August 3, 2010


I’ve been trying a set of Nasomatto samples sent to me by a friend, via the Babalu Miami shop, and while thinking they were a lot to assimilate at once, I realized that as a group they present a defined stylistic theme. For me they are the essence of the modern EU brand of an international style that I like and find inherently glamorous, which is the convergence of a number of cultures. Informed of the background of the perfumers I find the cool and bright clarity of Amsterdam is inhabited by an Italian sensuality that respectfully uses traditional fine materials. All of the perfumes in the line are smart in both senses of the word, as fashion and as intelligent references to nature and the past. These are wearable across a range of environments, from work to home, from fancy to plain occasions.

I found a note of clean musk behind them all. Nasomatto doesn’t put out detailed note lists, so I may well be projecting my interior concept of clean musk on account of some personal unconscious rigmarole, but what I mean is there’s a clean skin note that blends with your own skin scent so that it becomes part of your own aura instead of a layer sitting on top of you. Refined and clear in tone, without an overwhelming throw, the compositions hold the notes tightly together from start to finish.

I see them as having potential for use across a range of seasons too, from heat and humidity to cool sweater weather. I think they would cling to nice wool or leather beautifully and thereby add their own seductive dimension to a scarf or pair of gloves accidentally on purpose left behind at an admirer’s house.

I have tried Absinthe, Hindu Grass, Silver Musk, Narcotic Venus, Duro (all EdP) and Panama 1924 (EdT).

They are all lovely in their own way, but my favorite two were Absinthe and Silver Musk, with Hindu Grass a close third. Narcotic Venus is very pretty, with its tuberose tang hovering over a muskier base, but I have been so taken by the Absinthe and Silver Musk I became focused primarily on them.

Absinthe: “A collective experience, extreme and prohibitive, purposely exasperated to search and grasp the smell of hysteria”

I take the quirky phrasing of this ad copy as a continental European’s imperfect sense of what works in English. It reminds me a little of the subtitles in the Goddard movies of my youth, when attempting to take in the translation of the rapid French dialogue and becoming ever more bewildered.

In any case, Absinthe is a beautiful composition, sparkling, green, faintly boozy with a smooth vanilla and refreshing bitter herbal tone bound seamlessly together, balancing cool and warm. I’ve mentally placed this one on my wish list.

Silver Musk (“mercurial liquid love sensation”) is incredibly soft and mild yet also sparkling in its lightness. This is something you could wear every day, even on occasions where you don’t want to seem like you are wearing perfume at all, because it’s like a translucent layer or a tint of a scent that enhances the sense of being in your own body. While you’re walking around, I-phone texting and multitasking, this scent could remind you of your corporeal being in a very pleasant way, keeping your head from floating too far away from the rest of you. To me it comes off as a light musk scumbled over ozone, layered against the memory of a creamy flower.

Hindu Grass is a “dry grass meets green grass”, a darker vetiver concept crossed with sparkly (again) version of cut sweet hay, out in the full sun, evaporating the chlorophyll released right away.

Duro and Panama 1924 are adult masculine scents, to my nose very masculine. Meaning this is one of the few cases of a masculine scent that I can’t wear because of the specifically male grooming scent aura they project. I get woods, shaving soap, citrus, a little cigar smoke and polished leather.

I kept getting a sense of sparkle from each of these scents. Like dry champagne, they have that pale tangy element that presents the scent to you with lightness and energy.

Above, a photo of the sparkle of absinthe from an comprehensive Absinthe Buyers Guide - with the essence of thujone effects and info.



when you do IT love you really DO IT. I want to dive into that pool of perfumes and bottles asap. Love what you wrote about leaving scent on a pair of gloves.

FragrantMoments said...

I love Nasomatto. I discovered one day while walking through Barney' and just love the packaging...and the juice. I love how you've captured them with your words.

surfwalker said...

I guess the EU might seem modern and likable from afar. In its midst, it feels like fascism. Very nice writing notwithstanding.

Josephine said...

Thank you for these great descriptions! I have not yet tried Nasmatto perfumes, but I've been intrigued. Your review takes me one step closer!

Lucy said...

Hey Josephine, they do have a sampler program online, if you can't reach the stores (I know it's at Barneys and Babalu/Miami) in the USA.

ScentScelf said...

I'm going to need to try Hindu Grass again. Your description sounds like what I hoped for...but not what happened. I *was* in the middle of a mini-sniff fest, so that might have affected things.

And when I go to sniff it again, I'm going to head for the Absinthe. Sounds nearly perfect.

Translations crack me up. I have a musician friend who toured in Japan for a few years--one of his favorite occupations was collecting slogans in English from places ranging from donut shops to health care packaging. The assumptions in what would appeal, and/or translation and cultural issues...made for amusement in many directions.

Lucy said...

Yes, dear SS, I find when I am trying lots of things it affects my comprehension of the individual things. If there is time it's nice to try things individually and also I have found that depending on the time and day and my mood I find certain things much nicer than at other times, which is a little scary actually.
Yes, translation oddities are really odd esp. in this day and age when so many are excellent English speakers.

Forget Flowers said...

I have been to a perfume shop which carries almost all the perfumes of Nasomatto. I am in love with Nasomatto …it’s both elegant and cheeky at the same time.
Tickles all my sensibilities! A subtle vanillic touch softens woody edges and completes this jasmine etude. An delicately elusive, elegant, sensual fragrance that would easily delight both men and women alike…