Alaia Eau de Parfum Nude (2017) {Perfume Review & Musings}


Alaïa Nude eau de parfum is the third fragrance issued while designer Azzedine Alaïa was still alive. He died recently, on November 18, 2017. The new perfume is not yet on shelves. A circuitous look allows you to see that his other two perfumes Alaïa Paris and Alaïa Blanche seem to have retreated from the glare of electric shop lights. Perhaps it is only temporary...

The idea for the first Alaïa perfume was to recreate to some extent the mineral impression - an early memory of Alaïa's - of earthen traditional architecture in Tunisia being misted with water in an effort to cool down unforgiving Southern temperatures. This practice exists as it happens in Uzbekistan as well, where I experienced it. There, people are in the habit of throwing buckets of cold water in courtyards and on sidewalks in the summer to be left to vaporize gradually and help bring temperatures down, a bit, for the neighborhood. If you pay attention, it is an olfactory palette of mineral sensations found in constructions, road dust and water.

Nude edp weaves anew this main olfactive thematic but with new nuances. Subjectively, more than the color of skin that the name of the scent suggests, Alaïa Nude smells purple to this reviewer. Why is that? Simply because now a big white floral bouquet has been inserted inside the compositon revealing a profusion of purple indoles, which smell a tad blue-cheese-like, but also evoke the color of Passifloras, Wisterias and other kinds of violet-tinted flowers loaded with these sexual signals to the animal world of insects.

The texture of the scent is both creamy and powdery. It is a kind of powderiness with an acidic edge, which makes it behave a bit at times like a chypré composition. The sophistication of the blend can be perceived in the manner in which the perfume can be said to "happen in the air," mixing its magical realism above skin level, where otherwise it is less transcendant and a bit hard and mineraly to the nose.

An almondy macaron smell escapes from the perfume as a nuance rather than as a genre, the gourmand one. We live in the era of perfumed sugar, after all, so it's an unsurprising signature of the times.

While orange blossom has been touted as a note of interest in the fragrance composition, it smells mostly synthetic, an impression reinforced by the bed of artificial purple flowers we mentioned above.

Alaïa Nude is quite an intellectual parfum, which you may find has something interesting for you in its personality because it jives with yours. Despite what is meant to be a leather note, and in spite of the nude concept, the perfume is not very sensual. More to the point, it evokes the leather of Azzedine Alaïa's magnificent dresses shaped like architectures for women to be worn. These creations bespeak of mastery, grand effects, elaborate sartorial edifices, towers of glorification. There is something shell-like, hard, insect-exoskeletonesque in the forms designed by Alaïa on a woman's body. Some of his most characteristic dresses make women look like temples, even of doom, rather than living creatures. There is beauty in fascination, but there is also distance. This lack of easy, flowing sensuality translates into intrinsic coldness. The water poured on overheated earth Alaïa liked to reminisce about was about a quest for coolness, the ideal coolness of tranquil marble and perhaps of statues, if we are to interpret his sculptural fashions from a certain, revealing angle.

Fragrance notes are here

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