Perfume Directory

Ma Nishtana (2019)
by Parfum Prissana

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Ma Nishtana information

Year of Launch2019
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 12 votes)

People and companies

HouseParfum Prissana
PerfumerPrin Lomros

About Ma Nishtana

The company says:

Ma Nishtana are the first two words in a phrase meaning "Why is tonight different from all other nights?" Based from stories and lyrics from Had Gadya (Chava Alberstein version), the creation builds around incense, spices, smoke, and sacred woods represent sacred incense and a Middle East vibe.

Reviews of Ma Nishtana

drseid Show all reviews
United States
Ma Nishtana opens with nose tingling aldehydes and a co-starring church-like, slightly soapy frankincense and dark, stark, smoky-woody accord, with supporting warm clove spice and gentle pink pepper before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the frankincense and smoky dark woods remain still as the focus, now adding a tinge of natural smelling cumin spice and earthy patchouli rising from the base. The composition stays relatively linear through the late dry-down, as remnants of the smoky woods and frankincense remain, adding a hard leathery facet through the finish. Projection is excellent, as is longevity at over 12 hours on skin.

I ended up buying my bottle of Ma Nishtana blind, having sampled nothing at the time of purchase from perfumer Prin Lomros, but hearing raves from multiple noses I trust nudging me just enough to pull the trigger. Now having worn the composition several times (and trying many others from the same nose) I can happily report the somewhat risky buy turned out to be a relative winner. Ma Nishtana at its core is a very solid linear frankincense composition in the vein of Avion and Cardinal, but it distinguishes itself from the pack by the perfumer's skillful use of (the normally dreaded) norlimbanol to create a very believable smoky woods accord that compliments the frankincense perfectly, while infusing warm spice into mix *just* enough to flesh out the bones of the composition while never calling undue attention to them. As wearing incense compositions like this is not a common occurrence (or at least not to this writer) it is a tougher call whether Ma Nishtana is a must buy if you have other similar options in your collection like the ones previously mentioned. That said, limited use aside, for what it is Ma Nishtana is at or near the top of its incense focused class. The bottom line is the $140 per 30 ml bottle Ma Nishtana may have limited use, but smells "excellent" regardless, earning a 4 stars out of 5 rating and a solid recommendation to at least sniff if seeking out a smoky frankincense focused composition.
24th April, 2020
A stunning incense fragrance. Frankincense is the focus with support from myrrh and brown spices. There is an ambery feel to it and something slightly 'dirty' such as castoreum and labdanum. It gives the impression of an inviting, warm and rich incense, not cold and dry. Incense is usually not my favourite focus in a fragrance, but if I choose only one I would choose this. Unisex I suppose, though perhaps more fitting on a male.
13th April, 2020
Ma Nishtana is probably the easiest and most immediately likeable perfume in either the Prissana or Strangers Parfumerie line. A judiciously-spiced church incense scent, Ma Nishtana splits the difference between the soapy, aldehyded, Coca-Cola-ish airiness of Cardinal/Avignon and the warmer, breadier, more caramelic-ambery thickness of Contre Bombarde 32 by SAUF or Samharam by Arte Profumi. The drydown drones on a bit, thanks to an application of the dreaded Norlimbanol, but even as a No-Limbs-Left-At-All-hater I have to admit that it’s applied with an unusually subtle touch here.

I don’t know that Ma Nishtana distinguishes itself so much from the stalwarts of this rather cramped incense genre to be worth the price, but of course, this is a deeply personal thing. The most innovative or unusual thing about Ma Nishtana is really that faint whiff of armpitty cumin or turmeric that’s half under-proved doughnut and half curry-sweat, but if you own either Grimoire by Anatole LeBreton or Al Oudh by L’Artisan Parfumeur, I think you’re covered. Ma Nishtana is very nice, very good – but not entirely necessary, at least in my opinion.
02nd April, 2020
Take, the very good ISOe Frankincense superbomb Cardinal. Add a Saffron touched Kerleo-esque bouquet Sandalwood based creaminess lightly boosted with a touch of ISOe cedar.
The result is rather ethereal and Meditative that renders the Heeley rather linear and stark.
13th December, 2019
This is not cold churchy incense. It starts out the same with the Frankincense and Myrhh and then becomes warm, inviting, smoky, spicy with a slight sweet amberyness. It's not my style but I have to admit it's good, very good.
16th October, 2019
I have found my holy-grail incense fragrance in Ma Nishtana. It does not smell like the airy Catholic-church incense of Avignon or Cardinal. It is like being immersed in a thick cloud of smoky incense in a humid temple where the stuff has been burning without pause for years. With the smoke comes waves of oriental spices and thick amber. Brilliant creation. This projects well and lasts for a long time. It transports me in a way that only a few other fragrances I have encountered on my journey do. Very spiritual. 10/10.
22nd September, 2019

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