Nuit Epicee opens familiar – a combination of Black Afgano, a Lutens’-sweet sandalwood, a million amber perfumes combined… it’s good! A slightly tart fruity note up top (listed as rhubarb but it’s not quite accurate), a rich, heavily resinous amber and violet open Nuit Epicee. The violet is sherberty and sweet, but slightly abstract, very similar to the violet in Cuir Amethyste but with a little more subtlety. The opening is also dominated by a pungent oud wood note, but the oud is sweet, flat with a high pitch – infact, I’m pretty certain it is “Black Agar” – a lovely aroma chemical that I have a little sample of. This note pretty much dominates Nuit Epicee and once recognized, it kind of puts a downer on any expected complexity.
I love the little bit of cumin floating around in the background giving off a hefty dose of warmth – but the oud/cumin combo is not at all animalic or particularly overpowering. The fragrance is extremely refined on the skin, with not a single thing jolting out or leading.
This could be a good thing for some, but for me it becomes un-interesting… and whilst I really like the smell of Nuit Epicee, it has very little imagination.
The drydown brings a pretty solid amber note, lovely and labdanum-heavy, with a sweet sandalwood/cedar base. The black agar still clings onto the skin along with a good dose of incense… but still, pretty generic.
Ok so I say something good and then slate it? Sorry, I am a bit all over the place with this one. The thing is, Nuit Epicee smells good – but when you smell it, it’ll be completely familiar. It picks up pieces of numerous successful releases over the last few years, encompassing the oud trend along with everyone’s love for the woody-amber drydowns (Opus V, Montale’s, Nasomatto’s… hundreds more!) – Norlimbanol? This chemical has dominated drydowns of literally hundreds of releases recently. Yes, it smells good, that’s why perfumer’s use it, but it’s so boring too.
All in all – Nuit Epicee is an absolute stereotype of modern woody/amber perfumes, with very little creativity. However, as I said, it smells good – but how could it not? It’s not interesting enough for me to wear or be particularly positive about – but it is a clever, unnecessary release given a wonderful notes list:
“Almond, cumin, rhubarb, cistus, violet, blond woods, black amber, praline”
Don’t buy into it… black agar+norlimbanol, end of :)
Nuit Epicee 75ml Decennial – $150 Luckyscent