“…the sound of latex when several stalks of tuberose tangle…” – Naomi Goodsir website
Notes: Angelica, Violet Leaf, Galbanum, Orris, Karo Karounde, Tuberose, Leather, Davana, Styrax, Tobacco, Labdanum and Gaiac Wood
When I attended the Art & Olfaction Awards last spring, I was really pleased when Naomi Goodsir won an award for Best Indie Perfume with Nuit de Bakelite. I admire her whole line which is full of modern, striking perfumes that stand out in a sea of niche mediocrity.
All the Naomi Goodsir fragrances are inspired by materials and textures. The wonderful Iris Cendré is orris ashes, Cuir Velours is a leather glove, while Bois d’Ascese was inspired by a wooden church in a blazing forest.
The Aussie designer collects objects made of Bakelite, the first man-made plastic. When she tasked perfumer Isabelle Doyen with creating a perfume inspired by it, the result (released in 2017) was compelling and extremely clever. It’s taken me forever to corral my thoughts about it.
First things first, Nuit de Bakelite is primarily a green perfume with tuberose lurking in in the dark heart of its foliage. So if you haven’t tried it already, kindly forget any ideas of creamy, blousy concoctions like Fracas.
Perhaps galbanum with its powerful, sharp scent of chlorophyll, is one of the few materials that could push tuberose into a supporting role. It wraps huge, rubbery leaves around that fleshy flower, emphasising its green and gummy facets to the nth degree. There are whiffs of earthiness, tobacco and vinyl fumes. This is where the natural world and the synthetic collide.
It has a kinship with the green chypres of the past – only catapulted into a futuristic urban jungle. It certainly shares their fearless nature, but it’s also lush and exotic in a photoreal, exaggerated way. Everything is bigger and brighter than usual. It feels alive and buzzing with intensity.
There is only a subtle shifting in emphasis as it develops. The tuberose comes more to light as the fierce green opening recedes a little and then, after a number of hours, the presence of tobacco is much more noticeable.
Nuit de Bakelite fascinates me even if it’s not something I would wear myself. There is a hypnotic, addictive quality to it but no indoles to my nose. It possesses nuclear longevity and has exceptional throw. Portia once gave me a card sprayed with it and the next day I could smell it the moment walked into the room where I’d left it.
It is a uniquely arresting fragrance but never anything less than supremely stylish.
Have you tried this most memorable of fragrances?
20 responses to “Nuit de Bakelite by Naomi Goodsir”
I’m a bit frightened to try it!
I often think I don’t like tuberose then find some of my favourite perfumes contain it without me realising …. probably this means I prefer it to be a supporting artist rather than the star, and so, as I love chypres and vivid green scents, I suppose I could like this, but the vinyl element worries me. Well, I guess the only thing to do is have a sniff! And I am all in favour of a modern perfume that actually has some longevity.
Honestly Jillie, it’s just a suggestions of vinyl/plastic. With all that greenery and tuberose going on, you probably wouldn’t notice it unless you were pressing your nose to your wrist to write a review 🙂
As a fan of vivid green scents, I’m sure you’d get a kick out of trying it.
I’d like to try it. It sounds intriguing.
Matty, if you can, do give it a go. It’s one of those perfumes that is interesting to try, even if you don’t end up loving it.
I’m really happy that lately perfumes you write about sound absolutely great to me. As in I can see myself wearing something that smells like your description. 🙂
Ha! That’s good to hear, Ines. I’m pretty sure you’d appreciate this one. I know you love tuberose.
I tried it, it was interesting but not something I’d wear. I do love her other four scents and own them all.
Yes, I feel the same. It’s an ingenious scent but not something I’d necessarily want to smell of.
How fantastic you own the other four. They are all wonderful, but I particularly love Iris Cendre.
The only one I have of her is Iris Cendre which I adore! I toyed with buying the Bakelite after trying a sample, but never did.
Iris Cendre was the one I nearly bought. Something in the dry down threw me but now I can’t recall exactly what that I was. I really need another sample.
I did enjoy wearing this sample while I had it. I would buy her other perfumes first though as they are easier to wear.
Strange can’t see my previous reply now.
I agree. NdB is an exceptional perfume but the others are striking while still being wearable. Although Bois d Ascese is pretty intense!
I feel slightly bad answering your question this way 😉 but I actually don’t remember.
Usually when it comes to testing that I do at home, I remember samples that I had, even if I might forget the exact impressions it left on me. But this line I tried just once, at a store with many other new to me perfumes, so I just don’t remember if this perfume was available. But since tuberose and I have never been good friends, I don’t expect to “click” with this perfume. Though, of course, now I want to try (again?).
While I think this perfume and the whole line are memorable it is hard when in a store trying many things one after another. I struggle to do that. It’s worth spraying on card if you happen to come across it just because it is so vivid and different to most perfumes featuring tuberose.
I have a real sense of this from your review coupled with the startling image – loving ‘gummy facets’ btw.
Does it have any echo of that very green Mugler scent at all? The original cologne maybe? That smells very full on and a bit synthetic / futuristic to my nose, though the notes are very different.
It does have that fresh, steamy feeling of what I can recall of the Mugler Cologne. This is much more of that thick almost acrid galbanum scent you get at the start of Dryad say, but times 10. Not sure if that helps!
This stuff kind of scared me to death. Infinity green, and fizzy. I had it in the bottom of my bag from Esxence 2016, and I could smell the stuff through the glass drawers of my wardrobe for months. I can still close my eyes and smell it clearly. Perhaps I should be a perfumer. I binned it in the end. But it was pretty amazing stuff and I have never smelled anything like it. I want to own a Goodsir. I need to resniff the others. xxxx
That’s it! Infinitely green and unlike anything else. Worth trying just for the experience. I’ve never known a perfume with such penetration. You can smell it through the sample vial – at a distance.
YAY! I love that you remembered the card I gave you.
Well, I might have bought the bottle based entirely on the magic of that card. What a scent.
As always you nail it with pinpoint precision.
Hey Portia, I don’t blame you. What a stunning, memorable scent. I was very grateful for that card because I was so curious about it. I got a sample because of it.. It makes me happy that you think I’ve managed to capture it as it’s far from the norm.