Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Nelly Rodi is a French forecasting agency, focusing on fashion consulting and analysis of fashion trends. For its 20th anniversary, the company commissioned eight perfumes from several noses, providing them with ample budget to exercise their creativity, limited only by the genre. The first set from Scent Factory is oriental, with fragrances in eau de parfum concentration including such traditional notes as cinnamon, saffron, incense, rose and cardamom. Having sampled all eight, I would characterize them as fairly minimalistic takes on an oriental theme, with varying results. However, as fragrance highlights a particular note, I would imagine that many of them would layer well.
Parfum 1: Incense
Created Alexis Dadier of Mane, Incense is a swirl of sweet spices folded into resinous smooth foil of frankincense. This is my favorite of the first four fragrances, due to its interesting rendition of incense. Although Armani Privé Bois d’Encens stands as unrivaled incense in my mind, Nelly Rodi Incense is a beautiful composition. The pairing of frankincense with nutmeg results in an almost floral chord of carnation petals caught in the wave of resinous sweetness. Supported by dark vanillic notes and cinnamon dusted sandalwood, the composition has a dusky richness that I find very alluring.
Parfum 2: Rhum
Olivia Jan of Robertet, the nose behind such fragrances as Tartine & Chocolat Eau d’Amour, Montana Eau Transparente, and Nicole Lambert Parfum des Triplés, is a creator of Rhum, a fragrance that contains notes of rum, saffron, nutmeg, styrax, patchouli, papyrus, guaiacwood, sandalwood, vanilla. The opening notes are reminiscent of inhaling rum vapors, albeit without an accompanying hot sensation. A note of medicinal saffron intertwines with the rosy smokiness of guaiacwood, lending an interesting twist to the composition. However, it quickly begins to attain a vanillic sweetness that obscures most of the nuances. It hovers over the composition, filling in the gaps of its filigree-like opening, until the drydown appears solid and opaque.
Parfum 3: Cardamome
Created by Fabrice Pellegrin of Mane, the nose behind Hermès Calèche Eau Délicate, Cardamome is the scent of cardamom pods cracked open, their vibrant aroma rapidly released. It recalls my forays into making burfee, Indian fudge consisting of caramelized milk, sugar and cardamom. Scent of cardamom is incredibly complex, encompassing resinous sweetness and spicy bitterness. Sweet balsamic cedar underpins the effervescence of cardamom, yet the fragrance is nevertheless rather short lasting. After sparkling and teasing, it vanishes leaving a soft woodsy trace behind.
Parfum 4: Cacao
Cacao was created by Dorothée Piot of Symrise, whose other fragrances include Andy Warhol Women and Men, Naomagic by Naomi Campbell, Love Love de toi by Morgan de toi. Cacao opens up with a rich chord of styrax, dark, vanillic and sweet. Earthy cloud of patchouli ornaments the composition, veiling it with an interesting sensation of dryness. As the composition develops, I envision a vision of a large cup of steaming hot chocolate. It is not Angélina’s chocolat chaud l’Africain, bitter, sensual and rich, but a hot drink from a cocoa mix minus tiny marshmallows. It is creamy, chocolaty, powdery and sweet, while being a fairly simple and linear composition.
See reviews of Nelly Rodi: Gimgembre, Bois, Ambre, Rose.
Collection of eight fragrances (0.8oz each) is available at Aedes.
Painting: Minatur by Azhar Hirawy in Persian style. www.cpt.org/ afghanistan/afghanart.php