Noème Paris is a niche perfumery house that I have come across many times in Harrods. Initially drawn by the intricately designed caps, I was equally impressed by their fragrances. A collaboration between perfumer Majda Bekkali and Yassin Karim, a specialist in natural perfumery and raw materials from Madagascar, Noème Paris took their name from a philosophical concept that designates what exists outside of human conscious, the unreachable. The Greek word (νόημα) is literally the essence and imagination of an idea or concept.
Their first 5 fragrance collection includes perfumes named after places unreachable by humans and shrouded in mystery, telling a story of a place or a moment that exists outside of human sight.
Divine part (Big bang particle), Abyss (Depth of the oceans), Kalahari (Desert in Namibia), Atitlan (Guatemalan Stratovolcano), Naïca (Crystal cave in Mexico)
When I went on holidays last year I took a sample of Kalahari with me; the gorgeous saffron / cardamom spicy combo brightened up by bergamot and warmed up by resinous labdanum and soft musk with a touch of ashy incense was perfect for my summer beach holiday but can equally be worn during the colder months.
Each of these scents is interpreted by the illustration of an artist that appears on the boxes. Above you can see the illustrations for Atitlan and Kalahari.
The ZAMAC HOOD, the main piece of the bottle, was developed in Italy with the engraving: "Fantasy is more important than knowledge“. Inspired by the Ouroboros that represents infinity, it makes it unique and recognisable.
I LIKE TO FEEL THE MAD JOY OF GREAT VERTIGO
When I first read this line that acted as inspiration for the fragrance my memory travelled many years ago when I first saw "The Big Blue" movie in the cinema and was transfixed by the beauty of the unknown depths. The movie, directed by Luc Besson is a heavily fictionalized and dramatized story of the friendship and sporting rivalry between two leading contemporary champion free divers in the 20th century: Jacques Mayol (played by Jean-Marc Barr) and Enzo Maiorca (renamed "Enzo Molinari" and played by Jean Reno).
Throughout the movie there's so many gorgeous images of the divers trying to reach unfathomable depths with a single breath; their descendance to a place where light is scarce and you're dependent on your senses only is portrayed magnificently. I always wondered how it would smell like.
"Leaning to the wells of the great dizziness, flush with a perfume of abyss. An endless story, a bottomless faith. From darkness comes an imperious perfume, black, orange, abstract."
Abysse starts off quite salty and spicy like the surface of the sea before you submerge your head in the water; timbersilk has surprised me with its character, it has a soft salty sweetness and blended with the nutmeg and davana it's given a spicy floral touch. As you start descending into the depths and the light becomes dimmer the heart notes for me represent the flora and fauna of the sea, slightly woody and abstractly floral while as you further disappear into the darkness an almost comforting soft, creamy and earthy scent surrounds you; familiar and yet unknown. A fragrance that truly is poetic and transcending.
Davana , nutmeg, timbersilk
Cyclamen, hawthorn, atlas cedar
Musk, patchouli, sandalwood