When Joan Didion, in her 1967 essay “Goodbye to All That,” wrote about leaving New York – like so many others have faced the pandemic – she was talking not just about the blue-striped sheets and whites, blackcurrant vermouth, and faded nightgowns, but also scents – two perfumes with accents of jasmine, Fleurs de Rocaille by Caron and L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci – which captivated her, even long after having abandoned the Manhattan of its 20s. “I can’t either, she continued, smell the Henri Bendel jasmine soap without falling back into the past…”
Times have changed, yes: in the 50 years since the article was published, Didion has returned to the town she once so famously renounced, and Bendel’s, the iconic department store in the 5th Avenue, has closed its doors, but the floral fragrance with white petals continues to intoxicate us, albeit in new forms: now, oils, spray, solid perfumes… incorporate jasmine as much for its heady fragrance as for its complexion-boosting properties. (Didion might find that a nicely wrapped bar soap from the famed Florentine pharmacy Santa Maria Novella would be a close second to the jasmine soap it once stocked.)
“To me, jasmine is the embodiment of sensuality and luxury in one ingredient,” says Allison Audrey Weldon of Sangre de Fruta, the mind behind a whipped body butter that gets its alluring aroma from jasmine graniflorum absolute. Indian. “With its aphrodisiac qualities, unique and unrepeatable fragrance and skin-healing abilities, it’s a dream ingredient.” This is the very reason why Richard Christiansen of Flamingo Estate, who recalls feeling drunk when he first encountered jasmine as a child visiting Florence, Italy, introduced a face mist. and a limited-edition body oil that focus around the delicate flower at its premium farmhouse-fresh beauty range. “The scent is so powerful and elegant at the same time,” he muses, noting that in the spring and summer, four varieties of jasmine grow on his seven-acre lot in Los Angeles, engulfing the property in a scent. constant and piercing. . “I even sometimes fill my shirt pocket with the flowers before I go to a meeting.”
Below are the best jasmine beauty products to buy right now.