There are some brands that have a cohesive olfactory aesthetic – we call this a “house style”. Prada has it, with its sparkling, fizzy iris theme at the core of most of what it does. Hermès used to have it when Jean-Claude Ellena was at the helm, when everything he created felt like a mineral watercolour, painted with delicate strokes (Nagel’s style feels more diverse). Heck, CHANEL has it too, with their flowers, aldehydes and clarity of execution. Narciso Rodriguez is another however, their house style is somewhat more subtle and is reliant on one key theme, which finds itself blurred into the genres of chypre, woody, floral and more: the theme of musks.
We’ve seen many musk-powered fragrances from Narciso, each utilising the materials to create a distinct sense of colour – usually a block, neutral colour. Their latest, Musc Noir, is no exception. It’s technically a flanker to their flagship fragrance For Her (a musky, rosy chypre) however, it feels several flankers removed from the original at this point. Musc Noir was created by Givaudan perfumer Sonia Constant and is seen as a more sensual essay on the darker side of For Her’s musks, whereas Pure Musc, which launched in 2019 (I never got around to reviewing it, but I enjoyed it) celebrates the lighter side. Comparing the two, they really are light and dark, and Musc Noir stands out as a unique entry into the Narciso Rodriguez collection. Let’s sniff!
I was a massive, MASSIVE fan of Narciso Rodriguez’s NARCISO, which launched way back in 2014. NARCISO was an expansive and abstract gardenia carried on a hurricane of musk, and it was beautiful, speaking in flesh tones of white, pink and grey. For 2016, NARCISO has been reimagined with a very on-trend injection of powder, mixing things up completely to create NARCISO Eau de Parfum Poudrée. What do I think of this new powdery wonder? Well, click here to head on over to Escentual to find out!
I’ve been busy on my Escentual column reviewing a number of big new launches. In this post (above and below the hump) you’ll find a round up of reviews including; Comme Des Garçons’ Floriental, the Acqua di Parma Ingredients Collection (Colonia Ambra, Colonia Oud & Colonia Leather), Dior’s Sauvage, Valentino’s Donna, Van Clef & Arpels’ Ambre Imperial and Narciso Rodriguez’s for Her L’Absolu. Enjoy.
Wow, what a whirlwind of a year 2014 was. The perfume industry has, as always, been nothing short of prolific in its output, with new brands popping up all over the place and the same big names releasing perfume upon perfume, and flanker upon flanker. It has, once again been a very busy year, and the hive of activity within the industry has meant that a great number of wonderful new olfactory treats have been unleashed on the noses of perfume lovers and consumers.
For me, this year has been one of great personal significance. In March I won my first Jasmine Award for my Guide to Violet, and shortly after in May, my best buddy and I tied the knot, only a few days before I presented an award at the Fragrance Foundation Awards. Then in August I was promoted at work, and in September my new husband and I headed off to Tokyo for the honeymoon of a lifetime. In short, it has been a fantastic year and one that will always remain truly in my heart as one of the very best.
To celebrate 2014 from a fragrant perspective, I present to you ‘The Candies 2014’. Those of you who have followed The Candies before will know that they are my annual perfume awards, celebrating the very best, and the very worst perfumes of the year (out of the 147 scents I have reviewed in 2014). Under the jump you will find the winners, losers and honourable mentions filed under neat little categories. So please, don your tux or ball down, break open the Bolly and take your seats for The Candies 2014.
[Also, please don’t forget to head on over to my dear perfume pals, Persolaise and Perfume Shrine, who are both joining me in sharing their ‘best of’ lists today.]
A few weeks back I reviewed NARCISO, the latest fragrance from American fashion house, Narciso Rodriguez. It would be safe to say that I was pretty impressed with the abstract musky floral and it has quickly shown itself as a perfect representation of the Narciso Rodriguez brand and the muted colour palette favoured by the designer. In summation: it’s pretty good.
For this week’s Escentual column, I’ve shared a few more thoughts on NARCISO, which you can read by clicking here. More importantly however, Escentual are hosting a giveaway for three 50ml bottles of NARCISO. If you want to enter, all you need to do is leave a comment stating your favourite fragrance note on my Escentual review here. The competition closes on Wednesday 16 September 2014. I wish you all good luck.
“Black, white and nude are my essential colors. Each time I start a collection, I start with these colors; they are the elemental colors we refer to from the beginning.”
– Narciso Rodriguez
Scent often presents itself to me in colours. I am not for one second claiming that I am a possessor of any form of Synesthesia, but like most people I’m sure, I often assign a shade or hue to a particular perfume or ingredient. For example, Frederic Malle’s Portrait of a Lady is the most shocking, ruby-like red, whereas 4160 Tuesdays’ Urara’s Tokyo Cafe comes out of the bottle in strands of fuchsia pink and dark green. Of course, a perfume’s packaging has an impact, leading one to think of a specific colour, and despite the way one’s mind may think they smell, it’s impossible to see a fragrance such as Mugler’s Angelas any other colour other than blue.
On some occasions the colour of a perfume’s packaging perfectly matches the shade of the smell it contains. This aesthetic and olfactory synchronicity can add to the overall experience of a fragrance, joining together the tactile and the ephemeral to make something that is ultimately more enjoyable. NARCISO, the latest fragrance from American fashion designer, Narciso Rodriguez is one such fragrance and it marries a bottle and a fragrance of white, nude and black to create an immersive olfactory experience that, even in its flesh tones, is distinctly colourful.
NARCISO, which takes its name from the designer and the Greek myth of Narcissus, was created by perfumer, Aurelien Guichard (Chinatown, Eros & Petit Fracas) and intends to celebrate “a woman’s powers of seduction with the utmost luxury”. It follows Narciso Rogriguez for Her as the brand’s second pillar fragrance for women and seeing as for Her is already considered as a modern classic, NARCISO has some big shoes to fill. NARCISO may be pale in colour, but does it pale in comparison to Rodriguez’s popular flagship fragrance? Only time will tell.