As promised, I’m reviewing a couple of Parfums de Nicolai today, a perfume house truly deserving of more love. I’m getting a little distracted by the Montale Cuir d’Arabie thing sitting over on a corner of my hand, but I’ll just keep ignoring that bit of… well, more on Wednesday when it’s up in the Fourplay.
Balle de Match — Incense and citrus. The top is the tartest grapefruit I can remember smelling. Mouth-scrunching tart perfection underpinned with a beautiful, understated incense. It never truly loses that tartness of the citrus through the drydown, which is pretty rare for but a few perfumes, the lasting power is very nice, and it is utterly charming, balanced between the incense and the tart. Surprising that someone could pull this off, it’s a tricky balance on me, sometimes almost veering off into a bad direction. Thinking this doesn’t work on everyone, but glad it’s working for me!
Cococabana — Notes of coconut, bitter oranges, ylang-ylang, tuberose, cedar wood and palm. Given the notes, and how much I despise coconut and island tropical fruity scents in general, this really doesn’t work for me personally. However, out of the islandy scents I’ve smelled and hated, which is most of them, this really isn’t that bad. Those that like island fragrances and don’t mind coconut will find a lot to like here. If it didn’t have the coconut, the palm and cedar in the base would make it work, adding enough to the ylang and tuberose so it wasn’t completely over the top with white lushness. If you don’t care for coconut, this isn’t going to work for you, and you can join me over on the “no” side. The Coconut fades, but true hatahs will smell it down to the last drop. I don’t think it’s one of the best things they’ve done, but it’s nice for what it is.
Number one — the first fragrance from the line, has notes of Egyptian jasmine, Indian tuberose, orange blossom absolute, cassis, rose, iris. It’s all floral, and mostly white, but just saying that really doesn’t describe it well enough. It’s not a white floral like Marc Jacobs, which I find to be too much most of the time — it is understated and classy with a casual elegance that would work for day or night. Don’t make the mistake I did of spritzing some Montale Oud Cuir d’Arabie over the top of it, thinking that could liven things up. Mis-take. Oh, wait, but the brakes on that dis!!!!!!!! The Number One/Arabie is getting really interesting as we go along. Kind of like when Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby and had that floral blanket put on in the winner’s circle, but they subbed jasmine and tuberose for the roses. Hey, don’t scoff, it’s a great contrast.
What’s your favorite Parfums de Nicolai? And a PSA for a deserving series that is coming back this fall. They have Friday Night Lights out on DVD for $19. Truly the best series I’ve seen on regular TV, and if you missed it last year, you can catch up on DVD and join the rest of us that are begging for this Little Show that Could to make it this season.