Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Parfums de Nicolaï Pour Homme (2003) is a fragrance that defies all gender distinctions, being simply irresistible. Exploring the fragrances specifically designated for the opposite gender can be a fascinating experience. While the classical fougères like Davidoff Cool Water and Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir might be too quintessentially masculine for most women, many fragrances designated as Pour Homme can be confidently explored by women, particularly by those who would like a break from the voluptuous florals and the sweet fruity compositions. Thus, by way of example, Chanel Égoïste Pour Homme is a mélange of sweet woods layered with sweet mandarine cream. Le 3ème Homme de Caron is a dark smoky flower with an exciting, but subtle fougère facet. …
Gucci Pour Homme has a delicious smoothness of amber and leather foiled by iris that hints at the voluptuous quality of Eau de Parfum for women, yet treats it without the rich sweetness. Similarly, Ormonde Man is a perfect composition for those women who might like more emphasis on the resinous green notes that are hidden under the violet and jasmine accord in Ormonde Woman. Givenchy Xeryus Rouge explores the hotness of red peppers in such a sexy manner that it seems unfair to let only the men enjoy it.
As for Nicolaï Pour Homme, it conjures the visions of autumnal orchards, where the air is filled with the honeyed sweetness of ripening fruit, darkness of withering blossoms, and gentle smokiness of distant bonfires. Patricia de Nicolaï, whose unconventional creations never fail to delight, whether she creates a radiant white floral bouquet as in Number One or an incense laden vanilla like Vanille Tonka, once again presents an enchanting composition.
The mint shimmering over the floral lavender loses its sharp crispness in the almost edible sweetness of benzoin that fills the outlines of the composition as it unfolds. The chocolate-like warmth is a perfect counterpoint to the verdant herbaceous top accord, yet it merely alludes to its presence at first. The floral accord is underscored by the green rosy richness of geranium, which persists elegantly until it melts into the dark current of sweet woods and vanillic amber.
Nicolaï Pour Homme does not play by any expected rules of the masculine fragrances, with its herbs having a sweet floral character and its woods a honeyed nuance. Its complex arrangement of accords results in an interesting composition that would be perfect for a woman with predilections for woody fragrances. On the other hand, a man should not worry about experiencing an effeminate floral in Nicolaï Pour Homme. Simply put, it is confident, sexy and sophisticated.
Notes include galbanum, orange, China mint, lavender, geranium, jasmine, moss, amber, spruce, cedar, tobacco, benzoin and labdanum.
The house has several boutiques, the locations of which can be discovered directly from Parfums de Nicolaï. Fragrances and ancillary products are available online at Beautyhabit, New London Pharmacy. European online stores that carry the line include First-in-Frangrance and Senteurs d’Ailleurs.
Painting: Karl Brulloff. Italian Midday. 1827. Oil on canvas. The Russian Museum, St-Petersburg, Russia. From abcgallery.