Sometimes it is difficult for me to comment on a fragrance without also talking about its marketing, or its packaging, or its price, or any one of a number of things that don’t have anything to do with how it smells. The case of Nu_be fragrances is one of those.
Nu_be’s website is full of stuff like this:
“Dynamic scheme: encouraging/mitigating. Solemn and sophisticated, it presents the persuasive counterpoint of a soft, controlled background, in contrast with the more strident cadence of stimulating earthy accents.”
WTH, right? When I read things like this, I can’t decide what is going on. Wanting to be intellectual? Trying too hard to be creative and unique? Written by a non-native English speaker? Whatever else it may be, in my book it is definitely a failure to communicate.
But with that out of the way, I can say the Nu_be perfumes I have tried smell really good. Carbon (created by Francoise Caron) is a unisex fragrance, and is one of those rare unisex fragrances that are not too masculine for me. The notes are cardamom, ginger, black peppercorn, iris, herbs, resins, and sandalwood, but on my skin it develops into something that smells the way I wanted Parfum d’Empire’s Equistrius to smell. It starts off airy and a little floral, with the ginger providing a kick to the iris (and violet, and heliotrope?) and the blurry resinous notes. There is a density to the sillage that belies its transparency. And sure enough, it settles down into a comfortable and fairly sturdy nougat-y thing composed mostly of iris, cardamom, and sandalwood, and it lasts eight or nine hours.
Update: After I posted this review, a representative from Nu_be contacted me privately. He disagreed with my assessment of the writing on their website and defended it vigorously. His position was that they were trying to be creative with the language, to do something experimental that would be appropriate for their perfumes. I said I understood, but stood by my initial assessment that it doesn’t work. Fortunately, we are in agreement in our appreciation of the perfume itself! I think the way Nu_be handled this is a great example of a company communicating respectfully while standing up for its decisions. And I wanted to give them the respect of passing on their thoughts to my readers. Oh, and one other thing I forgot to mention: although I don’t think all the writing on the website is great, the site itself is beautifully designed and functional; other perfume companies should take note.
For reviews of Nu_be Carbon, check Fragrantica.
Photo courtesy Nu_be. Sample courtesy Les Senteurs.