Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Describing scents in terms of colors is often one of the most compelling ways through which to give tangibility to the ethereal nature of fragrance. Translucent, opaque, white, dark are the adjectives one encounters often in the discussions of perfume. Indeed, some fragrances have a very distinct visual reference for me. Thus, Chanel Bois des Iles is burnished gold of antique jewellery, Frédéric Malle Iris Poudré is black with purple iridescence, Lancôme Climat is jade green of young leaves, and so on.
Therefore, it is interesting to encounter three fragrances named after specific colors, Green, Pink and Bronze by Nanadebary. Nanadebary is an Austrian based company that came out with their first fragrance, Classic Pink in 2001. Bronze and Green were subsequently added to the range. Out of the line up, only Green evokes the color after which it is named, being verdant and sparkling. …
By far my favorite from Nanadebary, Green opens up with a vibrant accord of citrus and sweet herbs, weaving basil around the richness of green leaves and lemony sharpness of verbena. The tangy blast of verdancy reminded me of green hawthorn berries, sour and slightly bitter, however quickly the brightness and the unusual juxtaposition of sensation softened, with the composition assuming a pale green character, much tamer and less interesting than the intial impression suggested. Underscored by the green-floral element, Green settled into a musky woody composition layered with a subtle green sharpness.
Classic Pink is not unlike a glass of fizzing soda, and like soda tends to go flat, the sparkling quality of the composition begins to vanish rapidly, revealing a plumy cedarwood facet that recalls compositions like Christian Dior Dolce Vita and Shiseido Feminité du Bois. The cedarwood possesses a certain sharpness that in combination with vanilla results in a resinous and yet pervasively sweet arrangement that simultaneously conjures the smell of pencil shavings and plastic dolls. Glancing at the notes, I would have assumed a bold, spicy floriental, however the result is a floral resting on a sweet woody base.
The sweet hesperidic whispers set the stage for the flowers of Bronze, laced with vanilla and cedarwood. Cinnamon lends a spicy touch, which cuts through the sweetness of the oriental base on which the floral accord rests. Reminiscent of elements present in Christian Dior Dune and Givenchy Organza Indécence, Bronze possesses a gentle, unassertive character, which, again, contrasts with what I would have expected.
The three fragrances are pleasant enough, albeit lacking in tenacity, however I wonder why the house did not attempt to aim for more daring creations. I imagine the green accord in Green amplified with galbanum and some of the newer synthetics meant to recreate the intensity of crushing a handful of green leaves and juicy stems, or accented with soft leather, or paired with rosy geranium and a chypre base. My wish is to have a vibrant green fragrance that does not resort to florals and sweetness for softening its vibrancy, but rather takes a direction of Vent Vert for an explosive, scintillating composition. Likewise, I envision Bronze with a heavier amber/oriental base, darker silkiness of woods or even a modern metallic note folded into its white floral heart. After all, the niche market consumers tend to be fairly adventurous and open to unusual and cutting edge fragrances, which may not be the case for a typical consumer of a large fashion house products. Simply pleasant, even if well-made, fragrances coming out of the niche houses usually do not move me, as the very reason I like to explore the niche offerings is to discover something new and unusual, based on daring concepts or juxtapositions of accords.
Nanadebary Green contains notes of citron, bergamot, basil, cardamom, nutmeg, thyme, musk, and vetiver. Classic Pink is comprised of nutmeg, coriander, sicilian tangerine, bergamot, lily, jasmine, sandalwood, cedar, musk, amber and bourbon vanilla. Bronze includes bergamot, mandarin, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine, tuberose, iris, sandalwood, cedar, cinnamon. The fragrances are available at Aedes, Beautyhabit, Luckyscent and Barneys New York.