Laboratorio Olfattivo is an Italian store selling high-end fragrances. They released four perfumes under their own name in 2009 and now have eleven in total. I came across this niche line for the first time on a recent trip to the perfumery at Roullier White in south London.
Their ethos is to give perfumers the artistic freedom to create innovative fragrances which “…evoke elegance and uniqueness, features that more than anything else characterize artistic perfumery”.
Nirmal was released in 2013 and the inspiration was to create a scent as delicate and sincere as a loving embrace. Nirmal means “pure, immaculate” in Hindi and the perfumer, Rosine Courage, has reflected this well in her interpretation.
Top note: carrot. Heart notes: iris an
d violet. Base notes: cedar, amber and “daim” (suede) candy accord.
Looking at the notes, I expect the opening to be full-on, freshly dug root vegetables but not so. There’s cool air and a sweet mustiness, but I definitely don’t think “Carrots!” This is probably because the iris and violet are lying right underneath and wafting upwards in powdery clouds.
As you might imagine with a perfume representing purity, it’s not a complex or loud fragrance but a simple and subdued one. However, it’s not sparse or austere the way some irises can be. It has a gentle, soothing character. A comforting aura.
There is strength in virtue. Nirmal wears a compassionate smile and extends a caring hand.
It has purity yes, but it also has approachability and this makes it endearing. Perhaps this is because there is a significant amount of sweetness but there’s also nearly as much violet as iris on my skin. The violet adds floral sweetness and silences the throaty rasp of iris.
Nirmal has a candied quality. There’s a fine haze of sugar which hovers above the skin. It’s a long way from being a gourmand but you’d have to tolerate sweet notes in perfume to enjoy it fully.
Somehow it manages to have both cool and warm tones at the same time. When I lean in, first I get a skim of chilliness from its surface and then a warm, fuzzy feel from just below.
The iris is pale and paper thin. It’s the solitary white iris that stands apart in a sea of purplish blue in Van Gogh’s beautiful painting, Irises.
The base is the familiar combination of vanilla and amber but given a sugared suede feel.
Equistrius by Parfum d’Empire is the iris accented fragrance it comes closest to. This is unsurprising considering they have a number of notes in common including iris, violet, amber and suede, however Equistrius is drier and brighter.
Nirmal is an EDP, not a fleeting eau de toilette and the lasting power is very good. The whole thing feels soft and pillowy, but it has substance.
It’s doesn’t project far, seeming to softly enclose the skin.
Ultimately, it has just too much sweetness and not enough iris for me, but Nirmal is a feminine, touching fragrance nonetheless.
Have you tried any of the range from Laboratorio Olfattivo? Do you like the sound of Nirmal?