Nelly Rodi Scent Factory Incense, Rhum, Cardamome, Cacao : Perfume Review



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. afghanistan/afghanart.php



  • parislondres: Hi dear V! Interesting lot of perfumes. Will need to explore this sometime.

    xoxo September 8, 2005 at 3:37am Reply

  • Robin: V, Your review made me put on another little dab of Incense to see what I missed. Whatever it is, I am still missing it. It reminds me of Diptyque L’Eau Trois more than anything else. September 8, 2005 at 9:33am Reply

  • mreenymo: V, these sound interesting, especially the Incense and the Cardamome. I want to hear what you think about the others.

    Hugs! September 8, 2005 at 12:11pm Reply

  • Sisonne: Dear V, your opoinion on the scents seems to me more kind than Rs, I think. As I already posted on Nowsmellthis, I´d like to try them, but I don´t think I need them. E.g. Cacao seems to be rather foody & I don´t like foody scents at all – they are nice, but they make me hungry & I don´t need that 😉 September 8, 2005 at 2:01pm Reply

  • Sisonne: Dear V, Please, don´t make me want to have it (= Incense) ;D I like orientals pretty much, so it´d maybe work for me. September 8, 2005 at 2:28pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear N, the concept is very interesting, that is for sure. I am curious to see what other sets they will present. September 8, 2005 at 10:54am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I need to try L’Eau Trois again, but I love frankincense and nutmeg pairing of Incense. September 8, 2005 at 11:24am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, thank you! I will post reviews on 5-8 tomorrow. I wish Cardamome would last on my skin, because it is such a beautiful true rendition, the smell of pods when cracked open, laced with lovely woodsy accords and a hint of citrusy freshness. September 8, 2005 at 1:15pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear C, I am a bigger fan of oriental genre than Robin, which might explain our differences. Cacao is very cozy, but I do not think that I would wear it that often. Incense, on the other hand, is beautiful, and I cannot get enough of it. September 8, 2005 at 2:23pm Reply

  • Tania: You’re so right—Cacao is totally a packet of Swiss Miss. Although I think the stiff, starchy little dehydrated marshmallows are actually there. September 8, 2005 at 2:23pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tania, yes, Swiss Miss! I kept thinking of Swiss Maiden for some reason. I could not remember the brand, but I know the smell well, because it is the only edible thing in our department cafeteria. I indulge in it often, especially on those long nights of writing research proposals in the computer lab. September 8, 2005 at 2:27pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: I am not going to tempt you… 🙂 However, it is a beautiful incense. I wonder where NR is sold in Europe. September 8, 2005 at 2:31pm Reply

  • Laura: Well, V, one can always apply and re-apply the Cardamome! Too bad they don’t sell the scents separately. Or do they? September 8, 2005 at 6:24pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, no, they are not sold separately at this point. I love the top notes of Cardamome, but they last for a half an hour on my skin, at most. Beautiful, but fleeting. September 9, 2005 at 12:18am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, no, they are not sold separately at this point. I love the top notes of Cardamome, but they last for a half an hour on my skin, at most. Beautiful, but fleeting. September 9, 2005 at 12:20am Reply

  • Sisonne: Dear V,
    NR isn´t sold in Europe – at least I have never heard that it is… September 9, 2005 at 4:58am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear C, well, perhaps, they will be soon. Check their website at for updates. I do not think that the set is a limited edition, because they are going to come out with more of them. September 9, 2005 at 9:36am Reply

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