Tag Archives: Frank Voelkl

For the fame, Nomenclature Holy_wood

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.

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A day in a lab, two from Nomenclature

Nowadays in perfume world synthetic aroma ingredients are a topic that easily ignites a fierce discussion. Some perfumistas claim that they only care about highest quality natural materials in their fragrances and that they loathe compounds of laboratory origin. It’s the same with perfumers and brand owners. They say they love natural ingredients but small amount of artificial materials make a huge change in a final formulation. They say in a poetic way that synthetics build bridges and connections between natural aroma materials. Some molecules became iconic over the years and that’s what served as a base at Nomenclature, a new project from Karl Bradl (Aedes) and designer Carlos Quintana. Each of 4 scents pays a homage to particular synthetic molecule.


Iri_del, shown above left is a fragrance centered around iris aldehyde (2-nonenal, here’s a structure). This is a pretty linear composition that I find quite futuristic and modern. This scent opens with a slightly ashy aroma of iris that very shortly subsides and turns into some more watery, aquatic version or iris floral tones. It smells very light, very transparent and lightweight. There is also something woody about it (in a light way) as well as slightly musky somewhere farther in the background. After some time Iri_del becomes a modern and clean interpretation of iris.

There are still some rooty elements that are fading away but most noticeable is the smell of plain linen fabric, or a cotton sheet drying in an open air. It’s austere and clean, with a light touch of aldehydes that give this scent that feeling of elegance and cleanness. I wouldn’t say that Iri_del is a happy perfume. It’s not. The ashy side makes me perceive this fragrance as more “gloomy” in some sort of way. It won’t make you depressed but it’s for one of those days when you need a steady mind and emotions just don’t come out of you. This perfume is pretty much unisex. If you liked Iris Nazarena, Iri_del is like a sibiling, but its smaller, weaker and more quiet.


Adr_ett, shown on the rights side of the picture was on the other hand inspired by modern synthetic musks, precisely by Helvetolide® – a molecule (see formula here) discovered by Firmenich in 1990 and patented by them in 1991. Composition of this fragrance presents a delightful aroma of gently powdered flowers and mouth-watering pear note in the first minutes. There is a lovely sweetness in the opening, followed by aerial ambery aroma of ambergris. Mild fruitiness of this perfume is then followed by a mild spiciness of pink pepper. It has an effervescent character on my skin.

At later stage Adr_ett begins to effuse a musky aroma. However this musk smells rather clean, similarly to Iri_del. It’s a little powdery with undeniable fluffy tone that makes me think of soft cotton balls. Tonka bean and vanilla sweeten the drydown phase of this fragrance, at the same time enhancing fruity facets of pear (and apricot in a minimal dosage, if you ask me). It doesn’t become gourmant but it can evoke some pudding with caramelized fruit on top. This fragrance is very ethereal and has almost no weight. After around 2, maybe 3 hours it completely blends with your skin – it becomes a transparent veil. It’s a pretty little perfume, I like its gently flowery.


These two fragrances from Nomenclature are the lighter ones. I find both as quite sophisticated and elegant. They are rather minimalistic but that’s absolutely fine, sometimes it’s good to wear more simple creation that doesn’t draw much attention. It’s just you and your perfume. Especially Iri_del was to my liking due to it’s clean, powdered character evoking a simple white shirt. Fragrances in this line come in 100 ml bottles shaped as Erlenmeyer flask. Iri_del was developed by perfumer Patricia Choux while Adr_ett is a work of Frank Voelkl.

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