Naomi Goodsir Or du Sérail, Lagavulin & Sinbad’s Seven Seas
Ingenious Australian hat designer moved to France and probably made the best decision in her life – to start making perfumes. I think that her creations overwhelm thousands around the globe because I can’t think how one couldn’t appreciate those, true niche, scents. Vive la globalisation et creative spirit of Naomi Goodsir studio.
It’s so rare nowadas to find beautfiul, captivating perfume houses. The ones that have soul and some story to tell, but also, and what is most important to me, personality. With Naomi Goodsir Parfums I can feel her personality in every creation because I connect it to the open minded and unique personality, just like she is in real life.
My latest crush is Or du Sérail. I mean, I have 24/7 crushes on her creations because they are simply must-have for all perfume lovers. What is the most magnificent of all, I constantly re-discover creations. As I change, they do change as well. It’s the olfactory magic of artistic approach to the creation. That might be the highest quality of this studio – independent creations with cojones.
Naomi Goodsir is all about uniqueness. Like it was aforementioned, she is Australian creator, designer, that specialized in accessories mostly. Nowadays, you can see beautiful and creative hats signed by her hand, which are truly extravagant, elegant and eternal. It’s the combination of high quality materials with creative touch. The same goes for bags and accessories. If you ever have a chance to meet her in person, don’t miss it.
Uniqueness is translated to scents. Each scent is praised by perfume lovers and have positive notes by perfume critics such as bloggers and journalists. They combine the artistic touch. The latest acclamation came by Art & Olfaction institution that awarded Nuit de Bakélite as the best independent creation last year. If you smell that one, you will have olfactory enlightenment and discover how tuberose can be white and green. One of my favorites, Bois d’Ascèse offers spiritual smoky effect of burnt coal and dark leather. It’s a house to explore, that’s for sure.
Or du Sérail is as intoxicating as crystal eyes lurking in the dark, somewhere in gentleman’s club with Cuban cigar between his fingers and smoke fulfilling the room. In the same time intoxicating sweet tobacco scent arouses and brings irresistible whiffs of it.
Second main component is the miracle from Gods, golden nectar that heals the soul. It is golden honey that makes it sensual, soft, sweet, with generous ambery tones. It’s like sunset somewhere in the desert, where endless sunrays play with heat.
When I first saw les merveilles in Paris, I was amazed with the art of patisserie. It was the scent of delicious, baked sweetness. This perfume reminds me of same, exciting feeling. The intoxicating scent of olfactory art curated by notes of tobacco, golden honey, sweet oriental spices and dried fruits. What a wonderful perfume, the ona that lingers in the air and leaves appealing scent of sweet and innocent seduction.
Sinbad and Lagavulin
I would pair this masterpiece by Bertrand Duchafour with Lagavulin 16 YO. It’s the refinement of this Islay heritage that makes it smooth, while richness comes from the combination of oak casks which are well toasted. Lagavulin has the smooth smoky aftertaste that makes you feel sensation of spices and warmness. Exactly the same effect has this perfume. I was serving Lagavulin, dried figs, dried dates, almonds, nuts, cashew and Juan Clemente Dominican cigars to friends when they came over. The air was full of natural Or du Sérail. It’s the magic of this scent that possessed me.
Another motive that I am thinking of is the story of Sinbad. This fierce sailor from Middle East had adventurous life full of unexpected encounters and supranatural places. On his sixth voyage, yet again he is shipwrecked quite violently on the cliffs. He builds a raft and discovers a river running out of a cavern beneath the cliffs. The stream proves to be filled with precious stones and becomes apparent that the island’s streams flow with ambergris. He woke up in the city of Ceylon and discovered that diamonds are in its rivers and pearls in its valleys. He returns to Baghdad with a cup carved from a single ruby, a bed made from the skin of serpent that swallowed an elephant and a slave-gril like a shining moon.
Ceylon, famous for its spices is one of my leitmotivs, while the Oriental warmth gives this ambery, warm, tobacco feeling. Enduring and beautiful.
Or du Sérail is truly like a shining moon. At the moment, I can’t imagine more suitable perfume than this. Enveloping, beautiful, spicy and warm miracle. It makes me go read Thousand and one night stories. Let me know if you were enchanted as I am.
Text & photos by Juraj Sotosek-Rihtarec
The smoky aromas of bonfires, roasted chestnuts, frankincense and lapsang souchong tea are among the most complex, and I know quite a few individuals who fantasise about a fragrance that smells like a charcoal-grilled steak. There is a difference, however, between enjoying a scent in its proper context – charred ribeye at a barbecue or burning leaves in an autumnal park – and wearing a fragrance that reprises such odours. For this reason, the perfumery interpretations of smoke tend to blend it into a more familiar setting of woods, spices and resins.
One of the best introductions to a smoky perfume is L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Passage d’Enfer (£105 for 100ml EDT). Perfumer Olivia Giacobetti is known for her ability to create olfactory watercolours – airy, transparent compositions. Passage d’Enfer combines lilies and incense, filling the spaces between the white, cool petals with smoke. Giacobetti’s touch is light, and the perfume remains soft and radiant, from the smoky opening to the vanilla- and cedarwood-accented drydown.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another delicate and smoky perfume created by Giacobetti for Hôtel Costes in Paris. Capturing the idea of woods and velvet, the perfumer composed a sandalwood and rose fragrance laced with incense. Hôtel Costes Splash (€110 for 125ml EDT) proves that smoke can be glamorous as well as intriguing.
Smoky nuances in perfumery aren’t new, and classics like Chanel’s Cuir de Russie (£150 for 75ml EDP), Guerlain’s Shalimar (£99 for 90ml EDP) or Molinard’s Habanita (€94 for 75ml EDP) have flirted with the smouldering inflections of frankincense, benzoin or amber. What makes the modern smoky fragrances different is their boldness. Naomi Goodsir’s Bois d'Ascèse (€140 for 50ml EDP) doesn’t hold back on dramatic materials like birch tar, leather and incense, and the effect is striking. The fragrance smells smoky, but it’s so cleverly balanced that wearing it is no different from enjoying a classical woody oriental blend, albeit one with more verve.
Those who indeed want to smell of charcoal and tar can have their wish granted by Comme des Garçons’ Black (£80 for 100ml EDT). The name doesn’t lie. It’s a dark perfume that evokes charred woods, crushed black pepper and tanned leather. The first time I wore it, I was shocked, because I didn’t expect such an explosive effect – and so much smoke out of a bottle. The fragrance turned out to be addictive, however, and I’ve grown to enjoy the potent opening and the unexpectedly tender and warm drydown. It transpired that perfumer Guillaume Flavigny used a gingerbread accent to round out the edges of Black, thus making smoke smell sweet.
Article by Victoria Frolova, December 2018.
There are some places in the world, where you feel that you're stepping back in time. Marrakech is definitely one of them...
Winston Churchill wrote : “Marrakech is simply the nicest place on Earth to spend an afternoon. Here in these spacious palm groves rising from the desert, the traveller can be sure of perennial sunshine, of every comfort and diversion, and can contemplate with ceaseless satisfaction the stately and snow-clad panoramas of the Atlas Mountains".
L’Hôtel Marrakech is a privately owned Riad set in the heart of the ‘red city’s’ Medina. L’Hôtel is conveniently close to the vibrant Jemaa El Fna square, the bustling Souk and nearby the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque. This historic 19th century riad, originally the central part of a Caidal palace, comprises five spacious suites surrounding a uniquely wide courtyard garden and swimming pool. This charming retreat combines delicious food, great comfort and service whilst capturing the elegance of hotels of the 1930s. Owned by Jasper Conran, the riad combines superb Moroccan craftsmanship with pieces of antique furniture, textiles, lighting and art from his collection, making it feel more like a home than a hotel.
The Top 5 (Perfume of the Year Candidates) by Mark Benhke.
"Naomi Goodsir Nuit de Bakélite - The creative direction of Naomi Goodsir and Renaud Coutaudier matched with the vistuosity of perfumer Isabelle Doyen provided the best tuberose of 2017. Their choice to focus on the green stemmy quality by editing out the flower they found something within which reinvents tuberose".
NUIT DE BAKELITE
Article by Dariush Alavi.
"Nuit de Bakélite from Naomi Goodsir (Isabelle Doyen). Just when you thought there was nothing more to be done with tuberose, along came Isabelle Doyen to work her magic and convince you that you were smelling the tempestuous flower for the very first time. Creamy, bitter and green in equal measure, Bakélite was one of the year's undisputed spellbinders".
"I did find out about a fragrance whose name is my new motto: Stay Dench “Dench” being a synonym for “sick” (which means “nice” in English slang), “used for saying that someone or something is extremely attractive, fashionable, impressive, etc.” according to the Macmillan online dictionary. Launched by grime star Lethal Bizzle, the word springs directly from Judi Dench’s unimpeachable badassery. It is now the name of a brand and a fragrance (if you’ve smelled it, please report) for which Dame Judith teamed up with Lethal Bizzle for a first lesson in rap. So I’ll just leave this here before moving on to my favorite launches of 2017".
"So, what made my nose go "Pow!" in 2017?"
"Nuit de Bakélite by Isabelle Doyen for Naomi Goodsir nips tuberose's criminal intentions right in the bud, turning niche's fetish flower into a venomous stem oozing Day-glo sap. One of the year's most striking olfactory signatures" - Denyse Beaulieu.
Best perfume :
"Nuit de Bakélite (Naomi Goodsir, Renaud Coutaudier and Isabelle Doyen)- in a year of many mediocre tuberoses, safe and screechy for the most part, Naomi Goodsir, Renaud Coutaudier and the magnificent Isabelle Doyen created a tuberose very different than any I have encountered. It is the bud before the flower opens and becomes the heady queen of the night. It is the roots, the seed, grown in a bio-sphere in another galaxy. My nose to my wrist, I smell fractured shards of green tuberose, textured and deconstructed. Nuit de Bakélite is a DARING perfume and unlike any tuberose I have smelled in a few years". - Michelyn Camen
Best Creative Director:
"Naomi Goodsir and Renaud Coutaudier for Nuit de Bakélite. I really loved the obsessive interpretation of Tuberose Naomi and Renaud steered with Isabelle Doyen. I also like the connection with Louise Bourgeois and the total white Insomnia project". - Ermano Picco
Article by Denyse Beaulieu. September 2017.
Without Lenin, there would be no Chanel N°5.
The absurd thought occurred to me as I was reading China Miéville’s meticulously researched and brilliantly written October: The Story of the Russian Revolution. Conflating the Ten Days that Shook the World[i] with Ernest Beaux’s fifth proposal to Gabrielle Chanel may seem like a bit of a jump. But Beaux wouldn’t have immigrated to France if it hadn’t been for the Bolsheviks. And his contribution to perfumery was, if not an actual revolution, a definite game-changer (unlike the house’s latest offering). Playing with blotters and vials might seem like strumming the balalaika while the world burns, drowns and quakes (has anybody else who grew up during the Cold War been having atomic mushroom nightmares again?). For what it’s worth, this fall I’ll salute the 100th anniversary of Red October with the ten scents that are shaking my world these days.
Nuit de Bakélite
by Isabelle Doyen for Naomi Goodsir
For all the delicate, poetic fragrances she composed for Annick Goutal, it’s easy to forget that Isabelle Doyen can also be a badass avant-gardist (as she demonstrates in her nearly impossible to find Les Nez creations). In Nuit de Bakélite, she turns the tuberose -- or rather, the “peduncle that connects the stem to the flower” -- into a mutant plant exuding radioactive sap; a scent-track for Day of the Triffids. Milky-thick at the heart, day-glo green at the edges with an opalescent splash of iris, this non-linear composition has one of the most distinctive signatures I’ve smelled of late.