This is a great perfume, and for a quite simple reason: many fragrances start to get interesting in the dry-down, when musk enters the stage, giving its warm and – to various degrees, depending on the mix – animalic contribution. With For Her Narciso Rodriguez, you will have all that, but from the very start, and after only 30 minutes you already know there’s still plenty of room for changes and surprises.
A couple of words on musk. It’s an ingredient that is used in pretty much any perfume, especially for the base notes. In its highest concentration, it has a faecal smell, but it does magic when diluted, as it retains its animal root, but adds warmth and – in capable hands – can mix well with a lot of stuff. It used to be extracted from a gland in the back area of a type of deer living in the Eastern part of the world. Extraction was very invasive for the animal, and it often ended up killing it. In 1979 the musk deer was declared protected species, and since then it has been impossible to use natural musk.
Chemistry however, had already come to the rescue, and the first synthetic musk had already been discovered in 1888 by a guy who was actually trying to improve TNT. After that, more and more different synthetic musks were created, as they turned out to be cheap and nice smelling molecules and were used in perfumes and – in general – in anything that had to smell good. If you want to know more about musks, go to this post series at Perfumeshrine.
In this Rodriguez Narciso perfume, musk comes out right from the opening, blended with the classic dense and fortified flavour of white florals. The warm and dense sides support each other, but there is also a lot of stuff happening in the second line: there is a certain sweetness – again, probably coming from musk – and also a kind of freshness – I could swear I smell bergamot in the distance.
As it evolves, musk and the rest of the ingredients are – if possible – even more closely blended, and this Narciso Rodriguez Fragrance has more rounded edges, it’s more powdery, more attractive, and subtler.
If you want something different from the usual sweet-floral connection, or for the times you’re tired of smelling fresh and clean, innocent and young, this one is for you. Not that it will be totally the opposite, but it will certainly pull towards that direction.