After getting a sample of Jasmine Summer Eau de Toilette ($60) from Liz Zorn, I ordered it within days. I was smitten by the clean, light jasmine fragrance. It's perfect for summer days and for those of us who like light fragrances year round. Blended with the jasmine are notes of key lime, sweet fennel, tropical fruits, white jasmine, lily of the valley, coconut, plumeria, and the slightest hint of wild berries.
I had a chance to talk with Liz Zorn last week. I wanted to know more about her, and she kindly agreed to spend some time on the phone with me. Before I tell you more about Jasmine Summer, let me tell you a little about Liz.
Liz Zorn has been making fragrances since the 1970's. She dabbled as a hobby and had created custom fragrances for friends and acquaintances long before she started her fragrance business. She was a visual artist and painter; then she shifted her emphasis to our olfactory sense. Once she launched her company, her practice of visual arts began to take second place to perfumery among her passions. If you go to her Web site, you can find out much more about Liz.
Soivohle, or Art in a Bottle, was the first line Liz created. The Soivohle line consists of three distinct collections: Absolutes, her most concentrated essences; Demi-Absolutes, a high concentration eau de parfum; and the Eau de Toilette Collection. Jasmine Summer is a 2011 addition to the Eau de Toilette Collection.
Jasmine Summer sprang from Writing Lyrical Poetry, a Demi-Absolute that is a white flower fragrance laced with fruits. Inspired by Liz's grandmothers, who were strong, independent women who lived for their flower gardens. Liz wanted to do something similar to Writing Lyrical Poetry with Jasmine Summer, but make it more "approachable."
Liz said that Jasmine Summer is not complex, but I don't think it's simple either. It's interesting, light, and fun, but unique. To Liz, the key to Jasmine Summer is in its opening. Pops of citrus and tropical fruit lead the white flowers into bloom. At the heart of the fragrance is a little coconut. Liz said that coconut and other lactonic molecules can dull the brightness of a floral scent, so she used it sparingly as an accent. You won't smell suntan oil at the beach in Jasmine Summer.
The Egyptian and Indian jasmines are joined by citrus, a tropical fruit accord, and hints of cantelope and mango. They are not overpowering fruity additions. Liz used them with "a lot of constraint," diluting them so that no one note would overpower the flowers.
If the notes in Jasmine Summer read "divine" to you, it's because they are. What's most interesting to me, though, is that Jasmine Summer is unique. I have countless jasmine-based fragrances. Jasmine is one of my favorite white flowers. None of my other jasmine fragrances are like Jasmine Summer. It has that je ne sais quois essence that makes many of Liz's creations indescribable for me - one reason I wanted to talk to her.
Jasmine Summer is definitely ladylike. It reminds me of parasols, white flowers, and frilly frocks. It graces my body just as a brimmed summer linen hat would if white flowers were tucked into its band. It lingers far longer than many other eau de toilettes I wear.
I want to tell you something totally unrelated, but interesting, that Liz told me. She will be launching a men’s collection in a few weeks with two scents, Trancendental Musc and River Town Road - names she likes and had used for fragrances that are no longer made. The new ones are nothing like their namesakes. Liz wanted to develop new fragrances with the original quirkiness of the Absolutes that men have always liked. Transcendental Musc has an underlying sheer musk that runs through the entire fragrance, but the scent is based on orange flower and golden champaca flower. River Town Road is a modern spin on a bay rum scent. Liz used a Dominican bay rum that's rustic, along with a nice lavender absolute and lots of herbal notes. It's one of the her most complex fragrances, with well over 100 materials.
The Absolute Pour Homme Collection resulted from her customer friendliness. Even though Liz already makes fragrances men love, they usually want their own scents. Men shopping with their ladies often take a seat in her Cincinnati boutique. The Absolute Pour Homme Collection will get them out of their seats to sample, making the experience of visiting Liz a treat for all parties.
Back to Jasmine Summer, you can purchase a sample for $3.00, a 5-ml spray for $14, and a 35-ml spray for $60. I went for the largest size. It's a beauty. Head over to lizzornperfumes.com to explore!
Photo at top courtesy of Liz Zorn; Lady with a Parasol (1886) by Monet