Veleno Doré, part of LM Parfums‘ high-end Gold Label Collection, is lovely but also exceedingly familiar. It’s an oriental parfum which is initially centered around vanilla-infused, fruity pipe tobacco, laced with patchouli, enveloped in spices, then drenched in cognac booziness, syrupy sweetness, and caramel ambers. A tiny, early echo of Ambre Loup quickly gives way to major overlaps with Tom Ford‘s Tobacco Vanilla and Roja Dove‘s Enigma Pour Homme/Creation-E and a whisper of Kilian‘s Back to Black, except this is their heavily spiced, chili-flecked brother, and black cherry has been substituted for plums or plum pudding. Over time, woodier, drier, smokier, more leathery, and more woody-ambered elements replace the gourmand-skewing ones for a different twist on tobacco but this, too, feels familiar with echoes of other popular fragrances, like Black Oud and even Black Afgano.
Today, I wanted to take a quick look at four attars, Musk Rose, Sicilian Vanilla, Phoenix Amber Oud, and Yeti Ambergris, from the American indie brand, The Rising Phoenix Perfumery. Each one has something appealing or interesting about it. Musk Rose is a chypre-oriental-musk that was chosen as a finalist at the 2016 Art & Olfaction Awards. It layers several complex attar blends over a truly lovely rose bouquet that blew me away, and I’m saying that as someone with well-known rose issues. Sicilian Vanilla is a delectable, perfectly balanced gourmand-oriental centered on beautifully smoked, oak-barreled Bourbon vanilla with tobacco, singed woods, and nuances of black tea and autumn bonfires. It’s bound to be a hit with anyone who ever wanted a rich, long-lasting, heavy version of Aftelier‘s Vanilla Smoke or a good vanilla-tobacco fragrance. Phoenix Amber Oud attar would appeal to fans of Profumum’s cult classic, Ambra Aurea, thanks to its dark, chewy, mixed amber accord infused with smoke and oud. Finally, Yeti Ambergris attar takes vintage Mysore sandalwood and combines it with a famous piece of ambergris that was featured in the book, Floating Gold.
If you merely looked at the note list for Nuit de Bakelite, the newest release from the Australian niche brand, Naomi Goodsir, you might quickly dismiss it as a fragrance that wouldn’t suit your taste preferences, particularly if you’re one of those people who has an intense loathing for tuberose. On the surface and from basic descriptions, you might conclude that it was a highly feminine floral with a greener take on what is perhaps the single most notorious, polarizing flower around, one whose indolic, heady, fleshy, and narcotic aroma has sent numerous people reeling ever since Fracas was released decades ago. Tuberose may be my favourite flower in both perfumery and real life, but I know its very name makes a lot of readers shudder and that several of you avoid any fragrance which includes it.
If you’re one of these people, then let me say right now that Nuit de Bakelite has nothing in common with the conventional take on either indolic tuberose or floral femininity, and that you might be surprised if you tried it. From a spiky, herbal, vegetal green floral to a softly smoked iris woody musk to a unisex, spiced, woody tobacco-leather velvet (and several points in-between), it traverses a range of fragrance profiles that you might not expect. The result is interesting, modern, and worth putting aside any preconceptions that you may have about the notorious flower because, in all honesty, I really wouldn’t classify Nuit de Bakelite as a tuberose fragrance at all, at least not in the sense of a tuberose soliflore. At most, it’s tuberose-adjacent in its early hours but, afterwards, it becomes another matter entirely.
The alluring beauty of tobacco, leather, honey, suede, florals, spice, smoke, fruits, and cream are given captivating movement in Naja, the long-anticipated new release from Vero Kern of Vero Profumo. The notes move like circular eddies in rippling water or like a sinuous snake weaving its way across the desert sand, because this is superbly crafted scent. It is also one of my favourite things created by Ms. Kern.