Colbourne's Review of Nuit de Bakélite by Naomi Goodsir

In an age where the average TikTok fragrance influencer recommends candy-floss laundry musk tragedies for smelling "like a snack" and the results-driven content-creator puts the aphrodisiac function over anything else. Ok, eff it, let's just cut to the case, there are legions of fellas (and woman who capitalize on the trope) who see fragrance as a means to an end, perhaps a rear end to be exact, or some "trim," because let's face it, that's what its really all about, right?

Now imagine a fragrance that gives the middle finger to any hackneyed concept of what is sexy or palatable. It pushes the wearer to feel all the flavors, including the sour, the bitter, even touching upon the decidedly ascetic (at least to start), in the form of not so glamorous vegetation (think stinging nettles, tagetes marigold, milkwee) and even inorganic matter formed from a condensation reaction of phenol with formaldehyde. WHAT? And somehow, I am more moved by this than by anything that reminds us of indulging in desserts or sloppy sex (though I do have a place in my heart for both of those, let me be clear).

Nuit de Bakelite starts BITTER, SHARP, and COOL. It is a lesson in stark reality, and sheds a light on its beauty. Plants protect themselves by being unpalatable to organisms that would otherwise devour them. Now do you always want to be devoured or would you like to be admired from a far before making the next chess move? Reverence doesn't always mean touch, fondle, and grope. There are stems and secretions, arguably more magnificent than blood and semen. These elements are just as much part of the verve and vigor. Galbanum represents the chlorophyll and phloem, artemisia represents the teeth, tuberose the flesh, and the angelica root the sex, with its vegetal muskiness.

Over time, the ice melts, we peel away the layers, and the soul is laid bare and vulnerable, this is authentic naked, not merely five-minutes-tops carnal, far more meaningful. Leathery yet damp, soil, humus, reminiscent of plasticine or opening up a new toy; a bit softer, but still steadfast in staking its claim. Nuit de Bakelite is like an aperitif, better to be sipped than swallowed. "Savor the flavor" they say—well, don't mind if I do! 

  1. Colbourne

    Basenotes Member From Boston, MA
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Recent Reviews of Nuit de Bakélite by Naomi Goodsir

“I get a lot of iris and galbanum with a hint of angelica. And, of course a slight smokiness which se…” Read More
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