My first pictures at Nuit were those of a nightly Art Deco salon in warm, subdued light, surfaces of dark lacquer and shiny black plastic. Is there art deco furniture made of bakelite? There are vases standing around, they look like this, bouquets in them, lush, a numbing, dusty flowery scent is in the air. Are they all real flowers between the polished chrome? On the walls hang mirrors that have been overhauled by age, the floor is made of old, but light, fragrant parquet. I'm in a quiet conversation with a creature that seems to come from a bygone era, yet seems completely modern. Its androgynous outlines are reflected by the mirrored surfaces. The short, dark hairs cling to the slender, pale face and emphasize its boyishness. A Sally Bowles that seems to come from the future, or did she fall through a wormhole from the artist's dressing room of a Berlin cabaret of the twenties? One chats, flirts, the conversation an indeterminate game with ideas, possibilities, reflections. Is that attraction? I can't get rid of the feeling of being part of a production. What is real here, what is only scenery? A quiet uneasiness is spreading. Something suddenly becomes too much for me, paralyses me. This dusty density. I want to think clearly, suck in the cold air that smells of rain.
I have to get out of here
Naomi Goodsir is an artist who prefers to show herself in newly interpreted, elaborately crafted set pieces of classic clothing - especially traditional men's and uniform fashion - and has made this arsenal part of her work. Oversized collars, ties, costume jackets, hunting hats, feathered headdresses, braces, leather, the archaic, vintage and futuristic, the dark, fetish, all of these populate her creative, expressive cosmos, in which her hat-making and the production of sophisticated handcrafted accessories form the heart of her work. Nuit is one of her first fragrances created under her own label. Before that, she worked as a perfume-inspired artist (she is not a perfumer by nature) for Annick Goutal and was responsible, together with Isabelle Doyen, for example, for "Ambre Fétiche" (which I liked very much). When you look at her oeuvre, you expect her to devote herself to the subject of tuberose in her own very special way. A play of archaic, artificial and natural elements, and this in her own expressive handwriting - and one is not disappointed.
Whether this is portable or suitable as a utility product is of course a different matter, but more on this later...
For tuberoses you need strong nerves in many respects.
They are diva-like bulbous plants which, in our latitudes, adorn themselves only one summer long with their elegant, waxy white flowers floating on slender stems and their incomparably intense fragrance. The tuberose is an enchanting beauty, which exerts itself sensually and confidently, only to remain snap-frozen under a tuft of green leaves the following year, just as if it were unable - just like the weather-sensitive, nervous bitch - to step in front of the curtain once again, just one last time, and accept the never-ending applause of its admirers
Tuberoses (like all divas) have their fans and those who turn up their noses. Whoever sticks his nose into Robert Piguet's "Fracas" will, in relation to the typical tuberose scent, have quickly made his decision to belong to one camp or the other. I am honestly divided here. "Fascinatingly tiring" is probably the right word to use if someone were to ask me for my briefest description of my feelings about this particular genus of white-flowered plants. Heavy, sensual, very feminine, nocturnal, narcotic, robbing the senses - that's more or less how I would describe myself.
Tuberose takes a central position in Nuit, but is well flanked by other fragrance components, and Naomi Goodsir gives it an interpretation that exorcises the ultra-feminine, dominant femme fatale. Instead, she exposes her androgyny and a play on ambivalence. At the beginning there are almost rough, grassy, green-nutty, cool aspects reminiscent of fresh, tart plant juice (Angelika; the green eye shadow of Sally Bowles), balsamic-creamy (Galbanum; her warm physicality), woody and earthy (Styrax; we are in an old building), plus a dusty, dry density (this place should actually be aired ... Maybe someone will tell me which tricks Mrs. Goodsir uses to create the dustiness in some of her scents, also in "Ambre"). All of this somehow possibly gives an impression of plastic. Or of rather green tuberoses in night-black plastic vases. I do not know. I can't really understand this plastic association and, to prove me wrong, I smelled various black caps on bottles, hoping I would find out what bakelite smells like - no way.
But it still fits: black, shiny surfaces, reflecting, something old, yet modern, almost futuristic, night. This impression stays with me, while the Nuit tuberose unfolds its various fascinating aspects and casts a strange spell on you. My family, however, has a unanimous opinion, and so I could dose as homoeopathically as I wanted (you should always do that with the fragrance anyway, the performance is otherwise literally suffocating):
Let's get out of here!
Conclusion: A handcrafted, undoubtedly high-quality, incredibly densely woven fragrance with a narcotic performance, which should only be used in micro-spray bursts (and even these effortlessly fill entire rooms). Minimalistically dosed, however, it shows its many facets and its ambivalent appeal.
PS: I still can't really decide what rating I give him in the end. Starting at 8.5, corrected down to 7.5, I'm now tending back up again.
Who are you, Sally Bowles?