February 1, 2012

By Poppy Beale-Collins

A song will take us back to the ghosts of dubious music phases past, or a relic photograph of a long-forgotten party will get the rusty cogs turning. But if we’re honest, we’re hard pressed to pad out that flickering memory far beyond those three minutes or the frames of the image. Both are triggers, but we remain the shortsighted spectators of our own memories.

And then somebody sweeps past wearing your Mum’s old perfume and you are nine again. Or you take in a (probably quite toxic) lungful of your very first spray and you are, momentarily, transported back to the heady days of Old Spice and Impulse. Because as many will know, it is smell which is our most mighty sense for unearthing the past – which goes a long way in explaining our hopelessly nostalgic romance with fragrance.

The fragrantly-powdered and rose-tinted past is so often the palette for perfumes today, and so it is with Nasomatto’s new concoction for men. Pardon is the fruit of the famed and cultish olfactory gifts of eccentric Italian Alessandro Gualtieri, who has gamely lent himself to the promo shots, and whose use of camel dung from the floors of the Arabian Desert is well-documented.

Pardon, if personified, would be a suave and dapper charmer impeccably schooled on the “masculine elegance” of yesteryear, and it has been making seductive ripples amongst the patrons of online scent forums (of which there are an astonishing number). Apparently, the “quite intoxicating” combination of “warm amber, smooth sandalwood, pink floral and virile leather” which invokes the smoky image of the dandies and salons of fin de siècle Paris “would no doubt make many of Jilly Cooper’s horsey heroines weak at the knees.” Resistance is futile?    


February 1, 2012

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