Saturday, January 23, 2010

SOTD: Parfums de Nicolai Number One

Wait a minute. Why did I think I didn't like this one? It is a flower bomb, yes, but it's a lovely flower bomb.

If I sniff with nose to skin, the opening is sharp and medicinal. But a few inches away, it's a friendly, buttery tuberose, propelled outward by a powerful high-pitched cloud of what smells like jasmine.

The jasmine fades to the background in a few minutes, leaving a much more interesting mixture of notes, one that I can't quite puzzle out. According to the Parfums de Nicolai website, this perfume has top notes of tagetes oil and galbanum oil, heart notes of jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, rose, and cassia, and base notes of sandalwood, oakmoss, and amber.

I don't know which of these components is producing the second phase, but I like that phase very much. The florals are even more buttery, but less dense - there's a strong woody and grainy element, and it's all much lower-pitched than the beginning. The mood is tailored, dignified, but friendly. It reminds me very much of Un Lys, but while Un Lys wears an evening gown, Number One wears an impeccably tailored suit. No, not an office power suit - a vintage piece of tailored perfection.

As it fades, it even grainier and woodier. Others can smell vanilla at this stage - I don't get that, but it is gently sweet, producing a similar mood. Overall, it's lovely. It's competing with my previously urgent desire to own Un Lys - it's appropriate for more occasions, it's drastically less expensive, and, well, I may actually like it better.

Review Roundup: Bois de Jasmin and Legerdenez and Perfume Posse and Fragrantica and Sakecat and Basenotes.


  1. Oooh, I wore Un Lys yesterday, which I do own, and now you've got me curious about this One!

  2. Yes, it's definitely worth trying. I'm still surprised at how much I like it. Comparing the two memories, I'm not sure which one I like better - I'm going to have to do a one-on-each-arm test soon.

  3. I liked this but it didn't grab me, and then I stupidly swapped away my sample. I had to finagle around to swap for another one since I wanted to retest for that tuberose review series. Maybe I'll get to it this afternoon, after my Aimez-Moi wears off...

  4. I'll be very interested to see what you think of it. I'm still surprised that I like it. (And relieved that I like a Parfums de Nicolai perfume! I was feeling left out, given how well-regarded she is.)