Sunday, 31 October 2010

Parfums De Nicolai New York

New York is one of those perfumes that has a huge following on Basenotes in particular. I hate to be negative in a review, but I'm going to be honest, front up, and admit from the start that I have really struggled to appreciate New York, despite sampling it a number of times. The notes include bergamot, sicilian lemon, cloves, thyme, cinnamon, black pepper, pimento, oakmoss, vetiver and amber. 

On my skin, New York opens with what I perceive as a cloying, sweet lavender, paired with an equally cloying, creamy-sweet citrus note. And powder. Lots of it. I really struggle to get past this stage, the worst of the whole development. It takes all my willpower not to rush to the bathroom and wash it off, so bad is it. Now I realise there are a lot of people out there who love New York, but with all the best intentions, I am not one of them. This perfume literally generates a sensation of nausea as I smell it. I kid you not. I can feel the bile rising. I think the worst thing about New York is that powdery note, which is almost choking in its intensity. It isn't baby powder per se, but a weird, cough-inducing note that makes me want to gag and sneeze. I wonder if this isn't a case of me being allergic to some ingredient that Nicolai uses, because the other masculine, Nicolai Pour Homme, causes a similar sensation for me.

To be fair, as the fragrance develops, it does become easier for me to wear this, and as the powder tones down and the base of oakmoss and vetiver emerges, I can tolerate New York, but I still don't like it. I feel really bad criticising a perfume so strongly, and I suspect it might be just me and my skin chemistry. I wouldn't encourage you to avoid New York though. In fact, I would love to hear if any of you have tried it, and whether you suffer the same reaction to it as me. The final comment is courtesy of my wife, who when presented with my wrist, said that it smelled fuddy-duddy, and granny-ish. 

Image credit -


  1. Wow - balsy review! You and I tend to have similar tastes, so I'm fascinated with your reaction to New York. Now, I may have to sample it just to settle things in my own mind.

    Thanks for your honesty - as always!

  2. Josephine, I would be interested to read your take on it, should you ever get your hands on a sample. In fact, I'd be more than happy to send you mine! Just for the record, I don't have anything against De Nicolai, but I can only review as I perceive, which in this case absolutely did not work for me.

  3. I need to revisit the Nicolai range at some point soon. I have been to the London shop - where I tried New York - but the atmosphere in the place wasn't conducive to relaxed sniffing, and there were no samples available.



Related Posts with Thumbnails