Robert Piguet Casbah, Nasomatto Pardon & Linari Fuoco Infernale ~ fragrance reviews

Robert Piguet Casbah, Nasomatto Pardon, Linari Fuoco Infernale fragrance bottles

I do not exaggerate; at this moment, I have SIXTEEN perfumes on my desk that ‘deserve’ reviews…for summer. The best I’ll be able to do (summer is going by fast) is combine these fragrances into four or five reviews; so today I’m writing about three fragrances I like and never got around to reviewing when they were released.

Robert Piguet Casbah

Robert Piguet Casbah (from the Nouvelle Collection and “dedicated” to Morocco) was developed by perfumer Aurélien Guichard and includes notes of cedar, iris, pepper, nutmeg, angelica root, vetiver, tobacco leaf, smoky floral accord and incense.

Casbah is a rich, leather-incense fragrance (it would fit in perfectly with the Comme des Garçons incense line). As I sniff Casbah, I detect pepper, nutmeg, smoke and vetiver (while wearing Casbah, the spice notes sometimes blend with the incense smoke to create the aroma of an exotic, well-spiced dish cooking on a hearth). Casbah is a well-blended incense fragrance; the note that stands out most forcefully is leather (a smooth, semi-sweet leather). As I wear Casbah, I notice a shift from the early “food-y” stage of the fragrance to a more “churchy” incense scent near the end of the perfume’s development. Casbah dries down to slightly bitter, talc-y incense ash.

Casbah is a fine incense fragrance, but at this stage of the perfume game, fine incense fragrances are a dime a dozen (or more like $1440 a dozen).

Robert Piguet Casbah Eau de Parfum is $150 for 100 ml; for that price you could buy two of the quirkier Comme des Garçons incense fragrances. For buying information, see the listing for Robert Piguet under Perfume Houses.

Nasomatto Pardon

Nasomatto has just launched Pardon by perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri. Pardon is an oud fragrance with additional notes of chocolate, tonka bean, cinnamon, ‘flowers’ and sandalwood.

Pardon presents a streamlined, smooth/sweet interpretation of decidedly UN-raw “oud”; Pardon’s oud has been scrubbed of its medicinal aspects and what muskiness there is in the fragrance is vegetal in nature, not animalic. Pardon’s rich scent of “tailored” oud is accompanied by a hint of underlying “smoke” and dessert notes: some creamy vanilla/tonka and a touch of (almost “cool”) cinnamon/clove. Finally, in the base, there’s clean patchouli and wood notes (reminiscent of those in Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d’Iris).

I don’t detect flowers in Pardon…no matter how many times I’ve tried it. If floral notes are present, they are submerged under the heavier oud-spice-wood notes to the point of invisibility. Pardon isn’t as striking as other Nasomatto perfumes I’ve enjoyed (Black Afgano) or loved (China White); the overall scent of Pardon is not unusual or “new,” but good. Pardon is a pleasant, well-made wood-oud fragrance, suitable for men or women, and perfect for cool weather wear.

Pardon has mild sillage, but it’s ‘dense’ and it lasts and lasts on skin. Pardon’s density is my main quibble with the perfume; the fragrance could have used a ‘spark’ or some ‘fizz’ to rouse it from its sleepy, too-comfortable mood.

Nasomatto Pardon Extrait de Parfum is $165 for 30 ml; purchased from the Nasomatto website you can get 4 ml for 38€ (and save about $15 on the 30 ml bottle, even with shipping costs). For other buying options, see the listing for Nasomatto under Perfume Houses.

Linari Fuoco Infernale

Linari Fuoco Infernale (Purgatory), by perfumer Egon Oelkers, includes fragrance notes of myrtle, carnation, marjoram, bouleau absolue, labdanum extract, cinnamon, wormwood, iris, tonka bean, olibanum, amber, white musk, leather, cedar and gurjun oil.

Fuoco Infernale begins with the sprightly aroma of myrtle, and perhaps marjoram, mixing with “raw” cedar and incense-leather. There is a sheer, sweet, “blonde” wood aroma present and I’m not sure if it’s the gurjun balsam or a fragrance accord of cedar-wormwood. Anyway, it’s nice. The overall fragrance of Fuoco Infernale in the early stages is invigorating and “hopeful” (it makes me feel good…so maybe that’s the feeling of “purgatory?”)

In mid-development, Fuoco Infernale becomes ‘hazy’, producing a pleasant fog of clove and sweet woods (especially birch); I LOVE this phase. I braced myself for disappointment as the fragrance wore down because the moment I saw “white musk” in the ingredients list I had ‘scent visions’ of fresh laundry flapping on the cedar and birch trees. It doesn’t happen…no smarmy white musk arrives to ruin the perfume. The last phase of Fuoco Infernale smells of summery sweet clover tinged with ‘clear’, tonka-dusted amber.

Linari Fuoco Infernale Eau de Parfum is the most interesting and complex of the perfumes reviewed here today, and the only one that has tempted me to buy it. Fuoco Infernale is 140€ for 100 ml; for buying information, see the listing for Linari under Perfume Houses.

Three perfumes down…thirteen more to go!

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Parfums Raffy


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  1. donnie says:

    Good reviews, Kevin.
    Not to quibble, but only for fun, I would understand Fuoco Infernale as hell fire or infernal fire rather than purgatory. The fragrance makes hell sound like a pretty pleasant place. Relaxing. Cozy. And certainly not too hot!

    • Robin says:

      And not to quibble back (really!) but only because I checked…the official name of the fragrance is “Fuoco Infernale (Purgatory)”, although admittedly that wording appears in some of the Linari materials, and others just call it “Fuoco Infernale”.

      • donnie says:

        Thank you for the clarification-I had assumed the parenthesis was Kevin’s. Still, if that’s purgatory, I might be happy just to stay right there.

        • Robin says:

          I was wondering too…that’s why I checked! And I’m sure Kevin will check in when he can and quibble with us both :-)

          • Kevin says:

            No quibbles…I was using Linari PR

          • Kevin says:

            PS: Others in the “religious” series are Angel of the River and Holy Water. Need to try them all now!

  2. FragrantWitch says:

    These all sound tempting, Kevin. In particular, the Fuoco Infernale is calling my name. I’m sure I’ll sniff the Nasomatto as well with a nose to autumn. Thanks!

    • Kevin says:

      FW: you’re welcome

      • FragrantWitch says:

        I love your new avatar- its gorgeous!

  3. Janice says:

    The only one of these I’ve tried is Pardon, which had a little too much patchouli for me. But the Linari sounds great—I don’t even remember hearing of this line before.

    • Kevin says:

      I: it was a line I ignored till recently…too many lines!

  4. Emily says:

    So happy to see a review of one of the new Piguets! If my experience with Casbah proves to be anything like yours, Kevin, it will be joining select members of the CdG incense series on my dresser. Even if fine incense fragrances are a dime (or $1440) a dozen, I still want them all. ALLLLLLLLL.

    And Fuoco Infernale got my attention, too.

    • Kevin says:

      Emily: then your perfume cabinet will OVERFLOW with incense

  5. Aparatchick says:

    Is it weird if I say that Purgatory is calling my name?

    • Kevin says:

      Aparatchick: no, it’s FUNNY.

  6. hajusuuri says:

    Linari Fuoco Infernale sounds hellishly good. Thanks for weeding out the other 2 as I am feeling lemmingish O:-)

  7. Kevin says:

    hajusuuri: Ah, I know the feeling…too many months without a purchase and the Danger Zone is reached.

  8. eaubama says:

    I have to wear this again after reading this review. I bought a full bottle of this blind based on Linari’s PR material and the name. I can’t resist the name. I found it a bit challenging to wear, although I definitely thought it was a well crafted fragrance.

    • Kevin says:

      Eau: the names are good…curious, what did you find challenging about the perfume?

      • eaubama says:

        I don’t have a sophisticated nose. FI is a blast of an uknown concoction to me. It’s not fruity, it’s not citrusy, it’s not spicy nor woody. It’s indescribable. It evoked none of those positive feelings you mentioned.

  9. KateReed says:

    The Linaris have been at beautyhabit for months, I was wondering when/if we’d see any reviews. Thanks, Kevin!

    • Kevin says:

      KR: it’s a miracle I got to the Linari as fast as I did!

  10. BChant says:

    I was so excited to see Casbah reviewed. It looked so exciting and I will still test it, but I certainly will not do a blind buy after reading this. Terrific reviews and great fun reading!

    • Kevin says:

      BC: hey, stop that blind buying!

  11. Rictor07 says:

    Sounds like i would like the Piguet the most based on your review. Haven’t tried any from the Linari house because i used to consider them out of my price range.

    • Kevin says:

      Rictor: I buy so little perfume these days I don’t even think of price, especially FULL price…a zillion samples seem to satisfy me

  12. anna says:

    Hi Kevin,
    A really informative review. I will try and sample some on my next shopping trip and try and see if I can smell some of the elements you describe so well.
    I love the Piguet bottles, so like the reader above might have been swayed into purchase. Your review has made me more circumspect.

  13. ceelouise says:

    I will have to sniff Casbah, since I never tire of those kinds of incenses and I just love Guichard.

    • Kevin says:

      ceelouise: hope you like it

  14. Trebor says:

    I’ve tried all three of them and would only consider Casbah. I’m not a big fan of Nasomatto’s hollow hype and leaky bottles, and Linari is basically overpriced rubbish (although Fuoco Infernale is one of their better releases). This new Piguet is a really interesting take on the dry woods, pepper and incense theme. No, it’s nothing ground-breaking (and I do wish there was something ‘warmer’ at its very core) but it does have excellent longevity. It gently emitted from my skin over several hours, was still evident the morning after and also survived a shower. Funny how it’s the cheapest of the three…

    • Kevin says:

      Trebor: the Nasomatto bottles DO need a redesign…I’ve heard several complaints about leaking/messy nozzles and wonky caps.

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