Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of New-York by Nicolaï

Total Reviews: 18
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)
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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
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
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
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...
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)
New York, along with Shalimar, Guerlains's Vetiver, Cuir de Lancome, Knize Ten and Diorella are my most frequently worn perfumes. Makes me feel a bit stodgy when I look at it, but classical perfumery appeals to me. I do think I have a fairly catholic sense of classicism, though. I find the best of Etat Libre classically formal in construction. Lutens reinvents classical, and most of the Piguet line absolutely venerates the classical. New York has never done me wrong. When I crave it, it satisfies. When I'm uncertain what I want to wear and put on New York, it's like an olfactory moment of kensho.

New York's secret weapon, besides its utterly flawless evolution is its powder. Powder is often mentioned in the context of the old-lady perfumes, tedious dandy fragrances, uninspired aldehydic fragrances. But New York's powder is gunpowder. It is a bitter, powdery dustiness made even darker by orange/bergamot resinousness.

Chypre? Oriental? Powdery Wood? I'd probably give you a different answer on any given day. Like the best perfumes, New York has a deliberate ambiguity that makes it seem less elusive than actually alive.

Update: Seeing Luca Turin’s note in the “Little Book” I tried the most recent iteration. Light orange cologne. Heartbreaking.
27th July, 2011 (last edited: 04th May, 2012)
Ah, the coveted New York by Patricia de Nicolaï. For a niche fragrance, this one seems to have quite the cult following and a reputation preceding it - Luca Turin even admitted to having worn it for ten years, which is quite a feat for perfumisto's and perfumista's always searching for their "Holy Grail". So, does New York really live up to the reputation? Not for me.

The good: New York is pleasant and pretty, simply put. If you're a fan of the long-gone Ungaro II, but can't find it (or you don't like the civet note), then New York makes a fantastic alternative. It's rich, refined, and noticeably well-made with good materials; the powdery, ambery orange and peppery pimento, when combined, are smooth like a creamsicle. Unique but still civilized.

The bad: The "civilized" part is perhaps where New York's downfall is, for me. It's nice but it's not fun or free. It's too damn stuffy for me, very formal. I'm reminded also of Tiffany for Men, which is about as powdery as I can tolerate a fragrance. There's no doubt that New York is refined but it feels watered down and lacking in character, like something unfinished. The longevity of New York is good (the city itself will be around until the end of the world, I know that much), but the sillage is lacking - New York is very much a skin scent on me.

The ugly: I don't really find there to be anything ugly about New York, despite its flaws.

Bottom line: Despite New York not working for me, I'd still say try it, given the hype. It may very well work for you, but it doesn't for me. The closest fragrances I would compare New York to are Ungaro II, Tiffany for Men, Minotaure by Paloma Picasso, and Heritage by Guerlain. I don't really see as many similarities between this on Bois du Portugal, which I find stronger, more masculine, and less powdery. Nevertheless, New York is a quality fragrance that would probably smell great on someone else but it's not something I'd wear. Don't blind buy it, either.
12th July, 2011
Looking at my review of Carre d'As, I see some similarities: smooth, misty-cool. Perhaps that is a house style.
I find this to be a so-so sort of scent. Nothing intrinsically wrong with it, but nothing that really grabs me. My chief reservation is that it is nowhere as green-herbal-earthy as I had been led to expect, based on some reviews. I find this to be a restrained, classy sort of scent. It has vaguely green notes and also a sort of metallic-minty freshness. At times the amber and patchouli bring a tiny bit of sweetness but this is not a heavy oriental in any way. At one point, the patchouli has a slight smoky tang which is intriguing. The drydown is a tiny bit sweet and somewhat powdery, due to the amber. I'm sure many like this with good reason -- it just isn't quite to my taste.
11th May, 2011
Wus wrong with the orientals we got? The orientals we got smell pretty good, don't they?

New York is fairly faceless, and a little searching could find you a much better fragrance in the same style. It starts off with wood, citrus, and vetiver, and for about two hours it's damn solid. Then it starts to get all powdery, and I don't dig on powdery, ya feel me?

Tiffany has the same problem, but Tiffany is a little better overall, and more powdery overall as well.
08th February, 2011
A sweeter, incensy version of my signature fragrance, Eau Sauvage. New York is a very original fragrance, don't get me wrong. It is loud, however, in a brash sort of way. Excellent longevity, but not much in the way of complexity. I find it linear. Kudos to Patricia de Nicolai for a wonderful, delicious fragrance. For me however, too much of two different things. If I want incensy and exotic I will stick to Timbuktu, which does it a bit better. If I want the citrus accords, I will go to my Eau Sauvage or perhaps Armani or Eau d'Orange Verte.
01st December, 2010 (last edited: 18th September, 2011)
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Hoos Show all reviews
United States
I'm a fan of PdN's line of colognes. After that experience and the raves about New York, I thought for sure this would be a winner.

It's not. New York is pretty much like every other department store frag out there. Combined in one scent.

Think of the last time you were in a room of older women at a semi-formal/formal event.

That scent is New York.

It's not bad, it's not awful, it has quality ingredients. It just isnt' distinguished.
18th July, 2008
I just can't get over how New York smells exactly like some classic ladies' perfume. Or perhaps it's not reminiscent of a particular classic perfume so much as "stale old perfume" as such. You know, the kind that has been evaporating out in the light on your granny's dresser for centuries. Now, I appreciate a vintage classic, but not nondescript "old perfume". Definitely old ladies' perfume too, can't wrap my head around how this is described as traditionally masculine. True, if I press my nose to my skin, I catch a very fleeting citrus topnote and then briefly a more herbal/aromatic accord which feels classically masculine (it even reminds me of Yatagan) but after that it's just sharp/powdery and the sillage is all "granny perfume" from first spritz. Think Tabu, Youth Dew, Opium... Something rich, warm, slightly soapy and so very very powdery it's sneeze-inducing. Not horrible by any means but... why?
06th June, 2008
Chameleon is right! I went through more emotions with this fragrance than any I've ever tried. I started off LOVING it, the citrus was nice, not overpowering, and mixed in was something classy and warm. Soon, however, the powder came in full force and it was so cloying that I said to myself that I'd never wear it again. Then, a few hours later, the powder softened and I smelled some sweetness (amber?) as well, and the finish was more tolerable. I tried it a few more times after that and finally decided that the average of all of my emotions with it is just that this one isn't for me. Still, though, worth a try and definitely an innovative and interesting scent.
20th December, 2006
This impressed me as very nice, but dated. Maybe I have been trying a lot of new fragrances lately and there are a lot of very interesting things around today, and this reminded me of a lot of great late 80s-early 90s stuff. For some reason I just can't get that excited about it. I wouldn't say its passe nor does it lack character or style. Still I think this is close to something I wore in the dark ages a decade or so ago that I have finsihed with, without looking back. Don't mean to be mean, but I won't run out to get it.
14th December, 2006
It's a citrus! It's a chypre! No! It's--It's--

The most bizarre (good smelling) frag I own.

Can't make head or tails out of it. One reviewer used the word 'chameleon' to describe it. I concur. I also concur with the positive comments about how well blended New York is, but it's time to take a break from all those upward thumbs.

New York starts out as a happy and well bred man about town.
From there it transforms itself to, among other creatures:

A hip and sexy woman's playfull scent ( No, I'm not kidding, see The Female Discussion Forum )

A prim little old lady's eau de nostalgia.

A stuffy, ever so formal gentlemen's club.

And--after a few more spins, ends up as what it started.

Whew! I think if you like Jicky, BdP and most Lutens, you'll really enjoy this one.
12th September, 2006