Nelly Rodi Gimgembre, Bois, Ambre, Rose : Perfume Reviews



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.



  • parislondres: Great reviews V! I would love to test No. 6 as that sounds like something I would enjoy wearing.
    Hope you are well.

    xoxo September 9, 2005 at 1:42am Reply

  • Sisonne: Dear V, after reading the complete reviews Incense & Bois interest me the most. When reading your reviews I always get a vivid picture of the scents that you´re describing 🙂 September 9, 2005 at 6:41am Reply

  • Marina: “…suede layered with sweet tobacco smoke…” I am tempted to order the whole set unsniffed if only for Bois and Rose…I too wish they sold them separately. September 9, 2005 at 9:47am Reply

  • Robin: V, I am so glad one of us got around to layering! Those are great combinations, although I still love the Cardamome all on its own. NellyRodi: please release an intense version!!! September 9, 2005 at 10:35am Reply

  • Sisonne: Dear V, your layering combinations sound very interesting, especially Rhum & Bois. I get more & more curious, though I know I won´t get a chance tot test them myself. I´m just wodndering if the rose fragrance is more of a vanilla-rose than other rose fragrances? I hope you understand what I mean? September 9, 2005 at 10:45am Reply

  • Sisonne: V, yes, that´s what I wanted to know. Thanks a lot 🙂 September 9, 2005 at 11:15am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: N, Bois is definitely very nice, soft and elegant, with just another smoky whisper to stand out. I wonder if Nelly Rodi collection can be found in Paris. Have you seen it?

    xoxo September 9, 2005 at 9:33am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: I am glad to hear it. 🙂 Incense and Bois appeal to me the most, because they are the least sweet of the set and because they seem to have more body that others. Moreover, I love smoky notes as well as frankincense. Too bad, the fragrances cannot be purchased separately. September 9, 2005 at 9:34am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, I too wish that they sold the fragrances separately. I would love to have Bois. Rose is beautiful too, but a bit too vanillic for my tastes, however cardamom is a middle note, so it only should last for about a couple of hours, or less. Rose, cardamom, and saffron are three beloved notes as of late. September 9, 2005 at 9:50am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, yes, I am with you–intense version of Cardamome would be perfect! By itself, cardamom is such a complex, wonderful scent. September 9, 2005 at 11:02am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: C, Rose is spicy, with a strong ylang ylang note. It is not a rose soliflore. Dry down is rather dark and vanillic. I hope that it is what you wanted to know. September 9, 2005 at 11:05am Reply

  • Tania: You ever have coffee brewed with cardamom? Now, that should be a fragrance! September 9, 2005 at 11:14am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, coffee and cardamom sounds like a perfect combination. I brew it everything now and then. Perhaps, I shall make it today. September 9, 2005 at 11:18am Reply

  • Anjali: Incense, Bois and Cardamome are my favorites from this series too! I wish we could buy them individually… September 11, 2005 at 2:35am Reply

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