Jasmine festival!

Here's a jazzy trio of Smell Bent perfume oils ranging from heady to head-shoppy and hitting all the octaves to which a white floral can aspire!

HOx3 is a serviceable start-up jasmine-- fairly light, not overly sweet, and as faux as paste gems on a costume bangle bracelet. Its soapy synthetic quality is ameliorated by a nice fruity rose heart and enough patchouli-incense to nominate it for queen of the joss-stick wall at the local East Meets West. Towards the end it veers back toward artificial, radiating a slightly headachy rich sandalwood that bears no resemblance to real anything. But so what: it's nice that this fragrance doesn't ask to be taken seriously, because that would be impossible. A total beginner to the jasmine note might run shrieking from Jean Patou Joy, but not from this. As usual, too bad about the name.

The jasmine in St. Tropez Dispenser is supposedly a bona fide absolute; it can certainly benchpress about a hundred pounds more than the "jasmine" in HoX3, so maybe it's telling the truth. What a shame that it's been paired with a coconut so thick and oversweetened it could only have come in a can, ready to use in cabana-counter pina coladas. What makes St. Tropez Dispenser interesting is a phantom touch of cigarette smoke which hearkens back to the days when they used to let you smoke on public beaches. Think of it as a mashup between monoi tiaré Tahiti and Jasmin et Cigarette -- tacky, toking tiki fun!

Now Après Soleil is Jasmine with a Capital J-- getting down and deliciously dirty with honey and leather. The bad news: it uses the same sub-par sandalwood as HoX3 and the same gag-inducingly thick coconut-cream accord as St. Tropez Dispenser. The good news: the indoles in this thing have reached maximum chocolate-mousse density, inducing a handy retrograde amnesia when it comes to Après Soleil's less-successful aspects. And yet for all that weighty richness, this sleepy scent just floats up from skin as if it never heard of ballast. Of all three jasmines sampled here, Après Soleil is the one I simultaneously like best and wouldn't dream of wearing out and about. This is definitely a jasmine made for staying home and pulling down the window shades. What the neighbors don't know won't hurt them.

Scent Elements: Jasmine, rose, cumin, patchouli, sandalwood, musk (HOx3); jasmine absolute, coconut, aloe vera, vintage nitro musk (St. Tropez Dispenser); jasmine absolute, honey, coconut, leather, sandalwood, vintage nitro musk (Après Soleil)