L'Artisan Parfumeur introduced L'Eau de Jatamansi this month. The new unisex fragrance is the line's first 100% natural, certified-organic scent, and follows the recently launched Jatamansi Body Collection. It was developed by perfumer Karine Vinchon, and the notes include jatamansi (aka nard or spikenard), clary sage, bergamot, grapefruit, cardamom, iced tea accord, Turkish rose, ylang ylang, patchouli, gaïac, vetiver, sandalwood, papyrus and incense.
I do not know if L'Eau de Jatamansi replaces the usual summer limited edition fragrance from L'Artisan this year, but it smells like a summer L'Artisan: a little bit of something spare and refreshing to cool you off on a hot day. The opening is lively and quick — a flash of lightly sugared grapefruit, replaced in short order by woody herbal notes and pale florals. There is a little murmur of peppery spices, and muted earthy tones decorate the woods and a whisper of dusty incense in the base. It isn't entirely linear, but nor does it change a great deal after the first 20 minutes or so.
It has a clean finish, and is certainly more bright than dark, but at the same time it has a mellow, almost meditative feel. There is little or no sharpness to the herbal notes, and the liveliness of the opening calms to something more gentle than brisk. Jessica, in her review of Jatamansi Body Cream, noted some affinity with the woody notes of Dzongkha and the peppery core of Poivre Piquant, and there is also something about the dryness in the base that reminds me vaguely of Terre d'Hermès.
I like it very much, and have a feeling I'll like it even more come July. As always, I am wishing it were sold in a smaller (much) bottle, but if you're planning to wear it all summer long, you'll need the 250 ml as it not only smells like a summer L'Artisan, it lasts like a summer L'Artisan. In other words, you're going to need to refresh frequently. If anyone has tried the Body Oil, please comment on the lasting power.
L'Artisan L'Eau de Jatamansi is an Eau de Toilette, and is available in 250 ml Eau de Toilette for $145. For buying information, see the listing for L'Artisan under Perfume Houses.