Part of my job as a Brand Ambassador for niche fragrances is to identify scents that are out of the ordinary, scents that will blow my mind and make me shout “Eureka” every time something truly special comes along.
The problem is that this kind of fabulous, “can’t-live-without-this-perfume” moments are a rare occurrence and, as much as I love the journey of discovering, the revelation of a very special scent is the heart and soul of my tireless search.
Fragrances, like our imagination, have no limits...So, I keep looking for those special gems, for the scents that represent the sublimation of talent, inspiration, and mastery. I think that the rarity of these encounters is what makes them even more precious, because it is true what wise people say: “scarcity creates value”.
I have noticed that whenever I felt like I made a new groundbreaking discovery, I could not describe the perfume, I could not pinpoint the ingredients, I could not say which is the dominant note…But what I could always describe was HOW that perfume made me feel, the memories it brought up, the joy that sparked in my heart the moment I first smelled it.
I guess, I could call it my own special magic moment, the glorious epiphany which makes me feel that IT is all worth it: the perpetual search, the agonizing nights when I can’t find my sleep, the insecurities, the anxiety of a job that has nothing predictable and secure as its foundation.
Doing what I do, takes not only courage (as one of my friends would say) it also takes a fair amount of insanity. Perhaps all this has to do with the generation I represent. We were born to “stand out” not “to fit in”. I don’t know if this is a good thing, but I DO know it is worth the effort.
Naomi Goodsir is also an artist born to stand out. An Australian creator, she studied fashion design in Sydney, and, for more than a decade, she mesmerized her customers with her couture headpieces. Besides fashion, Naomi is appreciated for her avant-garde accessories and, more recently, for her exceptional perfumes. Her style is distinctive and atypical, a different kind of artistic vision, not to everybody’s taste but certainly something to remember and admire.
Naomi Goodsir perfumes are made, and hand packed in Grasse, France, where Naomi lives and works. They are bold statements of timeless elegance and, they are created with noble raw materials. Naomi collaborates with creative director Renaud Coutaudier in elaborating their fine perfumery universe.
Her first two releases are called BOIS D’ASCESE and CUIR VELOURS. They were created by perfumer Julien Rasquinet, who trained under “nose extraordinaire” Pierre Bourdon. He decided to teach him the secrets of perfumery and Rasquinet was his last student, also the one to carry on his legacy.
“The aim of a creation is to cause an emotion” says Julien and with these two fragrances he achieved this goal. His creations can be very figurative or very abstract, but they always can stir emotions. Both Bois d’Ascese and Cuir Velours are “soliflores” of smoke and leather, respectively, and they capture their subject as if frozen in olfactory time.
A strange and dark fragrance of Naomi’s universe is CORPUS EQUUS, (in Latin means “Body of the Horse”) the result of her collaboration with perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. This begins with that scent of woodsmoke from a chimney followed by the leather accord and a lot of birch tar. The final sting is brought in by an animalic musk which pulls it all together into a leather accord with vitality. Naomi Goodsir described the fragrance like this: leather, rose petals, horse dung, gin, and cigarette ashes…. Clearly, not for the faint of heart…
Roja Dove, a great magician of perfumery once said that perfumes are like lovers: you only know if the relationship is going to work, once you spent the night together. I have spent many nights with Naomi’s fragrances, especially with “NUIT DE BAKELITE”. This one is the very best expression of Naomi’s vision. It is a perfume that once you put it on your skin, it takes a life of its own.
This has been for me -as the Italians say- a “hallucinate” experience. I had the impression that it was emanating from my own being, I could no longer feel myself as a separate entity. Me and this scent have morphed into a whole new body, a harmonious blend of ingredients, sneaking around, only to settle down -at the end- into a shapeless cloud of amazingness.
Nuit de Bakélite is truly a masterpiece and it was created in 2017, by Isabelle Doyen. Its complexity and mysterious evolution on my skin has completely taken me by surprise. Suddenly, after months and months of fruitless searches, I was having my long-awaited epiphany. The fragrance that “I -could-not-live-without” ….
The audacity of this brand, the original take on traditional raw materials and the haunting nature their fragrances have restored my faith in “perfumery paradise”. I now know that, from time to time, if I keep searching and researching, high and low, I will always have a chance to find a “fragrance unicorn” that would ultimately make my sleepless nights worthwhile.