Genre: Fruity Floral
Whatever Nirmala was in 1955, this isn’t it. Molinard apparently recycled the name for this Angel imitator, circa 1993. In its third incarnation (since 2000,) Nirmala is a leaner, brighter Angel, both less provocative than the original and less distinctive.
Nirmala’s lighter touch is evident from the start: the top notes are more tart than Angel’s and suggest citrus rather than lush berries. The two converge after a half an hour or so, as the familiar sweet, foody notes of chocolate and vanilla wrap themselves around the fruit and the patchouli asserts itself in the foundation. Nirmala remains more acidic than Angel, with a touch of chemical abrasiveness at its center. The attempt to lighten an inherently baroque structure leaves Nirmala smelling unfinished – even skeletal – next to its progenitor.
Divergence occurs as Angel’s notoriously animalic patchouli intensifies, while Nirmala’s stays further in the background. Where Angel is propelled by the discord between its woody oriental base notes and its overwhelmingly sweet fruity floral accord, Nirmala remains more of a straightforward tropical fruit cocktail. This kind of beach vacation twist on Angel has been done better in Profumi di Pantelleria’s Jailia, though admittedly at much greater cost. You can also have the same kind of fun-in-the-sun with the more readily available Fresh Sugar Lychee or Nicolaï’s Eau Turquoise, with less obvious resemblance to Angel.
I got a sample of this in a grab-bag of scents I had not heard of before and had no preconceptions. It struck me at first as cloyingly sweet but I kept going back to it, as there was something wonderfully irresistible about it. Today I received my full bottle, and it smells even better sprayed. I love this take on vanilla, it is very sensuous and comforting. I have not noticed a sweaty cumin note in Nirmala, but am always unhappy when I discover that note after I have bought a fragrance eg Guerlain Pampleune and Gucci EDP 2002. Nirmala is lovely and I am so glad to have discovered it by chance!
I can't imagine this being a fragrance released in 1955. It's far too fruity (but good fruity) and modern.
But, aside from this being a different version (as opposed to a reformulation) of a classic, this is grand. It's Angel minus the vulgarity. I love Angel's vulgarity. It's a love-it-or-hate-it scent but I see Nirmala as being the go-between. It's sweet but not a bomb. It's fruity without being a giant berry. It's sexy without being all plastic and saline breasts.
I smelled it at The Perfume House in Portland today and I had to buy it. I'm a guy and I can totally wear this. It's just a great pick-me-up and it makes me smell wonderfully lovely. Nothing more to it. Great all-around.
I've been on a bad run with cumin lately, and it's not stopped with Nirmala! Here's what it smells like:
Don't shower for 3 days, then stick a ripe mango under each armpit. That's pretty much it folks.
Lovely lovely scent. I should preface by saying that I have a tricky chemistry, my skin does *horrid* things with overly strong, glaring fruit notes. Many of the modern "fruity florals" turn to bug spray, cough syrup, or earwax on me. I avoid the entire f-f section generally but got a sample of Nirmala and tried it before reading the notes.
Happy accident, that! Otherwise I might never have discovered this. Nirmala is simply sublime, the fruits are so well blended that it is a golden, hushed resonance rather than an in-your-face ZOMG SWEET. Please do not confuse it with the modern concoctions that too often smell like perfume sprayed over kool-aid. If you think you hate fruity florals, give Nirmala a try anyway. The fruits and creamy florals are anchored with the wood which keeps Nirmala from getting sticky sweet or cloying. This is what most of today's fruity florals wish they could be.
I never thought I would like this one – a tropical fruity / vanilla fragrance created in 1955: Kind of my idea of a nightmare. It is humbling, enlightening, and a bit shocking to find how good it is. The tropicalness of Nirmala is real but it is accomplished without going over the top. The fruitiness is fresh, sweet, bright, and fulfilling while the vanilla is more of a firm, solid, near woody foundation: It restrains its exhuberance; it doesn't present itself as a super sweetened vanilla bomb. The restrained and mature vanilla is the secret of this fragrance, along with the reduced, skin-scent sillage. It’s unique, it’s refined, it’s creative, and it’s easy to wear: An excellent fragrance well ahead of its time.