Tag Archives: Cecile Zarokian

Glowing Halo, Nishane Nanshe

When I was a school boy, history classes were a bit of a torture to me. I never liked memorizing the dates and places of uprisings, battles, wars or entronements. With one exception – as I was fascinated by the ancient history & old civilization. The oldest times there were to remember. I love mythology, studying about Egyptian or Greek gods. I still have a soft spot for learning about that era. When in late 2020 a perfume named after Sumerian goddess of social justice, fertility and water was launched by Nishane, I only had one thought in my mind – please be good and don’t disappoint.

At the beginning Nanshe smells of tart and acidic bergamot rind, a little bit on the dry side of the spectrum. After a minute or two it is joined by a tangy, fruity-citric scent of yuzu. The latter one is not overly juicy but it feels fleshy, plus the balance of sour & sweet elements compliment the opening so well that my mouth decided to get to work and water a bit. A tad later the top of the composition surprises with a mild vegetal twist due to use of the carrot seed note. It kind of tempers the first citrusy impression and adds something that feels moist, watery, yet in a tiny aspect earthy at the same time. Cardamom warms it all up, adds a tingy flavor and a grainy texture to the scent.

The warm feeling coming from cardamom lasts for a majority of this perfume’s lifespan however the form that it takes changes. At the top of Nishane Nanshe it’s textured, grainy, more compact. Over time the structure loosens up, becomes more spacious and airy. Through those ’empty spaces’ it’s the floral notes that start to emerge. Flowers with their silky petals covered with morning dew smell fresh, breezy and aquatic. Coming next are watery fruits. They are in the 2nd or 3rd line from the front, slightly more hidden in the perfume but when I inhale slowly I can notice hints of something that smells like watermelon or guava. The smell is intriguing and definitely not the banal kind.

Continuing its steady evolution the watery facets become less important and some more substantial flower notes start leading. There is a lot of rose in this perfume but describing it comes with a bit of difficulty. It’s not a pink, ethereal scent, nor is it a rich smelling flower with crimson red petals. It’s kind of beige, with some streaks of tan. I definitely recognize it as creamy, veering towards cosmetic fragrance registers. Jasmine sambac which joins with some delay gives Nanshe an intensity boost and while it doesn’t smell even slightly indolic, it does give a characteristic shift to the floralties. Ylang-ylang is what actually makes the creamy, almost buttery feel on my skin after few hours.

Speaking of buttery, it seems that Nishane Nanshe couldn’t do without iris and its generous portion appears in the drydown of the composition. It started on more creamy side thanks to ylang but when it dissipates the more silky and powdery facets come to the fore. The composition seems to lose that moisture and reveal it’s dry side as after some time I find orris to become more earthy and closer to talc in its smell. This feeling of dryness is confirmed through the woody notes. Sandalwood that appears is soft and subdued by the iris powder. Even patchouli seems to be stripped of its dirtiness and is incorporated in the powdery accord. The same happens with a fluffy musk note.

When I first smelled Nanshe, one of the two latest fragrances from Nishane that were launched in 2020, there was a smile that instantly appeared on my face and I knew I’d enjoy wearing this composition. It’s a complex creation that relies on subtle changes and I appreciate the fact that it’s beauty is hidden within, in its details. It’s a perfectly composed & well balanced elixir with easily visible skill and talent of a perfumer, Cecile Zarokian. I can’t omit the fact that I also like the tan beige color of the bottle and the visual. Nanshe is an extrait de parfum, it comes in 50 & 100 ml bottles.

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Satin Embrace, Puredistance Rubikona

In the times of global disease it’s the little things that matter, that help us hold on to remnants of our sanity. Perfume is that small thing that links us all, no matter how great the distance between is or how bad the times are. And if it’s a new fragrance from the brand that you genuinely admire, the spark of interest quickly ignites a larger flame. Luckily Puredistance still cares about written critique and I’m thankful for receiving a generous package to live my own experience with this new composition. With its name born from the junction of words ruby and icon, it’s meant to be an iconic creation that’s rich & intense, just like this blood-red gem. I often envision Puredistance fragrances as personified – to me each of them represents a peculiar silhouette. If Rubikona was a human, it would be a tall-standing woman in a tailor-made ruby-hued dress made of satin, so that it beautifully accentuates all the curves of her body. With warm personality, easy to make friends with.

There is no loud fanfare to announce Rubikona the moment you decide to apply the perfume on your skin. It’s simply not that type of personality to seek excess attention. In fact the composition opens with a faintest whisper of citrus notes of mandarin, grapefruit & bergamot. I know, you can see them among the top notes of every other modern fragrance but let me tell you that the refinement of Puredistance make it smell like nothing even remotely close to the hesperidic cocktail. There’s a peculiar feeling of something fresh and tart but it doesn’t resemble citrus when you smel it. I should also mention that these notes are so subdued that they slipped my attention a number of times. On me it’s the heart notes that lead this composition – their warmth is revealed in less than 5 minutes.

Rubikona with its grand bouquet of flowers has cocooning properties that cling to your skin and envelop it like a memory of a hug from a dear person. Smoothness of ylang-ylang thanks to its richness and heady, almost tropical character creates an impression of a pastry cream of top sort. A beautiful & sensual density is born from this perfume when powdery marriage of rose petals and slightly buttery iris greet our noses with undeniable charm & elegance. There’s a grown-up aura to the new Puredistance and the combination of these 3 flowers I just mentioned gives off a cosmetic vibe temporarily. I can’t escape this association with a lipstick our mothers or grandmothers would wear. Yet the fragrance is far removed from the boudoiresque cliche a lipstick note could cause.

Flowery accents of Puredistance Rubikona not only warm up due to one’s skin, they also warm up thanks to the notes that have been deliberately woven into the canvas of this perfume. Clove introduces a warm and tender spiciness to the fragrance that eventually blends so well with the floral tones that it transforms itself into carnation – a flower on fire & enriches the composition with piquant, somewhat flaming accord. This chord feels very warm on the skin and has its own dose of sex appeal. It’s a sensuality served in an elegant and poised way. Nothing is overdone here and each element has its exact place. As the perfume effuses I notice some airiness with a hint of orange blossom freshness here. It’s making the creamy notes lighter and more wearable. Tres chic!

As you can imagine (and hopefully you’ll smell it soon!) the floral accord of Rubikona is multifaceted but at the same time it remains integral at all times. Each element plays a significant role in the composition and were it skipped, the perfume as a whole would feel as if it was lacking something. Luckily we get to experience all of these various floral tones. It’s kind of like perfectly synced singers when their voices become like one during a performance. This multidimensional character can be also compared to a ruby that gave name to the new Master Perfume from Puredistance. The gemstone can be cut in various ways & can be given different shapes. Each will have a unique pattern of reflecting the light. But they are all rubies, just like each flower is a part of this accord.

Puredistance Rubikona mellows down over time and the individual aspect of each flower becomes more blurry. This results in a wonderfully composed accord which slowly undergoes some small rearrangements as it lingers on the skin for the next couple of hours. This enjoyable time leads us to the base notes among which patchouli takes a prime. I find this ingredient to be though-provoking in this perfume because on one hand it’s earthy, moist but then again it’s also leafy & almost soapy fresh. Definitely a couple of different patchouli fractions must’ve been used here. It’s elegant but with a wild side. Dryness that is slightly peppery reveals a cedarwood note that gives some weight to the composition. Thanks to it the perfume feels more grounded and organized, with good structure.

All those impressions created by patchouli and cedarwood give Rubikona a twist that make is smell dry & aromatic, in a similar manner the mossy tones are perceived. I might’ve persuaded myself but I think now is the time when I pick some bergamot peel going on. All those elements come together like puzzle pieces – new Puredistance is a finely tailored noveau chypre. Even the musky tones that appear hours later, bearing a delicate vanilla flavor fit in the concept of this genre. But unlike many chypres that feel heavy and that can give that weird aura of something looming in the shadows, Puredistance Rubikona has this unexpected lightness that makes it radiate solar power that is full of positive energy & good attitude. This gentle yet rich chypre base stayed with me until the day ended.

Rubikona, like any other creation from Puredistance, is a perfume that is overflowing with elegance & sophistication. All the key values of the brand are included in this intricate fragrance composed by Cecile Zarokian. It’s hard to believe that the 1st idea for this perfume was born in Jan-Ewoud’s head back in 2017. The main concept was changed a year later – that’s how it was meant to be. It’s a classy & chic chypre that has all the traits of becoming an icon of modern perfume art. The impeccable quality and 28% perfume oil concentration make Rubikona a very long lasting perfume. I could still smell it on my skin after taking a bath. This perfume is definitely more feminine but because it’s niche at its best, men can also wear it should he desire to do so. The debut of Puredistance Rubikona is today, October 15th – a new Master Perfume (an extrait) will be available in 17,5 ml, 60 ml & 100 ml flacons in ruby red color, presented in a dark blue lined giftbox.

Don’t forget to check out the blog next week for a chance to win a sample of Rubikona.

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