Gelsomino Nobile is the latest from Italian niche line Acqua di Parma. It’s an ‘ode to jasmine’ (gelsomino being the Italian for jasmine), and it joins the two prior fragrances — Iris Nobile, Magnolia Nobile — in what is now called the Le Nobili collection. Much is made in the press materials about the particular jasmine used in Gelsomino Nobile: it’s reportedly a “Jasmine Grandi Flora from Calabria, Italy – one of the last surviving Jasmine cultivation sites, for perfume making in Italy”, and the “green and fresh aspect of this particular type of Jasmine gives a light and airy effect”.
I have not smelled that jasmine in person, but the fragrance, developed by perfumer Michel Almairac, is very light and airy indeed; in style it is so close to Magnolia Nobile that I can recycle bits and pieces from the review I wrote for that one:
The floral heart…is pretty, even extremely pretty. It’s sheer…it’s bright and lively at first…paler and woodier in the later stages. It’s very feminine and romantic, and it has a simple elegance about it, but in the end it’s too clean, too dainty, to appeal to me. If you’re looking for a light, clean, summer-y
magnolia, not overly sweet, it might be just what you’re after.
So. We start with peppery-fruity citrus, then we get a blended floral with a decidedly clean and dewy jasmine (and some just-barely-there clean dewy tuberose), then a light woody musk. It’s soft rather than crisp, and it’s gently green, with no bitterness. As with Magnolia Nobile, it’s smooth and polished and office-friendly, and despite the sheerness, it’s diffusive and reasonably long lasting.
It isn’t my sort of thing, really, although I didn’t mind wearing it at all, and I have a feeling that the matching cream would make a useful layering agent. I wouldn’t have called yesterday’s Poet’s Jasmine (by Ineke for Anthropologie) a quirky fragrance, exactly, but it’s awfully quirky (and jasmine-y) in comparison to Gelsomino Nobile. I prefer the Poet’s Jasmine, but Gelsomino Nobile is quite well done. It smells chic and expensive and modern — attributes that Acqua di Parma no doubt prefers over quirky — and it will surely appeal to many, including those who dislike richer, more indolic jasmines,2 and perhaps even some who like their jasmine straight up, but who want a more casual fragrance that they can wear out and about without fear of encountering wrinkled noses. Certainly it ought to appeal to anyone who liked the style of Magnolia Nobile.
Acqua di Parma Gelsomino Nobile features notes of mandarin, pink pepper, orange blossom, tuberose, jasmine, cedar and musk. It is available in 50 ($108) and 100 ($170) ml Eau de Parfum and in a matching cream ($80 for 150 g). For buying information, see the listing for Acqua di Parma under Perfume Houses.
1. The top image of jasmine was included with the press materials for Gelsomino Nobile; it may be an illustration from this book:
Along with the new launch, Acqua di Parma will also commission a special collector’s edition, coffee table size book, published by Mondadori, featuring photography and historical commentary of some of Italy’s most famous gardens which capture the true beauty of the noble flowers highlighted in the Le Nobili collection. This book will be a limited edition, dual language, collector’s item and will be available for sale on the publisher’s website. The title of the book will be ‘Giardini Nobili’ (Noble Italian Gardens), which highlights the signature Renaissance style of Italian Gardens and Landscape Design.
2. See the review at Style’s Beauty Counter blog; Celia Ellenberg notes that “…Gelsomino has made me reconsider my stance on jasmine, which is a feat in and of itself.”