There’s a short, little cobblestone paved street in the center of Zagreb, Croatia. At its end, there is a funicular. The shortest cable car route in the world, having only 66 meters in length, connecting Tomiceva Street with Upper Town’s Tower Lotrscak. The latter is a very special place, as it is a home of renowned Zagreb cannon. Every day, precisely at noon, it fires a blank shot which is heard to farthest reaches of the city, signalizing the middle of the day.

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There is yet another special place at the foot of this funicular: Niche Perfumery “Top” (The Cannon). Filled with precious fragrances, an oasis for all the curious noses.

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As I walk towards it, expectations of olfactory plentitude reminds me of a book: “The Name of the Rose”. As the protagonists of this masterpiece explore a labyrinth in the medieval library, discussing the subversive power of laughter, I feel like entering scriptorium of fragrances, discussing the subversive power of – perfumes.

That novel has the power to change our minds, replace our reality with its own. Many niche perfumes have that effect on me. We live in a new world after we’ve read “The Name of the Rose”. I live in a new world each and every time a certain perfume overpowers me, seduces me, catapults me into olfactory heaven (or hell). Mystery? It is very present, as are the stories these wonderful bottles of perfume contain. The heresy? The power of scents.

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This is where my curious nose suffered from a thorough perfume overdose. The owner, a perfume connoisseur, revealed all the splendor of brands they feature. Of course, after sniffing the third perfume I was pretty much on my knees. Nose running, eyes watering, breathing with difficulty: I didn’t stop. The last one I tried was like a cannonball!

When I asked what has he done to me, the owner smiled and replied briskly: “If suffer you must, then isn’t it divine to endure sweet torture of the finest perfumes?” To this place of “torture” I will most certainly – return.

This is what I have found for you:

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Nasomatto is a unique, creative, contemporary brand from Holland. Founded by Alessandro Gualtieri, a man who has acquired a renegade reputation within the world of fragrance, Nasomatto refuses to publish ingredient lists. Instead, they describe perfumes by their inspirations. The project is dedicated to people who have a strong interest in a distinguished perfume choice. Alessandro believes that our senses are the primary instruments that generate our instinctive reactions and drive our process of judging and choosing. He is original, just a bit crazy, radical, fun or simply – different. All I can say, expect the unexpected!

All the precious little bottles are neatly arranged here, their line a story of its own: start on the right side with opiates, narcotic dreams of Black Afgano (temporary bliss!), China White, Narcotic (experience the addictive intensity of female sexual power), Hindu Grass. Move on with your nose to Absinth (“aimed to evoke degrees of hysteria”). The apocalypse continues with Duro (scent of inner thighs of a strong and wild male) and when you’ve sinned say – Pardon. Or use Blamage first and then say Pardon…or just ignore everything and be your own superhero with Silver Musk (the result of a quest for mercurial liquid love sensation). Or love them all, each one is so precious, my precioussssss (by now I turn into Gollum, happy in his cave).

What got me on my knees after sniffing all of these is the newest one, kind of magical.
Baraonda!

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The name means “chaos” or “uproar” in Italian. Nasomotto describes it as “an unwise and unfortunate creation caused by bad judgment”. Baraonda is really strange. Strange as good strange…peculiarly addictive strange, very sexy kind of strange. It really evokes the powerful and mighty whisper of an olfactory stirring, that’s for sure! Beware! Nasomatto uses only extraits of perfume, a light dab does the hard day’s work.
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The final cannon shot? Brilliant Frederic Malle piece did it to me again: I couldn’t resist the temptation of The Night by Dominique Ropion. I finished my visit with a scent of Lipizzan horses stable, Turkish rose, amber and oud, maximum oud there is…and it lasted forever, now engraved in my olfactory memory.

The adventures of a curious Nose will continue: feel free to subscribe to my blog and be the first to read the new story coming up: I will research very special Advent & Christmas candles for you!

The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl, Nasomatto
Disclaimer

In the complex and fascinating world of artisan perfumery niche brands, shops are places of olfactory hedonism, a gateway to a different Universe. Just recently, on a rainy day, I found myself in one, soothed by soft lights, meticulously displayed perfume bottles and obligatory “rest and enjoy” corner.

Curious about new fragrances’ arrival, knowing I wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy more than three perfumes at one visit – that’s where helpful personnel comes in, with samples to take home and enjoy. Here, in Lana, they are superb. Give yourself time to test something new, allowing the fragrances to develop, to breathe, to unfold on your skin. Think of it as an Oasis. A sanctuary. Liberate your mind. Explore the scents. There’s no rush here and I took my time to check out for you what’s new and interesting:

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Sheiduna by Puredistance – check out my recommendation here. If you have previous Puredistance favorites you can also choose between other master perfumes as Black, White, I, M…They launch a new perfume every one to two years, they are beloved by true perfume lovers and are available only as Pure Perfume Extrait in concentration between 25-32%. Names behind these wonders are Annie Buzantian, Antoine Lie, Roja Dove, and Cecile Zarokian. Remember this name. Sheiduna. It will become a classic.

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Il Profvmo perfumes – Caramella dAmore, Othello, Pioggia Salata. Othello was launched in 2016, for men, but it really worked just fine on my skin, came out as my favorite among these three. Il Profvmo, Italian art perfumes is Silvana Casoli’s universe of gifts created by her unique gift to respond to the socio-olfactory needs of her customers. She pays tribute to Nature. Another desert lover, just like me 🙂

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Amouage: Myths just came in, m/w, although, again, I regard them as unisex and liked M better…still thinking about that perfume, still waiting for impressions to settle down. It definitely deserves a more detailed review. Strange…different. Exquisite.Hat down, Your Highness Sayyid Hamad bin Hamoud al bu Said! Love the great Arabian art of perfumery here and now.

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Aedes de Venustas – OMG! It still lingers in my nose. Brain deep. Memories are deep. This perfume is so different, so addictive, so…multifaceted…so intriguing. I kept the testing paper to remind me of my first encounter with it…Definitely my favorite.

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Majda Bekkal: Tendre est la nuit – Sculptures Olfactives. Just look at that bottle – here comes immortelle again, but yet a different one. It is not only the bottle that is a piece of art…what it contains is precious.

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Ormond Jayne – Four Corners of Earth Collection. What a story told by fragrances! Quality, luxury, the pursuit of beauty and elegance…I am deeply impressed. Linda’s life and success story are inspirational. Her perfumes are breathtaking. Give them time to develop fully, enjoy every olfactory shade these provide. You won’t regret it.

When you are in Zagreb, Croatia, be sure that it also offers a fine choice of niche perfumes. As for me, quite a few new recommendations/perfume stories/olfactory memories are coming up as well as my Xmas presents suggestions.
May your Nose be always curious!

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The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl
Disclaimer