Acqua di Parma is a house with a beautiful and stylish appearance, whose colognes – the backbone and starting point of the line – I have always admired from afar, without actually smelling them. Since they introduced a sub-section specifically for women, starting in 2004 with Iris Nobile, my interest grew, but I never took the opportunity to try the perfumes, something else always came up and took precedence. On my visit to La Rinascente in Milan I found myself once more admiring the elegant bottles and finally made my way to the counter to sniff through the three EdP’s now forming the I Nobili line.
I ended up buying one and taking home samples of all of them. It turned out I bought the wrong one though. Recently a reader commented that I am seldom wrong, to prove the contrary here, please read on.
Gelsomino Nobile is the latest addition to the line and was created by Michel Almairac in 2011. Gelsomino Nobile includes notes of mandarin, pink pepper, orange blossom, tuberose, jasmine, cedar and musk.
The starring ingredient is Calabrian jasmine.
I like the opening of this perfume, it is fresh and lively. I even quite like the soft, clean white treatment of the jasmine (which is essentially a treatment for jasmine wimps, of which I am one), but after half an hour, at most, this perfume derails into smelling very cheap and artificial. I get a super-synthetic, plastic-y pear note all of a sudden, which combined with the white musk base makes for an okay room spray, but not a fine fragrance base. I am disappointed that Gelsomino Nobile ends up smelling like approximately 10 000 of its colleagues on the shelves of department stores do, non-descript and synthetic, if inoffensive. But if being inoffensive is the only descriptor, that makes for a sad perfume indeed.
Magnolia Nobile was the second release in what is now called I Nobili. Created by Antoine Maisondieu in 2009, Magnolia Nobile includes notes of bergamot, lemon, citron, magnolia, jasmine, rose, tuberose, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver and vanilla.
This, I bought a small bottle of. It is perfectly nice, fresh, lovely, happy and unencumbered, but a bit too happy, too fresh, too relentlessly good natured. I quickly grow impatient with people who display nothing but a cheering, smiling facade at all times, and it is similar with perfumes. I always think, to be happy all the time, one has to be either a liar or an idiot.
Magnolia Nobile starts out as described above, happy and fresh citrus abounds, very uplifting and refreshing, and actually lovely in the heat of summer. I like that the first time, tolerate it the second time but begin to get wary and tired of it by wearing three. It develops into a fresh floral with an accord of magnolia and jasmine that proves to be very tenacious. The freshness is holding up for a long time, which makes me suspicious of it. I begin to think, how unrelenting is that? Why does it want to smell so fresh for so long? It is not normal, a perfume should stop being so chirpy sooner or later, but not Magnolia Nobile. It chirps on and on…
I am antropomorphizing this scent to an unusual extent. I find myself angry with it and getting snappy. There you are, occupying space in my perfume closet, sitting pretty in that lovely flacon of yours, looking great, but smelling FRESH ALL THE TIME. Snap out of it! Dry down already!
I think you get my drift… onto Number three then.
Iris Nobile was launched in 2004 in the Eau de Toilette version, and 2006 an Eau de Parfum was added. This review is of the EdP, which includes notes of bergamot, tangerine, iris, star anise, ylang ylang, oakmoss, vanilla, amber crystals and patchouli and was created by Francis Kurkdjian and Francoise Caron.
I like Iris Nobile. A lot. This is what I should have bought, not its ever-cheery sister. Iris Nobile is an elegant floral with a chypre base. The iris here is not grey and rooty, but warm, floral and just a bit powdery. Upon spraying, a citrus accord laced with anise lies like a translucent veil over the floral arrangement already waiting to be discovered. Ylang-ylang is very present to my nose, and I love its sweet, languid smile. The base is full of things I love, amber, vanilla and a touch of dark chypre green-ness provided by oakmoss and patchouli.
I found a sample of Iris Nobile EdT in my stash as well and it is a different scent altogether, a lovely one, but different none the less. Much lighter, fresher and more in the vein of her younger sisters, Iris Nobile Eau de Toilette is a much more short lived, light, citrus-centered iris with orange blossom, all very delicate and understated. It is nice, but I prefer the EdP nonetheless for its darker, richer, more substantial presence.
I got the wrong sister. That teaches me to never buy after only one wearing.