Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume
Elizabeth & James is a fashion brand ran by the Olsen Twins who over the years oddly enough, went from sitcom babies to grown-up style icons. So, even though Mary-Kate and Ashley are celebs, this is a perfume related to their clothing brand so it’s a designer perfume (even the fashion brand Elizabeth & James goes out of their way to NOT mention the twins). When I test designer perfumes, I don’t only go by “oh, I like/don’t like this” but I also evaluate if it works with the brand’s aesthetic: is it an extension of the brand? And in this case, Nirvana Black completely works with the Elizabeth & James brand. It’s simple, versatile and a mix of masculine/feminine.
Nirvana Black opens with violet flowers and a tart plum. And then becomes a doughy vanilla with a sharp sandalwood. It’s a linear scent. Most of the wear on me is a soft sandalwood and vanilla.
I think of Nirvana Black as a budget-friendly Malle par Dries van Noten. It’s one of those creamy sandalwoods. Like Malle par Dries van Noten, I tried to love Nirvana Black. But, I don’t think creamy sandalwoods “speak to me”. I don’t think they are bad but I’m personally not drawn to them. I mean, I can’t even think about anything to say about this fragrance other than “creamy sandalwood” (which isn’t a bad thing). Nirvana Black has tons of fans and I completely see why. It’s an approachable, affordable fragrance that really does smell “niche” to me since so many niche brands have a sandalwood-centric perfume in their collection. I’m really happy to see places like Sephora carrying this one because it’s much better than many of their other designer offerings.
Notes listed include violet, sandalwood and vanilla. Launched 2013. PERFUMER – Pierre Negrin
Give Nirvana Black a try if you like sandalwood perfumes. Or if you like perfumes like Malle par Dries van Noten, Keiko Mecheri Bois de Santal, Diptyque Tam Dao EDT and/or Tom Ford Sahara Noir. I think of Nirvana Black as unisex. It’s just plum, sandalwood and violet. It’s like the oversized wristwatch of perfumes, think of it like borrowing “masculine” fashions.
Projection and longevity are average.
I also want you to know that I love disco era style lighter. It makes me think of Grace Jones and that’s never a bad thing.
Nirvana Black comes in two sizes (1 oz and 1.7 oz) with prices ranging from $55-$75 at Sephora. A rollerball is also available.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Sandalwood and vanilla. Really good for a modern designer offering; however, doesn’t speak to me personally. I do recommend trying it the next time you’re in Sephora.
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