Friday, 2 June 2017

Persolaise Review: Rose Royale from Nicolaï (Patricia De Nicolaï; 2017)

Perfumery is often an exercise in minor variations. Pick a familiar tune. Give it a subtle twist. Change the tempo. And voila: you've ended up with something that manages to be both comforting, comprehensible and accessible without seeming like a complete clone of all that has come before. Of course, as time passes, such variations are more difficult to accomplish: how many new ways are there going to be of saying 'amber' or 'jasmine' or 'musk'? Patricia De Nicolaï is clearly unafraid of such olfactory challenges, because the subject of her latest effort is another one of those super-ubiquitous scent materials: rose.

Maybe she's been driven to create it by the relatively recent arrival of an exciting rose ingredient - LMR's Rose Essential - formed by amalgamating the usual rose oil with some of the scented matter that would normally have been cast aside during the extraction process (or 'relegated' to rose water). Certainly, Rose Royale displays much of the extraordinary photo-realism possessed by the LMR material. But technological advances notwithstanding, what Nicolaï has given us here is that rare example of a rose that smells like an idyllic childhood fantasy of the flower - joyful, optimistic and as weightless as a sprite.

Yes, as it progresses, it becomes a touch too sweet and voluminous for something so fine-limbed - a consequence of the need for musks in the base? - but that's an acceptable price to pay for all that comes before. A wink of coriander. A squeeze of blackcurrant. A few discreet shavings of wood. And above all: a sense of fulfilment. You bring your nose to the petals and, for once, they actually smell of the flower - a scent as delightful as all the most reliable tunes.

[Review based on a sample of eau de toilette provided by Nicolaï in 2017]



  1. Not a rose lover myself, but your review D, makes me want to smell it. PdN is one of those underrated perfumers who doesn't get much attention, but consistently produces amazing scents. My favourite from her perfume stable, has got to be the sadly discontinued Nicolai pour Homme.

    1. Hello your majesty :-) Well, this is very much 'a rose is a rose is a rose' territory, so it may not be to your liking. But yes, I agree: PDN's stuff is always worth checking out.

  2. Perfect review and spot-on. Nothing groundbreaking, but it sure is a pretty scent. That light airy opening was just like sticking my nose into a dewey-wet and freshly picked bouquet!

    1. Robert, thank you. And yes, it's naturalness is its most appealing feature.


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