An Oudriental Trio – Néa, Garuda and Nin-Shar by Jul et Mad

A little while ago I got a very nice parcel from Tara (formerly of Olfactoria’s Travels) including amongst other things three Jul et Mad fragrances, called ‘the white collection’ and comprising: Néa, Geruda and Nin-Shar.

The PR mentions the golden age of Byzance, Babylon and Angkor, so it’s clear at least that the intention was to do an oriental themed range with the Middle Eastern (oud, anyone?) customer in mind. For me it’s a welcome new direction away from the ‘bottling our love story’-theme.

Néa is a full-on gourmand with a nod to the oriental. The notes might say pomegranate and plum, but I instantly thought of peaches and berries. There is a huge candy rose blooming right after the fruity start, and the heart really is rather floral though still with enough sugar to scare your dentist. The sweetness increases and metamorphoses into a buff-coloured cream toffee (fictitiously) melting on the tongue. The caramel subsides slightly towards the dry down to leave room for a lower insulin producing mix of vanilla, wood- and musk-like notes (read cashmeran and ambroxan). It’s a happy and lavish gourmand.

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Next up is Garuda: this is ‘the oud’-one. Fair enough, I do understand that when doing oriental themed perfumes, one needs to do an oud. Garuda starts quite full-on oudy, and with a dry woodiness which makes it feel like more of a masculine perfume. There are also hints of pepper and hesperidic notes in the opening, but it’s really all about the oud here. A rum note enters, once again putting the emphasis on a masculine character. In my first wearing of Garuda, I was very surprised to find that the last phase of the perfume loses the dry, bitter oud/wood character, and becomes an amber woody skin scent with more of a cosy feel to it.

I was surprised when I sprayed the third perfume of the range ‘Nin-Shar’, and smelled oud. I had just had the ‘oud-perfume’; surely they wouldn’t do two oud perfumes in a three perfume collection? Well, they did, but this one starts off more feminine, and treacherous. If Garuda was a masculine with a soft well-hidden cosy side, then Nin-Shar is the feminine fragrance with a backbone. A well matched pair the two. It’s the by now well-trodden road of rose-oud. This one however starts with a big red rose together with a bitter, almost sour aspect of artemisia, in conjunction with a tiny bit of incense, adding to a strangely sour feel. The oud here simply is a part of a grander tapestry. The deep red rose is what gives Nin-Shar it’s mostly feminine character, and perhaps the added jasmine flowers enforces that feel. It comes once again as a real surprise, when the base therefore is where the oud really shines through and together with the embers of the incense creates a much tougher feel than what I would have expected.

To me Nin-Shar is the star of the collection. Although I do appreciate Néa and admire Garuda, in both perfumes I was a little disappointed with the perfumes relying on things like cashmeran, ambroxan and timbersilk aka iso gama super to carry the dry down of otherwise fine compositions. To me Nin-Shar is the one that has quality all the way through the composition right till the very end.

 

If you wonder about the feat picture; yes, it has nothing whatsoever to do with today’s fragrances, apart from the fact that it’s just a little view into what the non-messy part of my writing desk looks like.

Both pics by me.

8 thoughts on “An Oudriental Trio – Néa, Garuda and Nin-Shar by Jul et Mad

  1. Yep, I’m with you on all three. Nea was way too much of a sweet fruit cocktail for me but you’ve broken it down beautifully and I know Sandra (also formerly of OT!) really loves it for those lavish gourmand qualities. It was funny to discover there were actually two with oud. I also thought Nin-Shar was the best of the three, though that sour note rather jarred with me.

    Love the pic of a corner of your writing desk. Were you doing that drawing for Halloween? 🙂

    • I’m glad to hear ir Tara. I’m sure Néa will be a gourmand lovers dream. Wormwood is a strange one, and here in the pairing with incense (which can have that sour feel too) and oud, it makes for a very special mix, I suppose I really like how it’s not just another rose oud,
      The drawing actually had nothing to do with halloween, but is a sketch with some ideas. But I’m glad you made a connectionI and at least it did unintentionally end up befitting to the season 🙂

  2. I chuckled at the ‘lower insulin producing mix’ into which the metamorphosed cream toffee (I loved this description from end to end, basically), and like Tara, would be wary of its sweetness, fruitiness and less than optimum materials in the drydown. The third scent does sound like the ‘Nin-Star’ of the trio, hehe, as I can be easily overwhelmed by even moderate amounts of oud. Great illustrations as ever!

    • Ooh I love it when you like my word games since it seems I can’t help myself, and sometimes feel a bit silly. Nin-Star, certainly has good pedigree too 😉
      I’m with you on oud, although I could probably say the same for all notes, except iris and carnation. I do think highly of Nin-Shar and will definitely wear my decant.

    • Never say obviously, I am happy that you tell me so (obviously)

  3. I LOVE the photos of your desk and drawings, Asali!! And Nin-Shar sounds like an interesting take on the classic rose-and-oud combo.

    • Thank you Suzanne <3 Nin- Shar is really interesting and highly wearable. There's Oud for sure, but it isn't "in your face" and the whole perfume is less about rose-oud than about blend.

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