Sunday, April 15, 2007

Narciso Rodriguez - Part Two

Calla Lilly B&W, originally uploaded by brianchapman.

Narciso Rodriguez is a quirky yet very wearable perfume. It’s equally mundane and unique. It can be easily dismissed as just another test-tube fragrance, or as a non-scent if you have musk anosmia tendencies…

Starting with a nail polish and a boozy note, Narciso may give off the impression of having barely any scent of its own besides that of the carrying alcohol. It’s light and bubbly as a just-uncorked champagne, and like a good champagne, it can become quite addictive once you become used to it… It's also a bit floral, yet there are no real flower notes there. Just an abstract suggestion of orange blossoms and perhaps even glimpses of osmanthus wannabes. The woody notes which are said to be vetiver remind me more of flour and rancid ground walnuts… A tad of light honey poured on skin and than licked away, leaves a smooth, sensual, faintly-woody and musky-clean trail is the best way I can describe how Narciso Rodriguez smells once it settles on the skin. When it settles on fabric, it may remind you of your favourite laundry detergent and fabric softener…

You may recall my struggle with Narciso Rodriguez a while back. I was equally intrigued and taken aback by its composition. It presented a challenge to me with its very different aesthetic concept: it radiates out, yet when you come near to understand it better, it slips away; a scintillating illusion of a fragrance rather than a real olfactory being. Perhaps it’s the idea of musk vs. amber that was intriguing to me. A sneaky yet alluring phenomenon… A perfume that radiates energy that cannot be tracked to the source.

Writing a review for Narciso Rodriguez was further delayed because I think that Cait Shortell
did it better than I could ever do it, so I encourage you to read her fascinating review as well as the interesting visual connection she discovered to the work of Imogen Cunningham.

Narciso Rodriguez smells particularly wonderful on fabrics (where it will last for days, but not in an obnoxious way like other, very heavy perfumes do;To my surprise, I was able to wear other perfumes even if there is some of it left on my sleeves).

The above review is for the EDT, which is my favourite formulation, seconded only by the pure parfum (comes in a roll on with a black cap). I stay away from the pink bottles in this line, and find the Musc for Her to be too persistent overall though it has its own charm if you are looking for a linear, long lasting musk oil. It's a scent I'll never be without.

Narciso Rodriguez was designed by Francis Kurkdjian and Christine Nigel, and won the Fifi award for Women's Nouveau Niche fragrance in 2004. I believe that this perfume embodies a landmark in modern perfumery and perhaps a new fragrance sub-family of modern non-animalic musky-florals, and will see many followers, in additions to some that we already smelled such as Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker and Ralph Lauren's Pure Turquoise.

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