Violets and roses, lipsticks and leathery darkness, lip-puckering tart green apples and buttery sandalwood — these are some of the many strands, both classical and brightly modern, that Giovanni Sammarco weaves together in his latest fragrance, Naias.
Nobile 1942 is a line I’ve wanted to explore for a while, ever since I tried their boozy, whisky-wine, leather, immortelle fragrance, Rudis, in 2014. They have a rather intimidating number of fragrances, though, and I only managed to get through a few of them when I was sniffing in Rome last year, so when I saw Luckyscent had the latest release, Malia, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to test other things from the line. I was interested first and foremost in their Patchouli Nobile (or Patchouli Nobile Colonia Intense), but then I noticed Nobile had a new apple fragrance with cinnamon and vanilla, and I became strangely obsessed with trying it. So, today, we’ll explore a gourmand, a dark patchouli oriental, and a white floral oriental (with tangerine, neroli, and tobacco blossom).
I’m always on the lookout for a bargain basement gem, but they’re not very easy to find. So I decided to look at two newer releases from Couvent des Minimes, a brand with a very solid line of body products and one cult favorite fragrance, the boozy vanilla Eau de Missions. Their latest creations are Eau Aimable (or Cologne of Love), and Matines (or Cologne of the Morning). One of them is worth trying if you’re looking for a bargain floral.
EAU AIMABLE — COLOGNE OF LOVE:
Like many of the Couvent des Minimes fragrances, Cologne of Love has a few different names. The actual bottle says Eau Aimable, but Couvent des Minimes’ American and British websites call it Botanical Cologne of Love. (I’ll use both names from this point forth.) Regardless of title, it’s a light eau de cologne with an orange label that is centered on fresh, non-indolic, neroli-like orange blossoms. On its website, Aimable’s description and notes read, in part, as follows:
Botanical Cologne of Love gives a feeling of well-being and serenity. [¶] Thanks to its Original Recipe combining Orange Blossom, a source of softness, with 5 Plants selected for their beneficial properties, this exquisite, sparkling, scented water perfumes the skin with a soft and soothing fragrance. The skin is fresh and perfumed, the body is enveloped in softness.
•Orange Blossom: source of softness
•Bergamot, Mandarin: sources of serenity
•Wild Rose: source of hydration
•Nasturtium: source of radiance
•Petitgrain: source of harmony
An alcoholic harem master lies drunk in a pool of Calvados brandy in a seraglio made of amber, tobacco, and gold. A hookah lies next to a vat of booze, and wafts a fragrant fruitiness that mixes with the smell of musky cedar from the swamp which circles the harem like a moat and fortress barricade. Within the palace’s high walls is a small apple orchard dotted with bales of hay that are lightly coated with honey. In the lush gardens, exotic Indian davana flowers emit a tiny apricot scent, next to the custardy richness of ylang-ylang. At the palace’s heart is a courtyard where nubile concubines lounge on aromatic woody divans, dressed in thin silks made from vanilla. They dust their bodies with a light sprinkling of cocoa, as they nibble on toasted nuts and puff on a hookah. The sultan’s favorite, Leila, watches with a smile, glowing like a jewel in red and gold fabrics that match the stream of fruited liqueur pouring from a nearby fountain. The air is indolent, warm, musky, sweet, and filled with the smell of decadence, but darkness lies just around the corner. Slowly, shadows of tobacco and dry woods sweep over the ambered gold, covering it like an eclipse does the sun, until night finally falls over the harem. And, still, no-one bothers to help the drunken man collapsed in their midst. They all know what happens when you overindulge in the delights of the seraglio, or l’Or du Sérail.