got just enough of that to counter the rancid banana-jam with something more interesting.

      • OK, you have persuaded me to try this again (next time I go by the Armani store I will spritz it all over me). Maybe I just didn’t wait long enough. But it seemed like the polar opposite of the Montale, which (I’m ashamed to admit) is the one jasmine I cannot wear b/c it seems just RANCID on me (not dirty in a good way–rancid!! But that’s another sad story). So I think we do have different chemistry at work here (and, of course, on my poor Voilette).:)

        • J — I am wondering if, like Teri below, there was something about the fact I was wearing it mostly outdoors in REALLY hot weather that allowed me to get more out of it than usual.

  8. Well, I don’t know, I don’t know…I guess I will have to wait and see, or rather smell, it for myself. For now, I remain moderately hopeful.:)

    • Marina, there seems to be a pretty wide divergence of opinion on this one. As I said to Elle and Judith, since I get NO dirty bits from Voilette, maybe this is my karmic reward. Here’s hoping for the Amoureuse-like skank for you:d

  9. This is rather wildly off-topic, but since the topic is jasmine….I’m sneaking it in. :d

    I had sampled TDC’s Jasmin de Nuit this past winter, and while I really liked it, it lasted all of 2 minutes on me. Just as a lark, I picked up the vial again yesterday on a 97 degree day and had a ‘eureka’ moment. WOW @-)This stuff RAWKS! Not only did the scent ‘bloom’ on my skin in a most appealing way, it lasted for hours. Just goes to show what you all have said so many times before. It pays to resample later.

    • Teri — I referenced your comment to Judith up there — I wonder if this is an instance when jasmine’s headiness smells best in really hot weather — which is counterintuitive to me, most big florals like Fracas I wouldn’t touch in this weather. But I know many people like big bombs like SL A La Nuit and Datura Noir in the heat, so maybe this is the best time for jasmine?:-?

      • Very interesting point. Mother Nature is big on counterintuitives (think drinking a hot beverage in hot weather to cool your body down, for example). I do know that there is sound physiological science which shows that our skin reacts differently to the same substance at different temperatures. Are there any predominantly summer scents that feature jasmine? If not, we may be onto a new discovery here. $-)

  10. I haven’t even given this one a thought. But…better than Jasmine Full in the summertime? No way! ūüėģ

    How’s the osmanthus in it? Can you detect it, March?

    Hugs!

    • Vi — I think you would really like this, although probably not as much as the Montale, which strikes me as more “you” in a hardcore-jasmine-jam way. But I’m clearly in the minority in my admiration for this scent. Again, I am wondering if I’d have been as wowed if I’d been testing Eclat in cooler weather? In the heat it was intoxicating.

  11. Easily the most favorable review of EdJ I’ve seen — now I’m intrigued. No Saks nearby, so not going to smell it soon in any case, but sounds worth a try.

    • R — well, I am in the minority. A minority of one? (I haven’t seen anyone say anything beyond “it’s nice.”) So perhaps I am destined to enjoy this more than most people, like Cuir Amethyste! But I thought the vetiver/patch base was distinctive and really contributed to the fragrance, and I did NOT get Ysatis. God forbid.

  12. I’m not a jasmin big fan, but I would love to try this one. Maybe it’s time to change…
    I loved your review.

    • Katia — well, I am not in general a lover of big, bombastic white flower florals, with a few exceptions. But now this post has me wondering if I should try more of them in the heat.

  13. Coconut! Aaarrrrggghhh…good for eating, not for sniffing all day. ūüėģ

    • Coconut is funny in perfume … I like the smell of, say, coconut tanning oil, and I’ll dab it on like perfume if I want that smell. But I can’t think of a single fragrance with a strong coconut note that I really like. Even Creed Virgin Island Water smells more like popcorn than coconut on me.

  14. goodie, another jasmine to look forward to! was hoping this might be good – as the others are. i do take exception to your description of pierre de lune, however – it is gorgeous and up there with iris poudre and 31 rue cambon in feel and class (at least on my skin) – the stone wasn’t wasted at all. now, if they’d just done a better job of gluing the stone cap onto the plastic inner cap… i’d really love the packaging. making them refillable is smart – they should’ve done that from the start.

    • Minette — I think maybe that’s my problem, I do get a lot of powder, and that’s not my favorite note. But as I said to Patty, you wait and I’ll be blogging in six months about how fab it is. I think my order of preference (today):d is:

      1. Bois d’Encens
      2. Cuir Amethyste
      3. Eclat
      4. Jade
      5. Ambre
      6. Pierre de Lune

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