If you looked at the old maps you’d have found a city of Ani, located almost at the borderline between Turkey and Armenia. Over the years the city has been grabbed and witnessed many conflicts between these 2 nations. Nowadays it’s just a shadow of itself, a ghost town forgotten by many. Today Armenia and Turkey are at peace. To show that in modern world there are no real boundaries Turkish nishe brand Nishane teamed up with Cecile Zarokian – perfumer of Armenian roots, to create a fragrance that cements this friendship but doesn’t forget of a turbulent history of these countries. In the collection titled ‘No Boundaries’ a scent named after the city was born.
Upon spraying on skin, Ani opens with a zesty & tart bergamot that has an aromatic and rather mouth-watering effect on my nose and taste buds. Its juiciness is rather distant and subdued but its there, staining the canvas of this intricate composition. I like the way bergamot is showcased here and that it’s not just a citrus on top of the scent. Ginger creates a fizzy and effervescent facet that combines tingly spiciness with this kind of lemony smell of ginger flesh. When pink pepper joins the composition the scent gets more intense, vibrating. There’s a hint of a metallic undertone to it but the warmth emanating from Ani keeps this impression muted and restained from going wild. Official press release of Nishane Ani mentions blackcurrant and Turkish rose in the heart of the perfume but to be honest my nose was not able to pick them. I didn’t smell a tart and bitterish aspect of the fruit or a lush & rich, red rose bouquet. I would be curious to know if others smelled them.
Going further into its development the most interesting and vivid part of the scent as I think it’s the base of Ani that has the most to offer. Oriental bouquet of the fragrance simply overflows with vanilla. But this vanilla ain’t cheap. It has a realistic and luxurious feel – there’s a bit of resinous darkness of the pod, custardy and slightly gooey smell of vanilla beans and a depth and booziness of a bourbon. Balmy richness of benzoin create strings that interlace with vanillic tones. It’s a perfect match comparable to how good caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream go together. Earthy & slightly animalic patchouli adds an interesting ‘noir’ twist to Nishane Ani, without being too dominant. Woody accords of creamy sandalwood and powerful, dry cedarwood add more refinement and sophistication to this perfume blend. Ambergris and musk give Ani its final form – that of amazingly soft, addictively intense yet unbelievably sensual and cosy amber. You’ll feel its warm embrace.
Nishane Ani, being an oriental fragrance, a resinous & vanillic amber at that, doesn’t break the ground of today’s perfumery. There are many vanilla ambers on the market. But what it does is that it masterfully combines the power and opulence of raw materials and tweaks them so that the perfume has nothing offensive but is full of gentleness. Powerful and gentle don’t come along so easily. Ani is a strong fragrance – with its extrait concentration a restrain in applying is recommended. Little goes a very long way. The fragrance was composed by Cecile Zarokian and is available in 50 ml bottles. I see Ani as a big cat, as a lioness – it can be dangerous but in the end it can also purr with content.