It’s often the case today that where fashion goes fragrances seem to follow. It’s worth noting that iconic fashion designer Norman Norell was the very first American designer to lend his name to a perfume.The original Norell was introduced by Revlon in 1968 and was created by perfumer Josephine Catapano of IFF. Norman Norell was supposedly selected by Revlon in part because he was a favorite designer of Lynn Revson, wife of Revlon founding partner Charles Revson. This sophisticated green floral scent was soon to become the must-have olfactory possession for career women throughout the country who would often display it prominently on their desks.
I’m sorry to say that I have yet to experience the original Norell but I’ve heard that it is a lovely composition that contains a whopping amount of galbanum, accented by rich floral notes of carnation, hyacinth, rose, jasmine, iris and yang-ylang. Warm background essences of musk, sandalwood, heliotrope, myrrh and vanilla in the base create a luxurious ambiance.
The Norell name was eventually sold and the formula was updated to reflect current tastes in fragrance. The newest flanker, Norell New York, was created by perfumer Cèline Barel, is a contemporary take on the original and uses a few key ingredients found in the original including galbanum, sandalwood, jasmine and iris. When used in perfume iris can be interpreted in different ways and here it’s actually orris (the root of iris) butter which smells delicate, sweet-floral and woody-earthy.
I wouldn’t call Norell New York a youthful fragrance but there is definitely a fruitiness that so many of today’s popular youth-centric scents seem to have. On initial sniff I detected a whole lot of juicy pear with a hint of citrus followed by muted floral notes. Apparently this contains notes of jasmine, peony, orchid and gardenia but they all seem very subdued. The only floral note I can actually clearly detect is the jasmine and it is a beautiful calm and cool jasmine. In time Norell New York dry down to a warm, woody and slightly sweet and musky scent.