Every Etro I have experienced thus far has had an artful cohesion to the perfume composition, and Shaal Nur surely is no exception. There are no rough edges whatsoever. I spray, and this fragrance seems to just meld with chemistry.
The top notes have a well-executed rosewood note imbued with muted, elegant citrus and a shimmer of coriander. Then the herbs, swaying gently in the breeze, getting rosier minute by minute. I revisited some karo karounde absolute in my perfumer's organ and I can account for its presence, whether natural or reconstructed: it's mildly lactonic and earthy.
While many seemed to vote up the vetiver, to my nose it is a supporting player that shades; its the opoponax that rather is the main event in the dry down, an amalgam of sweet and savory, anchored by luminous musk and incense.
Others suggest that this is a more withdrawn affair, but on my skin it projects quite nicely and lingers for several hours. Maybe I am lucky, but Shaal Nur delivers a stunning experience.
Citrus briefly. Spiced wood. This has an eastern hemisphere atmosphere. It is somewhat tangy. Has some herbal aromas blended with mild flower. Not an overly loud fragrance - it seems to keep a mellow character.
It smells of perfumed wood after time. A feminine incense, slightly girl. The notes all become one big, super-blend. The base is a dreamlike oriental - again, notes well-mixed. No one note seems to stand out during my whole wearing. Nothing really stands out for me. This is just a "nice" fragrance overall.
An aromatic, balsamic and warm opening. There are herbs and woods with a dry incense in the back that shows in the development and then sweeter notes like vanilla and opoponax create a relaxing and powdery base. It's rich, aromatic, resinous, warm and classy.
Released in 1997 and truly unisex, however named after an Indian princess (which is so apropos for the aromas found in here). Truly wonderful perfume...the movements are vivid and remarkable. Intelligent, exotic and never disjointed - very high quality ingredients present themselves distinctly. The opening is of very bright, but contrasting citrus (crisp bergamot, warm mandarin & bitter lemon peel) - even a squeeze of sour grapefruit - with a nice dusting of earthy coriander and a light note of smooth rosewood.
Karo Karounde is found in the heart with its interesting peppery quality that begins to warm the scent, blended with a detectable rose note and a nice melange of chopped herbs - rosemary, tarragon and thyme. At this point, there is a green quality that is slightly bitter, but so very realistic & not off-putting. While there are some more notes that waft in and out, this is the main essence (up to this point) - overtones of the citric top show in the heart with petit grain. A nice touch.
The looming base notes are coming through in light, soft wispy plumes. Frankincense and opoponax reveal themselves in the middle of the heart along with the wonderful and very nice vetiver (a touch rooty and well-presented) and patchouli...slightly herbaceous initially, but warms with the smoky resins. Both join with a nice cedar note that is rich and meld with the herbal & floral heart that has all but faded. This stays rather fresh up to a point, but there is a stage that this becomes deep, warm and the vibrancy goes away...not completely, but it fades to the background. The sun is setting.
Shadows fall and this ends as a very cozy scent with great incense and wood...Shaal Nur, the Indian princess closes the canopy over her bed with the resins still warm in the bronze burner, filling her room with magical, seductive aromas drifting on ethereal, misty trails of smoke.
What impresses me most is how it opens so vibrant, lush and high-toned and how it warms so naturally on skin - the evolution is incredible to behold. I didn't spray on fabric. I've always loved the way Etro scents seem to reveal themselves over time on my skin. Shaal Nur evolves about as much as a scent can within a single bottle. The dryness is compelling and what makes Shaal Nur work so well. If the base had oriental notes, it simply would not create this wonderful vibe. The wood all dries out naturally & integrates seamlessly - while the citrus fades with the green herbs, which is rather amazing as you start with so much dampness and greenness well into the heart.
This is an exquisite bottle of fragrance - one that I love with lust & passion. Cheers.
The Camp fires redden like angry eyes,
The Tents show white,
In the glimmering light,
Spirals of tremulous smoke arise, to the purple skies,
And the hum of the Camp sounds like the sea,
Drifting over the sand to me.
Afar, in the Desert some wild voice sings
To a jangling zither with minor strings,
And, under the stars growing keen above,
I think of the thing that I love."
A verse from: "Reverie of Mahomed Akram at the Tamarind Tank"
Another masterpiece from Etro. Along with their Messe de Minuit and Palais Jamais, Shaal Nur forms a trinity of dark, warm scents, based on resins, herbs and woods, all three emerging from the house's first decade of creations.
Quoting from the generous Basenoter, who provided me with a sample, "Awesome smoky vetiver. Opens on light spices and citrus, shifts to classic herbs, and quickly settles into a warm and comfortable base of vetiver, (clean) patchouli, and musk. Light touches of incense throughout, but nothing that sticks out. Probably the best of the Etro range." I totally agree with this accurate and succinct summary of the Shaal Nur experience.
An awesome, quiet, assured masculine. The powerful opening blast of citrus reminds me of Guerlain's initial openings. Early Etro creations are both affordable and eminently wearable in a modern scent world of increasingly unpleasant concoctions.
Shaal Nur opens with a really pleasant and perfectly blended woody-balsamic accord surrounded by citrus notes, sweet spices (nutmeg, cardamom, perhaps styrax too), something smelling like balsamic resins (olibanum), patchouli, a really aromatic whiff of green herbs, other woods and a sort of dry, candied, slightly caramelised fruity touch. A fantastic, solid Oriental symphony played around woods. The vetiver note takes soon a prominent role, and it's a really simple, solid, woody dry vetiver it almost smells more like clean, sharp cedar. Neither a inky vetiver (Encre Noire, Private Label) nor a more conventional salty-zesty one like in men classic colognes. More just, well, woody with a shade of earthy. A really good, even great scent, perhaps a bit underrated: it's really compelling, irresistibly rich in aromatic nuances from herbal, to incense, to sweet-fruity-resinous, all blended together following Etro's evocative and peculiar sort of exoticism. It's modernly synthetic though, but it works perfectly. It is much refined and discreet, deceptively simple and understated. The drydown is perfectly good as well, becoming simpler and thinner as hours pass and focusing on vetiver-incense-woods combo perhaps a tad monotonous and conventional after a while (woods and incense, again...), but pleasant and elegant enough just not as fascinating as the previous stages. A refined sort of contemporary love child of Etro's Vetiver and Messe de Minuit. Fair price.