I suppose it’s a bit embarrassing that Spring comes as a surprise each year. It’s not like Sydney really suffers over winter but we relish the opportunity to complain about the chill air, the bare branches, darkness dropping down to cut off the day without the merest warning. Then one evening, the light lingers, and the warmth of midday seems to become trapped against the earth, almost unnaturally. What is this? How odd! And what’s that heavely scent? Oh hiiiiiiii jasmine! That’s always my light bulb moment. And so it begins, that glorious mellow moment when the fragrance of blossom wafts around with the most amazing bloody optimism, as if for the first time. Of course, it is just a moment and the thing about jasmine that makes people crazy is not just its sweet herald. It’s the tension, a few weeks later, when you remember the end of last summer. When those fresh little buds start to ripen, and turn just slightly. When you remember the end of everything.
It’s the indole, that musky, sexy, almost animal scent of decay present in many flowers but particularly prized in jasmine – if you get the balance right. And that sweet spot between bloom and decay is a tightrope walk. Which creates a segue I’m quite chuffed about. You see, it fits in rather nicely with Linda Rodin’s tale of the creation of Oilo Lusso. The story begins with “I was in Europe with Laeticia [Casta] and one day we went to the health food store…” (that should pretty much be enough, crikey what a line), but to extrapolate, Rodin is one of the original slashies, a 60’s Mod muse, stylist, boutique owner and face oil mixologist who managed to launch one of the coolest cool-girl skincare lines in her later years. Rodin is at the height of her renaissance – she says more people want to take her photo now, at 60, then at 20. She knows the intrigue of age, and the lie in the simplicity of style. Jasmine has her heart, and it’s at the core of her perfume, a more intense delivery of the scent that causes swooning over her legendary face oil.
The Olio Lusso perfume is breathtaking and comforting in its apparent simplicity – jasmine, neroli, lily of the valley. No mucking around with cocktails of synthetic concoctions, no jarring contradictions. What Olio Lusso does is manage to catch those flowers just at their most beguiling, when they have just passed their first opening, but yet they remain for a little longer – when the indole gives them depth and beauty not attainable when they are young. The unctuous, rich oiliness of Rodin’s hero product is somehow translated in the parfum, in its sensual feel, the way it slides onto the skin, not in a burst but by almost relaxing into the pores. Elegant and intriguing, just like Rodin herself, who seems bemused yet unsurprised by her own late blossoming to notoriety.