Nanadebary Green, Classic Pink and Bronze : Perfume Review

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Nanadebary

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.

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30 Comments

  • Sisonne: Dear V, I have a different opinion, I don´t like the green one at all. In general, I don´t like green scents too much because in their notes, mint is often included & that´s something I don´t like at all.
    You didn´t mention mint to be among the notes of Green, so perhaps it´s basil or thyme which I don´t like.
    A lot of people told me that the drydown is smooth & soft, but on my skin it stays just green all the time – I was rather disapointed because I had high hopes in the scent…
    I like Pink & Bronze very much, Pink being more fresh & suitable for wearing the whole year through, while Bronze is striktly reserved for winter-wear because it´s such a warm scent, surrounding me like a cashmere sweater 🙂 December 29, 2005 at 8:58am Reply

  • Marina: For some reason all three scents do absolutely nothing for me. I like Pink the most, but whenever I try to wear it, it gives me a headache, don’t know why.

    Not on topic, but was reminded by your mention of Climat. Climat re-issued as a part of Lancome’s La Collection and the old Climat still sold on eBay- would they be very different? I am always tempted by those auctions, because the scent goes for next to nothing, even in parfum form. December 29, 2005 at 9:37am Reply

  • MC: I must have a look for these – I like the foxy girl on the bottle 🙂 December 29, 2005 at 10:07am Reply

  • Christina H.: How pleasant to read this today as I have just put on the classic pink about 10 minutes ago!It’s odd how you describe the plasticky note as I identify that now that you mention it!I totally agree that these are pleasant fragrances but nothing overly impressive at all.I have still yet to try the green one but I am in no rush whatsoever to do this! December 29, 2005 at 10:34am Reply

  • Robin: I too assumed Bronze would be a heavy, amber-y oriental — and for that reason, I never even tried it! Now I might have to, although like you, neither Green nor Pink captivated me. December 29, 2005 at 1:31pm Reply

  • linda: I tried all three at Barneys recently and found them boring. I don’t even remember what they smelled like. Meh… December 29, 2005 at 1:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear C, as far as being different, Green appealed to me the most, as Pink at first reminded me too much of other fragrances and the drydown had a disconcerting plastic sweetness. However, even Green is not a fragrance I would find myself reaching for much. It does not last well on the skin, and the drydown is a bit too sharp. Bronze was nice, but I was not that captivated by it in the end. December 29, 2005 at 3:04pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, Pink and Bronze have a sweet sharpness that I have come to associate with certain woody notes, and then I also smell something plastic redolent.

    I have a bottle of Climat parfum (in the old blue packaging), which I bought on Ebay, and it is just like I remember it to be. The reissued Climat is less complex, with a disconcerting synthetic note in the drydown. So, if you like Climat, I recommend searching for it on Ebay. December 29, 2005 at 3:10pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mike, the packaging is cute, although there was a problem with the bottle leaking. I hope that they fixed it. December 29, 2005 at 3:11pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Christina, yes, I agree with you that these are very pleasant fragrance and would suit many occasions as there is nothing particularly challenging about them. I just hoped for a slightly more daring take on these themes. December 29, 2005 at 3:12pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, Bronze is a gentle, white floral with a very faint oriental base. Definitely not heavy. I doubt that you will like at any rate. December 29, 2005 at 3:17pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, yes, I was not particularly taken with either one of these fragrances, although if I had to choose Green would be my favourite. December 29, 2005 at 3:18pm Reply

  • marchlion: I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I have smelled these recently — twice — and I can remember nothing about them except some fairly shameless pimping that Pink is Madonna’s Favorite Fragrance (aren’t they all?) Here it is: “When Nana de Bary, who has chosen Vienna as her home, developed “Nanadebary” together with the legendary perfumery Santa Maria Novella, she knew what she was doing: Pop diva Madonna chose the sensually feminine perfume as her favorite.” blah blah blah. I expected something edgier. I do love the bottle illustration, though. December 29, 2005 at 3:24pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, I read this once before, and now whenever Pink is mentioned, this bit is always added. Yes, Madonna seems to have a wide range of favourites! Perhaps, that is why I also expected something more daring. December 29, 2005 at 3:30pm Reply

  • Marina: V, thank you very much for your reply re: Climat. That’s exactly the answer I wanted to hear 😀 December 29, 2005 at 4:36pm Reply

  • cait: Hi!
    What a coincidence that you would review a green scent today and manage Vent Vert just when I had decided to write a tribute. I haven’t smelled these scents you’ve reviewed, but I’ve gotten carried away thinking about VV.
    Cheers,
    Cait December 29, 2005 at 4:57pm Reply

  • cait: Whoops, i meant mention, not manage. I must learn to edit comments! December 29, 2005 at 4:58pm Reply

  • julien: Very nice review.
    But i don’t know these perfumes,i am not even sure i can find them in France.
    I know they are quite interesting,like FIFI CHACHNIL,for example,but quite hard to find and smell.

    Do you where to test them in France?

    Kisses dear.
    j. December 29, 2005 at 6:44pm Reply

  • Patty: Thanks for reviewing these. I keep looking at them, thinking I should try them, but the overly cute packaging puts me off — too much cute, not enough substance. December 29, 2005 at 8:33pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, my pleasure! 🙂 I was tempted by these bottles for a long time and when I discovered that the reissue is different, I immediately went searching on ebay. December 29, 2005 at 9:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cait, the vintage Vent Vert is a fascinating fragrance that is simply unlike any other. However, the remake is not as interesting. It is a lovely green floral, but it lacks the verdancy that made the original so outstanding. December 29, 2005 at 9:12pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: No worries! I suffer from fingers being too quick issue as well. 🙂 December 29, 2005 at 9:12pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Julien, these are pleasant, but I was not moved by them. Fifi Chachnil is a much more interesting composition, although it is different. I am not sure where these can be sampled in Paris, but perhaps Colette might carry them. December 29, 2005 at 9:15pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Patty, the packaging is cute, and while I can see why others might like it, it is not my style at all. If the fragrance captured my attention, then I would not care, but as it is, I am not very tempted by it. December 29, 2005 at 9:15pm Reply

  • Cait: I am lucky to have the vintage vent vert in my possession and that’s what inspired my review. December 29, 2005 at 10:51pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: I adore the original which is green, green, green, with none of the floral elements that are present in the modern version being particularly pronouced, but rather they give a subtle accent underpinning the green accord. In the new version, hyacinth (esp. paired with the newer lily of the valley aroma-chemicals, which provide a much more realistic flower portrayal than the older ones) is a particularly modern touch, and it makes the final result rather dewy. In fact, too dewy to respect the rebellious character of the original. I do like the new version, however the original simply cannot compare. December 29, 2005 at 11:05pm Reply

  • Cait: Vent Vert may be my favorite perfume. I hope that I can still love the new one once my original supply runs out. December 29, 2005 at 11:28pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: I would recommend trying it. In general, reformulation is not a bad thing per se, and in many cases it is unavoidable. I also understand that when Calice Becker reformulated the fragrance, she did not have access to the commercial bases Cellier used. Hence, the reworking of the fragrance. December 29, 2005 at 11:36pm Reply

  • Cait: Interesting information. I will try the new one, and in the meantime, stockpile the original.

    On your original subject, an Austrian perfume house, I would like to see a perfume of psychoanalysis or a perfume of schnitzel. Maybe a perfume of pastry with finely ground egg yolk. Now that would be Austrian to me.
    Are there other Austrian perfumeries that have come to your attention? December 30, 2005 at 12:03am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: How about the smell of freshly baked apple strudel or Sachertorte, with sweet jasmine and apricot notes combined to evoke the rich layer of jam underneath its chocolate cover… I cannot say that I am aware of many Austrian perfumeries. Nanadebary is the only one that comes to mind. December 30, 2005 at 2:19am Reply

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