Perfume Directory

Theorema (1998)
by Fendi


Theorema information

Year of Launch1998
Average Rating
(based on 184 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerChristine Nagel
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton
Parent Company at launchElf Aquitaine > Sanofi Beauté > Florbath

About Theorema

Theorema is a feminine perfume by Fendi. The scent was launched in 1998 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Christine Nagel

Theorema fragrance notes

Reviews of Theorema

"Tesla," he prodded,
"Tell me more about the sun."
Tesla smiled at that.
12th December, 2017
I swore to myself that I was not gonna get on the Theorema train, damn it--the reviews, the prices, the hype, the discontinued status, and all the wailing and lamentation that comes with discovering a classic that's no longer made--that marvelous but devastating feeling of discovery and loss.

And then, like Pandora with the box, I sometimes poked around online at the minis for resale and wondered. Meh, it's a serious oriental, I figured. It'll be another Shalimar--no doubt something beautiful, but not exactly for me. I decanted my mini into a sprayer, gave it a couple of tries, and figured I was right from the beginning--a big, clanging opening, a tangy and fresh and very novel kind of citrus, caroling huzzahs of spices, and hinting at an even grander second movement with Ozmanthian statues lurching out of the sand, trains of camels and dancing girls, and a last act reclining on a dream of vanilla. If that had happened, I wouldn't be writing about Theorema right now.

Instead, Theorema does something that few perfumes constructed in this (relatively recent era) do: it downshifts into another gear entirely--and then *kicks it*. That richness that could support an upright spoon swirls away, and what's left is a sheer, gauzy, psychedelic golden space fever dream--that lasts and lasts and lasts and lasts and lasts and lasts. And I think that's what everyone moons about. Yes, it's exotic, and it smells like spice, and I vastly prefer it in cooler weather, but it never becomes a costume drama. It's just opaque enough to feel like perfume, while it remains translucent enough that it also somehow melds together with the wearer. This effect holds true in all formulations, and that may be the genie in the bottle--that mutually transformative power between perfume and self that I think that all perfume lovers--even the most jaded of us--never stop searching for.

I could try to describe exactly what it smells like, but the truth is that Theorema is constructed of familiar materials and smells--honestly, we all know what amber smells like; and if you're not familiar with osmanthus, you can find any number of people (present scribe likely included) singing its praises online. That part is all there in the pyramid. What's great about Theorema is the construction, the way that bits and pieces of fade and return and recombine into striking new combinations, and the way it does it all in such a lovely mezzo voce, never demanding, just hanging in there with you. Those key changes, those subtle switches of mood, from almost sweet to almost dry, and the way it hangs in there and dances between them tirelessly (and the way that, hours later, it slowly, slowly, spins to a stop and finally comes creeping down beside you on little cat feet)--that's why I think Theorema is great.

Buy the ticket and take the ride: those little minis are a steal, and they will not be there forever. But don't say you weren't warned.

19th September, 2017 (last edited: 21st September, 2017)
Theorema opens with a powerful spicy accord, Oriental and sweet, with dusty and exotic notes of cumin, resins (olibanum too?), cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, all supported by woods – I get sandalwood and cedar – and softened by a graceful, light floral breeze with a sprinkle of citrus and neroli, providing an irresistible fruity-warm feel to an otherwise quite pungent blend. A totally modern opening for a scent which could have been released last week; Theorema has a sophisticated, bright sort of “thin” substance and transparency, which is quite typical of many contemporary scents, yet not smelling plain or cheap: all ingredients smell terribly sharp, high-quality and vibrant, it’s just that most of them are, say, “high-pitched” notes (spices, citrus) and this creates a sort of light transparency, yet dense and bold. The unsurpassed beauty of this scent lies in the incredible class with which Nagel composed it: the spicy structure is perfectly counter-balanced by the watercolor sweetness of flowers, all darkened with a gentle shade of woods. All is discreet, simple, almost “geometrical”, clean and incredibly sharp, clear and bright. Radiant, refined, a joy to wear and to discover, civilized enough to please also non-lovers of resinous-spicy scents (I’m one of them). Elegant sillage, decent persistence, totally unisex. Far superior to its masculine companion, by the way.

11th November, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A citrus-floral combination, mainly orange and jasmine, opens this one, the floral seeing a rose note emerge with ylang-ylang and a mildly spicy note added in the drydown. On my skin the prominent component now is a delicious cinnamon, creamy, rich but never heavy and very well balanced; it gives the whole composition a soft and creamy vibe. The base sees a whiff of amber over woodsy notes mainly, and for the last hours this is on me a skin scent. This is to my the drawback of Theorema: poor silage and projection to a disappointing extent, with a good longevity of seven hours though, but whilst this is not an attention-getter, on the other hand this restraint makes is an ideal cool-weather office scent that is never intrusive. 3/5
24th August, 2014
Mugler's Angel - take two.

It is very berry, just like Angel. It does try to do a variation by adding a creamy vanilla based benzoin dry down, but it still remains a rip off of an original. I would not classify this as an oriental, but a gourmand fruit.

According to Barbara Herman the notes are:

Top: Citrus, Orange Blossom, Nutmeg, Pepper, Cardamom, Rosewood, Rose Hips
Middle: Jasmine, Rose, Osmanthus, Ylang-Ylang, Cinnamon, Spices
Base: Benzoin, Guaiac Wood, Sandalwood, Amber, Patchouli

She finds all manner of notes in this: peppery, smoky, dirty edge, leather, earth, but I can't get past its utter resemblance to Angel. Hence, the neutral review.

Nice on its own, but a rip-off, nonetheless.
18th June, 2014
This fragrance, together with a bunch of others such as Nu EDP, Envy, Rush, Envy For Men, several Donna Karan*s* (to name only a few among the most *recent* ones), are the reason why around *twothousandandsomething* I've lost most of the interest in designers compositions. If I think about what designers have meant to fragrance in the past, I struggle to understand all these recent trends in mass market perfumery.

Theorema is not simply gorgeous, it would actually put on shame 90% of today's niche offerings. Responsible of fragrances such as Eau De Cartier, Narcisso Rodriguez For Her, Archives 69, a bunch of Jo Malones, Guerlains and Muglers, this is Christine Nagel in full effect. A thick spicy-oriental loaded with cardamom, pepper and nutmeg built around a resiny-ambery base and loads of smooth / warm woods. Fantastic juxtaposition provided by the citrusy opening which is probably one of the most long lasting lemon notes ever. Extremely complex, incredibly radiant and unbelievably long lasting. Mandatory.

01st November, 2013

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