Naomi Goodsir Nuit de Bakelite

If you merely looked at the note list for Nuit de Bakelite, the newest release from the Australian niche brand, Naomi Goodsir, you might quickly dismiss it as a fragrance that wouldn’t suit your taste preferences, particularly if you’re one of those people who has an intense loathing for tuberose. On the surface and from basic descriptions, you might conclude that it was a highly feminine floral with a greener take on what is perhaps the single most notorious, polarizing flower around, one whose indolic, heady, fleshy, and narcotic aroma has sent numerous people reeling ever since Fracas was released decades ago. Tuberose may be my favourite flower in both perfumery and real life, but I know its very name makes a lot of readers shudder and that several of you avoid any fragrance which includes it.

Photo: ukgardenphotos on Flickr. (Direct website link embedded within.)

If you’re one of these people, then let me say right now that Nuit de Bakelite has nothing in common with the conventional take on either indolic tuberose or floral femininity, and that you might be surprised if you tried it. From a spiky, herbal, vegetal green floral to a softly smoked iris woody musk to a unisex, spiced, woody tobacco-leather velvet (and several points in-between), it traverses a range of fragrance profiles that you might not expect. The result is interesting, modern, and worth putting aside any preconceptions that you may have about the notorious flower because, in all honesty, I really wouldn’t classify Nuit de Bakelite as a tuberose fragrance at all, at least not in the sense of a tuberose soliflore. At most, it’s tuberose-adjacent in its early hours but, afterwards, it becomes another matter entirely.

Nuit de Bakelite via Luckyscent.

Nuit de Bakelite is an eau de parfum that was released near the end of July. It was created by Isabelle Doyen who is best known and admired for her work with Annick Goutal. On her website, Naomi Goodsir describes the scent rather obliquely:

INSOMNIA
Addiction VÉGÉTALE
VESPERAL attraction […]
The premise of a
« narcotic lady »…

Naomi Goodsir doesn’t provide a note list for the scent, and the ones at several of her retailers differ in the ingredients that they mention:

Artemisia or Wormwood, photo via ebay.com

Essenza Nobile: tuberose, angelica, artemisia, ylang-ylang, karo karounde, carrot seeds, cardamom, leather, styrax and green notes.

First in Fragrance: Galbanum, Saffron, Angelica, Tuberose, Ylang-Ylang, Davana, Karo Karounde, Storax [Styrax], Birch Tar, Labdanum, Musk, Juniper.

Luckyscent: Angelica, violet leaf, galbanum, orris, karo karounde, tuberose, leather, davana, styrax, tobacco, labdanum, gaiac wood.

Angelica herb bush. Source: MedicinalHerbInfo.Org

Nuit de Bakelite opens on my skin with spiky and herbal greenness composed of green angelica herbs and bitter, Romanza-style artemisia that are layered with cold, peppery galbanum. Flickers of vegetal sweetness dart all around from the carrot and a very rooty orris/iris, while equally small flickers of dry woods and dark tobacco run through the base.

Moments later, the multifaceted greenness parts like a wave to reveal the tuberose emerging from within, but this is simply one more form of greenness rather than the typical floralcy. It’s a tuberose that is all venomous green sap, leaves, crushed stems, and even the cool green vase water in which the stems are placed.

Painting by Bernadette Kazmarski via The Creative Cat website. (Direct link embedded within.)

Combined together, they waft a subtle aura of the actual tuberose flowers, but it’s the sort of floralcy that is merely a side accompaniment to the plant parts instead of a true, hardcore floral aroma. This is not a tuberose centered on the ripe, blooming buds at the top with their head-spinning narcotic heaviness, fleshy carnality, and syrupy lushness; this is the very bottom of the plant, the stems and crushed vegetation oozing out bitter sap into cold water that’s been turned green not only from their essences but also from bracing galbanum, spiky green angelica, and bristly woody-herbal artemisia.

Nuit de Bakelite changes quickly, even if some of those changes are merely a matter of degree. Roughly 15 minutes into its development, the tuberose grows stronger and more floral, but it’s an oddly diffuse, cool floralcy that is primarily vegetal rather than anything narcotic or heady. It most certainly isn’t indolic, sweet, or fleshy. It’s simply a sort of tuberose “aura” that is more noticeable than the purely herbal, bristly, spiky greenness of the first few minutes. As the two chords expand, the small flickers of carrots and rooty iris disappear, replaced by a subtle spiciness and tremulous wisps of smokiness. The latter sometimes feel woody, like guaiac, but occasionally hint at a woody tobacco instead.

Bakelite plastic top on a 1960s vintage fragrance bottle. Photo: my own.

More significant and much more noticeable, however, is the “Bakelite” note. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term, it references a type of plastic commonly used in the 1950s or thereabouts. If you own vintage fragrances from that era, they may have a plastic cap or lid which is probably made from the same material. Bakelite plastic has a particular odor that is hard to describe but which you might compare to an almost aldehydic, formaldehyde-like, and subtly inky, plastic-y, smoky aroma. It’s the sort of thing that, if you encounter it, you’ll know it and it will probably take you right back to your high school days in the science lab.

The bakelite note is present in the opening phase, but its strength and prominence depended on how much fragrance I applied. With several smears equal to roughly 1 spray from an actual bottle, the bakelite was extremely noticeable during the first 15-20 minutes, wafting a faintly smoky, faintly aldehydic cleanness with a strong vein of science-lab plasticity running through it. After 15-20 minutes, it retreated to the background where it subsequently became more of a suggestion or “aura” of its own before fading away around the 45 or 50-minute mark. However, when I applied several smears equal to roughly 2 sprays from an actual bottle, the clean, science-y bakelite aroma was initially hidden, first by the multifaceted green accord, then by the burgeoning tuberose-stem-vegetation one. Then, about 45 minutes in, the bakelite slowly emerged from within the tuberose. The result isn’t a “plastic” tuberose, per se, not really or in a strong way.

In both cases, regardless of the quantity that I applied, the bakelite is more of a clean, minimally smoky, softly plastic-y, fractionally inky aeration effect that adds to the sense of a denuded tuberose that’s a semi-Frankenstein with its conjoined bottom parts (stems, leaves, oozing sap) glued together with prickly, mossy galbanum shrubs, spiky green herbs, and only a tiny handful of stray, sweet petals from the tuberose’s actual bud.

Source: World in a Bottle FB page. Original artist unknown.

What’s interesting to me is how the strong, central green accord in Nuit de Bakelite’s first phase is simultaneously cool and slightly humid, and how that split subsequently affects the feel of the fragrance as a whole. The vegetal quality of the crushed stems bears a certain underlying humidity, while the spikier notes (particularly the galbanum) skew quite cool. I think if the tuberose were accompanied purely by galbanum or violet leaf, then the fragrance would harken back to the classic green scents of yore, like Chanel‘s cold, haughty No. 19. Instead, the crushed stems, leaves, and humid green vase water quietly echo the strains of Annick Goutal‘s Grand Amour for me. I’m not saying that Nuit de Bakelite smells similar, because it most certainly does not, but both fragrances share this strong vegetal humid quality running through their completely different takes on floralcy.

Photo: Brian Miller at Miller Enterprises or Millerx. (Direct website link embedded within.)

Nuit de Bakelite’s second stage begins roughly 1.75 hours into its development. The notes melt into an amorphous blur of cool, leafy floral greenness with only a vaguely tuberose-ish quality buried within. The flower is even more of an aura than it was in its first 15 minutes. Equally insubstantial is what the “Bakelite” has turned into: a sort of clean lift that isn’t aldehydic or plastic-y, but an impressionistic amalgamation of the two. The greenness is just as abstract. It’s no longer spiky and most definitely not powerfully herbal. To the extent that anything is clear, I suppose it’s the violet leaf which emanates a simple green sharpness. The overall effect nods to the old vintage green scents of the past, like, say, Chanel No. 19, but it’s only a small, passing nod because Nuit de Bakelite still isn’t clean, cold, or cutting; it’s less sharp, more vegetal. Its floralcy may be more faceless than it was initially, but it’s not the same sort of clean iris-like aroma that appears in scents like No. 19. There is just enough of a hint of tuberose that lingers on, impressionistic though it may be.

Photo: The Biking Gardener. (Direct website link embedded within.)

Roughly 3.25 hours, a new element appears within the abstract washes of green, although it’s as impressionistic and shapeless as everything else. It’s a nebulous cool, ashy iris reminiscent of the one in Naomi Goodsir‘s Iris Cendré, wrapped around vapors of smoke but always suffused within the larger cloud of greenness. Unlike Iris Cendré, however, the ash is minimal, the smokiness is muted, the campfire smoke vibe is nonexistent, and the iris’ surrounding greenness isn’t driven by sharp, citrusy violet leaf but the more humid, spikier, and herbal vegetation that I’ve already described. At first, the iris is a mere nub at their center, but the balance of notes gradually shifts, the greenness slowly recedes away, and a new scent profile takes over when Nuit de Bakelite enters its third stage towards the end of the 4th hour. In essence, the fragrance suddenly turns into an iris-y woody floral infused with guaiac wood, wood smoke, clean orris, and just a lingering touch of greenness.

Source: ghulmil.com

The guaiac is my favourite part. Some types of guaiac smell like dried leaves being singed or burnt in an autumn bonfire. I don’t encounter it often, since the more intensely smoky, leathery, forest fire style of guaiac seems to be more prevalent, but the autumn leaves and wood smoke variety is the most appealing sort for me and, here, it’s on full display in Nuit de Bakelite.

If I had to guess the breakdown of notes at this stage, I’d estimate that:

  • 75% of the bouquet was woody guaiac infused with an ashy iris;
  • 10% was greenness with an occasional ghostly flicker of a vaguely tuberose-ish whiteness buried deep within;
  • 10% was clean musk; and
  • 5% was something suggesting a rather woody tobacco.

Catherine Jeltes, “Modern Brown Abstract Painting WinterScape.” Etsy Store, GalleryZooArt. (Direct website link embedded within.)

Roughly 5 hours in, all final traces of tuberose-flecked greenness disappear, and Nuit de Bakelite dissolves into a lightly smoked, clean floral-woody musk. There is wood smoke, guaiac singed leaves, some clean abstract floralcy (that is so abstract, it’s completely unidentifiable to me, not even as iris), musk, and the merest hint of tobacco.

One thing that I’ve noticed about a number of the recent Naomi Goodsir releases is that they have a very nebulous, amorphous shapelessness after their opening stage, and Nuit de Bakelite is no exception. It began to go blurry about 1.75 hours in, turned quite abstract at the 2.5 hour mark, then changed to a different sort of impressionistic blur in its subsequent short stages before ending up with this woody musk at the start of the 5th hour.

As time goes by, the woody bouquet shifts a little in its nuances. It grows quietly spicier with glimmers of saffron and something that is perhaps a little clove-ish in character, but it’s difficult to pinpoint the notes because the musk-like element is growing at the same time. By the start of the 6th hour, it fuses with the guaiac and turns everything into a blur without a wide range of nuances or much character.

Source: Shutterstock.

The clean, quietly iris-y, floral woody musk eventually transitions into something more interesting when the drydown begins roughly 7.25 hours into Nuit de Bakelite’s development. In essence, the white musk retreats to the background, and the fragrance turns into a spicier, tobacco-centric woodiness. The dry, lightly spiced, woody, tobacco works really nicely with the saffron, guaiac, wood smoke, and the subtle undercurrents of labdanum resin and buttery leather running below. It’s a much less one-dimensional, flat, and bland bouquet than the previous one, although I wouldn’t call it riveting or head-turning. It’s simply nice.

What’s really appealing and lovely, however, is the second part of the drydown. This is full-on tobacco, albeit with leather and amber accompaniments. The tobacco is dusted with sweet saffron spiciness (possibly with a drop of clove and/or nutmeg as well?), licked by autumnal wood smoke, then spread across a thin layer of highly refined, buttery leather. The whole thing is then enveloped within a cloud of labdanum amber that wafts tiny trails of honeyed beeswax. Everything about the bouquet feels plush in texture, half velvety, half creamy, but all of it is warm, inviting, and cozy.

Source: wallpaperswa.com

It’s a whole scent galaxy away from the spiky, herbal, crushed vegetation greenness of the opening, so much so that it feels almost as if that were another fragrance entirely. I actually liked the opening tuberose-adjacent bouquet and it kept my interest with its very atypical approach to tuberose, but I confess I shrugged my way through the transitional middle phases and wasn’t impressed. This final stage to the drydown, however, is thoroughly enjoyable and what I categorize as a “cozy comfort” scent. In this case, spiced tobacco velvet infused with silky soft leather, then coated with an almost creamy labdanum amber. It starts roughly 9.25 hours into Nuit de Bakelite’s development and lasts for a number of hours before the fragrance finally dies away as a wisp of sweet, spicy goldenness.

Nuit de Bakelite had good longevity, soft projection, and initially strong sillage. Using several big smears equal to roughly 2 sprays from an actual bottle, the fragrance opened with about 3 inches of projection and about 4 inches of sillage. However, the latter grew to about 6-7 inches after 30-40 minutes once the tuberose kicked in more profoundly. The numbers dropped very incrementally over the next 3 hours. Roughly 3.75 to 4 hours in, the projection was 0.5 to 1 inch, while the scent trail extended about 2.5 inches, unless I moved in which case it suddenly expanded before dropping back down 10 minutes later. Nuit de Bakelite became a skin scent in the middle of the 6th hour, but it was easy to detect up close and without any significant effort until the 10th hour. In total, it lasted just shy of 14 hours.

Nuit de Bakelite is too new for there to be a ton of reviews at this time, but there are a few. In a Basenotes discussion thread on the fragrance’s release, the one person who had tried it, “StellaFlynnDiver,” loved Nuit de Bakelite, finding it a richer scent than past Naomi Goodsirs and bearing a vintage feel. Contrary to what she had expected, it wasn’t a tuberose soliflore but a green fragrance that turned into a floral leather chypre. She wrote:

I’ve only worn it a handful of times and am still trying to figure it out. Although I don’t recall the smell of bakelite, so far I haven’t detected any screechy plastic note.

I was expecting a tuberose soliflore, albeit a green one judging from the press release, which turned out, nope, not at all. Nothing buttery or camphorous like in most tuberose soliflore. Instead, it smells more like a green floral or floral leather chypre to me, and the tuberose here is in chameleon mode like how narcissus and jasmine blend in floral chypre.

It opens with bitter green galbanum, and when the floral heart soon joins in, it reminds me of the galbanum/green-naricussus pairing in Papillon Dryad and Masque Romanza. Later on, when the galbanum is more subdued, it dries down into a mossy floral chypre with a subtle leather and immortelle/tobacco undertone. The leather recalls the Bandit-style green type, but much much less butcher. The closest perfume to NdB’s dry down that I can think of is Zoologist Civet, but Nuit de Bakélite exhibits more green nuances.

So far, I love it! I find it much richer in composition than the previous four Naomi Goodsir fragrances. Nuit de Bakélite feels vintage to me, while I would argue that the sleek aesthetics of the other four, lovely as they are, align better with that of modern niche. I think it’s a very successful perfume to revamp the vintage green floral and chypre like Dryad does, well worths a try! [Emphasis to names and bolding added by me.]

Source: fineleatherworking.com

Nuit de Bakelite also exhibited a leather heart for the one Fragrantica reviewer thus far. “YolkMedusa” says she isn’t a fan of leather fragrances, so the scent wasn’t her thing but she called it “original,” “well-done” and “unique”:

Big green notes, but the heart is a nicely balanced spicy, peppery leather. [¶] The leather is high-quality and modern. While the leather note takes the main role, composition-wise, it’s a mild/modern leather. (I.e. not a sinus-destroying vintage/vintage-inspired monster… Sorry to hate on vintagey leather frags but fwiw).

Original and well-done. I definitely get the faint herbal tinge of the whole composition as well. [¶] Not to my tastes (I’ve been off all leathers lately, even lovely ones like this). Again, a very unique and well-done frag nonetheless.

For Mark Behnke of Colognoisseur, Nuit de Bakelite seems to have followed a path similar to the one that I experienced. He writes that it started out as a stem-and-sap tuberose fragrance paired with a green accord of angelic and galbanum infused with the “faux-aldehydic lift” of bakelite. The scent then transitioned to a more “floral heart” of tuberose that had been “essentially scrubbed clean of the indoles.” Orris tempered things further. “Over time a base of leather and tobacco provide the final brushstrokes.” I’ll let you read the full review on your own if you’re interested, but he basically summed up Nuit de Bakelite as “a modern retelling of a vintage era.” He was a big fan.

As these accounts should hopefully make clear, Nuit de Bakelite is hardly Fracas or the indolic, heady, fleshy, and carnal scent that so many people think of when they hear the word “tuberose.” As “StellaFlynnDiver” wrote, the tuberose is a “chameleon,” and the fragrance falls into the green, retro chypre, and tobacco-leather genres rather than the feminine, floral soliflore one. I like to think of the opening phase as tuberose-adjacent with a semi-Frankenstein quality made up of “limbs” that are typically discarded in conventional tuberose fragrances: the vegetation, stems, bitter sap, and even the cool vase water in which the flowers might be placed. Sure, there are a handful of the sweet petals strewn on top of the accompanying galbanum-artemisia-angelic cloud, but they’re hardly the indolic, ripe, lush, heated, drug-like aroma of the proper flower in bloom.

While I love the latter, this version has an appealing elegance and is an approachable take on the old vintage green scents of yore. The middle phases of Nuit de Bakelite did nothing for me and I’m not a fan of the modern approach of abstract impressionism and broad, shapeless brushstrokes as a perfume structure, but the snuggly drydown was lovely, thoroughly enjoyable, and worth having a bit of patience.

In short, if you’ve always hated tuberose fragrances, then perhaps this might be the one to make you change your mind.

Disclosure: My sample was provided courtesy of Luckyscent. That did not impact this review. I do not do paid reviews, and my opinions are my own.

DETAILS:
Cost & Availability: Nuit de Bakelite is an eau de parfum that is available only in a 50 ml size and costs $187, €125, or £110. In the U.S.: you can find it at Luckyscent, Portland’s Fumerie, NY’s Aedes and MIN, SF’s Tigerlily, and a few other retailers. Outside the U.S.: In Canada, Montreal’s Tozzi carries Naomi Goodsir, but Nuit de Bakelite is not listed on their website at the time of this review. In the U.K., it’s available at London’s Anatomie. In Europe, you can find it at First in Fragrance, Essenza Nobile, Paris’ Nose, the NL’s Skins, and Italy’s Neos1911, Alla Violetta, and Sacro Cuore. Hungary’s Neroli and France’s Premiere Avenue carry a few Naomi Goodsir fragrances, but neither one shows Nuit de Bakelite at the time of this review. In the Netherlands, ParfuMaria no longer shows the brand on their website. In Belgium, Kroonen & Brown carries the line. Australia’s Peony Melbourne has Nuit de Bakelite. In the UAE, Villa 515 in Dubai carries the line. For additional retailers within these countries as well as shops from Spain to Japan, Denmark, Scotland, Beirut, Riyadh, Korea, Kiev, and Romania, you can use the Naomi Goodsir Retailers list to find a vendor near you. Samples: Several of the sites listed here sell samples. In the US, samples at Luckyscent and Fumerie are $4. The decanting service Surrender to Chance sells Nuit de Bakelite starting at $5.99 for a 1/2 ml vial.

32 thoughts on “Naomi Goodsir Nuit de Bakelite

  1. When I first tried this with a dabber I got a barely smokey nothing. Tonight I dumped the tiny vial on my wrists and my person and I both couldn’t stand it for long, although maybe if I’d been able to wait it out I’d have gotten somewhere better. I’ve become much more tolerant of a wide range of things over the past couple of years, and I love other Naomi Goodsir perfumes, but this was just too much of a solid wall of burning plastic. A slight rootiness, which I like, but it was overwhelmed by the rest. I got none of the green either wear, which bums me out as I love green. Ah well, money saved. Thanks for the detailed review. Perhaps sometime I’ll try it for more than an hour and see what happens!

    • Oh my goodness, that sounds terrible. You poor thing. I’m so sorry it went south on your skin. I’m surprised you didn’t get any of the greenness because, from the little that I know of your perfume tastes, I think you like spiky and herbal green notes, right? Really unfortunate that none of them came out on you and that you had such a horrid plasticity instead. Oh dear. 🙁 See, this is why I firmly believe that blind buys are dangerous things and that it is *always* better to test first. One never knows what will happen with one’s skin chemistry.

      • I am an avid sampler. Too much risk in the blind buy for sure. And thanks for the sympathy! Still looking for the spikey green tuberose of my dreams.

  2. Tuberose is such a love/hate note for me. Some of my favourite perfumes contain it (maybe they disguise it well, as in Caron’s Infini) but there are those that are out and proud of it and they usually make my nose turn up; I wore Fracas many years ago but now can not stand it. Then there are others that I sort of love to hate – Mito for instance, which I never want to wear until I do, and then I become addicted to it all over again! Maybe I am weird ….. ? But you have inspired me to try Nuit de Bakelite, especially as it has a vintage vibe and a hint of No 19!

    • I think it’s great that you keep an open mind when it comes to tuberose, even if you’re ambivalent about some of the fragrances which include the note. It sounds to me as though you’ve moved passed the hardcore soliflore style (like, say, Fracas), but can tolerate tuberose when combined and infused with a wide variety of other things (e.g., Mito) which temper or lessen its intense character. I don’t think that’s weird at all. 🙂 Believe me, if anyone is weird it’s me for having tuberose be my favourite flower and for hating rose fragrances. Most people are the exact opposite!

      On a separate note and to be perfectly clear, I don’t think Nuit de Bakelite smells at all like No. 19 in its particulars, but it does share a general green style and follow the green-centric genre at one point in its development. The part I’m not certain you’d like is the drydown because I know that tobacco, leather, or spicy woody fragrances are not your catnip. So I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on everything — from start to finish — when you try it.

  3. Absolutely understand it is not like No 19, just that they share a certain green aspect – but I have always liked green! You are right, I am not so keen on certain tobaccos, leathers, spices and woods, but then again I surprise myself sometimes by liking those very notes – there’s an old Dior (can’t remember the name right now) that is very soft leather, and Caron’s Parfum Sacre is another that theoretically I shouldn’t like. And as for rose, this is not always appealing to me either, especially if it is the “sour” type; I can never quite put my finger on what it is that turns my stomach, but it is almost urinous, if that makes sense. So we definitely cross over with our tastes, like a Venn diagram!

  4. I’m not a tuberose hater, but not a lover either and have realized I’m firmly in the rose camp (though not soliflores). I like Fracas and other tuberoses on occasion, such as SL’s mentholated tuberose (that one grew on me), but jasmine and tuberose are probably my least favorite accords though not ones I avoid at all cost since so many perfumes feature them and ones that I like. This sounds interesting, especially because of the tobacco drydown and the contrasts. I have yet to try Dryad (which will be next month), and I think I’ll have a whirl at this one. Slumberhouse Kiste is my sample for this month–hadn’t gotten it yet, but I’m really looking forward to it. Great review, and especially liked the accompanying art (one of my favorite parts of your blog). World in a Bottle is haunting and so apropos.

    • I’m so looking forward to hearing what you think of Kiste and Dryad! Both are excellent fragrances in their genre. I hope you’ll come back and let me know how you fare, my dear.

  5. Tried it, but like all Naomi’s I didn’t quite get it. To me it seems to want to be everything but never going anywhere if that makes sense. I got the faintest tuberose in the beginning but after that it was kind of non descript smoky woody thing. If it was weird I’d have appreciated it more but on me it turned into what you dislike the most; woody aromachemicals with slight variations. Money saved I guess 🙂

    • How unfortunate. I’m starting to think this is going to be one polarizing fragrance, given some of the experiences here vs. the handful of contrasting comments on FB which are split. Judging by the totality of comments there and here, it seems to be the Bakelite which is the problem for most people. But your drydown of “woody aromachemicals with slight variations” sounds far worse to me. I’m sorry it went so poorly on you. But, as you said, money saved.

  6. My sample of Nuit de Bakelite arrived yesterday afternoon. Some of it leaked into the packaging on the paper, and when I opened the package my whole living room was filled with a green, damp, vegetal smell for the rest of the evening.

    It was like someone threw a few skoops of wet soil with grass and leaves and herbs in our living room. Haha.

    So even before I tried it on skin I knew this was not about tuberose at all.

    My first spontaneous reaction after an hour on skin: It is interesting and I like it, but dont think I want to smell like this. It does not fit me.
    Very curious about how it will develop though.

    • …follow up: the first 3 hours were a bit boring to be honest…and that plastic (bakelite) note that dominates in this first phase does not work for me. But suddenly the tuberose started to come back, and a bit of smoky woods and yes…I also get a very strong tobacco!
      A bit weird actually for a scent that had such a green, rooty and cool opening. It is like meeting a stylish but cold and distant person who suddenly turns into this loving and warm personality you want to hug. 🙂

      • I thoroughly enjoyed reading all these wonderful details about how the scent developed on you and what you thought. Thank you for taking the time, Jiji.

        I completely agree with your concluding sentences on how the fragrance seems like two completely different things if one takes its opening and compares it to the drydown/finish, and how the latter is like this “loving and warm personality you want to hug.” Totally! For me, that dichotomy is what made things so interesting. It sounds like I had a better experience in the opening than you, or at least enjoyed it more, perhaps because the Bakelite wasn’t particularly prominent on my skin and I had more tuberose. The drydown, though… that’s really the best part, imo.

        Oh well, at least you got to try something different, learnt you weren’t missing anything that suited your tastes, and didn’t lose any money on a blind buy.

        • Agreed, trying new things is so much fun! I am not really looking for a buy right now anyways. I want to learn and discover. And if i encounter something on my journey that I really love, that is a plus.

          Ik keep all my samples, even if I dont like them. Sometimes I get back to them. For reference, to compare them to other scents or to learn. Or to see if weather/seaso, my mood or more experience will change my judgement.

          By the way, I have acquired a sample of Black gemstone and it is fabulous! I tried it only once so far, but i am sure it will get more attention upcoming days/weeks 🙂

  7. Hmm.

    Hmm. I have been generally underimpressed by the Naomi Goodsirs I’ve tried, with that shapelessness that you mention, but. . . hmmm. I like green, I love tuberose, I like tobacco if it’s not either terribly smoky or simplistic. What gives me pause here is the vasewater thing, which I despise almost as much as I do fig leaf and which seems to be an effect of a certain type of vetiver (looking at YOU, Bertrand Duchaufour). But I am tempted all the same.

    In other news, I have a sample of Malle Superstitious which arrived while I was on vacation and which I have not yet tried on skin. Also one of Papillon Dryad, which to be frank excites me more than the Superstitious.

    • I think I know exactly what sort of particular vase water note you’re talking about because I don’t like it either. It’s a very fetid aroma, sort of like moldy green pond water, right? Well, that’s not the sort of vase water green note here. So, on that point, I think you’re safe.

      The thing that I think you have to worry about, Mals, in the opening is the Bakelite. Judging by the comments here and on the blog’s FB page, that is the #1 problem for the people who didn’t like Nuit de Bakelite. I suggest applying only a small, light touch of the fragrance at first to try to minimize the chances of it appearing on your skin.

      The fragrance that I think will probably sweep you off your feet out of the 3 you’ve mentioned is the Dryad. That one, I would be truly surprised if you hated it. Superstitious might go either way. I think there’s a chance that you’ll like the opening but the rest, hmmm. As for Nuit de Bakelite…. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t think it will be your thing at all. Too vegetal in the opening, even if you don’t get the Bakelite plastic. It’s not the sort of greenness to which I think you will respond or that you enjoy. (Plus, I remember all too well your reaction to the herbal aspects of Chypre Mousse. LOL!) And I can’t see the resinous labdanum or tobacco parts of the drydown being your kettle of fish either.

      • YESSSSS, exactly that kind of moldy pond water in which something is clearly rotting, yes! Urk. “Vegetal” in itself I’m coming to mind less (unless it smells like celery, in which case all bets are off), but that fetor I cannot bear. For the record, it was the “rotting” aspect in the opening of Chypre Mousse that I found so horrifying.

        ‘Scuse me while I shudder to myself just a minute. There.

        In any case, I might not bother to order a sample of this, given my general Meh reaction to the other NGs I’ve tried, and thanks for the warning. (I like tobacco. I just don’t looooooooove tobacco, and I have to be in the mood for it.) But the Dryad I have now given a very brief skin test, and it is truly lovely. I look forward to a full wearing soon.

    • Fingers crossed it works out for you, Ricky, because this seems to be one of those fragrances that can go either way on one, depending on skin chemistry and/or the Bakelite note.

  8. Thank you Kafka for this review! Although I’m already quite in love with how Nuit de Bakélite behaves on my skin, the bakelite opening and the orris middle phase that you described seem very interesting! Especially the bakelite part, I’m very puzzled by the name as I detected nothing like plastic or aldehyde, but maybe it’s because I don’t really remember smelling bakelite the material itself, therefore can’t associate with it even though I may have smelt parts here and there in the perfume.

    • It sounds like you might be one of the lucky ones that didn’t get much Bakelite, if any, and that it didn’t dominate the opening on your skin. It didn’t on me, either. And that factor seems to play a large role in whether or not people like the scent, it seems, since the ones who didn’t are the ones who experienced an intense, powerful, or dominating Bakelite/smoked plastic aroma on their skin. I can understand why they might have found it difficult.

      On the plus side, at least you found a new love. Enjoy! 🙂

  9. The whole ‘vase water’ note reminds me that I would love to hear your take on Beaufort’s Fathom V. I feel like you might despise it personally, but the descriptions would still be genius!
    As to Bakelite–well, I’m frankly just leery of the plastic note. Green? I’m in. Tuberose? Sign me up. But bakelite is the smell of cleaning out my great aunt’s house and I cannot mean that in a more unpleasant sense. Maybe I’d be a lucky one who gets none of it, but after Room 237 I am traumatised.

    • LOL at your Room 237 reaction! I haven’t tried it because I find Bruno Fazzolari uses a significant amount of aromachemicals, and that’s difficult for me with my sensitivities. So when he himself describes a fragrance officially as “challenging,” I know that it’s probably not for me and that I should stay away. Between your reaction and the similar one of a friend of mine who shares my aromachemical sensitivities, it sounds like staying away was a wise choice.

  10. Was wondering from the title if this had anything to do with the material bakelite, and yes it does! I can’t say I’ve ever noticed my door handles having a smell, I’m off to have a sniff 😉

    • From what I’ve read, I think one has to scratch hard Bakelite items, like plates or chunky jewelry, to release their aroma. I’m most familiar with the scent from a high school science lab and from a handful of vintage perfume bottles, but it’s certainly not something that one commonly encounters today. How interesting that your door handles are bakelite!

  11. Kafka,
    Like you I swoon over Tuberose . Just received my bottle. Sublime! The Tuberose is quite subtle on my skin but it is there… Overall it has a very heady / fetid green presence with a touch of something that reminds me of singed wires or burnt rubber…. Love the ambiguity and richness… Its one of the most elegant and unusual perfumes I have smelled to date!
    So happy you are back!!!

    xo,

    Sunny von V

    • Hurrah for you finding something you love that passionately and that you find to be as unusual as it is elegant. I’m so glad!

  12. My sample arrived today and at first those opening notes were gorgeous, a lovely green floral freshness, good start I thought and then the bakelite kicked in which was unusual and not unpleasant. In fact it was like putting my head inside an old radio from the fifties. My parents had a “radiogram” which had that exact same smell and it was rather comforting. But do I want to smell like bakelite? Not really. The tuberose was very faint on my skin and I love love Tuberose……but it just isnt enough.After an hour or so its just a vague plasticy smell with some cheap flowers. Oh dear!!

    • Oh dear, indeed. I’m sorry the orris or the tobacco-leather-amber drydown didn’t appear on you. But money saved!

  13. I found the evolution of this scent quite interesting especially from the beginning to mid and dry down. I wish more perfumes would display shapeshifting like these. I am a bit disappointed with the name though, I feel it doesn’t match the scents.

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