The bare skin on your legs is blue and goose pimpled. Cold air cuts right through your school jacket. You sit on the rail embankment with her, completely hidden amongst by the tall grass. A vivid pink winter sunset reflects off the river, the broken warehouse windows. You view it through a haze of cigarette smoke. Neither of you says anything. A intersuburban train passes behind you. She stubs out her smoke. When the noise dies down, she hands you a violet pastille: “Here, suck on this. Your mum won’t be able to tell you’ve been smoking…”
If you ever entered a women’s dressing room in the 1980s, where the actresses have been smoking and spraying perfume, you will immediately recognise this scent: cigarettes, perfume and powder but in the most marvellous idealised way.
Nabeel Al Amakin (NAA) opens with warm lemon, sweet violets and a maple syrup-caramel drenched tobacco. It starts quietly and builds aggressively to a scream. After a short while, caramel and tobacco dominate. Little wafts of sweet violets come and go. The violets here are confectioner’s violets, not anything naturalistic. There’s a smoky, sunset, urban feel to this fragrance. It strongly reminds the Moth Woman of when she was a larva and spent time with an aunt in the city in the 1970s.
An hour in and the sillage has regressed to a more comfortable level. It becomes a glorious warm pipe tobacco fragrance overlayed with floral elements. The violet notes remain, unchanged but the caramel note is less strong. A luxury leather feel emerges.
Two hours, the tobacco is still the prominent note but the cool, dark elements of violets appear, creating a awesome warm/cool dichotomy. The violet note is not noticeable if you smell your skin but move around and drifts of candied violet petals follow you, eclipsing the tobacco. It is an interesting and unique quality that the Moth Woman has not encountered anywhere else.
Three hours, little has changed but a slight increase in its floral aspects.
After this, violets and tobacco take turns. The volume remains quite steady.
The Moth Woman has been wearing NAA for 12 hours now and it is still quite present and alternating between violets and tobacco. Significant sillage remains. It is noticeable three feet from the Moth Woman, which is rather remarkable.
Previous wearings have shown that longevity can exceed twenty hours.
NAA is lovely and has very unique qualities. This is a perfume of opposites, cool/warm; the interplay is fascinating.
Things worth noting on about NAA:
Do not overdose. This is an error the Moth Woman made on first use and resulted in a very bad headache. It smells like nothing going on but within minutes has radically huge projection and overdosing results in the sharpish, sour notes from tobacco reaching airborne toxin levels.
If overdosed, you also lose the sweet violet element too, which is what makes this scent unique and appealing.
Subtly applied, this fragrance is a stunning dance between the violets and tobacco.
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