Thursday 11 October 2012

NAOMI GOODSIR PARFUMS - A Tip of the Hat to Consummate Craftsmanship

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.

Cuir Velours is a Leather Oriental - one that opens with a striking 1930's apparition of waxy vermillion-painted lips and powdered faces. It has a delicate felt-like texture, and the steadily growing sensation of an ambery / tobaccoey warmth pressing up from beneath.

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 loosley translates to "Wood of Asceticism"... "asceticism" meaning the practice of severe self-discipline and abstinence. I find this a fitting title to bestow upon this scent, as it is a wonderfully smokey, resinous, woody fragrance which calls to mind the many woods and incenses burned in ascetic rituals that span from the pagan to the ecclesiastical.

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:


Byzantika said...

Love your story and description. Naomi have great craftsmanship, innovation and I love her use of non-traditional materials.
Thank you

Henrique said...

They seem very interesting Dimitri. Do you know if they will ship internationally through their website and if they will sell samples?

Blog Author said...

Hello Rick,
As yet, the Naomi Goodsir Parfums website is still under construction, so its impossible to say. I expect it will be up and running soon.

Henrique said...

So I Guess we'll have to wait and see this...
Btw Dimmi, which fragrance is the one on the left side of your blog banner? The bottle is so beautiful

Blog Author said...

Hi Rick, its VIOLET, PARIS "Pourpre d'Automne" (1922).
A rare Art Nouveau/Deco Lucien Gaillard flacon in clear & frosted glass shaped like a Japanese "inro" box, entirely molded with a motif of fruits and leaves, lacquered crimson and black. 9cm tall.