CURRENTLY COVETING

A SCENT LIKE NO OTHER

Photograph by Pete Daly.

Erase everything you think you know about luxury fragrance. It’s 2017 and hyper-reality is the new natural, synthetics are the new sexy, and compounds are the floral infusions of the future. Founded by one of the owners of iconic West Village perfumery, Aedes de Venustas, firebrand New York fragrance house Nomenclature has perfumers teasing out the signature scents of nature in pure chemical cocktails that elevate the synthetic to the sublime. And we’re hooked.

There are four fragrances in the Nomenclature stable but it only took one whiff of Efflor_esce, the elixir being called the “flower of angels”, to turn us into chemistry converts. Scents of sun-gorged Neroli, Tuberose and velvety Osmathus are so note-perfect it’s hard to conceive that not a drop of actual flower essence has been squeezed into the bottle. It’s a faultless imitation, loud and proud.

True fragrancephiles, these are just the juices you’ve been waiting for. Supernatural signatures linger longer. Precisely-calibrated accents and nuances cut through without any compromise. Cut loose from the limits and mood swings of Mother Nature, Nomenclature is making fragrance that’s more potent, and arguably more inventive, than reality. The divine Adr_ett, which showcases a man-made musk, is almost impossible to nail down; a bit pear-ish maybe, there’s something soapy-sweet too…but Adr_ett evolves into an aura that doesn’t smell like anything we can hang a name on, really. It’s just imagination in a bottle.

Of course, synthetics have been a silent part of popular perfumery for decades, since aldehydes gave Chanel No 5 the spark that turned a fashion fragrance into a legend. Now Nomenclature, with bottles boldly stamped with chemical chains, is letting the perfumer’s secret science out. And we want all the way in.

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