Tag Archives: Odalisque

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. 🙂 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. 🙂
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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