Perfume Directory

Phul-Nana (1891)
by Grossmith


Phul-Nana information

Year of Launch1891
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 26 votes)

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About Phul-Nana

Phul-Nana is a shared / unisex perfume by Grossmith. The scent was launched in 1891

Reviews of Phul-Nana

Phul-Nana is quite complex, but I think it can be fairly well described as a combination of common themes. First, it's got the ingredients of a powdery old-school amber. It's also got spicy elements that remind me of bay rum, and there's that gasoline-tinged musk that I recognize from Knize Ten, as well as that vinegar smell you get in some classic chypres. The smell changes over the course of the day, but it's always some combination of those elements.

Phul-Nana was clearly very carefully crafted, but it's just not that compelling, and as with any perfume touched by Roja Dove, it costs about $300 more than it should. Its combination of spices and resins and animalics should be exciting, but somehow comes across as a bit dull. Instead, for similar combinations done with considerably more excitement and priced better, I'd suggest a sniff through Santa Maria Novella's vault of classics, especially their Spanish Leather.
24th August, 2017
It comes down to - No Big Deal!

Outrageous, criminal price for this melange of floral and herbal notes, aptly laid out above.

Totally nondescript - don't know what Barbara Herman was going on about its "soft, musky, animalic, woods and balsamic" presence. I do get the edgy medicinal, herbal edge
and not much else.

Don't know what the others on this site are going on about -blah nothing in my book.
25th April, 2014 (last edited: 26th May, 2015)
Head-shop soap! Or to put it another way - soapy Daphne by CDG.
The soapy nag champa floral opening (produced by a juxtaposition with opopanax probably) was irresistibly sniffable, even though it was definitely a fresh out of the shower soap smell. But I thought it was pretty scrumptious. It has the same tuberose/resin note as Daphne. This phase lasted a good two hours.
In the drydown the soap disappears and I was left with a more solidly Daphne fragrance. This part is fine, but the soapy part is my favorite, as it is less stolid than the end.
08th January, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Rich and luxe

The opening with neroli. ylang-ylan. geranium and a rich tuberose is delightful. A good patchouli in the drydown is complimented by a nice cedar note, with a high-quality tonka added in the base that is neither too sweet nor cloying. Verty well blended, good quality, with good silage and projection. I get about five hours of longevity.

23rd October, 2013
Time traveler's essential companion

I have a longstanding fascination with old perfumes, probably trying to recapture something from a hazy past. By my age, I should be nostalgic for the seventies, but the yearning is for times I never lived through. So this nostalgia is imaginary, sort of à la recherche du temps jamais vécu.

In my quest for nostalgic, retro perfumes (not talking here about vintage, these are ‘fresh’ bottles), this one seems the most authentic, uncompromising and best quality so far. For me, this really makes time travel happen. Not sure if anybody remembers an old film called Somewhere in Time with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve where he ends up travelling back in time to 1912, to an Edwardian boudoir and to the lace covered bosom of a belle époque beauty. This is the scent of that boudoir and bosom!

Now coming back to reality, this is a potent, interesting and long-lasting fragrance. Starts with a bracing spicy geranium, with a bit of citrus to lighten the punch; this initial phase is much longer than the top notes we usually get these days. The next stage is fairly constant, a woody floral, slightly ambery mix, very tenacious and with strong projection. I would say that it is unisex, but as a man you need to be quite brave to wear it, while on a woman it would be less eccentric.

I had to buy the bottle and I usually wear it for my own sake, enveloped in its potency and capacity for dépaysement, in rêveries of other times. But I am getting bolder and started wearing it more often.

Pros: Different from anything others are wearing, long lasting, potent and high quality
Cons: It needs a bit of courage to wear it"

11th September, 2013
Extremely white and soapy  in a sort of refined, clean, airy, slightly aldehydic, floral and detergent way. Is important to specify that, despite the detergent vibe ( i don't exactly know if "detergent" is the appropriate term in English) and the implementation of the balsams (benzoin, myrrh, amber, vanilla), the juice smells basically dry and almost talky. This fragrance, in the same vein of some Ambre et Vanille E.Coudray, Teinte de Neige Villoresi or I Puredistance, stands  among that genre (sort of dry-talky oriental chypre) of scents reminding me the olfactory atmosphere of the luxury hotels' rooms and eliciting a fragrant kind of soapiness (a soapy laundriness). The combination of bergamot, ylang-ylang, neroli, patchouli and balsams produces a sort of almost Victorian, bath foam type and ethereal soapiness with kind of arcane undertones. The juice is also orangy and almost decadent. I see the comparison of the initial hesperidic (almost aldehidic) part with the vintage Habit Rouge's first stage. I suppose that something similar to a (minimal) synthetic anise or angelica is mixed in the blend. Secret flowers arouse a white but almost sinister and silent refinement.  Frankly i don't catch the woodiness in the base, just a touch of final talc (soon leaving the stage to a stuck linearity) coming may be from the woods and the powdery tonka. Something dirty and vulgar in the final whiffs? Yes, i detect a sort of corporeal-animalic vibe reminding something human ancestral coming from the first years of our life (a sort of dirty baby powder). The juice smells close to the skin. Is hard to detect the level of lasting power in this type of juices (just testing a vial sometimes) but i feel that Phul-Nana is tenacious enough to be worn with satisfaction just once a day. Not bad and a must try for the lovers of the genre.
04th September, 2012 (last edited: 10th September, 2014)

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Perfumes launched in the same year as Phul-Nana (1891)