The Nasomatto website would have been a perfect place for Prix Eau Faux contestants to get inspiration. Amsterdam-based Nasomatto is secretive (no fragrance notes are given for any of their perfumes and the owners/perfumers provide only their first names — Alessandro* and Arturetto — and cryptic bios online). One offering, Hindu Grass, “aims to breathe the belief in universal peace and love”. I was able to distance myself from the bad writing and annoying coyness of Nasomatto’s “Manifesto” when I saw their handsome bottles (I want one) and read the name Hindu Grass.
Perfume names often mislead us and the resulting perfume does not meet our personal expectations (a recent example pour moi: Hermès Un Jardin après la Mousson). To me, a perfume with the word “Hindu” in its name should: smell of incense, tropical flowers and fruit one would find on altars; contain spices (cardamom, coriander seeds, cinnamon); and be intense. Hindu Grass’ “grass” should provide a sharp vegetal blast coupled with some root-earth dampness — or maybe some marijuana smoke. But Nasomatto’s Hindu Grass is tame and smells like the perfumed robes and rooms of a self-indulgent man of a bygone era who spent his days snacking, napping, bathing, dabbing patchouli-sandalwood paste on his neck, sipping mint tea, gossiping and enjoying his hookah. This imaginary man is the personification of Hindu Grass: briefly amusing but overly domesticated and stationary; in his presence, smiles turn quickly into yawns.
Hindu Grass starts off sweet, green and earthy. As it transitions (much too quickly) from this promising opening, I detect a hint of leafy menthol. Smelling my Hindu Grass-scented arms 100 times, I’ve almost convinced myself there’s cilantro in the top notes, but I’d not bet my life on it. As it develops, Hindu Grass’ notes become indistinct, soft, and autumnal. I would describe the heart and base notes of Hindu Grass as “green amber”: warm, sweet, lightly woody with a background mini-zing produced by some residual greenness and smooth patchouli. Hindu Grass is a rich scent but for a perfume extrait it has below-average lasting power on my skin; it begins to fade in less than three hours.
Hindu Grass is a pleasant perfume and I would wear it if someone gave me a bottle, but it’s not what I want (need) or expect from: HINDU. GRASS. Since I still want one of Nasomatto’s bottles, I’ll have to explore the other fragrances in the line: Duro, Narcotic Venus, Silver Musk and Absinth. Please comment if you have a favorite Nasomatto perfume.
Nasomatto Hindu Grass is a perfume extrait and costs $148 for 30 ml. For buying information, see the listing for Nasomatto under Perfume Houses.
*perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri