Parfums de Nicolai Baladin, 1994

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Perfumer Patricia de Nicolai

Parfums de Nicolai’s masculine fragrances show an appreciation for subtlety and a range of gender that most lines appear not to consider.

New York is dramatic and lush; Vetyver is soft and refined; Patchouli Homme is a blockbuster, but relies on classically feminine notes to hit you. Baladin doesn’t fall into any typical fragrance genres, but is recognizable to the nose for the clarity of its composition and the use of identifiable notes. Citrus, culinary herbs, wood—notes you’d find in many men’s fragrances. So why is Baladin like no other men’s designer fragrance?

The top notes are citrus/herbal and add a bit of traditional herbal bouquet from the kitchen. Overall, Baladin is bracing rather than warm. The birch and tarragon are cool; the vetiver and pepper, dry and sharp. I don’t classify this as a leather, as others have. With most of its components reading as aromatic, I’d call it an herbal woody. But since that would be hard to say out loud without laughing, let’s call it a kitchen/forest aromatic.

Another example of a de Nicolai fragrance for smart men and those who love them. While she is genetically a Guerlain, this particular attribute makes her the spiritual heir to Estée Lauder who also gave men the benefit of the doubt.

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