VINTAGE - Coty Jasmin de Corse Perfume
Year Introduced: 1906 - Feminine
Notes: Top notes of cassie and neroli; middle notes of jasmine, orange blossom and orris; and base notes of civet, ambergris, ambrette and benzoin
Jasmin de Corse was launched in 1906 and is an indolic jasmine fragrance with smoky undertones named after Corsica, Francois Coty's birthplace. It was produced from 1906 to 1930 and was never reissued.
This fragrance was said to be a favorite of both Grand Duchess Tatiana Romanov and the French writer Colette; both wore it daily.
In wording from a newspaper advertisement from 1925 where Coty assigned their fragrances to certain types of women:
"The enchanting fragrances of Jasmin de Corse, Lilas Blanc, and La Jacinthe translate the rare charm of dreamy, elusive types, giving out half-revelations of haunting beauty".
A 1926 ad reads:
"Jasmin de Corse - breathing of romance and dreams, poetic, illusive, stirring the soul to exquisite longings."
Chemist & Druggist - Volume 126, 1937 states:
"All the natural, haunting fragrance of jasmine blossoms, without the heavy, overpowering effect sometimes encountered, has been captured in Le Jasmin de Corse, which is sweet, fresh and elusive."
An excerpt from cafleurbon:
Long fascinated by the last Romanovs, I read and re-read what was then the definitive biography of the Russian royal family, Nicholas and Alexandra, by Robert K. Massie. In his discussions of the four grand duchesses, Massie mentioned their penchant for Coty perfumes: Lilas Pourpre for Marie, La Rose Jacqueminot for Olga, Violette Pourpre for Anastasia, and for my favourite princess, the elegant Tatiana, Coty Jasmin de Corse. Many years later, when I happened on an unopened bottle of Jasmin de Corse for sale on Ebay, I jumped, and astonishingly, bought it for around $60. When it arrived, I gingerly opened the package and found the bottle enthroned on its pedestal inside Coty’s trademark flowery box; perfume aristocracy. As I removed the cap, it was like awaiting the release of a genii. In a few moments, I would summon Grand Duchess Tatiana Romanov with a dab of a scent from many decades ago on my wrist, and the world would momentarily fall away.
Launched in 1906, Jasmin de Corse, named for Francois Coty's birthplace, is old-school jasmine: indolic, full-bodied, thick with nectarous blooms. But it possesses a unique smokiness that sets it apart from the many beautiful jasmine perfumes I’ve come across. How do I describe Jasmin de Corse’s development? I can’t quite. For me, there is no top, middle and dry-down, only a self-contained but sensual fragrance that wears like a wistful ghost and stays quietly by my side for a day.
Grand Duchess Tatiana Nicolaevna, with her grave, direct gaze, looks at me across a hundred years but keeps her secrets. Teasingly known as “the Governess” by her sisters, she was the family beauty, and the most poised and organized of the sisters. Unlike the ebullient Marie, mischievous Anastasia and intellectual Olga, Tatiana seems self-contained, a bit unknowable, even when her face is splashed with laughter. Her eyes never give much away. This enigmatic quality survives in Coty Jasmin de Corse, too.
As I raise my wrist, I smell a bouquet of interwoven, heady white blossoms surrounded by gentle tendrils of grey smoke, an illusion created, I believe, by orris mixing with ambrette. I imagine that it was this befogged quality, the smudgy grey edges of Coty Jasmin de Corse, that helped make it her signature, for this perfume has a quiet seriousness that cuts through its sexier qualities like the center of a storm. When you first get to know it, Jasmin de Corse is a languorous perfume with a tinge of eroticism, its quiet animalism purring like a tamed leopard. But as I revisit it over the years, I find now that it hides a girlish heart. Smelling it again, and waiting a while, I breathe in a virginal sweetness – most likely from cassie — that makes me think of debutante ballgowns and elbow gloves. It is perfect for a sheltered princess who wants to be something more.
My bottle of Coty Jasmin de Corse is dwindling. Soon, it will go the way of all perfumes past, becoming its own ghost, with elusive traces that cling to its cap like a half-forgotten thought. But for now, the rare times I re-encounter its unusual smoky beauty, its shimmering shower of jasmine flowers, its catlike seductiveness, I feel for a fleeting moment, that I feel what lies behind those serious almond eyes and ponder the woman she might have been but for the smoke of a gun. (Lauryn Beer, Senior Editor)
It appears that Jasmin de Corse was discontinued around the 1930s. We are decanting from an unopened, boxed original bottle of the perfume version of this fragrance from the 1920s or 1930s.