Blog post by Gwen

Sweet Morphine – floral and woody and addictive

I woke up this morning to sweater weather. The kind of weather that calls for patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood and amber-based perfumes. So, naturally, I went top-shelf and grabbed Sweet Morphine by Ex Nihilo. This floral beauty has nothing to do with the weather outside and that’s what I want right now. The fact is, some great fragrances transcend the season, the weather, the climate. Sweet Morphine is one of those fragrances. It gives me pleasure to wear it, whenever I do.


Ex Nihilo is a Parisian niche line, founded in 2013 by Olivier Royère, Sylvie Loday and Benoît Verdie and is headquartered on Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. ‘Ex Nihilo’ is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". In an interview, M. Verdie talks about how Ex Nihilo came to be: “We were longtime fragrance heads and wanted to create the brand of our dreams, trying as much as we could to bring a new energy to it and introducing a completely alternative fragrance brand. We wanted to bring back this idea of super exclusivity with an irreverent and a funky French twist”. They’re also big on personalization. Their signature scents can be personalized to customers using their in-store technology. Grazing the web, I see that Drake is a fan of the brand – look at me bonding over perfume with Drake!

Sweet Morphine was launched in 2015 as part of Ex Nihilo’s ‘Les Interdites’ collection, which was based on the theme of forbidden pleasures. I suppose it’s called ‘Sweet Morphine’ because it’s totally addictive. I speak from experience.

Bergamot starts Sweet Morphine off. Green and tart, it sets up a note of lilac. It’s the rich smell of lilac – lovely, soft and a little powdery on me – and it just melts into my skin. Iris soon appears adding the woody-floral smell of violets to the lilac. The combination is tender but potent. On my skin the violet smell and the lilac intertwine but separate at times so that one whiff will be iris-forward and the next the lilac dominates. The flowers are boosted at the base by a patchouli/vetiver woody accord that is sweetened by vanilla so that what had melted into my skin before now radiates from it. I. WANT. MORE.

The drydown is soft, floral fresh and woody. Beware, skin chemistry plays a huge role in the development of this fragrance, which is why it’s perfectly unisex. Could this be a kind ‘personalization’ Ex Nihilo aims for? I’ll have to ask Drake the next time I see him.

Check out Sweet Morphine in our Shop.