Jasmine sits there looking all pretty—a pristine, virginal flower that, once you strip it to its essence, is really one dirty-smelling bitch. And while any jasmine-related fragrance initially goes on like a dream, inevitably it turns sour like a plug-in air freshener. It’s a flower that so many perfumers like to tack on to a formulation, and yet we’ve seen no one master. Until perfumer Kilian Hennessey (who’s related to the patriarch of the cognac company who passed away on Friday) gave it a whirl.
Love and Tears: Surrender, as the perfume is called, has earned every bit of the drama in its name, with an animalic jasmine top note that blends with ylang-ylang and other exotic notes. Creating the scent was so difficult, Kilian told us, that he almost gave up. Good thing he didn’t. Behold the world’s first successful jasmine in a bottle. $225 for a refillable 50 ml bottle with its own velvet-lined coffret at MiN and Bergdorf Goodman.