Discovering Narciso Rodriguez Perfume House
Remember when we announced the other day the opening of the cozy lounge of Narciso Rodriguez Perfume House at Mall of the Emirates? We didn’t waste time, and headed there to discover what this buzzing three-week roadshow in Dubai is all about.
Thanks to Danny Ventura, the Beauté Prestige International specialist who walked us through the history of Narciso Rodriguez Perfume House, we learned so much about their essences and perfume-making in general. Read on as he shared with us in details why the designer loves Egyptian musk, the importance of Chinese snuff bottles, the differences among the fragrances in the family, and the practical tips in choosing the right fragrance.
Essence of the musk
The iconic key signature of Narciso Rodriguez perfumes, musk is the metaphor for matchless and absolute femininity. All the perfume house’s creations make their mark with this irresistible note. Sensual and subdued, it is the common thread that ties each new creation to the next.
It actually began from the time when the fashion designer was still in Parson School of Fashion. He was mesmerized by the smell of his stunning classmate and friend who bathed and used Egyptian musk in her hair and skin all the time.
Since then, this musk has been Narciso Rodriguez’s favourite scent, the one that always stays with him.
He knew that he would be using this simple yet beautiful, a sensual yet subtle perfumed oil as his distinctive style, like an olfactory hallmark, since the start of his career.
Iconic ‘for her’
It was in 2003 when Narciso Rodriguez launched its masterpiece from his perfume house.
With ‘for her’, Narciso Rodriguez demonstrated the beginning of understated elegance of a prominent house of haute parfumerie. Since then, it became a brand with perfect top-down design – the fragrances of Narciso Rodriguez reflect the pared down aesthetics of the fashions and the sleek image the talented Cuban-born designer projects with his every show.
‘for her’ first came out in eau de toilette, capturing the essence of sexy, modern and confident woman. The soul of ‘for her’ eau de toilette is full of grace and opulence. The osmanthus floral accord plays to the rhythm of the musk middle notes, rousing the desire to cuddle under a soft duvet. The scent is reminiscent of everything that is sophisticated and sensual.
In the following year, ‘for her’ eau de parfum was introduced, paving the way for a more romantic and sweet version of the first fragrance. The ‘for her’ eau de parfum exposes a more enveloping yet subtle sensuality. It refers to the sensation of a caress, as if stroking cashmere.
Then came the ‘for her’ eau de parfum intense which carried higher dosage of the Narciso Rodriguez signature olfactory middle note: musk. At first, its scent seems ephemeral. But very quickly thereafter, it bares the sensuality of skin perfumes. The musks open up and become more nuanced with white floral notes and amber-woody accords, giving it its magnetic sensuality.
Siblings in the family
The family of fragrances branches out to ‘for her’ in color which is reflective of the inspirations behind his fashion designs.
Inspired by women who love to accessorize, this fragrance is perfect for the lady who dons the classic little black dress but wears it with a pair of glittery silver shoes.
And, there comes also the Essence, a floral and powdery fragrance that is fresh, vibrant and as luminous as its bottle.
It is perfect for women who have sparkling personality, bubbly as a glass of champagne.
Last but not least in the family tree is ‘for him’. The scent focuses on the designer’s well-loved musk note but in a completely novel way – flanked by patchouli and an aromatic accord that seems out of place for a second and the more predictable, cool and watery violet leaves – it revolutionizes the elegant and refined masculine cologne genre.
Chinese snuff bottles
Developing a fragrance usually requires about 24 months from start to finish, plus about hundred of people working on it. It requires a long process from idea generation to the bottles actually seen in the stores.
In Narciso Rodriguez case, when the time came to bottle ‘for her’, he pulled out an antique Chinese snuff bottle (old bottles used to hold herbs). He then asked the team to work around the idea of the time-honored sophistication of painting the inside of the bottle. He believes that the perfume, being precious, should remain mysterious and guarded.
Thus, conceived as a glass dress with sleek contours, all the bottles of fragrances under the Narciso Rodriguez Perfume House are painted interior, paying homage to women and implies the mystery that surrounds them. It is indeed an ode to eternal femininity at the heart of a gracious elixir.
Choosing for you
A perfume consists of top notes, hard (middle) notes and base notes. These notes can be any combination among five thousand notes or essences out there. Base notes are the heavier notes, and are the longest to stay. Middle notes are essential blending to the base notes. Top notes give the first impression, and evaporate after about twenty minutes.
That’s why when trying on a fragrance, do not judge it by the first time you smelled it. Since it would give only the top notes which are quickest to evaporate, you should wait about 45 minutes until the base notes are finally surfacing.
It would even be more ideal to shop for perfume in the morning when your nose has been rested. Also, it is recommended that before going to the beauty shop, you should think of that moment in your life when you were the happiest. Was it a wedding, a trip or a date? Think about it, and try to point out what made you happy in such a moment.
If it was a wedding, and it made you remember the rose bouquet you were holding, go and ask the perfume salesperson for three fragrances that have rose notes. Spray one on your right arm, the other on the left, and the last on a card. Leave and then come back after 45 minutes. If you love it, buy it. If you don’t, then find something else.
Good thing for Narciso Rodriguez ‘for her’ perfumes, the fragrances have winning ingredients, and most of the women who bought it fell in love with it the first time they tried it on. So, go ahead, visit the lounge and see for yourself how you’d fall in love with these amazing bottled essences. Again, we must tell you, we already did.