Narciso Rodriguez, an American designer of Cuban roots, had worked for many major houses, including Cerruti, Loewe and Calvin Klein before setting up his own shop in 2001. When he released Narciso Rodriguez for Her in 2004, it became an instant hit not just in the US but in Europe as well. This was the scent that made the international perfume industry take another look at the Chypre accord.
The creators of this fragrance are Christine Nagel and Francis Kurkdjan. It is said to be inspired by a musk oil Rodriguez discovered on one of his many trips to the Middle East that he envisioned recreating as his scent. Many hours were spent working and re-working it until it met with his satisfaction: a floral musky chypre, with the musk oil taking center stage.
Narciso Rodriguez for Her opens with a whisper of of peach and rose and almost immediately a sensuous muskiness emerges. Slowing making their presence known around the musky center are orange, osmanthus and amber. The base consists of a woody vetiver and a gentle vanilla, which reinforces the softness of the musk. The slight sweetness which is noticeable early on fades to become softer and deliciously powdery after wearing for a couple of hours.
When it was first released in 2004, it was as an EDT in a black bottle inside a pink outer box; two years later it was launched as a EDP in a pink bottle within a black outer box. Although the composition is slightly different, musk remains at the center of both scents.
I think Narciso Rodriguez for Her can be best described as an extremely unique and alluring scent. To my nose, it has an openly sexual character. There is an almost aggressive quality in the opening which slowly evolves into something deeply satisfying to the senses.
I’ve heard that is is regarded by a number of noteworthy perfumers as one of the few 21st century classics and I understand why.
Unlike many popular fragrances which seem to give birth to a brood of copycat scents, I haven’t ever smelled anything quite like it.
A 3.3 oz. bottle is around $70.