NAJA by Vero Profumo

Hypnotised by the cosmic serpent…

Notes:  Osmanthus Absolute, Melon, Linden Blossom and Tobacco

 

The release of NAJA has been long anticipated by the many fans – including myself – of rebel perfumer Vero Kern.  It was finally launched at Esxence in Milan last week and I was lucky enough to receive a sample thanks to my dear friends at Australian Perfume Junkies.

NAJA is Vero Profumo’s Jubilee Scent, celebrating 10 years of this unique independent perfume house, with a limited distribution of 650 50ml bottles.

It is a mystical creation, rich in symbolism, which holds the promise of redemption and rebirth.

NAJA is a fragrance of magic and mystery, as exemplified by its stunning black bottle.

 

naja bottle

 

The snake is NAJA’s familiar and it is one of the oldest and most widespread symbols in mythology. Snakes (or serpents) features in Greek, Ancient Egyptian, African, Aboriginal, Native American, Indochina, Norse, Christian, Hindu and Jewish mythologies.  Primarily it stands for the creative life force, with the shedding of the snake’s skin representing transformation, immortality and healing.

Historically, snakes have been used in shamanic rituals to bridge the gap between our world and that of the spirits. The snake’s venom is also associated with the chemicals in plants which have the power to heal (or poison) as well as expand consciousness. This mirrors the tobacco plant which again has been used by shamans for its medicinal and psychotropic properties.

In NAJA, tobacco takes the form of the serpent which spirals throughout the length of the fragrance’s development.  The first hit however is a drop-dead gorgeous combination of fruit (mostly lime) and flowers over a fine layer of seductive powder.  The slice of melon combined with the apricot of osmanthus and the luscious lime of linden blossom, gives the fragrance spectacular radiance. Vero always uses fruit accords so beautifully in her perfumes, elevating them to the level of sensual.

I’ve never found a tobacco fragrance that works for me because they are often loaded with cherry and immortelle or they’re too dry and traditionally manly for my taste. Here the tobacco is golden in tone and incredibly smooth. In the base, it becomes suede-like in both texture and scent. At this stage, the olfactory hallmark of Vero Profumo’s orientals (see reviews of Onda and Rozy) is most apparent. It’s a somewhat animalic, tarry smokiness that gives them the classic feel of iconic perfumes from yesteryear, such as Caron’s Tabac Blond.

You might look at the symbolism and the packaging and expect a fragrance of intimidating darkness, but you’d be wrong. Just as the snake embodies the duality of good and evil, poison and cure, so NAJA is imbued with the duality of light and shade, masculine and feminine, spirituality and humanity. It is my ideal, multi-faceted tobacco fragrance and my favourite work by Vero to date.

Unlike previous releases, there is only one formulation of NAJA.  It has above average projection and amazing day-into-night longevity.

Prepare to embrace the serpent.

 

naja cobra two.jpg

 

Do you think you will fall under NAJA’s spell?

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48 Comments

Filed under Perfume Reviews

48 responses to “NAJA by Vero Profumo

  1. Ah, finally a naja review. It sounds wonderful. But why the limited edition? after all this hard work that’s a bit of a shame. I wonder if it even makes it to Bloom?

    Like

    • Hi Sabine,
      Even a limited run of 650 bottles is still a lot for an indie brand. You never know, Vero may consider making more when it sells out.
      Val tells me it will be stocked in Bloom. I have to get my bottle!

      Like

  2. Loved your review Tara. It is a beautiful perfume. I feel we may need to be quick to get hold of a bottle. x Megan

    Like

    • It really is beautiful, isn’t it? So happy you love it too, Megan. I don’t think we need to panic, but probably best not to put off purchasing 🙂

      Like

  3. Wow. Jasmine Awards here we come!

    This sounds gorgeous : I really think she is an inspired perfumer and I love osmanthus ( and also strangely fascinated by snakes. )

    Like

    • Ha! I’ve never entered. I don’t think they consider straight-up reviews.

      Naja is gorgeous and I particularly love the lime. I don’t think it’s used nearly enough in perfumery. Osmanthus is a favourite of mine too and what a nice pairing here with the tobacco.

      People through the ages have clearly shared your fascination with snakes!

      Like

  4. Ooh, what an ‘enchanting’ review of this ‘charming’ new release from Vero – right, that’s enough snake imagery for now. Except to say that thanks to your beguiling description, a new lemming just slithered into my brain.

    Like

  5. Your description of Vero as being a rebel perfumer is very apt, for that is exactly what she is. And it is the combination of rebel with with the training of a classical/traditional perfumer that makes every fragrance in her small but superb collection so beautiful. I visited with Vero in her atelier and got the opportunity to sniff the individual components that make up NAJA. With the exception of the tobacco absolute, which is just too powerful, each of the others would have been wonderful just on their own. Vero truly puts a little of herself into each perfume she creates, and it is exactly that love that resonates so deeply with the Verophiles. They have never been perfumes for the masses, but I fancy that NAJA might well casts its spell upon a wider audience. (You are one of the very few who have the ability to conjure a smell through your words, this review is spot on.) CQ

    Like

    • Thanks, CQ.
      Yes, that combination of a maverick sensibility with classical training makes for something special. I love how you say Vero puts a little of herself into her creations because that’s exactly how it feels. People pick up on that.
      Naja definitely has a good chance of chiming with a lot of people if they get the chance to try it.

      Like

    • jtd

      I couldn’t say it better, Val! Vero reminds me why I turn to the artist for her vision, for the unexpected. The ‘lifestyle marketing’ of perfume these days promises something that you’ll be guaranteed to love a perfume because it’s nothing new or surprising—it’s a version of what you’ve already had. Vero’s perfumes on the other hand alway surprise me at the same time that they capture me and speak to me very personally. I remember the shock of smelling Rozy for the first time! As often as I wear it (right now, for instance) it still gives me a kick in the ass.

      Like

  6. Tara C

    I was seriously lemming this scent until you mentioned my nemesis, melon. I loathe melon. But I’ll sniff it anyway, just because I have to, I love Vero.

    Like

  7. Lady Jane Grey

    Lovely review, T. – even more so specifically for me, because I was so afraid of that tobacco note… And now you say it’s not the classical “gentlemen’s club” style tabacco, which is pretty much one of my nemesis notes. So I hope I can get my paws on a sample.

    Like

  8. The review we were all waiting for, and neither you nor Vero disappoints ❤ it sounds stunning, and I sure hope I get to test it before it disappears.
    I love snakes as a symbol, and absolutely don’t like like them for real. As symbol of healing and eternity they are beautiful as is your review 😘

    Like

  9. Sandra

    Beautiful review Tara. I too love Naja and can’t wait to buy a bottle. Sandra xo

    Like

  10. jtd

    I love the way you capture the experience of the scent, Tara. I am in fact preparing to embrace the serpent. I love the anticipation that surrounds a new perfume by Vero—it makes finally smelling the perfume and having the bottle in your hands so satisfying.

    Dying to hear your thoughts on Miss Dior extrait. I just bought a gorgeous little 15 ml bottle and am planning to cut the string today. Maybe we can have an intercontinental sharing of our findings. btw, Fantastic that you got it from Portia—we’re the junkies, she’s the pusher!

    Like

    • It’s a real event for the likes of us, isn’t it?

      Oh lovely about your 15ml Miss Dior extrait! Do enjoy it today. I’d be very happy to share impressions. It’s totally new to me but I’ve been lusting after it for ages.
      Portia has access to the good stuff 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Anka

    Hi Tara,
    This really sounds hypnotising! I love all the fragrances of Vero Kern (at the moment I am wearing Kiki edp) and Naja sounds at the same time very different to the others and yet according to your description shares a certain signature with them. Can’t wait to try it!!!

    Like

    • Hi Anka,
      Hope all is good with you.
      You’re spot on. It is different to the others (and probably the most accessible, funnily enough) but it does have that Vero signature which you’re bound to recognise as a fan.
      Kiki is just wonderful!

      Like

  12. WOW!! I had a bit at Esxence but haven’t get given Naja a solo wear. VERTY excited to.
    Loving all the stellar imagery surrounding it.
    Portia xxx

    Like

  13. Somehow you managed to make me “lemming” for the perfume that I would not be anxious to try otherwise because of the melon note mentioned. Now I’m thinking that I have to try it before those 650 bottles are gone – see what you did?!! 😉
    I actually like the fact that there’s just one concentration/version: sometimes too many choices prevent you from actually making that choice (Kiki family, I’m looking at you 😉 ).

    Like

    • I take that as a great compliment, Undina!
      Don’t be dissuaded by the melon note, it’s in the mix but hard to pick out. It’s all about the lime for the first section.
      I agree about the single formulation. It takes away option paralysis.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Naja by Vero Kern for Vero Profumo 2017 « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

  15. Pingback: Perfume Review : Naja from Vero Profumo : Reptilian Shapeshifter | Megan In Sainte Maxime

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