Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
For the background on Nelly Rodi, please see Part I: Nelly Rodi: Incense, Rhum, Cardamome, Cacao.
Parfum 5: Gimgembre
Richard Ibanez of Robertet, the nose behind Les Parfums de Rosine Rose D’Argent, together grapefruit, saffron, red currant, nutmeg, ginger, incense, patchouli, vanilla, and amber to produce a sweet shimmering fragrance. The top notes of grapefruit fizz like a glass of champagne, before a wave of spicy sweetness begins to embrace the composition. Laced with spicy ginger, the fragrance produces not so much a sensation of inhaling the aroma of freshly cut ginger root, as biting into ginger candy. Its lasting power is remarkable, but unless one likes very sweet fragrances, the sugariness of the drydown overwhelms the spice notes.
Parfum 6: Bois
Bois by Amandine Marie of Robertet, whose other fragrances include Lui by Rochas, unfolds with a delicate spicy mélange, which becomes suffused in the dark smokiness of birch tar. Dark vanillic tinge of benzoin makes the ambery drydown rather sweet, although the smoky note that captivated me in the middle notes still adds its alluring whisper. The final result is of suede layered with sweet tobacco smoke and supported by smooth sandalwood and gentle musk. It is a very appealing composition that joins Incense as my other favorite from the line. Notes include cardamom, caraway, clove, birch, patchouli, leather, cedarwood, vetiver, sandalwood, amber, musk.
Parfum 7: Ambre
Amber by Dorothée Piot of Symrise spills into layers of sweetly pungent oppoponax and powdery benzoin. Dark, slightly truffled accords spell out the heart of the composition. When vanillic notes of benzoin become accented by sweet vanilla, the composition softens into a classical amber. It is a nice, traditional take on amber, yet its lack of tenacity is disappointing.
Parfum 8: Rose
Balsamic rose is my first impression from inhaling this fragrance by Dorothée Piot of Symrise. Layered with delicious resinous sweetness of cardamom and lemony pungency of coriander, rose notes radiate a pleasant warmth. A sharp opulence of ylang ylang swirls out of the rich floral heart, complemented by a subtle dusting of cinnamon. Drydown of the composition is saturated with vanilla, which obscures the beautiful spiced notes. Rose is comprised of bergamot, coriander, cardamom, rose, ylang ylang, mimosa, cinnamon, caraway, musk, civet, vanilla.
If I were to name a main qualm with this and some other fragrances in the set, it would be a lack of body and tenacity. My other favorite besides Incense and Bois is Cardamome, however it is so fleeting that even the beauty of the effervescent top notes cannot justify the frequent reapplication needed to experience them.
Layering: I experimented with layering fragrances, and here are some of my favorite combinations:
Rose and Bois result in a spiced, smoky flowers, layered with cinnamony darkness.
Rose and Cardamome makes for a gorgeous floral opulence ornamented by resinous sweetness of cardamom.
Ambre and Bois is a classical oriental composition, with heavier ambered undertones.
Cacao and Cardamome is a soft, gourmand blend, although the top notes are a bit odd.
Rhum and Bois is a spicy cream in the top notes, with the smoky and vanillic notes lending an interesting feel to the rum accord that runs through the composition.
Bois and Cardamome is essentially Bois with heavier cardamom twist in the heart.
Collection of eight fragrances (0.8oz each) is available at Aedes.