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June 15, 2005

Fragrance Review: Parfums de Nicolaï Number One

Gaugin bouquet of flowers

Rated 4.5 out of 5.0

Star rating: 5 stars--outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars--very good, 3 stars--adequate, 2 stars--disappointing, 1 star--poor.

Parfums de Nicolaï Number One was the first fragrance to inagurate the line created by Patricia de Nicolaï and her husband Jean-Louis Michau in 1989. Number One won the prestigious Mouillette d'Or du Prix International du Meilleur Parfumeur, or Golden Scentstrip Award of the Best International Perfume Creator upon its debut. One whiff of this voluptous white floral composition, and it becomes clear why it received such an honor. De Nicolaï's creations have an aura of grand parfums, while their structures are modern and radiant. Number One is a particularly harmonious blend of floral notes with a sonorous timbre of soft woods. After the initial sparkle of honeysuckle, the jasmine unfolds with its banana jam sweetness. Contrasted with sultry tuberose and green narcissus, the jasmine gains both complexity and sensuality. Iris with its powdery-rooty character lends Number One a caressing character. Its mixture of elegance and nostalgia is haunting.

Painting: Paul Gauguin, Bouquet of Flowers, 1896. Oil on canvas. National Gallery, London, UK.

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