On opening I get rubbing alcohol, wet paint and the metal smell of an abandoned industrial building , but in a pleasant sort of way...gassy peppery wood mist...fresh laundry hot out of the dryer...stepping out of a hot shower with just the lightest faint leftover of the body wash...ghostly and ethereal...I can see CDG putting this out in one of their lines and calling it Clean Wood...to be worn to the office when you want to wear a fragrance but want to be discreet about it...a very nice and usefull scent but just does not appeal to my taste for me to wear...
I'm pretty tired of talking about "art director", in the end we're just talking about a project entrusted to a Nose.
Knowing the art director of Frank Sinatra (Voyle Gilmore, for a period) is not interesting, because Frank was the singer, not even knowing what Pope (Giulio II) paid Raffaello is interesting, because Raffaello was the painter.
If we are talking about art, the art comes from artistic performance and curator is nothing. While marketing, yes, it is totally relevant to the curator.
Here, on Besenotes I said: A Perfumer (as an artist) has the rule to dominate the raw materials, creating a performance that brings his work in contact with the nature, as a new and original creative act.
So, to interpret the oxygen is therefore an artistic and original challenge, it is an intelligent proposal from an art director to an artist, as if someone say: "Frank, you'd be able to sing a sickly sweet Christmas song and make it a sexy masterpiece?"
Antoine Lie is definitely a talented Nose and in his compositional simplicity he always leaves a defined mark in his works. And he wins, again! He wins everytime they do not use his name, but his talent!
after a sweltering note of plastic bag, as if you are breathing your own breath, the scent opens onto a grassy horizon. Now you can breathe!
A cold, clean smell that reminds me of industrial packaging materials--think something along the lines of styrofoam, plastics, and adhesives, like if you bought a new printer or video game system and stuck your nose in the box right after you opened it. The plastic, rubber, traces of the glue used to seal everything, and a freshly manufactured smell all come together in Oxygen. It also reminds me of a new sneaker store--not in so much as there's any kind of leather involved--but the fresh rubber of the soles and the clean, newly installed carpet, maybe combined with a fresh coat of paint. This is what Oxygen smells like to me. It's strange, but not unpleasant. I don't think of this one in terms of notes at all, it's more conceptual. It's not something I would wear often, as I like my fragrances to have a friendlier, more human edge, which this one lacks to some extent, but it becomes woodier and friendlier as it dries down to its mundane, though serviceable, cedar and sandalwood base.
I tested the entire nu_be line at least a year ago, and Oxygen was not my favorite one. At the time I preferred Carbon, Hydrogen, and Helium. However, Oxygen is their only offering that's stood the test of time as far as I still find it interesting and probably the best executed in the lineup. Oxygen truly accomplishes what it's intended to, while I find glaring flaws in all of the others. While it's still not something I would buy a full bottle of, it's a good example of a fully realized concept, and if you're of the rare breed that appreciates this style of perfume, it's definitely worth a look.
Projection is average to reserved and longevity is around 5 hours.
Oxygen has a pleasant, aerial and "gassy" opening, grey, dry, rarefied, mostly comprising aldehydes, olibanum-cedar (Iso E Super), plus a delicate and subtle base of aromatic green vetiver notes deprived of any earthy-dense facet, quite dry-to-the-bone and austere instead, linear and fresh, with also a hint of bergamot and a lively, geometrical and subtle floral breeze. After a while it also emerges a slight suede note on the very base. Extremely clean, transparent and minimal, austere and almost "hieratic" in its own way, a sort of "mystical-conceptual-industrial" kind of approach, but at the same time dusty and dense, with a heart of "pencil sharpener" note. Not the first scent to exploit this kind of notes, among my limited experience I recall some CdG's, Carbone by Balmain and Let me play the lion by LesNez. This however manages to nail the concept in a slightly different way, more airy and rarefied, so it kind of finds its own place in the family. Not a "wow", but perhaps the nicest among nu_be line (which to me, most of the times it's "All smoke and no fire").
An eerily vacant scent that manages to fire up the imagination in a compelling way.
For me, this is hands-down the standout of the Nu_Be line. It takes CdGs Odeur 53 and reworks the nothing aesthetic in a smart and fascinating way. Whereas Odeur 53 smelled like a dryer sheet, this smells more like a dusty air vent that has a wet dog and a pile of old books sitting behind it. In this sense, it manages to eclipse many of those smells like a book scents such as In The Library and Paper Passion without even trying to.
With close attention, you can tell that the effect is produced chiefly through the use of a suede accord and some musty wood fixatives. Yet theres a smart use of muddy vetiver and some fatty aldehydes as well that lend the scent a faint lactonic quality thats not as overt as the CBIHP. Yet none of these individual notes is immediately recognizable, and what you get is a sort of used vacuum bag effectdusty (not musty and rank), but somehow comforting. The wan milkinessan almost creamy twist on an industrial spaceis evocative and engaging, and were anyone to smell it on the wearer, it would come across as peculiarly alluring more than just plain old weird.
But for anyone else to smell it, theyd have to pressed up close as Oxygen makes Odeur 53 seem like a screeching Bond No. 9-style foghorn; its extraordinarily muted and gauzy. But this is exactly how it should beits an inkling of a scent, and not something youd want launching off you anyway. Its more of a subtle shade or a trace, and thats what makes it so successful. For as dialed back as it is, its absolutely fascinatingthe most evocative and resonant of the line. It conjures up images of empty industrial spaces that somehow clash up against the notion of what perfume is supposed to do, yet it still feels like a fully fleshed-out composition. And despite its faintness, it actually sticks around for quite some time. As a scent that will never overwhelm, I think its a brilliantly contingent offeringits perfectly suited for circumstances in which fragrance isnt welcome, or on the days where you dont feel like wearing much of anything. Its totally haunting in its emptiness, but demands that you pay close attention to the space it creates.
If youre drawn to reserved and minimal effects, this should be on your list. And if youre inspired by the olfactive evocation of space, this is as powerful as Montecristos room effect but with a fraction of the strength. Meditative, calming, yet somehow unnerving as well. By far the best thing that this new brand has done.
Oxygen opens with straight synthetic rubbing alcohol-like aldehydes with a faint hint of vague woods in the background. As the composition enters its early heart the aldehydes remain, joining soft pink pepper in support as the vague woods firm into the starring cedar taking command, coupling with co-staring sharp vetiver. During the late dry-down the composition softens considerably as the woods and vetiver gradually fade though never completely vacating, as powdery orris from the base couples with relatively clean musk through the finish. Projection is below average with the composition little more than a skin scent and longevity average at 7-9 hours on skin.
Oxygen is easily the most immediately likable composition of the entire nu_be line to date. It is so light and airy at first that you almost forget you are wearing it at all, smelling synthetic in a *good* way. When the woods start to assert themselves along with the vetiver in the heart, the composition sharpens up but its gentle nature even during the sharpening never really goes away. Cedar and vetiver have always made a fine couple and in Oxygen it is no exception. The weakest part of the composition is the late dry-down as it fades to near nothingness all too soon, and what is there is a fine powdery sheen that does not really standout over other compositions in the genre. That said, the dry-down is always pleasant, and it confirms the ease of wearing the composition anywhere. I could easily see Oxygen making a fine office fragrance if one works in close quarters with others as its pleasant nature coupling with its poor projection make it a very safe bet. The bottom line is the $150 per 100ml Oxygen is not "the bees knees" and never distinguishes itself plowing new ground for the genre, but it smells great at all times and is well-composed by Antoine Lie earning it a "very good" 3.5 star out of 5 rating and a recommendation for those looking for something that is safe but not boring.