Australian milliner Naomi Goodsir has been producing unique and fanciful work for well over a decade - her eye for innovation and her love of using non-traditional materials render her exquisite hats highly desirable and collectable works of art. After a rewarding mentorship working with one of Schiaparelli's protégés, and having collaborated with acclaimed fashion designers the world over, Goodsir's name has fast become synonymous with bespoke couture millinery pieces that both shock and surprise. In 2008, Naomi expanded her imaginative oeuvre to fashion a signature collection of handbags and accessories, and now, in 2012 she is set to make a splash in the independent perfume world.
Naomi Goodsir Parfums debuted at Fragranze in Florence just a few short weeks ago, and instantly commanded the attention of the niche perfume community. In bringing this line to market, Goodsir joined forces with Creative Director Renaud Coutaudier and the pair worked hard to combine their creative sensibilities and intuitiveness to see the series come to fruition. Following the vast tradition of unique, artisanal perfume houses that have gone before them, Naomi Goodsir Parfums are created and hand-packed in France; presented in time-honoured glass flacons with black bakelite caps. To date, two fragrances constitute the Goodsir perfume portfolio: Cuir Velours and Bois d'Ascèse... both of which in terms of style and approach, manage to tippy-toe the line between the 'au courant', and the classic perfume pillars of the past.
A moderately bitter leather accord furnishes the scent with a whimsical sigh, and a scattering of papery immortelle blossoms; a certain spiced piquancy.
There is a comforting rummy syrupiness that grows at the heart of the scent... it intensifies until a rather wonderful transformation takes place: Cuir Velours suddenly shifts into a shower of sugar-dusted blossoms which tumble over a traditional oriental labdanum/vanilla base. The trail is satisfying and lingering, with flashes of bitter leather that re-emerge from time to time to keep the saccharine qualities in check.
Whilst the beautiful floral heart is devoutly feminine in style, Cuir Velours can be worn and enjoyed by men for its tobacco warmth and deeply satisfying acerbity.
Bois d'Ascèse opens, however, with a quality very familiar and quite personal to me and my profession - it conjures memories of hours spent rummaging in art supplies stores; heavy oak shelves lined with papers, the smell of sweet gouaches in tubes, sharpened pencils, and dry conté sticks by the dozen. This indulgent recollection is quite fleeting though, as a fine grey ribbon of smoke meanders its way through the topnotes, imbuing the composition with a dry, coal-like texture. Bois d'Ascèse is a spectacular scent with a an emphasis on charred cade wood, bittersweet tobacco leaves and beautifully unfolding resins. Its glorious oakmoss / frankincense base makes for a fragrance which not demonstrates a cognizance of perfume-making tradition, but also rivals the best I've smelled in a long time.
The nose behind Cuir Velours and Bois d'Ascèse is Julien Rasquinet - trained by perfume royalty, Pierre Bourdon. A third perfume is already in the works, Nuit de Bakélite, and this time it is Isabelle Doyen of Annick Goutal doing the honours.
Naomi Goodsir Parfums excite and enchant every bit as one of her exquisite handbags or made-to-measure chapeaus. Her perfumes are currently being rolled out to select perfume retailers globally.
For more info on Naomi Goodsir's collections, visit: www.naomigoodsir.com