Perfume Directory

New-York (1989)
by Nicolaï

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New-York information

Year of Launch1989
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 471 votes)

People and companies

HouseNicolaï
PerfumerPatricia de Nicolaï

About New-York

New-York is a masculine fragrance by Nicolaï. The scent was launched in 1989 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï

New-York fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of New-York

The story of Nicolaï Parfumeur Createur is an interesting one, but too long for this review. The short version is Patricia de Nicolaï was classically trained like most members of the Guerlain family, but she faced gender discrimination and after several positions in the industry, decided to launch her own house. Many thought she would be next in line to take over the Guerlain mantle as great-granddaughter of Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain, but because Patricia de Nicolaï didn't explicitly carry the Guerlain name and was a woman (the family business had always been of male lineage), she was glossed over. Perhaps this slight drove her even harder to establish a legacy of perfume achievement under her own name, but who really knows? What is known is that New York (1989) was among several launch scents for the house, and a masculine-market entry that would go on to win much esteem among male collectors, particular in later years those specifically into vintage varieties. I won't say this is quite a holy grail among vintage enthusiasts, but New York runs in a vein very close to several others of the semi-oriental fougère persuasion that is is often considered a peer among scents like Patou pour Homme (1980), Creed Bois du Portugal (1987), Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentrée (1989), Tiffany for Men (1989), Guerlain Héritage (1992), and Lalique pour Homme (1997). In other words, if oakmoss or sandalwood are prerequisites to having a good time, you should be in safe hands with New York.

Most of these rich, woody, mossy, semi-powdery scents can trace their DNA back to the seminal Pierre Cardin pour Monsieur (1972), which was perhaps the first prominent example of marrying barbershop fougère tones with heavier oriental elements like sandalwood, patchouli, amber, and other things of that nature. In this regard, New York veers a bit lighter and sharper than most varieties, steering clear of using sweet mandarin tones in a similar manner to the later Lalique entry to the style, with bright dry bergamot and lemon over thyme and petitgrain in the opening. There's a bit of bitter artemisia here in New York, but otherwise things are fairly standard for the genre. There's a very tiny bit of waxy almost makeup-like orris in the heart, recalling a bit of Guerlain Shalimar (1925) to my nose, but otherwise this heart is dominated by clove, cinnamon, lavender, and a dry cedar note. Patchouli, amber, tonka, oakmoss, olibanum, vanilla, sandalwood, and styrax establish the woody semi-oriental fougère base, with pinches of well-blended civet and castoreum helping for a leathery feel that separates New York a bit from the competition. New York is oddly more brisk and transparent than most things in it's lane, but not necessarily weaker by any means. Wear time is over 7 hours, and projection is "80's strong" for obvious reasons, with solid sillage. New York wears very formal, mature, and feels better in cooler temperatures, but could also be a signature if this is your thing, especially if you fancy the wolf of Wall Street type of aesthetic.

New York by Nicolaï Parfumeur Createur (then Parfums de Nicolaï) would help establish clout for the operation as one of the earliest purveyors of a reinvigorated niche perfume market, taking back the high-end from designers that were growing too numerous and ubiquitous by the 90's to really keep the mantle they stole from the original niche houses like Guerlain, Houbigant, Caron, and the like. Alongside Marc de Moriandere, Diptyque, L'Artisan Parfumeur, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, and Serge Lutens, Nicolaï Parfumeur Createur would develop a cult-following that would burst into the online space by word of mouth in the 21st century to help establish the brand as a relevant player in the industry, thanks to scents like New York. I like New York a lot, but if you have more than a few of the things mentioned above to which it compares, it may be a redundant addition to your collection unless you just love this style that much. For those nerds among us (like me), Nicolaï addressed thinning out of the original's base over time via reformulation owed to IFRA regulations by creating the seemingly-impossible New York Intense (2014), which is also worth checking out too. All in all, New York is a stately and traditional "gentleman's cologne" kind of affair that lovers of the usual suspects from the 70's and 80's should adore as well, plus is arguably more accessible despite being niche because it isn't long-discontinued and costing a fortune on eBay. Thumbs up.
08th June, 2020
This fragrance reminds me of noire 80s action movies like Terminator or Blade Runner. Every 1980s dad probably wanted to smell like this.

New-York is a very good mix of the right parts of traditional masculine fragrances and is very of its era while being timeless. It has a good blend cumin and leather without being too forward on any note. It is safe and versatile.
04th April, 2019
Stardate 20180523:

I wonder who started this style of masculine. Or is it just a result of male fragrance evolution.

The farthest I can get is Bois de Portugal in 1987. Pierre Bourdon took the Old Spice structure and dandified it. Polge refined it further in Tiffany for men and more so in Chanel PM Concentree. I think Patricia took it a bit too far. What she made was too light for this style.

Guerlain fixed this problem with Heritage and gave us what is the best in this genre.

In any case, a great fragrance.
23rd May, 2018
"Wow, that's a really nice cologne you're wearing." Get used to it.

A sparkling citrus, patchouli, vanilla scent. Quality.

ad_scott is right, it reminds me of the 80's too.
16th May, 2018
Les Alyscamps (F569) by Vincent van Gogh 1888
24th November, 2017
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

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