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 satisfation just once a day. Not bad and a must try for the lovers of the genre.
Phul-Nana by Grossmith, 1891
Rated #5658 in Fragrances
A vital, bracing start, all orangey citrus with the warmth of tuberose like a whole spa experience sped through in a matter of seconds. Then the flowers bloom, opened up by the bergamot at the top and the cedar of the base. Theres a kind of throwaway, effortless luxury to this which many aim for but few achieve. The heart is what makes this all so worthwhile and heavenly. Sadly only average projection after quite a few sprays. The end is reminiscent of those wonderfully subtle hair-oils of yesteryear.
If the re-release is anything like the original, I understand why Angela Carter characterised it with a "Phew!" in Wise Children. Phul-Nana opens with an intense blast of candy-sweet, powdery lemon, rose and geranium. Upon application it's pretty much like an intense version of Habit Rouge - that same brand of citrusy/aldehydic powdered sugar oddly reminiscent of bulk candy (for Swedes, specifically "Ahlgrens bilar"). As it warms up on skin, the powder turns more soapy, which is actually an improvement. Without all the sweet powder the lemon note appears more juicy and refreshing, enhanced by something chypre-green and vaguely floral. The sweetness becomes richer, smoother, boozier, in a way that reminds me of some thick, spicy-sweet oriental oil from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. In fact, the whole fragrance is quite "headshoppy" - think of the difference between a dense, syrupy floral incense and the more sharp, clean and airy versions of the same flowers present in conventional perfumery. I'd classify it as a floral oriental, with a character similar to that of Parfum d'Empire's 3 fleurs or Tauer's Le Maroc pour elle - more like perfume oils than most alcohol-based perfumes. Phul-Nana walks a fine line between luxurious and vulgar (a bit like Mona di Orio) - at that price, I don't think I'll ever buy it though I quite enjoy it, but then it's such a sillage monster my sample will probably last me a long time.
Phul-Nana by Grossmith, 1891
|Notes||bergamot, orange, neroli, geranium, tuberose, ylang ylang, patchouli, benzoin, cedar, sandalwood, opoponax, tonka bean, vanilla|
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