Sometimes it's interesting to try a perfume before you've ever read the marketing materials. I love the Chandler Burr Untitled series for that reason, so I've been trying to stay away from promotional information and just going into trying a scent to see what I think about it.
What interested me initially in the Antonio Alessandria line were the bottles. They are absolutely beautiful, and who doesn't want a pretty piece of art that contains great scent besides? And with each scent interpreting a color, I was hooked. I ordered the samples, and at this point, I have tried all three in his line. They all have a unique character that appeals to different seasons and moods. The Noir is Christmas-y and feels like winter. The Rouge is bright and fiery, and the Blanche is for a more reflective mood.
Nacre Blanche is one that I initially envisioned to be light and airy, with perhaps some creaminess to it. A scent with pearl in the name should be absolutely elegant and soft. It's the stone that is not quite a stone, but a condensation of beauty surrounding a simple grain of sand. I think pearls are absolutely beautiful...to me, they almost look like silk that has been infused with light.
Nacre Blanche opens sweet and somewhat suprisingly, heavy. My mind interprets the initial stage as a combination of nag champa and the sweet tuberose that sometimes gets mistaken for gardenia. I sense some petigrain as well, keeping the florals from becoming too much, and the nag champa quality is actually very attention getting....it's very high end headshop, which may not appeal to some but for me brings back wonderful memories. The citrus is all but absent in the top notes on my skin.
The scent then takes a complete turn to the tropical. The frangipani aspect blends with a scent that is reminiscent of coconut milk and a touch of ylang, the jasmine is also apparent, when all of a sudden something green comes in to add a cooling veil to the heat all that floral power is generating. I suspect this is the coriander, which smells very much like the Kiehl's coriander. The impression is of being at a tropical beach after dark....it's humid and sweet and all the night blooming flowers have blossomed, releasing their perfume into the night air. The surrounding leaves and dark earth are just out of your sensory reach, but you know they are there. I could bask in this stage for a long time, and as this scenario solidifies for me, the coconut milk subsides to a light breeze holding the florals aloft.
In the later stages, vanilla and benzoin become apparent, replacing and adding a nice echo of the nag champa feel in the opening. Musk and Sandalwood, which is the other element of nag champa, becomes more apparent than the frangipani of the duo. You are left with a wonderful white floral incense that lasts for hours.
I was surprised by the marketing copy when I read it....in the end, this scent reminds me not of a young maiden at the window waiting for her world of night romance, but of a great hippie retreat in the tropics. Is it evocative of a pearl? Maybe. Pearls have so many layers and you can sense the depth in the stone, and the scent holds that same fascination.
I will be buying this one. It's perfect for summer evenings when you're tired of fruit or light florals.