Category Archives: Les Nez

Turtle Vetiver Front – Les Nez & Les Nombres d’Or Vetyver – Mona Di Orio

Two more vetivers, slightly higher end I’d say.

The reason I started trying out all these vetivers was after I read somewhere that Les Nez’s Turlte Vetiver Exercise 1 smelt like the marine/tortoise tank at the zoo – raw, salty, a bit dirty, pungent… sounded amazingggg. Of course this isn’t available any more so I went for the new release – Front.

Turtle Vetiver Front opens with vetiver of course. It’s smokier than that I have tried already, and also has some strange green spice to it that I can’t quite identify. It’s definitely earthy, but not like soil or mud or mushrooms – the type of earthy I’m used to and look for.

To me, it feels like it goes on feeling damp and fresh and in a matter of seconds turns around and dries out. What I smell now literally after a minute, is dry earth with withered, spicy greenery sprouting through cracked ground. On first blast there seemed to be a coconut/fig vibe but that vanished pretty quickly, I think that provided the fleshy/dampness.

Sniffing this more, I’m actually really enjoying it!! I applied pretty liberally which I didn’t do the first time I gave this a quick sniff, it’s coming out much stronger this time. I still feel like vetiver has an empty vibe to it which I described in my previous posts as being light or aquatic – I was wrong. It feels sparse, similar to how to the frankincense feels sparse to me in Avignon. With the vetiver however this seems to be consistent unlike the frankincense which in some fragrances is full and luscious – Incense Rose for example.
Anyway, without confusing myself and going off topic – yes, this feels slightly sparse again to me, but I guess that is something I am going to have to get used to. Everything around the empty spaces, I really like, it’s unlike anything I would normally wear and that’s what I’m finding interesting.

So far it is definitely my favourite vetiver soliflore. It is dry, slightly dusty, with a spicy/smoky vetiver and the occasional flash of green coconut. Recommended for vetiver lovers that’s for sure :)

Vetyver doesn’t open with a recognizable vetiver, of course that would be too obvious for a Mona creation!
Instead it’s actually quite hard to dissect! It’s a whole bunch of notes that combined together don’t feel familiar, but are instantly quite comfortable.

The opening burst is that of a tart but bitter citrus (which I’m guessing is grapefruit) and spice which gives in pretty quickly to a semi-mentholated smokiness with the spices still strong up top. They seem quite foody, kitchen spices if you will, and I think it’s a nutmeg almost cinnamon spice I can pick up? It’s kind of a chinese-five spice thing. But don’t let that put you off, everything surrounding it keeps the fragrance from turning foody.

A good few minutes later and the vetiver peeks up it’s head and stays there. It is not as raw as in Turtle Vetiver Front, and is instead very green, a little fresher, and definitely spicier. The five-spice remains layered on top and creates a vetiver soliflore that seems a little bit more complex than everything else I have tried – it sounds ideal, if only I really enjoyed all the surrounding notes! I enjoy the cedar which comes through around the 10/15 minute mark. It helps to dampen the fragrance more so and provide some much-needed woody support.
The base of creamy tonka mixed with the vetiver is unique as it provides a complete contrast to what I expected from the base (a woody/earthy/dirtiness), instead its velvet soft, musky, but with that spicy vetiver floating above it.

The combination of spices and vetiver is rich, semi-oriental and translucent… it’s very unusual and unfortunately for me starts to get uncomfortable to wear yet bizarrely familiar. If you’re after a straight-forward vetiver, this isn’t it – but like all of Mona’s soliflore creations for the Les Nombres d’Or line, the title notes all have clever support, unfortunately the foody notes in this one don’t really seem to work well for me.
I do find this fragrance clever, even though I have crap exposure to vetiver fragrances. It is nothing that I would personally want to wear, and it’s definitely not the vetiver for me, but I would happily recommend it, even if I’m not as wowed by it as I had hoped.

Turtle Vetiver Front – Les Nez 50ml – $120 Luckyscent
Les Nombres d’Or Vetyver – Mona Di Orio 100ml EDP – $190 Luckyscent

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Manoumalia – Les Nez

I have no idea how I came across Manoumalia, I don’t even think it was recommended to me, but instead to someone else on a forum and I kind of nabbed the idea.

I haven’t explored the small Les Nez line, but would really like to (and it shouldn’t take me too long!).  They have something quite quirky about them, nice simplistic bottles and cool fragrance ideas – but to be honest I haven’t really looked into them properly. I just know they have playful names and interesting fragrance concepts.

I first sniffed Manoumalia last night… yes I know I know, I haven’t gave this a full wearing yet, so I won’t be commenting on the longevity or late drydown or how often I’d wear it as I haven’t explored it properly for a day. But I’m trying it again now and want to get my head round it. I have a huge batch of samples to get through over the next few weeks, and recording my semi-initial impressions on them will hopefully sort out my confusion :)

Manoumalia opens with a beautifully creamy tuberose, and almost a slightly coconuty vibe but I think that’s more of an impression. There’s a whole bunch of tropical florals in there (tiare and frangipani) – I can pick up some ylang ylang (which I don’t have that much exposure with but can recognise its exquisite scent) and definitely some orange blossom. Mmm!! It is a sumptuous bouquet of white florals and some tropical, with a semi-sunscreen vibe in the style of Serge Luten’s Datura Noir and By Kilian’s Beyond Love… to be honest, I think any creamy tuberose I associate with sunscreen, I’m not sure why but I love the accord. The tiare (which I can only relate to as a gardenia) has that subtle cheesy aroma that great gardenia notes have – slightly rancid and overpowering.

There is some greeness to Manoumalia, it’s a little sappy and juicy and freshens out the composition so the florals aren’t too stuffy, although they are pollen rich and tickle the nose a bit! It has a damp feel to it and after some time on the skin, some slight salty notes come in, which I’m guessing this is a facet of the underlying vetiver. It also seems like there is some rich vanilla and white musk in the base, but the fragrance is generally dominated by the creamy, banana-ry ylang ylang and the other supporting tropical flowers along with a boatload of pollen.

In the heart of Manoumalia, is a complicated sting of different accords of indoles, and cheesy aromas of tropical white florals. A metallic twang pierces through the composition, whilst raw, almost meaty notes thicken it out in a heat of rubbery almond. It sounds complicated I know, but suddenly a surge of challenging notes erupt from the florals, showing a horrendously ugly side – that somehow on the skin turns into something unbelievably sexy!! I adore this stage. It is a rough melange of textures and colours, making Manoumalia even more reminiscent of far off lands – with a little danger on the side.

The base holds a a rich earthy vetiver, dark and skanky in a salted-skin way. Slightly raunchy, and overlaid with the indolic white floral bouquet, Manoumalia’s drydown is quite something to behold. The density is intense, full and thick with a powdery quality allowing your nose to penetrate through the rich pollen into the basenotes of delicate woods, musk and vetiver.

Manoumalia is a wonderful floral. It is everything a big indolic bouquet of a fragrance should smell like. If it sounds all too much and a bit too stuffy, Manoumalia does mellow out and settle down on the skin. A dreadful descriptive word to use but it definitely is a “happy” fragrance – it’s bright, cheerful and surrounds you in a cloud of tropical bliss, but you do have to be a hardcore floral lover to be able to spray lavishly and thoroughly enjoy it. Compared to the other two I mentioned earlier, I think I prefer this. It is a tad more complex and so far has a neat drydown, retaining the opulence of the opening.

I find Manoumalia playful and a little bit ditzy. It has a great tropical bouquet, wonderfully balanced, with all the extremely compelling – and slightly repulsive facets which go along with it. Brilliant.

Highly recommended! :)

Les Nez Manoumalia 100ml – £100 Les Senteurs

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