This is a review of the Nirmala EDT that I recently purchased in the Molinard shop located in Nice.
Nirmala opens with a splash of grapefruit and quickly transitions to a tropical fruit explosion with a strange chloride note. Sometimes the bleach morphs into cumin, making this fruity floral a slightly sweaty affair. What is interesting about Nirmala is that it smells like it is pretending to be fruity patchouli. I compared it to Angel and discovered that the 1992 classic had more green patchouli and not as much sweat as the 1955 classic. So we have bleach plus cumin plus super obnoxious fruit plus a jasmine note that I’m not very pumped about plus some creepy “pretend” patchouli. I should hate this. I should be scrubbing it off right now, but I’m not. Nose meet arm. Nose meet arm again. And again.
My only complaint is that the performance isn’t that great, but maybe the EDP delivers?
Fans of contemporary fruity patchouli fragrances should check out Nirmala—this could be your classic!
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.