NellyRodi Scent Factory: Part 1

NellyRodi Scent Factory

Paris-based trend forecasting service NellyRodi was established in 1985, and is now jumping on a fragrance trend themselves with Scent Factory, a collection of 8 oriental-themed fragrances by noses from the major fragrance & flavor houses.

I will start right off by admitting that I was attracted to this line before I sniffed a single one of the perfumes. I like the concept. I like the packaging. I like the price — or at least, I'm not completely turned off by the price. I like the fact that I don't have to spend hours on the internet searching for the fragrance notes or the names of the perfumers. NellyRodi is in the business of knowing what people like, and in this instance, at least, they've got me pegged. Almost pegged, anyway: oriental is not my favorite category. On to the scents...

Parfum 1 is Incense by Alexis Dadier of Mane, and features rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, incense, styrax, rose, vanilla, sandalwood. Incense starts as a sweet blend of herbal and resinous notes. I love the burst of cinnamon and nutmeg in the top notes, but as they fade, the rosemary takes the stage and then proceeds to hang on for dear life, overshadowing all else. The incense note itself is lovely, but I find the overall composition flat.

Parfum 2 is Rhum by Olivia Jan of Robertet, and has notes of rum, saffron, nutmeg, styrax, patchouli, papyrus, gaïac wood, sandalwood, and vanilla. This fragrance opens on spice pudding spiked with rum, very dark and sweet. The wood notes intensify as the sweetness fades; the dry down is smooth, deep woods with vanilla sugar and earthy undertones. It is nicely done, and I liked it more each time I tried it, but it not something I would buy on its own. The lasting power is good.

Parfum 3 is Cardamome by Fabrice Pellegrin of Mane, and features cardamom and cedar. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices, and the top notes here are literally mouth-watering: strong, dusty cardamom with shades of lemon and not much else. It is not terribly complex, and although the cedar undertones become more obvious as it dries down, it smells otherwise linear to me. In this case, however, simplicity pays off; it is by far my favorite of these four and the only one I would consider buying separately. The one drawback is the lasting power, which is well under average for an Eau de Toilette — and this is supposed to be Eau de Parfum. If there were an Eau de Parfum Intense version, I would snap it up in a minute. Side note: it layers beautifully with Carthusia Mediterraneo.

Parfum 4 is Cacao by Dorothée Piot of Symrise, and features patchouli, vanilla, incense, myrrh, styrax, and castoreum. This starts as an edible vanilla patchouli, and slowly deepens into an edible chocolate patchouli. It is more dry than sweet, but the chocolate notes are not particularly intense, and the incense and myrrh are faint. I am not fond of patchouli and found nothing here to change my mind.

For more opinions on Scent Factory, see Victoria's reviews, and Tania's reviews, on Bois de Jasmin.

For buying information, see the listing for NellyRodi under Perfume Houses.

Tomorrow: NellyRodi Scent Factory Part 2.

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Parfums Raffy


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Cardamom was my favorite as well. Am off to try layering it w/ Mediterraneo. Great suggestion! I also liked the Gingembre and Bois, but found them all to be on the sweet side.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Agree completely with “all on the sweet side”! Am trying Gingembre & Bois again today and will post on them tomorrow.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cardamome is lovely, but it is just too short-lived. I wish I could get at least 2h of it on my skin.

  4. Anonymous says:

    That's all I need to hear. No Scent Factory for me. Thank you for ruthlessly exterminating my lemming.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Same here. Don't really fancy any of these except maybe Cardamom. Will be waiting with baited breath for the other 4 reviews, dear R. This morning your blog wouldn't open on my computer and I had a panic attack LOL

    I must say I am a bit annoyed by this jumping on a trend, this is so Malle and has been done…Must stop. I always grumble.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great review R! Like the look. :)


  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey, babe!

    Cardamome sounds intriguing, but I will reserve judgment until I read your reviews on the the other four. :)


  8. Anonymous says:

    M, I like the idea in theory though. Lets face it, Malle only does the “big names”. A set like this can give some of the lesser known noses a chance.

    Also — I think someone who liked orientals, especially sweet orientals, would have liked these much more than I did.

  9. Anonymous says:

    K, LOL — you never would have bought Poivre Samarcande based on my review, though, would you?

  10. Anonymous says:

    R, If you love cardamom, you really should try it just to experience the opening notes!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Bingo! Papyrus. I thought Rhum smelled like paper towels and couldn't figure out why. I wrote all my reviews without the note listings in front of me so had no idea what was in these things.

    I'm going to have to try everything again after my sinuses completely clear up. I was just sitting there blowing my nose every fifteen minutes or so, to get one good sniff before my whole head went stuffy again.

  12. Anonymous says:

    R, I also liked the idea & thought I would like to try the scents if I had a chance to do so. But on the other hand I thought they might be rather simple & after reading your review I think that really is the case. They seem to be nice – but nothing more. But I still like the idea ;)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ragweed season has been hard on me this year, so I know how you feel T! Loved your reviews — and your dh's.

  14. Anonymous says:

    S, I am hoping the next set is something I like better than orientals. Woods? Chypres?

  15. Anonymous says:

    I would love to try the Rhum and Cacao, but probably won't be ordering this little set. Interesting concept though.

    Congrats, R, on your NYTimes “debut”! I am entirely impressed!

  16. Anonymous says:

    What debut? Is nst mentioned?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Yup! Our Robin is a star!! Here's the link!!

    You may have to sign in to view it. Enjoy!

  18. Anonymous says:

    R, I love Cardamom too. Have you ever done a cardamom list? I very much enjoyed Fig week…

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thank you K, although it barely qualifies as a mention :-)

    They were very nice to Annie's Blogdorf Goodman and she deserves it!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I haven't done a themed week in a long time, but should! Here are some scents with cardamom, although none of them are focussed on it as is the NellyRodi:

    Acqua di Biella Janca

    Bond no. 9 Chinatown

    Cartier Declaration

    Damien Bash Lucifer #2

    DSH Mahjoun and Cardamom & Khyphi

    Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade

    Guerlain Secret Intention

    i Profumi di Firenze Ambra del Nepal & Spezie de Medici

    L'Artisan Tea for Two & Timbuktu

    Lorenzo Villoresi Incensi

    Miriam Mirani Aqaba

    Ormonde Jayne Ormonde

    Parfums delRae Amoureuse

    Profumi del Pantelleria Dammuso

    Serge Lutens Daim Blonde

    Shiseido Feminite du Bois

    The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

    YSL Nu

    That leaves out tons of other things that list cardamom as a note, but where I don't find it noticeable.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Don't sell yourself short, a mention in the NYTimes is a major accomplishment! And they spelled your name correctly, at that!

    I haven't been in that paper since my wedding announcement, going on 25 years ago.

    I was surprised that they didn't give “Go fug yourself” a full blog mention, and just wrote about Jessica. That blog is a treasure!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I was VERY surprised about that too. Were they worried that people would be offended by the name “Go Fug Yourself”? And no mention of The Manolo!!! Of course, he already gets press to spare, LOL — he has a column in the Washington Post Express, and the Philadelphia Inquirer did a whole article about him earlier this year.

  23. Anonymous says:

    So did you buy these, R, or did you test them? They sound right up my scented alley! I've thought about them and thought about them but have been on more of a retro kick lately, buying classic Givenchy's and Dior's…albeit re-worked of course.

    So for the life of me, I can't fathom a cardamom aroma…I have some in my kitchen…be right back…

    …mmmm, that's quite nice! kinda like lemon at the top with earthy green notes in the bottom, would love to smell that with a little violet and patchouli…



  24. Anonymous says:

    Hi M, Just tested them. I do break my “don't buy unsniffed” rule from time to time, and was tempted for this, but in the end wouldn't do it for a set labelled “oriental”. Might have caved if it had been anything else: citrus, woods, florals, chypres, anything, but not orientals.

    See, now why do you want to ruin my cardamom by adding patchouli, LOL?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Oh, but I would have done! I trust your nose even when our personal tastes don't coincide.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I love The Manolo too! But I do not love when people phrase their comments in his vernacular. They never sound quite right.

    I wondered the same thing about GFY, but I've seen worse than that printed in the Times.

  27. Anonymous says:

    My, that is a very diverse list! Thank you. 'Course you just never know, sometimes you like the notes, but then it turns out you don't really like the notes. My L.A. trip to Barneys was tragically cut short, and I could not find your La Jolla beach scent (so I'll just trust you on that one) but they had all the Malles, the appropriate Lutens etc. I was hoping to like Daim Blonde after reading several mentions of it and the highlighting of apricot, and I smelled it and was reminded about Turin's comments on Italian perfumery about “cashmere indigestion” – all suntanned floral or fruity oriental perfumes with soft spices but no danger in them. Who knew? I like eating apricots, but apparently they're too sunny for me otherwise…

  28. Anonymous says:

    Is this range of perfumes for male, female or unisex?

  29. Anonymous says:

    I would say definitely unisex, with the possible exception of Parfum 8, Rose.

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