Posted on 07 March 2011.
By Pablo Breton | Facebook | Twitter
I think it’s only fair to start this review by giving you an idea what kind of sick individual you’re dealing with.
As a guy, I can do that quite easily, simply by listing my favorite scents, which no respectable guy would do. (Most guys, bless ’em, probably have no such list. Or if they do, they wouldn’t tell you.) But I don’t give an F (I care only enough to type the letter “F”: now that’s casual).
(Next I want to mention that, lest you think I’m some rich mofo, and now would like to come borrow some bread, I have never actually owned any of these perfumes. Sorry friends, I only covet them in stores.
Wait, is there a girl in the audience? I mean, I’m really rich: ignore the car.)
L’Eu Guerriere (means “warrior water”: only joking; oh no, I just looked it up and it really does!): Woody, musky, resinous due to “olibanum,” which is apparently a less biblical word for frankincense – $120
Serge Lutens Chene (does not mean “Serge Lutens’ dog,” that’s chein, thankfully): Oak, beeswax, rum, dried fruit, spices and wood – $140
Bois Blond by by Parfumerie Generale (no, Parfumerie Generale is not the French equivalent of Rite Aid, although it does sound like it, doesn’t it? Actually I don’t know what Parfumerie Generale is, so … maybe I’m wrong or right again. Though it costs $110, so probably not): Cedar, grass, hay, blond tobacco, amber, musk – $110
Le Vetiver de Lubin (“Lubin’s Vetiver.” Don’t worry; it’s not a euphemism, and Lubin won’t make you touch it): Vetiver, clove, nutmeg, bright tobacco, red cedar, myrrh, frankincense, pepper – $95
(Also, “eu de toilette” does not mean “smell of toilet,” which I thought it did as a kid. And if it did, it really shouldn’t cost $100. Am I right, people, am I right?)
I also like Gucci Pour Homme, but I feel less special for mentioning it, so I won’t. Whatever.
Maybe all of those smells above are intended for guys; I’m just too lazy to check the websites now, and never asked. But if you’re a fellow fellow, you probably also noticed that most of these scents are woody, masculine and make you look like you’ve been slurping down ‘roid shakes. Oh, they don’t? Well, let’s all demand that imaginary $100 back, and maybe we’ll get it for once. (Am I right, people, am I right?)
But all of this empty rhetoric and also soul-nourishing pabulum really just brings me to:
NOOKA FRAGRANCE: THE FUTURE DISTILLED
According to the box: “Nooka eau de parfum is the next generation of precious liquids. It expresses the wearer’s multi-faceted individuality, and is cased in a custom gem bottle. Nooka communicates a universal language that transcends defined opposites. A synergy of scents, both familiar and foreign, instinctive and original, mental and physical that come together as one: Japanese yuzu, sprinkled with pink pepper; polished steel wrapped in vintage leather.”
I don’t know what steel smells like when it’s wrapped in leather (otherwise I’m well aware that steel smells like hay-covered marshmallows, doi), but I’ll bet it’s real classy. (I’m seeing a chichi jewelry safe from SkyMall.) But Nooka is the brainchild of New York artist Matthew Waldman, whose Nooka brand is famous mainly for colorful, sculpted, futuristic watches, eye wear and other stuff.
So expect the visual, from the almost Ghery-like sculpting of the bottle to the pale kiwi tint of the liquid inside that recalls some sort of Vulcan liqueur (click link).
Now on to the scent:
The perfume itself was developed in conjunction with perfumist Pierre-Constantin Guéros.
Let me start by saying the competition above is pretty heavy-hitting, so I was very pleasantly surprised at the complexity. Nooka has a multi-faceted dry, woodsy, leathery smell that reminds me just a tad of Essence of John Galliano, a ridiculously expensive candle by Diptyque.
(Oh, I haven’t told you about my candle obsession yet? Oh well.)
“Gloss paper accord” is one of the more intriguing notes mentioned. The more I use Nooka, the more I do smell it. Intriguing indeed. Each day I like this Nooka scent, more and more.
Now, in lieu of a string of adjectives, such as those I’ve seen in conjunction with this fragrance (“coriander, tonka bean, gloss paper accord, cypress bark, musk and pink sand accord“), I’m now going to do the unthinkable: smell, close my eyes and tell you what I see.
IT’S EARLY EVENING (the edges of the sky are dark purple) and I’m on some sort of light rail, traveling parallel to a raised autobahn that appears to be deserted.
The landscape has complex geometric buildings (so it’s a little like TRON, except it doesn’t suck), and it’s uncommonly quiet, both inside and outside the train.
A disheveled man with a soft, oiled leather briefcase is sitting next to me, asleep, with some sort of folded paper cube (I think it’s a computer) turned off beside him. He doesn’t seem concerned about possible theft.
Across from me a French girl is quietly sipping lychee tea with boba and her Japanese friend is smiling faintly while peeling a fairchild tangerine.
Everyone seems a little peculiar at first, until you realize they’re very relaxed, or perhaps mentally quiet in a way we don’t see much in our too-busy present.
The air outside the window is dry, and smells vaguely of chalk, and further down the compartment, someone is smoking vanilla tobacco in a what may be a clay pipe. (I guess that’s safe in the future.)
It’s just so quiet.
And I like this place.
I really, really like it.
More “Stuff to Live For”
“Pac Man Died ‘N Stuff”: Read about time travel, Nooka watches and founder Matthew Waldman at IndieLookLA