1970s, California, awakening of New Age, the dawn of a new era in cinematography. Thus are the inspirations standing behind latest fragrance from Nomenclature that will launch in first half of December. It’s supposed to be edgy and luminous at the same time. I love how a perfumer friend once said that synthetics are like bridges that connect different elements of a fragrance, tie them together and turn into one whole thing. But how does it work if a perfume is fully made of lab-derived ingredients? I liked some of their previous scents like Shi_so, so I Wonder if I’ll like this one too…
Rose is the first thing I can smell once Holy_wood is on my skin. It smells very weird, very specific – I get the impression of something plush & soft but at the same time there is a dusty facet to it. Not even 10 minutes pass and petals of this ‘pseudo rose’ start to gain a layer of lustre. Once pink pepper joins the composition it feels as if a flower took a dive in liquid metal. Floral petals become metallic and spicy because of that. There’s a tingly sensation around it. This vibe keeps going for some time and it loses power little by little. Synthetic aroma material that is a core of this perfume is Clearwood. This molecule arrives after around 30 minutes & unfolds a wide spectrum of tones.
One time Clearwood reveals a rosy dust facet, the other time it’s closer to patchouli. In fact this Firmenich material is a modern patchouli fraction & that’s what I mostly get from Holy_wood in its heart. I smell earth, roots & moist blended with hints of rose from before. There is also that picture of mist or fog to the structure of this fragrance. My imagination sees it too. Interestingly there’s more transparency rather than dirtiness in Holy_wood. If you give it more time you’ll notice a sandalwood accord in a more dry, rugged version. There’s also some fuzziness of suede that goes really well with other notes. Bulgarian rose and jasmine sambac add little floral hints that blend with earthiness.
I like the ideas and the way of thinking that Nomenclature founders utilize in creating their fragrances. However in case of Holy_wood it’s hard for me to think about it as a perfume. In my opinion this one is more of a conceptual project – something to satisfy your curiosity, to discover how a modern molecule smells like but I wouldn’t necessarily wear it on a regular basis. Maybe you’ll think differently. Positive thing is that brand diversified their packaging, adding 10 ml travel spray as well as a 50 ml bottle to the portfolio. Frank Voelkl is a perfumer behind this fragrance.