Parfum de Nicolai: Odalisque

When it comes to perfumes, each spring I try and find green perfumes that would work for me. You know, not too fresh as it’s not yet summer but they need to connote the springness – the sun, the grass, the flowers, the morning dew and chill and the gradual warmth permeating our world.
Each spring I don’t know where to look but eventually a perfume makes its presence known to me and the spring suddenly feels like THE season for enjoying perfumes.

Before you start thinking I only came across Odalisque the other day, it wouldn’t be true. I have a little bottle for quite some time now. But it only dawned on me some days ago that the greenery I seek might be hidden in this bottle.

It’s a strange little perfume. It doesn’t smell the same to me when I spray it on my arm and smell it there and when I spray it on me and I catch my own sillage. There aren’t any big differences but what I smell in my sillage seems to be clearly chypre-ish while what I smell on my arm distinguishes itself with other notes.

Top notes : green citrus, bergamot and tangerine

Heart : lily of the valley, jasmine, orris, oakmoss
Base : musc

Honestly, lately I started to think that the only note I can always rely on smelling in a perfume is a citrusy one. πŸ™‚ I don’t mean to say that Odalisque is the general thing you can smell anywhere, this is just what usually comes up in my first sentence when taking notes on a perfume. I’m starting to find it funny, but I also realize I’ll have to develop my citrusy vocabulary because they don’t smell the same.

Anyway, in Odalisque the little citrusy feel you get smells green and there is no sweetness at all (as evidenced by the notes). When I was smelling this without the notes, I thought that the little fruity aspect that could be gleaned came from some kind of a dark berry, but in retrospect I guess the tangerine-oakmoss combination works its little magic. I was also getting a light camphorous feel from it but I can’t guess where that one came from.

The thing is, I would never have come across lily of the valley if I haven’t read the notes (jasmine too). There is a barely floral tinge to the oakmoss in there and once I saw lily mentioned, I could smell it in there but the most important part of this perfume for me is that it reminds me of spring wet wood and grass. Not that it smells like that – but the oakmoss is working its magic with a lightly mossy and woody notes.

Btw, I just went to check the meaning of odalisque and came up with a serving girl in a harem. πŸ™‚
I don’t know how that would relate to the perfume and I don’t really care – all I know is that it worked for me.

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7 thoughts on “Parfum de Nicolai: Odalisque

  1. Suzanne May 11, 2012 at 14:42 Reply

    So happy to hear that you found a perfume to awaken the spirit of Spring within you! Your review reminds me of how generally unfamiliar I am with the De Nicolai line … not sure why I haven't explored it more considering that I love and own PdN Sacrebleu. (And when I say I love that one, oooh how I do! I should check your blog but I'm lazy right now … have you tried that one, Ines? I'm thinking it has your name on it.) πŸ™‚


  2. Ines May 12, 2012 at 12:50 Reply

    Suzanne, the strange thing for me with PdN is that when I first tried some of them, I didn't really like them and now more and more of them are growing on me. I don't remember smelling Sacrebleu, but if you think I might love it, I'll try and smell it soon.You do seem to guess correctly when it comes to my taste – I was testing Caron Tuberose again yesterday and enjoying Catherine Deneuve's perfume (I just need to write about them). πŸ˜‰


  3. Undina May 16, 2012 at 08:41 Reply

    Only after reading your review I realized that I have no idea why I always thought of Odalisque as of a green perfume. I have mixed feelings about this perfume: there is something unpleasant about it in the initial hour or two and then it gets more pleasant.


  4. Ines May 16, 2012 at 11:10 Reply

    It is a bit green, you know how much can be gotten from oakmoss.I used to find all PdN strange having some strange note I couldn't deal with, but I seem to be falling for them now.


  5. Anonymous May 23, 2012 at 01:28 Reply

    Do you know if Odalisque is the same scent of the perfume by Netti Rosenstein back in the 60's and 70's.?


  6. Ines May 23, 2012 at 11:21 Reply

    Anon, no, I don't believe it has anything to do with the perfume you mentioned as Patricia de Nicolai creates her own perfumes.


  7. […] are many perfumes I associate with spring (Odalisque and Coty Fatale for ex.) but I would love discovering one that smells like spring in my […]


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