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Nerotic - Hypnotic, sensual, erotic… - May 31, 2018

"Nerotic" from "Laboratorio in Nero" Collection -

I’m a dog-lover down to my core but I have a very special feline friend whom I adore. He lives with my friend Gwen, and every once in a while I get to take care of him for a couple of weeks while she’s traveling. Since there’s currently no dog-love in our house, I consider it a real treat to look after this very smart well-mannered cat, whom I call Mr. Handsome. In the early mornings we sit and listen to the birds chirping, I watch while he cleans his perfect white paws, then I feed him and scratch his ears and pull on his tail while he purrs. We enjoy each other’s company. It’s very Zen.

Last year I received a special “thank you” fragrance for looking after Mr. Handsome. It was Green Water by Cécile Zarokian, an irresistible remake of the original 1946 fragrance by Vincent Roubert for famed French designer, Jacques Fath -  read about it here.

This year, I received another special “thank you” fragrance for looking after Mr. Handsome. It’s Nerotic by Cécile Zarokian for Laboratorio Olfattivo, the Italian perfume house launched in 2009 by Roberto Drago and Daniela Caon.

Drago is the Creative Director of Laboratorio Olfattivo, and he is passionate about the power of perfume, especially niche perfumes. He IS Italian, after all, a country where the traditions of olfactory art are deeply rooted in the culture. He collaborates with independent perfumers, “ the most eclectic noses”, giving them the artistic freedom to create and experiment using the best of materials : “ The reason why a new perfume is created is never a market necessity, but the need to tell a story…”

And Cécile Zarokian is an extremely talented independent perfumer who knows how to tell a story. For such a young perfumer, she’s signed off on a formidable number of fragrances for small luxury niche brands. She creates modern scents using richly layered accords in a traditional style, and her signature is best described as a lush hedonistic feeling that is incredibly addictive - her fragrances feel alive. See the list of her some of her fragrances below***.

Nerotic is the first fragrance in the “Laboratorio in Nero” Collection, “where the color black, symbol of elegance, luxury and mystery, represents fragrances with complex formula, made with precious raw materials” and intriguing accords “which stun the senses…”

First of all, the name, Nerotic – Nero (Black in Italian) neurotic, narcotic, erotic – what does it mean? It’s not a real word, it feels dark and obscure, strange and off-kilter.

Nerotic the fragrance bursts open with bergamot and grapefruit and red fruits, the hard edge of bitterly tart citrus notes allowing only the faintest sweetness from the fruit. Within a few minutes, the citrus accord shifts as spice and herbs swirl up, brilliant saffron and green geranium and coriander, creating an dense metallic sensation which ebbs and flows with the citrusy fruits. It smells foreign and exotic.

Then a new note appears, which is definitely amber but amber sanded to dusty powder and mixed with cedar shavings, its resinous wafts catching the back of my throat. It’s a strange sensation, that makes me push my nose in closer to my arm, and as I sniff more, the familiar amber note begins to emerge on my warm skin, softened by soapy coriander and aromatic pulses of sandalwood. The effect is hypnotic.

The hard-edged opening softens through the ambered heart,  then Nerotic slows down and takes a turn into darker territory. A soft leather accord mixed with smoky notes and hints of tar is sweetened just enough by the amber to make it sensual, conjuring dark intimate locations, a local bar, a jazz club, long soulful kisses at a secret midnight rendezvous…the nero in Nerotic, the erotic in Nerotic. The dry-down is long and languorous, the sillage is intimate, and the scent is a woody aromatic which makes it non-gendered and shareable.

From hard-edged and dense to warm and woody to darkly erotic, Cécile Zarokian’s Nerotic is unpredictable, unsettling, provocative, hypnotic. It’s also elegant, sensual, and sophisticated, a beautiful illustration of her lush aesthetic style, to which, it appears, I’m completely addicted.

It was no coincidence that my second “thank you” from Mr. Handsome was a Cécile Zarokian fragrance. He knows what makes me happy.

Nerotic is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.

***Other Cécile Zarokian fragrances:

Epic Woman for Amouage, Nuit Andalouse and Cio Cio San for Parfums MDCI, Private Label for Jovoy, Tango for  Masque Milano, Kashnoir and Patchouliful for Laboratorio Olfattivo, Green Water for Jacques Fath, Sheiduna for PureDistance, Jule et Mad Aqua Sextius