Tag Archives: Nishane

Monday Quick Sniffs, part 64

When I recently got a new perfume to celebrate me turning 31, I had a chance to select a couple of free samples as a gift with purchase. I took some time to carefully select what I’d like to test as a bonus to my new flacon of L’Ivree Bleue. Two of today’s sniffs are based on those samples.

I haven’t tried anything from Bon Parfumeur before but from the look at the brand it seems they take a very minimalistic approach when it comes to their bottles and labels. Not only that but all fragrance names are numbers (random or there is a key, I don’t know) and they include few descriptives, notes featured in a composition. I made my choice of sample solely relying on these. I chose 102 which lists the, cardamome and mimosa on a pastel pink label. The perfume bouquet starts with a mild and brisk bergamot note that has a sunny and juicy vibe. It’s additionally warmed up by coriander and cardamom that both add texture & a faintest hint of spiciness. After a couple of minutes the fragrance starts to become more translucent as green tea accord starts to flourish. It has a watery, slightly tangy aroma that becomes more flowery along with the arrival of jasmine. 102 literally becomes a jasmine tea, a flower infused in hot water. It’s quite clean, blurry and soft, lacking any of its grand, indolic facets. Violet introduces a powdery touch, a mix of ozone, dew and floral powder. Mimosa hides in the drydown – it only adds a bit of honeyed sweetness and radiance to the powdery note, making it more like a pollen. It doesn’t stand out as much as it should. Some oakmoss and musk mark the drydown and with them the perfume ends. Stick to Mimosa & Cardamom by Jo Malone, I say.

A sample of Ege / ΑΙΓΑΙΟ came to me via a different channel, namely when a bottle of Nishane Nanshe was sent to me from Istanbul. The blue color of a sample box, same as a bottle if you had it in your hand, is very eye-catching and really invites you to smell. Right off the bat this perfume could be classified as masculine and more mainstream than niche. But speaking of the fragrance itself – Ege opens with a burst of yuzu, it’s an explosion of bitter, sweet, tart and juicy. It’s absolutely mouth-watering. Violet leaf adds its specific ozonic crispiness with a green, vegetal tinge and aniseed adds a tad of cold spiciness with a slight sulphuric inflection that almost immediately directs my thoughts towards a seaweed note. Heart of Ege is a kaleidoscope of green shades. There’s bright green color of basil with a scent that is lush, verdant and edible. Then there’s refreshing mint, kind of watery and cool and green cardamom that is sort of off-green and adds some spiciness to the fragrance. Through these notes the marine aspect continues to peek through – the smell of wet sand and salty breeze can be easily picked by the nose. The drydown of this new Nishane is built with mineral notes such as olibanum, which despite resulting in an incense accord also has a salty aspect to it. The list of notes also mentions licorice but I didn’t notice it, unless that’s what a slightly burnt sensation was. Nishane Ege is quite a summery perfume, ideal for vacations (once we can travel again), inspired by Aegean Sea. Somehow it fits together with popular aquatic fragrances for men like Acqua di Gio or Bvlgari Aqua pour Homme.

The only perfume that I tried from Vilhelm Parfumerie so far was Modest Mimosa. Because I liked it a lot (but not strongly enough to justify the steep price) I thought it won’t hurt to explore this line a little bit further. Many people at Now Smell This commented that they liked Morning Chess so I asked for a sample when buying a birthday perfume. This composition starts with a freshly sliced bergamot note, very realistic, slightly acidic, tart and also very aromatic & fragrant. After a couple of minutes a cutting edge of green galbanum pierces through the citrus and cuts it into smaller pieces. There’s a certain sharpness to the note accompanied by a metallic facet that stands out in this resinous note. After some time Morning Chess develops more density as the leather accord is unveiled. The brand specifically names it as Tuscan leather. I don’t know exactly what’s that supposed to mean but perhaps it’s a reference to the fact that it smells very soft, fuzzy, almost plush when you smell it. It’s more like a suede rather than the smell that could be associated with a new car interior or a pair of new shoes. The drydown provides a warm and comforting blend of earthy, slightly camphorous patchouli and resinous amber tones. It’s a very pleasant perfume but as soon as the leathery tones came to the fore I was instantly reminded of one of my favorite leathers – Memo Italian Leather. The one from Vilhelm doesn’t have that lovely sweetness of vanilla and Memo has that tomato leaf note that makes me go wow, so my preference still goes towards Italian Leather.

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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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