Naomi Goodsir Nuit de Bakelite

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.

Photo: ukgardenphotos on Flickr. (Direct website link embedded within.)

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.

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Anatole Lebreton L’Eau Scandaleuse

Tilda Swinton. Source: Pinterest. Photographer unknown.

Tilda Swinton. Source: Pinterest. Photographer unknown.

Germaine Cellier would have loved this.” That was the thought that kept coming to mind when I tried L’Eau Scandaleuse, a floral leather that is oh so much more. It is a deceptively simple scent at first glance, but a closer look reveals a fragrance that cuts a swathe through different perfume genres and gender profiles to end up as an androgynous, genderless leather in a fashion that I think Germaine Cellier, the legendary creator of Bandit and Fracas, would very much appreciate. It also marries the best of French classicism and the Haute Parfumerie divaesque style with a radiant lightness the belies the heft and richness of its notes to feel very modern. The juxtapositions and transitions are seamless; the overall result sophisticated and bold. It’s a far better release than many things I’ve smelt this year from famous noses, but L’Eau Scandaleuse comes from a self-taught, former perfumer blogger which makes it all the more impressive to me.  Continue reading