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 the home of the 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.
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.
As I walk towards it, expectations of olfactory plentitude remind 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 the 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.
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:
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.
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 extrait strength, a light dab does the hard day’s work.
The final cannon shot? Brilliant Frederic Malle’s 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!
The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl, Nasomatto