Perfume Reviews

Reviews of New-York by Nicolaï

Total Reviews: 92
I read so many comments about how this was similar to Bois du Portugal so I ordered a nice sized decant. This is about as far away from BdP as you can get.

What it does actually smell like is a grandma wearing a bunch of baby powder. This is why I have trust issues.
10th March, 2017
I applied New York at noon, after the gym. Just one or two short sprays. Nine hours later, leaving a rock concert I was introduced to a nice young couple by a mutual friend. The gentleman of the couple got this kind of swoony look on his face and said, "[Mrcologneguy] smells like a man who knows what he wants and how to get it." No kidding, nine hours later. New York certainly lives up to its reputation as one of the best men's fragrances. Highly recommended.
07th February, 2017
I worked at a nursing home. This smells like old lady. Old lady covered in powder and wearing some Avon fragrance.
17th May, 2016
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United Kingdom
I kid you not...this one smells like the late 1980s
more than any other fragrance I've experienced. Totally reminds me of primary school in winter 1989. Walking on the assembly hall wooden floor all buffed and squeaky clean, heading for the stationery cupboard fully stocked to the ceiling with brand new pens, pencils, erasers, inks, tubes of glitter and bulk packs of paper. I think it's the powdery amber in New-York that initiates that anecdote. Masculine. Clean. Crisp. Powdery. Dusty. Interesting. Remarkable. What a great find!
15th December, 2015 (last edited: 16th December, 2015)
A classic in my book, New York is similar to Chanel Pour Monsieur EdT, but with lavender in place of cardamom in the heart, and with just a bit more oomph than CPM. A perfect scent for a gentleman at a business dinner or a holiday party. Perhaps just a bit too much for office wear. Love it and will not be without it. *****
19th September, 2015
Neutral, leaning thumbs up. It has a classic smell, like an old-school men's fragrance, but it's still wearable.

The notes listed above are Lemon, Bergamot, Lavender; Pepper, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Spices; and Vanilla, Leather, and Amber.

Something is missing from this list, I'm guessing, and it's the prominent smell.

Maybe lavender and spices or the Amber is creating the smell, but I'm reminded of an old-fashioned Chypre.
18th March, 2015
Opinion: New York was one of the fragrances/samples offered by one of the houses I made several orders. It was not a choice of mine to have. So, what do you have to say? New York yes a very nice scent, with some similarities with Bois du Portugal. It´s a classy, elegant, safe, very manly scent.

Now, as you guys know, I have some issues with lavender, and New York has, in fact, a prominent lavender note. So, what I got from this again? The barber shop vibe I personally dislike in these kind of fragrances. Maybe it can be confusing, because I really like it, I even like Bois de Portugal and Invasion Barbare even more, but I can´t stop making a connection for "more mature man type fragrance".

Perfomance is interesting, although projection is above average, for me.

A no go for me.


Type/Gender: Masculine.

Masculine scent, no doubt.


Season and Purpose: All year round, although not the best option for Winter. Suitable for work and formal occasions. I would not wear it for dates or night out scent.


Achilles heel: Projection.


Regarding Performance:

- Longevity: ~10h
- Sillage: About moderate
- Projection: ~ 2/3h

Scent: 8.90
Longevity: 8.60
Sillage: 8
Projection: 7.50
Uniqueness: 7.50
Versatility: 8
--- Overall: 8.10

Would I buy it? No.

The price of this fragrance is very interesting ($120 - 100 ml), but it´s not for me.
05th October, 2014
Genre: Woody Oriental

New York garners so much praise that I feel compelled to revisit it from time to time, hoping for insight as to why it fails to move me despite its obvious quality. Here is my last review from 2008:

“I'm not sure how much I have to add here: an opening citrus blast, followed by...the rapid emergence of a rather dry powder...slowly revealing a warm spicy accord (cinnamon-clove) before fading ever so slowly into woods, with the powdery note still resonating in the background.

New York exhibits and elaborate and entertaining development, but somehow fails to elicit any emotional response from me. It has all the complexity and changeability of the city of my birth, but it also reminds me of the "new and improved" Times Square: clean, safe, pleasant, and rather soulless, just like Stepford Connecticut.

Interestingly, I find it quite gender neutral, and I'd love to hear what some of the women think.”

Another year, another try, and I remain unmoved. Why? Although (or perhaps because) it’s built on such solidly classical proportions, there is something plain and faceless about New York. If I sniff it blindly I detect a handsome, well-made woody oriental, but I can’t name it. When I wear it, I say to myself “Yes, that smells nice,” but I’m never tempted to reach for it. Specifics? The intensely powdery vanilla-amber base notes are just too tidy for me. Where is the touch of smoke and the civet that make a scent like Shalimar so subliminally naughty, or the leather that enliven Habit Rouge? What New York lacks for me, I realize, are mystery and animalic warmth. It has the feel of a house that’s been staged for resale: every item is perfectly chosen and precisely placed, but nobody’s living there.
21st June, 2014 (last edited: 06th October, 2014)
Patricia de Nicolai - New York
I can smell that this is an impeccable created masculine, but I find it difficult to really like or love because it reminds me of 3 other perfumes: Eau Sauvage edt, Etiquette Blue and Yatagan. I cannot help to think of one of the three when I smell New York. Its opening is sweaty-cumin, sour-bitterly bergamot, thyme/rosemary and a high-pitched green lime/vetivery-note. When a soft lavender-note joints it becomes very cologne-like, with a raw green-breezy note, witch smells very classic.
From the start-on it also catches a clean soft-soapy note that grows more intense and important during its development. After the opening it gets a very clean, smooth, lactone, Mysore-sandelwood artisan handmade soap-tone, that smells like how bathfoam looks like. Then a clean vetiver-note, soft-warm oakmoss, cool myrrh and a bubblegum-toothpaste note are joining, that altogether gives New York an incredible, magnifique soft, round and velvety glance that feels extremely comfortable. I’m also able to smell clear bitter and sour taste-like smells; which I enjoy because for me that indicates that a high amount of natural ingredients has been used.
For a long time during the dryout I found it difficult to keep up my attention- its rather weak, a bit flat with not too much going on; a bitter-like cedarwood-note on a light amber-base with still a polished clean soap-note, but a little more salty/sour-like and pungent here. In my opinion it smelled too save, lightweight and dull to do its overall composition justice- it kind of disappears into oblivion or somehow bleeds to death... But after a while, when the soapy-note loses its strength more and more, more basenotes become apparent: patchouly, incense, iris and ambergris(?) create a steady accord- still no heavyweight- but it is subtle and present at the same time, radiating a tobacco/leathery-like and rooty-earthy warmth.
This perfume somehow reminds me of Peter Gabriel's 2010 live-version of ''Here Comes The Flood''- beautifully drifting in a simple an calm way, melancholic-emotional yet self-assured, but slightly missing the rawness of PG-voice. Superb stuff- and I must admit im really starting to like New York and forget the perfumes which it resembles- this could be love one day…
05th May, 2014
Perfect composition, no need to write anything more. Can fit anyone, everywhere, still without being plain. Really elegant and classy. Totally '80s also - not a hairy powerhouse, more like a wealthy young WASP signature scent. Still cool.

7/10
25th February, 2014 (last edited: 16th April, 2014)
I'm really exited to write about this fragrance because this juice is simply outstanding!
I'm pretty sure my sample is the reformulation juice but it's still a keeper.
The opening of this fragrance is a fresh,tart and bitter smell of bergamot mixed with some mossy green smell and some black pepper.
The quality of the notes is great and the scent has a very natural feeling.
As time goes by bergamot goes to the background and fragrance reaches the best part.
The mid is a mossy green smell mixed with strong, yet smooth and very well balanced dry smoky leather and some spices specially black pepper.
It's bitter, dark, smoky, dry, green, mossy, peppery, quality, well made, well balanced ..... do you want anything else from a masculine fragrance?
There is a little bit of sweetness and it's completely in the background.
I love the mid.
In the base you have the mid smell but it's smoother and a little sweeter and I can smell cinnamon in this part which is awesome.
While it has a classic vibe, it's modern and completely masculine at the same time.
Projection is good and longevity is around 6 hours on my skin.
A signature scent and bottle worthy fragrance for me.
I like this much better than "Creed BdP"
30th January, 2014
Price does not always equal quality. On one hand, Five Guys can churn out a $6 burger that's on par with burgers two to three times the price. On the other hand, I once paid thousands of dollars for a flight to and from Paris in 2009 on a mAAjor AAirline (guess which) that had no good in-flight entertainment, cramped seats, mostly mediocre food, and even mismatching overhead bins.

That said, that flight and a bad experience with my cellphone didn't ruin my trip to Paris at all. I enjoyed the sights, smells, and sounds of Paris. And close to my hotel was a Nicolai boutique - when I saw it, having read "Perfumes: The Guide" and reading the glowing review of New York, I had to stop in. I paid €20 ($30 USD at the time) for a 1 ounce bottle of New York. In return for €20, I got one of the best fragrances in my collection at any price. Rich, warm, inviting, and elegant - all in one fragrance.

If you've been on the fence regarding this one: Get it.
14th November, 2013
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The lemon-bergamot opening is sensational, and the lavender mellows it just to he right degree. After two hours a light, clean and elegant soapy note arrives, mixed with amber and vanilla but interestingly never really sweet in my skin - here the closeness to Shalimar is evident. Quite surpiringly, in the last third of this fragrance's duration, the lemon - in a creamier version - reappears for a while. Silage and projection are good, but the overall longevity is simply sensational: over twelve hours. The drydown and base show limited development, but this is better that most citrus compositions that have gone after a couple of hours. Magnificent. 4.5/5
14th November, 2013
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Classic scent and I Love it.

A better alternative to Terre d'Hermes and longer lasting. A woman who knows me melted when she first smelled this on me. She told her husband he should smell like me. She said this was her favorite of all the fragrances she has experienced on me. ( Eveerytime she see's me she has to smell me to see what I'm wearing, because she said I always smell so good)

Pros: Classic and Sophisticated a mature scent
Cons: None

04th June, 2013
For me, this is SHALIMAR under a new name.

The same vanilla, amber mix and dry down, though somewhat lighter in conception than the original.

Luca Turin calls it "one of the greatest masculines ever" and states that he wore it for thirty years. Yet, he never seems to have seen the similarity.

If you like SHALIMAR, which I have always considered unisex like Guerlain's earlier JICKY, you will like this drier masculine oriental.

Very nice, but a neutral rating, due to its lack of originality.
14th May, 2013
Some scents are timeless. Others should be shoved back into the time machine, and PdN NY is one of them.

The vision I get from smelling NY (after the initial headache) is that of an elderly undertaker spritzing it on the corpse of an even more elderly woman, and then using a few sprays on himself to use up the almost-empty bottle. Our undertaker began his craft during the Great Depression, after all, and would never waste anything.

01st May, 2013
This perfume seems to embody some of the best elements of classic male citric-spicy-sweet-orientals of the 1970s-1980s, as if in 1989, Nicolai took the best of the genre for those decades and refined it all into New York. While sharing aspects with numerous other perfumes of its time, there is something about New York that I find much more warm, inviting, nuanced, self-assuredly humble, and comforting than the others. It walks a perfect line between the bitter-citric, spicy, and sweet moves one associates with the era, keeping those elements acutely balanced. It is a bit mysterious to me that while I note the warmer, sweeter elements of this fragrance, they are hardly there when sniffed close, leaving me to wonder if this smells even better from a few feet away.

New York evokes, to me, classy menswear of the 1980s, and those who wore it with style and ease. While not entirely unique or groundbreaking, it is among the best in its class, if not the best, and could easily become a go-to perfume for practically any occasion, especially the office. If this is niche, it is more by association than smell, yet it is a step above the scents to which it is frequently compared, and in my opinion, worth the extra money. Some will say it is dated, but to me that means it does not smell like what others are wearing; and besides, my generation and those younger probably would not pick up on it anyway. A child of the 70s-80s, this strikes me as classic, timeless, and comforting.
01st May, 2013
I find nothing new, inovative, or unique about this. It reminds me of an old lady fragrance. Projection is fair, to be fair, I don't like powder themed frags. Completely forgettable.
05th March, 2013
This flagrance has really grown on me. With work or a formal meeting I always seems to go for New York. It is sophisticated, not too loud and despite that also not boring. On the contrary, New York is pretty unique from the initial blast of citrus till the powdery drydown. Where do you find all those qualities in one flagrance?
27th November, 2012
This fragrance reminds me a lot of Vintage Tabarome. The tobacco note isn't there, but the overall feel of the fragrance is similar. It smells like quality and money.
24th November, 2012
Man, it hurts me to write this. The older formula of New York was in my top 2 or 3 fragrances. It was my favorite versatile cologne, I wore it for just about any occasion and setting. It was rich, orange and amber, spicy-sweet, powdery, and a little mossy, just great, and lasted all day long. One of the most comfortable colognes I've ever worn.

I recently (Nov. 2012) got a new bottle, 100ml, and I feel cheated and disappointed. As others have already noted, this has been reformulated and weakened. It does smell almost the same, but it is weaker and only lasts about 3 hours. Big, big difference in longevity. Ouch. If you've never worn the older New York, you might enjoy this. But if you loved the old one, prepare to be possibly disappointed. : (

Edit: after a few more tries, I'm changing my rating to thumbs up. It's not as bad as my first impressions. You just have to apply a little more heavily and it kind of works, but still not as good as it used to be.
20th November, 2012 (last edited: 09th January, 2013)
This parfume reminded me of amouage homage, with its ambery sweet dry down,

I learnt to love patchouly- sandalwood combination in all nicolai perfumes, but this here is really masculine heavy patchouly, smokey, peppery......it bites in a sophisticated way,rich,opulent.

The difference between modern and vintage version is striking, as in any other modern vs vinatge example. Vintage is worthy of full bottle, modern is half way weaker, and thinner, not that smokey rich patchouly, its like meh, compared to the old, and somehow set up in3 different parts(citrus opening,amber pathcouly synthetic middle, sweet amber end), while vintage smells like one coherent unit.
09th October, 2012 (last edited: 21st April, 2013)
There is an air of salubriousness and comfort to New York that, depending on the mood, makes it just right or a bit of a bore.
Greenish bittersweet orange mixed with a touch of something mossy and a good dusting of powder: everything is familiar and can appear a bit ho-hum at times, but as with all well-executed things there is really no exact point of comparison, the thing is the thing itself. I love it on days when I'm feeling more like a gent (though of the open-collared variety) and then its perfect radiance, the gorgeous powderiness and the balance of its elements is unbeatable. Lasts forever and a day without tiring out the nose.
18th June, 2012
Given the rave review by the LT himself, I was already interested in trying this one. And when an eminent basenoter compared it to Minotaure, a long-time and semi-discontinued favorite of mine, I really couldn't wait. However, it's been a bit of a disappointment. I would almost give it a thumbs-down, I have so little affection for it, but it is of such obvious quality that I find I end up wearing it occasionally in spite of myself. So I suppose I'm truly neutral.

What's the problem? Well, I really like orange-ambery-vanillic fragrances (thus Minotaure). And it's true, there is a very pleasant, high-quality, orange-amber and vanilla note somewhere in here. But to get to it you have to dig through mounds of quaint powder, and that's only after you've done battle with a cough-inducingly dry, kick-ass moss monster that I would have thought had gone extinct several years prior to 1989.

In short, it's just a lot to deal with first thing in the morning. And that's frankly the only time I would be interested, because this guy is way too serious for a fun night out in Omaha, let alone the Big Apple.
21st January, 2012
This perfumed beast, as well as many  reviewers underlined, sails in the same oceanic waters of many stars of the olfactory stage; everybody mentioned a huge range of fragrances going from Heritage to Eau Savage, from Habit Rouge to Bois du Portugal, passing on the side of Jaipur, Egoiste, Obsession and Pour Monsieur. Personally the fragrance that much more reminds me New York (i mean as kind of statement expressed and not necessarily by strict olfactory resemblance ) is the Classic Boucheron Pour Homme for its plain citrusy mould (the Boucheron one is drier, more herbal, far more floral and stressed in lemony feel while this one is slightly more orangy). Boucheron Pour Homme shares with New York also its  cleverly vintage temperament (citrus-lavender, bergamot and oakmoss) , the notable sophistication, its subtleness, its barely balmy feel. I find more similarities between New York and Bois du Portugal (which has anyway a more vintage and british chord  of bergamot-citrus lavender and a more boise', bright and woody vibe) than with the spicier, sweeter and more vanillic Heritage. Anyway, the paths of comparison would be many and i would like to be much more analytic. The New York's opening is uncompromisingly citrusy and spicy at once (the citrus are basically  lemon and orange), aromatic, fluidy of water-lavender and flavoured by a rich but not overwhelming and particularly mysterious blast of cloves and cinnamon. This averagely sharp phase reminds much more a sort of Acqua di Parma Colonia than properly a spicy oriental and lasts for a couple of hours in its conservative vibe while some astringent flowers keep on steady the level of general moderation. Is like the smell is reticent to express its final touch of "orientalism". The final ambery-mossy and woody accord indeed is moderately powdery and barely balmy, the final vetiver seems to return back a touch of that aqueous feel that keeps a relation with the starting citrus-lavender. The note of amber, in its chord with a shadowy and conservative oakmoss-lavender of the forest, joins in a sort of connection the citrusy top with a fluidy woodsy bottom, impressing a touch of density to the final link. The outcome is extremely balanced and classy, a timeless kind of worldwide elegance.
19th January, 2012 (last edited: 12th November, 2014)
Zowiee Show all reviews
United States
Love it! took me a few wearings to really love this one, as I did smell similarities to a few other fragrances (BdP & a bit of Oscar Por Lui). But, it really is unique and I find myself wearing it often!
14th January, 2012
Initial review: Combine Chanel's Pour Monsieur Concentree with Shulton's Old Spice, and you get OJ's New York! OK, it's not exactly the same, and New York is definitely my preference over cpmc, but you get the idea. Enjoyable scent if you don't mind spending the money.
12th December, 2011
I've read so much about New York that I couldn't resist a full bottle purchase. After a few wears, the orange/amber accord established itself as one that I don't respond to. PdN New York reminds me of an orange Bois du Portugal, which I dislike. With the exception of the brisk citrus/cloves top notes, I just do not enjoy this fragrance. I'll give it a few more tries before abandoning it entirely and heading to Jersey.
04th December, 2011
I recently bought a new bottle of PdN New York and it is not the same quality fragrance with a deep drydown. It seems yet another classic fragrance has been reformulated. New York is now full of synthetic top notes and does not progress into the once legendary rich scent in which I loved. IMO, skip the (new) New York...
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I have tried BdP, Heritage, Douro, Boucheron and many other similar scents.

Concur with Turin. No need to describe what others have already mentioned.

IMO, PdN's New York is one of the best men's fragrances that have ever passed by my nose.
23rd October, 2011 (last edited: 02nd January, 2012)
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Extremely well-made scent by PdN. New York starts off with a blast of enticing orange and lemon and then completely changes direction an hour or so later. It then turns into a very dry and sharp powdery scent that is a bit less enticing, but still very distinct. I rarely notice such a sharp evolution of a scent on my skin as I did here. Also of note for those interested is New York has been a real compliment getter and seems to have some very good sillage and longevity. Bottom line is New York may not be groundbreaking, but it is so well-polished, pleasant smelling and high quality that it is an easy "buy" recommendation to all with a rating of 4 out of 5 stars in its vintage form.
22nd August, 2011 (last edited: 28th December, 2012)