O Patchouli, how I love thee, let me sing thy praises, let me revel in your beauty. There are many beautiful materials out there, but one of the most versatile, complex, heady, and instantaneously addictive to me is my beloved patchouli. What else can so perfectly enhance both a chypre’s oakmoss and an oriental’s amber, florals, vetiver, vanilla, florals, incense, or woods? With nuances ranging from boozy cognac to dark chocolate, smoke, spices, green leaves, dry woods, wet earth, ambered resins, camphor, menthol, and even oily turpentine and musky leatheriness, patchouli is the unsung hero in many compositions, elevating its individual components, amplifying them with even further richness and depth.
We all have a promised land in perfumery, one where we gambol and cavort with our favourite olfactory notes, all combined in such a way that the pleasure, comfort, and joy amounts to a sense of a perfect fit, ease, or even the feeling of being “home.” There are many promised lands, each falling within a different genre, each so difficult to find that it’s as though we’re searching for the Holy Grail. (At this point, I’m convinced that my personal Vanilla Valhalla does not exist.) The difficulty stems from the perfection that is implicitly involved in such a magical creation, the coalescence of personal, subjective factors to form one perfect bouquet like no other.
Nobile 1942 is a line I’ve wanted to explore for a while, ever since I tried their boozy, whisky-wine, leather, immortelle fragrance, Rudis, in 2014. They have a rather intimidating number of fragrances, though, and I only managed to get through a few of them when I was sniffing in Rome last year, so when I saw Luckyscent had the latest release, Malia, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to test other things from the line. I was interested first and foremost in their Patchouli Nobile (or Patchouli Nobile Colonia Intense), but then I noticed Nobile had a new apple fragrance with cinnamon and vanilla, and I became strangely obsessed with trying it. So, today, we’ll explore a gourmand, a dark patchouli oriental, and a white floral oriental (with tangerine, neroli, and tobacco blossom).