For a perfume lover, discovering a terrific scent that has flown under many people's radar is exciting. The thrill amplifies when the perfume only costs about $10 a bottle. Now that my backup bottle is safely on its way, I'm ready to share my latest discovery: Bill Blass Nude.
I first heard of Nude years ago when I read Laren Stover's The Bombshell Manual of Style's chapter on Bombshell perfumes. Most of the fragrances she lists are grand old perfumes, including the numbered Chanels, Guerlain Mitsouko and L'Heure Bleue, Rochas Femme, and Lanvin My Sin. Among these heavyweights is Nude, which the manual describes as "a striking floral composition" and creating "a mental state of near undress".
Still, Bill Blass? Wrack my brain as I might, all I could call forth were images of conservatively dressed women of a certain age with small, groomed dogs. Not really the feel I'm going for. Then, foraging in a thrift shop a few weeks ago, I found a bottle of Nude natural Cologne spray without its cap. Buying it was an inexpensive gamble. By that evening, I was in love. I've worn Nude to bed most nights since.
Perfumer Sophia Grojsman created Nude, and it launched in 1990 with two other Bill Blass fragrances, Basic Black and Hot. According to Jan Moran's Fabulous Fragrances: How to Select Your Perfume Wardrobe, Nude is an aldehydic floral with top notes of aldehydes, rose, galbanum, and narcissus; heart notes of jasmine, ylang ylang, and mosses; and a base of musk, sandalwood, vetiver, and orris. Like so many lists of notes, this one barely touches on how Nude smells on skin.
Nude is sheer, quiet, and sensual in a modern way, but has the manners of a classic perfume. Nude opens with fruity, buzzing aldehydes. Rather than summoning the smell of a dry vintage fragrance, like Rochas Madame Rochas, Nude's first burst is like opening a bottle of a demi-sec sparkling Vouvray. Nude's aldehydes transition seamlessly to loads of tingling, fresh jasmine, bolstered by pear. The pear isn't the sticky smell of canned pears, but the green, almost underripe smell of a pear's skin.
Sound good? Now it starts to get even better as moss balances the pear with its fuzzy, dry, earthy aroma, flashing back to some of the great vintage perfumes. Still, Nude stays ethereally light, and the persistent, green scent of pear reminds you this is a contemporary fragrance. Jan Moran notes "a trace of violet" in Nude's dry down, but I don't smell it. Instead, sticking to my sheets and the cashmere of today's sweater I smell the warm and slightly chewy scent of benzoin. Nude stays close to the body and lasts as a murmur on skin for at least five hours. It has warmth, but probably not the pulchritude to stand up to blustery weather.
Bill Blass Nude does pose a problem, though, and it's a big one. It's discontinued. However, lots of discounters online offer bottles for around $10. Lovers of sheer fragrances, jasmine, pear, moss, and a bargain, skip the deli for the next two days and bring a sandwich to work instead. Spend your savings on a bottle of Nude. I don't think you'll be sorry.
Please comment if you've tried another formulation of Nude. Also, if you've stumbled on any terrific and inexpensive fragrances that haven't been getting much attention, let us know!
I have been wearing this since 1990……..still LOVE it. I receive many compliments on this scent.
The UPS man just dropped off my back up bottle! Now I should be set for a while. I hope you have a back up bottle, too–it’s a bummer this one was discontinued.
Dang, now we’re all going to be flooding the discounters!
This sounds fabulous, even if the word “sheer,” along with words like “light” and “natural,” aren’t often used in conjunction with my name. I’m a sucker for aldehydes, but you really had me sold with the Vouvray. (Oh, how I miss wine!)
I’ll set you up with some next time we meet. Nude is a good one, I think, especially if you don’t cower from aldehydes.
We’ll need to have dinner sometime soon. I just wish I had something more to contribute, perfume-wise. One of these days I will have something new and exciting that you’re unfamiliar with!
I’ve been so terrible at keeping up with things, that there’s probably a lot you’ve smelled that I haven’t!
Well, I don’t know about that, but I can at least set you up with some of the Field Notes.
No wine Miss K?! Horrors. That would be a tragedy for me.
No alcohol, no caffeine, no salt, and no sugar. (Air is fine. I can have air. Unless, you know, it’s sea air–and then that would be too much sodium.) I love red wine and I love a good vodka martini, but it’s the caffeine that was the hardest to give up.
As much as I love a glass of wine, I know giving up coffee would be so much harder.
Goodness! That’s a whole lot of asceticism at once! Is this a temporary or a permanent lifestyle change? And yes, I’m not sure what I would do without my caffeinated tea and occasional coffee… it would be interesting to learn what it’s like to live without, but I’d need three to four weeks of vacation to allow my body to adapt.
Is one still eating meat/animal products?
I have a medical condition which causes chronic vertigo. The only way to control it is through diet. It sucks. Bad. Meat and cheese are at least still on the menu. (I could never be vegan again–just too hard with the options I have!)
I hear you! I do a dry January most years, and after three weeks or so the days last forever.
Er, what is this dry January of which you speak?
This dry January is….OVER! Hurray!
Do you think they get curious? no doubt a hundred bottles of Nude will be ordered this afternoon—I wonder if they’re sitting there at Fragrancenet thinking “what’s gotten into people today? What’s with all these orders for Bill Blass Nude?”
So Daisy, did you order 100 or only 95?
only 2…..so nehhhhh ;-P
I hope you like it!
well, it was only $10 for 1.7oz and I got free shipping….one is for me and one is for a friend who was trapped at work with a million 2nd graders.
Forget the Nude and send that gal a bottle of tequila!
“This is your brain….this is your brain on 2nd graders…”
it really should be a public service announcement….
What? I just checked FragranceNet. It’s $22.19! @#$%^^&!!!
oops sorry—try Parfum1.com with their 20% off coupon.
lol – it only *seems* like there are a million of them. If they ever figure out that they outnumber me, I’m a goner.
That’s funny–I wonder if these reviews really do affect sales?
I know they affect my purchases
I’m a sucker for a positive review, too. I’m so, so close to ordering a bottle of Ineke Field Notes of Paris unsniffed…
Don’t do it! I was that close to it as well (especially with that bottle!), but as it turns out, I really didn’t need any.
I just did a search for it and I can only see 50ml bottles for $20. Did you drive up the prices already?!
BTW, I recently got a bottle of Cuir de Lancome completely due to Angela’s review… It is lovely.
@ “drive prices up already?”
That’s hilarious… it’s like global commodities markets. Hot and furious trading on the floor! A run on the banks… I mean perfumeries.
Aleksandra, look on Amazon. Several cheap choices there and free shipping.
I was just kidding. I can’t do aldehydes very well, so I’m passing on this one, but I couldn’t resist looking it up.
Perfume prices always jump up and down for mysterious reasons, maybe internet reviews are one of them…
I got my bottle at parfum1. They usually have a coupon code, too.
And thanks for the warning on the Ineke! I’ll do my best to sample first.
I cower a little bit at aldehydes sometimes. Well, maybe not cower. Maybe I just flinch. Or, my jaw tightens a little. I’m having trouble imagining what this smells like! Oh, well, perhaps that unsniffed purchase is in order. I’m delighted to see a Cheap Thrill on here!
I know what you mean–but Nude is less classically aldehydic than, say, No. 5 or Bois des Iles. If you can handle Natori, Nude is a cinch.
Oh oh, this sounds very very good…….
I like it!
It smells ………… GEORGEOUS. I have never ordered a bottle unsniffed, because of several reasons. But for that price, it was worth a try. And no, you don’t get my bottle
I’m glad you like it! It’s so nice and subtle, but so lovely. I bet it will serve you well this spring.
I forgot to say, thank you for the tip.
Angela, I carry the Bombshell Manual of Style everywhere I go- in my oversized pink purse, of course. It has never steered me wrong, and I am excited to hear that Nude lives up to Stover’s mouthwatering description. I am also dying to try My Sin thanks to Stover. I remember Daisy saying on an old thread that My Sin smells an awful lot like the Coach perfume… can this be true??
Another Bombshell fan! I only sniffed Coach once, but I don’t remember it smelling like My Sin. Clearly, a trip to the Coach store is in order.
Working from memory, but Coach was … an aspirational floral musk, yes? Adequate for the brand (probably nicer than I’d expected.)
Whereas My Sin is … well, My Sin. I guess the fact that I have my mother’s vintage bottle biases me.
March, Coach is indeed a nicer-than-average floral musky thingy. It does not have any aldehydes, jasmine, or half of the notes that are in My Sin. I was just wondering if anyone else could confirm what Daisy said (at least my faulty memory is attributing it to Daisy).
To tell the truth, I’d be flabbergasted if any mainstream perfume company made anything remotely like My Sin now. My Sin is such a murky, difficult, diva of a perfume–fabulous, but I can’t imagine it at the mall any time soon.
Did somebody mention My Sin?
I, too, bought Lancome Cuir based on your review – many thanks for another great idea! In terms of bargains, Guerlain vetiver is less than $40 for a huge 4-oz bottle and so refreshing for summer.
Cuir is ridiculously cheap online now! Truly a bargain.
Be sure and let me know if Nude passes your test!
Whoops–excuse the “test” portion of this comment. I was thinking of another comment. But I would like to know what you think of it.
Yup, I also bought Cuir de Lancome–very, very nice!
hmmm, not me….but I do seem to remember a comment like that being made …way back when Angela reviewed vintage My Sin….can’t think who said it.
Daisy, you’re right, it wasn’t you… and now that I go back to look for it, I can’t find the comment at all! Wishful thinking perhaps?
I seem to remember that comment coming up somewhere too–but really the way we all get off on tangents some days; it could be anywhere.
Oh, this sounds like just my thing! I love classic floral aldehydes. Thanks for the tip!
Me too, except…….pear. Think I can safely pass on this one.
I would have worried about pear, but Angela’s description of the underipe green variety, put my mind at ease.
It feels more green than fruity to me, but it’s clearly pear.
There’s definitely pear happening, but it doesn’t read as overly fruity to me. But it’s pear.
I hope you like it as much as I do!
Gosh – what a nice surprise this is. Thanks for the tip Angela – off to google now…
Now I’m getting nervous that I’ve done too much hyping and people won’t like it!
At these prices – no worries Angela!
You can always sell the bottle to me! At the rate I’m going, I’ll be through my bottles before too long.
I LOVE Nude, wore it for years. It reminds me a bit of Alessandro dell Aqua but with more classic.
Another scent that is very well-priced is AV, the original. I find bottles for a song, $15 us dollars online. It is not a statement frag by any means, but is a perfect office scent, soft, slightly powdery and clean without much ozone.
I remember buying Jan Moran’s book-still have it (somewhere in a box)!
Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to look for AV.
Pardon me. Not that I need to know, but what is “AV”?
2nd, please. What is AV? TY!
I’m guessing it’s Adrienne Vittadini.
It’s Adrienne Vittadini, I think it came out in the mid-90’s.
A coworker of mine wears this, interspersed with days when she wears Light Blue. I much prefer the BB Nude days! It’s very much a wallpaper scent, I’d have said, rather than a Bombshell: pleasant, floral but not too floral, warm in the sense of a warm smile. I never smell the aldehydes on this coworker, but I assume that’s because I get to work a good hour or so after she does.
I probably won’t pick up a bottle unless it’s truly cheaper’ndirt – she only wears the two scents, and it would be churlish of me to “steal” one, when I’ve got so many to choose from. Very nice smell, though – and thanks for the Cheap Thrill review, Angela!
Hi Mals – just wanted to tell you that I visited your site and wanted to leave a comment, but couldn’t. Oh well – I enjoyed my visit & plan to do so again!
That soooo sucks! That’s IT – I’m gonna port over to wordpress or something.
“Warm in the sense of a warm smile” is such a lovely description! You’re right, it would be just plain mean to wear Nude when it’s one of your coworker’s few scents.
I was about to say “who says you have to wear it to work?” and then I realized that if you find it to be a wallpaper scent, that’s about the only place you’d WANT to wear it. Ah well.
Good point. That and the DMV.
Only TWO fragrances….and one of them is Light Blue? Oh, the poor thing!! Holy cow, if you started wearing Nude, and she stopped….then she’d wear Lt.Blue EVERY DAY……arrg. sorry, no love for Light Blue here.
Astute observation! Definitely hold back on the Nude.
I’ve decided that for the most part, aldehydes and me, we just don’t get along. The best I can manage is Natori, and maybe a couple of Chanels applied verrrrrrrry verrrrry lightly. However, the rest of this smells delicious and I LOVE some green pear.
Along these lines, another unbelievable bargain, also discontinued, is DK Gold, which we’ve discussed on a few recent threads. For me, it’s a very satisfying and beautiful lily fragrance, and I really can’t believe that 50ml bottles are readily available for $10. (As I’ve written elsewhere, it’s averting my desire for some expensive Lys Méditerranée.)
Love DK Gold…and it is such a bargain. I sometimes wonder whether some day DK Gold, Tocade, Cabaret, Y and some of the other current bargains will be as rare and pricey as the original Organza Indecence or Chaos and I’ll be kicking myself for not stocking up…
Alas, the perfumista’s eternal dilemma.
Wow! I didn’t realize DK Gold was so inexpensive! Definitely a bargain, and especially when compared to Lys M. Great tip.
I got my 50ml bottle of edp for about $8, shipped (okay, it was very slightly used!) on evilbay.
What a great deal!
Years ago on MUA, I raved about my “discovery” of Bill Blass Nude. They almost laughed me off the site. I wore it anyway, used the decant and forgot it. Thanks for reminding me.
Uh oh. I wonder if I’ll be laughed out of the perfume blogosphere. I’m with you on this one, though–I really like it!
Do you think Nude would be a good summer scent? I’m tired of winter…daydreaming about summer smells. I’m poised to push the “buy” button. Just stalling for time, I guess.
Much better for spring and summer than for cold weather, I think. All that jasmine makes me think of summer nights.
This reminds me of my favourite Smiley Muffin quote from Cat News: “Want to know a secret? …I’m nude!”
Not to be enabling or anything, but Parfum1 (not affiliated, of course) appears to have this for $12.50 and with their current 20% discount code – valentinepw – its a whopping $10.00.
That’s where I snagged my bottle.
I cave so easily these days.
But this sounds awfully pretty, and I could use some pretty these days.
“Pretty” is a good way to describe it, but not so pretty that it’s boring (at least, I don’t think so). I think that’s why it’s such a relaxing scent for bed.
Ok, just ordered 2 bottles from parfum1.com and used the discount code and the total for my order is only $25.00 dollars:)
I have not smelled it so its unsniffed to me. They should pay you commission Angela! great review.
Two bottles unsniffed! Now I’m really nervous. I hope you like it!
I actually just bought a 3.4 ounce bottle of this from Fragrancenet (not affiliated but there’s good coupons that can be found quite easily), so I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for the intriguing review, Angela. Aldehydic notes and pear are some of my faves, and both The CEO and I like “perfumy” perfumes like those from Divine, early Guerlains, Diors and the like so I think I’ll dig this one.
Please report back and tell me what you think once you’ve tried it!
Oh definitely. I ended up getting it for $25 and the total was only $31 with shipping, and you can’t beat that these days. I couldn’t pass it up.
What a fun post! I hope you make some more discoveries like this. Ones without sparkly aldehydes.
I’m open to suggestions! Those $100 and $150 bottles of perfume are hard to swing on a regular basis.
Just bought a bottle of it, following the perfumistas crowd
I want to check my theory “there are no great and cheap perfumes”.
Let me know if Nude is the exception that proves the rule!
I can’t wait to try it! Jan Moran says about this scent: “Nude is the perfect fragrance to wear when fragrance is all you’re wearing”. Trying to imagine that co-worker of mals86. LOL!
I love that word “pulchitrude”
I mean pulchritude.
I know exactly what you mean–I like it, too! It packs a lot of meaning.
Great stuff, Angela!
And honestly, dear, don’t buy Field Notes unsniffed. It’s one of those scents that really needs trying before buying. I’m perfectly happy with just my decant — and I’m generally very trigger-happy when it comes to full bottles, so that tells you something. You might well adore it, but it’s not anywhere near a surefire bet. Not like, say, My Sin.
Thank you for the warning! I really don’t need to be ordering anything unsniffed, but the reviews, combined with the whole Paris thing, make it so tempting. But I’m going to follow your advice.
Admirably stalwart of you, m’dear. You know I don’t mean to be a killjoy, and I know how very delicious it is to yield to temptation. And yield you WILL, I know, when you know you won’t regret it.
MissKitty: I feel for you, as I went through a period when I was having vertigo due to chronic ear/sinus problems. There is nothing more terrifying (except for maybe crushing chest pain) than that total disorientation. I lived in fear of having an attack while I was driving. Now I have to do my “head banger” exercises to make the crystals stay in the correct canals in my ears. I hope you can relax your restrictions over time … but at least you don’t have to give up perfume!
The human body can be such a tricky machine! Hopefully vertigo is gone from your life for good.
Oh my gosh, I feel for both of you – I was having hot flashes accompanied by terrible vertigo – like a slow roller coaster ride (complete with up-side-down components). I was terrified I would have one while driving. Fortunately I manage them with cider vinegar (who knew??) and it’s been more than a year.
It’s amazing how sometimes the simplest things are the most effective.
My Cheap Thrills:
Je Reviens Couture – nice aldehyde sparklies, cool bottle
Monsieur Balmain – best lemon fragrance EVUH, and I just bought a backup bottle that thankfully smells the same as my purchase from a year ago
The Balmains have been reviewed here (and Kevin’s review is a classic!!!)
My favorite Balmain cheapie is Ivoire.
That’s a good one.
I’m a big fan of the Balmains, too!
I had Nude and thought it was like a sister to Trusardi’s Skin, not identical, but you could see the family resemblance. They were bboth nice but I eventually swapped both as I grew tired of skin scents at one point, but I’ll revisit my sample.
I haven’t tried Trusardi’s Skin yet. It will be interesting to see what you think of Nude after having not worn it for a while.
I think Skin is beautiful. It’s light, woodsy and maybe green apple? If that’s apple, it isn’t sweet, maybe more like apple wood. One of the most beautiful bottles I’ve ever seen, btw.
That’s a great recommendation!
Miss Kitty, about your diet, I did it for 2 years (candida) and a wonderful side benefit was the increased sense of smell, and it really works for myriad symptoms. good luck
Nice side effect!
Ohmigosh! I’ve been wearing Nude since it came out and replacing my bottle every so often. Most recently, I picked up a “backup” bottle at a discounter in NYC. It’s so nice to see Nude remembered as a classic.
Now, who wants to get nostalgic about Alexander Julian’s Womenswear?
I haven’t heard of that one! So many good perfumes have been discontinued, it seems.
I just got my bottle. So far my theory works
A shame! There are enough people who like it that you should be able to swap it, at least.
I’m not concerned. For the price of a pizza pie, I can afford to have it sit around and wait.
And I have to confess that I’m wrong. There ARE great inexpensive perfumes. Is there a topic like that in this forum? “Cheap thrills”?
Angela, I just got my bottle of Nude today and it’s lovely. I love the balance of the fresh green pear with the almost powdery florals, and The CEO said it smelled “Amazing!” Of course, the $25 price tag for 3.4 ounces definitely helped, since he’s accustomed to my paying three times the price for half as much perfume.
Thank you for bringing such a gem to our attention. I’m very glad I discovered it and think it will be a wonderful bedtime perfume, whether for settling in to sleep or snuggling up with my sweetie.
I’m glad it’s working for you! I like it as a bedtime perfume, too. It’s soft and pretty.
Got my bottle today – nice, not sure if it is quite me, but I’ll give it a go. For 10 bucks, I’ve done much worse! I twil be nice for bed, for sure, and I think also nice for spring.
I get a feeling that you do well in much more “ladylike” scents than I do, somehow….
It is a good bedtime scent–it’s quiet and lovely. The aldehydes do give it a little bit of a ladylike air, though. I hope you grow to like it!
OK, I own this now, and it’s totally your fault.
Thinking about buying a backup bottle of my own… this is really lovely.
I feel so bad for luring people to buy it unsniffed! (Although it would be hard to get samples of.) I’m glad you like it, anyhow. It will be perfect in spring.
Angela, I finally got around to ordering this and received it today. I love it. It’s beautiful – that green pear is quite nice, indeed. I will be wearing this one often I think…at bedtime sounds perfect, too. Thanks for sharing!
I’m glad you like it! All its jasmine will make it a good one for summer, too, I think.
Angela, I’ve been wearing it now for a couple of weeks. At first I just liked it but now I love it! It wears for hours, sometimes disappearing only to reappear and make you say “wow!, what smells so good?” Occasionally I get a thud–flat footed earthy whiff–but it is immediately followed by fresh mint and herbs. I love that contrast between something earthy and “bodily” and something fresh and green. Sometimes they split and sometimes they appear together. This was a wonderful find and I want to thank you. So does my wallet!
I’m so glad it worked out! It’s great to get a perfume you like for ten bucks. It should be a good one for spring, too.
thanks angela…it’s a bonus to find such a wonderful fragrance for virtually nothing (& unsniffed too!!!)
I get so nervous when people buy something on my recommendation unsniffed! I’m glad it worked out for you.
I also bought this unsniffed thanks to your review, Angela and I love it! Lucky I bought a large bottle…
I’m glad it worked out for you!
Just received this last nite after running across this review in the archives sometime last week. (With work I’d fallen behind on a lot of reviews….just starting to catch up now…have lurked for 2 years but have decided to try to become more vocal).
I’m still training my nose so I won’t embarrass myself by trying to articulate what this does on my skin….but I LOVE it……oh Yes! last evening’s test spritz lasted well until this morning shower where it was still buzzing along happily and I was sad to wash it off. I decided to fully test it today co-workers be damned.
It turns into such a “fuzzy snuggly” thing on me. It’s delightful. I feel so ‘purty’ with this on. I’m learning that I apparently *like* this mossy effect. Who knew? I’m just sad that I’ve gone all summer without this.
I’ll be backing this up, most definitely.
Thank you! Another satisfying enabling.
I’m glad you like it! I wear it to bed so often my blankets have began to smell of Nude. I figure not everyone will like Nude because of its aldehydes and pear, but those who do will really like it. I’m glad you found it!
yes, I can smell this trapped in covers quite nicely. it appears to be a tenacious little thing.
I’m better at describing scents by the ‘feelings/visions’ they give me. This one is like a white long haired cat. It’s hair is a bit coarse…not the downy soft variety. when i stroke it the hairs don’t lay (lie??) down. they spring back up through my fingers. The cat has piercing green eyes and is large and warm with some weight to him. That’s what I get. Not sure if that conveys, lol.
At the moment Nude is 69 euros at first-in-perfume!
i always see this perfume when im out bargain shopping at t.j maxx or marshalls but never gave it a second thought because i’m not really a big fan of bill blass’s clothing designs so I thought his perfume wouldn’t be that good either but after reading your review i’ll have to pick up a bottle next time i’m out shopping!
In my opinion, it’s a good one for spring. I wear it to bed, too. Let me know what you think, if you do buy a bottle!
I’ve wore Nude since I was in 7th grade (1994), my older cousin wore it & I always thought she smelled soooo good…so ofcourse I had 2 have some! I got my own bottle that Christmas & have wore it every since, I’ll try something different but it never last, I always go back 2 my nude. After all these yrs I still can’t go somewhere without some1 saying, “what are u wearing? U smell so good!”
It sounds like you found a winner!
Have you found anything similar to this fragrance? It is my favorite but lately what I have been buying thru the sites seems ‘watered down’ & no longer the ‘true’ scent. Cost is not that much of an issue but would like to stay below $200 or lower
I really don’t know anything quite like it. Maybe you could layer some Goutal Petite Cherie with a little jasmine….
I have worn ‘Nude’ by Bill Blass for many years – however, since it has been discontinued I am having trouble finding the original cologne – I have ordered several bottle from Amazon and Groupon websites and much to my disappointment there were not the original and the fragrance wore off immediately – if anyone have been able to locate the original cologne, pls. let me know as I really miss this fragrance and don’t want to waste any more money on counterfeits.
I’m sorry you’ve run across counterfeits! That’s terrible. Best of luck that you’ll find another GOOD bottle soon!