I usually have trouble with jasmine-heavy perfumes. Nasomatto’s Nuda is too heady for me and the same goes for Serge Lutens’ A La Nuit multiplied by a hundred. I admire the apricot inkiness of Sarrasins (also by Lutens) but it’s just a bit too cold-blooded.
From reading about California Reverie I thought it might be the sort of jasmine I’d feel comfortable in. The Candy Perfume Boy thought so too and kindly sent me a decant so I could take it for a test drive.
California Reverie was released in 2014 and is part of Van Cleef & Arpels’ upscale Collection Extraordinaire. It was composed by Antoine Maisondieu who created Jasmin et Cigarettes for Etat Libre d’Orange, which was sadly a scrubber on me.
Top notes for California Reverie are mandarin orange and neroli; middle notes are jasmine sambac and frangipani; base notes are beeswax and vanilla.
We are not talking about a big, skanky, in-you-face jasmine here. California Reverie is the scent of jasmine at a distance. To be specific, it’s the scent of jasmine caught on the breeze while driving a classic convertible along the coastal highway in the Golden State.
You settle back in your seat, watching the Pacific Ocean glitter to one side of you while the orange groves pass by on the other. You enjoy the feeling of the wind whipping your hair as you cruise along.
Freewheeling on a sunny day before the heat of summer has kicked in, you feel relaxed and happy. The wide open road stretches ahead and where you end up is down to you and you alone. For once, no one else is calling the shots.
You take a deep breath, filling your lungs with sweet scented air.
California Reverie opens with a cheerful blend of mandarin juice and orange blossom. You don’t have to wait long for the jasmine to appear though. It wafts in within moments of spraying, feeling light and fresh.
The jasmine is supported by soft, creamy frangipani which helps give it that carefree, vacation vibe. The vanilla in the base is very sheer.
I find California Reverie has moderate projection and decent longevity.
Like most jasmines, it’s a tad too sweet for me and I would have liked to get more beeswax. However, like several others in this collection (including Orchidée Vanille), California Reverie is a high quality fragrance which is very pretty and easy to wear.
I think it would work well for those who like their jasmine indole-free and wispy. Some white florals can feel suffocating or rather grown-up, but California Reverie takes an airy, elegantly casual approach.
It’s a dewy, daydream of a fragrance that would be perfect for spring.
Read Olfactoria’s mini-reviews of some of the others in the Collection Extraordinaire.
How do you feel about jasmine fragrances?