I long for travel, the delirious joy of standing in a foreign land, eyes wide as I take in an unfamiliar landscape, nose braced for the scent of warm sand or the aromatic sap of a sun baked forest.
But I’m marooned in wintry Yorkshire, in full Covid lockdown yet again. I leave the house only for work or a chilly walk in the hills. A trip to the supermarket has become the week’s adventure as I don my mask and brave humanity to make the heroic feeling mission for a loaf of sourdough and something sweet to feed my hungry stress hormones.
Having sold some of my lesser worn scents, I decided to cheer myself with the purchase of a newcomer. I’d been craving a whiff of J’adore for some time, but with the shops closed I was unable to take a good sniff of the different formulations. I knew it was a choice between the fulsome heady edp or the perkier citrus laced edt. So taking a blind(ish) chance, I ordered the edt, figuring it would zest me out of the doldrums.
It was the right choice.
J’adore edt is everything you’d expect from Dior’s fragrant family of Jasmin fuelled blockbusters. A glance at Fragrantica reveals that it may be a re-name of the previous incarnation of J’adore Lumiere, a title much more fitting to this light saturated scent.
It’s unapologetically feminine, with a grand heart of white flowers and a (just audible) whisper of lush Rose Centifolia. In its current form, it’s only been around for ten years, but it feels like good old fashioned perfume, that which existed before trend making buffoons decided to drown every new release in a bucket of sugary notes.
Not that it lacks sweetness, but the sugar in J’adore edt stems from buoyant citrus notes, with sweet juicy mandarin and bracing lemon that exist not only in the opening, but well into its wear. There’s a hefty dose of Neroli in here too, but the overall impression is that it draws from every aspect of the orange tree, woody bark, green leaves and sharp sap adding a distinctly Mediterranean nuance. There is an airy quality to the fragrance, not in an aldehyde manner, more like an ozonic musk. I’m reminded of the time I sniffed Galaxolide at one of Sarah McCartney’s perfumery workshops. I can’t recall what this synthetic creation actually smelt like, nor how it interacted with other ingredients, but I was enamoured with the name ‘Galaxolide’. It suggested a scent that could send you skywards, a molecule soaring into space
J’adore edt is all about sparkling brightness, a decadent floral that bursts with blue skies. The same concept was attempted by Chanel with the release of Gabrielle, an attempt to capture a younger audience that surprised lovers of the brand with its high pitched nose battering screech. J’adore manages to capture that energetic optimism in a thoroughly wearable scent. There are no screeches here. It’s as vivacious as the much celebrated Clementine California by Atelier Cologne, as ripe and sweet as Arancia di Capri from Aqua di Parma, and as decadently Jasmine rich as our historic scent memory of the original J’adore.
I’ve worn it every miserable morning as the sky spilt a barrage of sleet onto my endless commute. I drove through the stark leafless countryside, mired in a wintery gloom, knowing that it would barely get light that day. Yet my nose smelt a different landscape, one peppered with fragrant orange trees, fruit ripening under luminous cobalt skies. Whilst I can’t physically travel right now, my spirit has jumped on a plane with the joyful company of this gold tipped bottle of sunshine.