Nuit de Sable is a creation of the French Marie Schnirer (9 fragrances on Parfumo). Enthusiastic about classical music, dance and singing, the well-travelled young perfumer studied chemistry at L'Université 7 until she transferred to L'École Supérieure du Parfum (both in Paris) - an institute (unique in the world, according to herself) for the creative and commercial study of perfume art and business. In 2017, she co-founded Maelstrom (laboratoire de parfum indépendant), an independent development lab in Paris, with Yohan Cervi (creative director) and perfumer Patrice Revillard (12 fragrances on Parfumo).
In 2019, Schnirer created Nuit de Sable for bdk (named after founder and CEO David Benedek). Although - much like Maelstrom - a newcomer to the perfume business, the Parisian perfume house, which was only founded in 2016 and is likely to be known to a wider public in particular for Gris Charnel, Rouge Smoking and Crème de Cuir, is currently the most popular client of the three young Maelstrom creatives. (Other clients include Panogue Paris, Téo Cabanel and Visiteur.) Nuit de Sable appeared at bdk in La collection Parisienne. This association may be more than a marketing strategy: while Parisienne Schnirer was inspired for Nuit de Sable by a summer stroll in the gardens of Paris' Palais Royal (the brief probably came from David Benedek), bdk's headquarters are just a stone's throw from this stately oasis in the heart of the French capital, and Benedek's parents' perfumery is also not far from the gardens, which are said to have played a major role in perfume house founder Benedek's childhood.
Nuit de Sable, the 'Night of the Sand', Schnirer has dedicated to cardamom. The capsule fruits of the plant, originally from India (today often imported from Guatemala), contain an essential oil that exudes a fresh, sweet-pungent aroma. In this it resembles the characteristics of ginger, which is related to it. Cardamom, which can also be somewhat reminiscent of eucalyptus or peppermint, plays the main role in Schnirer's fragrance composition. In the top note it is accompanied by a fine, fresh nutmeg, and in the heart note it is joined by aspects of a 'deconstructed' rose - "ne gardant de la rose que certaines de ses facettes "*: in particular the green freshness and the fruity honey sweetness. However, Nuit de Sable does not smell floral through the use of these single, isolated facets of the rose scent. Rather, the eau de parfum wants to represent the totality of aromatic diversity, density and heaviness of a hot summer night in said, windless, shielded from the noise of the city and lushly planted (also with roses) city gardens, which completely surround the city palace built for Cardinal de Richelieu in 1627.
In the course to the base note, the interplay of cardamom dominates with a creation that Marie Schnirer calls 'chord of hot sand' and which she composed solely for Nuit de Sable. The 'hot sand' is (unmistakably) composed of light sandalwood and dry-salty, mineral notes. (The illusion certainly seems very well done here.) More technical than olfactory, the often unjustly maligned ambroxan (synthesized by Firmenich) also lends Schnirer's Nuit de Sable depth and a certain, pleasant muddiness. After a few hours, the bdk perfume fades out like a vanilla-sweet, slightly mineral sandalwood scent. It seems a little unfortunate that the nutmeg, which gives the fragrance a very pleasant, dry-fresh spiciness in the top note, lacks any imprint as it progresses. Overall, it also seems desirable to me, heart and base notes would not be dominated too quickly by sandalwood.
Nevertheless, as a friend of cardamom and sandalwood fragrances, I am very happy about Marie Schnirer's young and independent fragrance creation. She has created an excellent, warm cardamom perfume. If you love Ford's Oud Wood because of this unusual fragrance component, and if you also appreciate sandalwood scents like Essence No. 8 (Elie Saab), Indian Sandalwood (Dunhill), Monsieur Beauregard (Penhaligon's), and others, you'll probably like Nuit de Sable right away.
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