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As a brief introduction to the fragrance, So Nude, by Costume National, was created in 2012. Currently, it is available in India via The Empress Trading Company in Pune. ( Javed Sayed sent over a couple of bottles for me to nose and I’ve spent a few days with the fragrance. ) The fragrance was created by parfumier Dominique Ropion ( who is also credited with creating the well-acclaimed Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower, which I now really want to try ). Ingredients are said to have been sourced from the ( International Flavours & Fragrances ) IFF-acquired Laboratoire Monique Remy.

I read about the fragrance before I asked Javed to go ahead and send it. Even so, once I received it and sprayed it on my wrist, I was surprised – and not in a good way. It was too “jasminy”. Which I later found out was a mix of Neroli and Tuberose. ( Neroli is the flower that grows on the Bitter Orange tree. Tuberose is what is called the Indian Rajnigandha flower. ) In terms of the market, I suppose India is a great market to sell a “jasminy” perfume and if you’re into warm and floral, but not cloyingly sweet, this one is a good fragrance.

In my experience, most “jasminy” fragrances tend to be cloyingly sweet and heavy, which is a problem for my nose. I don’t mind fresh florals, citrusy ones. I don’t even mind warm florals. It’s the strong, sweet, powdery ones that I tend to stay away from. Obviously, perfumes are a personal preference and I can only hope to share what I thought about a particular fragrance, so don’t decide based on my feedback. If you come across this fragrance somewhere, do give it a whiff!

I’ll get down to talking a bit about the opening / mid / end notes. ( Since it’s not a distinctive fragrance, I found it impossible to do one of my “close my eyes and this is what I saw / felt” descriptions. I do that when I sharing my experience with fragrance these days – do check out the #NosedByNaina section on my blog! )

As I’ve mentioned, the opening notes were a very heavy Neroli. The brand’s marketing says that there’s cumin, cardamom, neroli, damascus rose, ylang-ylang and even patchouli.

I get literally nothing except Neroli and Tuberose – more Tuberose. It changes from a light synthetic to a strong warm note pretty quickly. But it stays Neroli all throughout. Maybe a bit of Tuberose toward the middle? Possibly a slight hint of “spicy” when it’s approaching the end? Reminds me of this old Pond’s Talcum Powder I used to apply as a teenager – used to be sold in a pink and white vertical / elliptically-cylindrical tin container. ( Pond’s doesn’t smell the same any more of course. )

In terms of longevity, or how long it stays, it stays very long on your garments if that’s where you’re spraying. Will last at least a good 48 hours – and stays strong. On my skin, in my arm-pits, it lasts about 24 hours and on the rest of my skin it lasts about 4-6 hours.

It’s doesn’t leave a powdery texture on your skin, which I like. Sillage is personal, which is fine because it could be too strong for the delicate noses in your vicinity.

The other thing I really liked about this fragrance is the outer box it comes packed it. It has a nice velvety feel, which I believe is an attempt to make you feel like you’re touching skin.

The video produced for the fragrance was a bit jarring for me – I wasn’t sure if the brand is trying to appeal to us or scare us. I watched it on the brand’s website. It’s short and contains nudity.

If you’re looking for a nice, warm, generic, floral, that you can wear in the Indian summers, then you can give So Nude by Costume National a shot. It masked my smelly sweat for a good 24 hours, after which, the smell of the combination of sweat with the fragrance was just unbearable. Another way you could put this to use is to spray it on your garments about 24 to 48 hours before you plan to wear them – leaves a wonderful lingering floral scent and your wardrobe will also smell great.

Thanks for reading!

Previous fragrances featured on the blog can be found under the #NosedByNaina section.

( Both images used as the background have a Creative Commons License. The painting is by Vlaho Bukovac, who was an Austro-Hungarian painter of Croatian & Italian descent. The photograph is of the Neroli flowers that grow on the Bitter Orange tree. )




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