Barbara Herman's description of this as a "radiant green floral, sweet and soapy woods, with an amber dry down" seems way off base to me.
This is a rich, deep, dark chypre - hearkening back to the 1940s. It's as good a chypre as the best of that genre can be - radiant, yes, but buttery warm and redolent of burnt sugar, amber and musk.
Top notes: Hyacinth, Galbanum, Bergamot, Narcissus, Lemon
Heart notes: Carnation, Jasmine, Rose, Orris, Orchid
Base notes: Sandalwood, Musk, Cedarwood, Moss, Amber
Certainly unisex for today's perfume aficionado and worth seeking out.
What a find!!!!
It was a blind purchase for my wife and actually I wasn't expecting too much but we were pleasantly surprized by an outstanding perfume that lasts all day long.
It is very complex to say the least, opens with a citrusy lavander to a very spicy floral heart to finish in a sweet mossy drydown. A textbook chypre if it wasn't for the lack of the animalic basenote.
Can be worn by confident men with aplomb.
A winner in my book
Just got this. It's remarkably similar to Estee Lauder's White Linen.
A classic. The new version stands up. This was from a cycle of heavy floral-cyphres from the late 60's...Estee Super, Ciara, etc. Perhaps the last gasp of old school, mink and diamonds, old money, country club, Mrs. Robinson style concoctions. Then, they would've bathed in it. To use it unironically today would require very deft application. But then again, it is a classic. Norell defines the word "luscious".
If you've never smelled vintage Norell before, then just ignore people who try to rain on your parade by telling you that the current version of it is "a shadow of its former self". What's the loss? Just smell it and enjoy it. That's what perfume is all about, isn't it?
I've only smelled the Five Star Fragrances version of Norell (i.e., current, reformulated, "unwearable", "shadow of its former self", etc. version), and I think it's wonderful. It's a very classic French styled floral chypre - dry and bitter like Chanel No. 5, and with the depth and underlying green notes of a great chypre like Mitsouko or Givenchy III. One of the other reviewers described it as "gold and green", and I think that describes Norell perfectly. Think of Catherine Deneuve wearing Mitsouko, and you've got an idea of the kind of aura Norell projects.
Not a perfume for teeny boppers, this is class in a bottle, for a mature, sophisticated woman who doesn't take her perfume or her image lightly.
MY RATING: 8.5/10