Paris-based trend forecasting service NellyRodi was established in 1985, and is now jumping on a fragrance trend themselves with Scent Factory, a collection of 8 oriental-themed fragrances by noses from the major fragrance & flavor houses.
I will start right off by admitting that I was attracted to this line before I sniffed a single one of the perfumes. I like the concept. I like the packaging. I like the price — or at least, I'm not completely turned off by the price. I like the fact that I don't have to spend hours on the internet searching for the fragrance notes or the names of the perfumers. NellyRodi is in the business of knowing what people like, and in this instance, at least, they've got me pegged. Almost pegged, anyway: oriental is not my favorite category. On to the scents...
Parfum 1 is Incense by Alexis Dadier of Mane, and features rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, incense, styrax, rose, vanilla, sandalwood. Incense starts as a sweet blend of herbal and resinous notes. I love the burst of cinnamon and nutmeg in the top notes, but as they fade, the rosemary takes the stage and then proceeds to hang on for dear life, overshadowing all else. The incense note itself is lovely, but I find the overall composition flat.
Parfum 2 is Rhum by Olivia Jan of Robertet, and has notes of rum, saffron, nutmeg, styrax, patchouli, papyrus, gaïac wood, sandalwood, and vanilla. This fragrance opens on spice pudding spiked with rum, very dark and sweet. The wood notes intensify as the sweetness fades; the dry down is smooth, deep woods with vanilla sugar and earthy undertones. It is nicely done, and I liked it more each time I tried it, but it not something I would buy on its own. The lasting power is good.
Parfum 3 is Cardamome by Fabrice Pellegrin of Mane, and features cardamom and cedar. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices, and the top notes here are literally mouth-watering: strong, dusty cardamom with shades of lemon and not much else. It is not terribly complex, and although the cedar undertones become more obvious as it dries down, it smells otherwise linear to me. In this case, however, simplicity pays off; it is by far my favorite of these four and the only one I would consider buying separately. The one drawback is the lasting power, which is well under average for an Eau de Toilette — and this is supposed to be Eau de Parfum. If there were an Eau de Parfum Intense version, I would snap it up in a minute. Side note: it layers beautifully with Carthusia Mediterraneo.
Parfum 4 is Cacao by Dorothée Piot of Symrise, and features patchouli, vanilla, incense, myrrh, styrax, and castoreum. This starts as an edible vanilla patchouli, and slowly deepens into an edible chocolate patchouli. It is more dry than sweet, but the chocolate notes are not particularly intense, and the incense and myrrh are faint. I am not fond of patchouli and found nothing here to change my mind.
For buying information, see the listing for NellyRodi under Perfume Houses.
Tomorrow: NellyRodi Scent Factory Part 2.