Parfums de Nicolai Number One Intense (release date unknown)

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PerfumerPatricia de Nicolai

Mixed white florals are often either a fusion of the flowery elements (eg. Amouage Gold) or an imagined flower (eg Jean Patou Joy, Estée Lauder’s Beyond Paradise.) Number One’s trick, though, is to give a bouquet where the individual flowers keep their own identities. There’s a citrusy opening and a nuanced musky vanilla at the base, but 90% of Number One is flowers:  jasmine, narcissus, tuberose and orange blossom. Each of them and all of them. The expected, antiseptic blending of white-to-white us roughed up a bit. Not nightmarish skank, just a touched of the unwashed. Beauty is fine, but Number One shows that it’s even more enticing with a hint of wickedness.

I can smell the origins of both Odalisque and Le Temps d’une Fete in Number One, yet each of the three perfumes is distinct from the others. They aren’t just serial issues, flankers. Artistry involves the ongoing creative exploration of ideas, and though a family resemblance is an outcome, it is just a starting point for the different directions Patricia de Nicolai’s perfumes take. I have room for all three in my life. In fact, I’m waiting for more.

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