Arquiste Parfumeur is a house founded in 2011 by Carlos Huber, an architect specializing in historic preservation, but who also has a longtime love of perfumery. His vision was to create a fragrance collection that transports the wearer to evocative moments in history. Nanban debuts in September 2015, and is the tenth perfume in the collection. It was developed with perfumer Rodrigo Flores Roux, collaborator since the inception of Arquiste perfumes.
|Photo by Hisao Oka and Edwin Pabon|
Nanban (南蛮, "southern barbarian") is a Sino-Japanese word, originally referring to foreigners arriving to Japan from the south sea. Carlos Huber explains it to me further, as well as some other information on the development of Nanban, on a video interview I recently did with him at Twisted Lily (click here to view).
As per the Arquiste website: "January 1618, a Japanese galleon, the Pacific ocean. Following a diplomatic mission to the West, a galleon carrying a delegation of samurai charges through dark ocean currents. Loaded with a rare and precious cargo, the ship’s hull is redolent of sweet-smelling tropical woods, heady Spanish leather, frankincense, fine black pepper and other exotic ground spices—the intoxicating spirit of a singular, extraordinary voyage of discovery"
Every now and then, I will smell a perfume so smoothly blended, that it is almost difficult to discern all of the different notes and developments of the composition. Nanban was one of those perfumes. Upon first spray, my nose detected pepper, leathery saffron, black tea, and just a whisper of apricot like osmanthus. A sensual leather accord soon surfaced, which gave way to a dry down of incense, resins and sandalwood.
Nanban is rich and full bodied, but never over powering, despite being composed at a 21% concentration. In comparison to the rest of the Arquiste collection, Nanban falls more in line with Anima Dulcis than it does to the other citrus and floral perfumes. A different direction than previous releases, a bit daring, while still remaining true to the refined quality and aesthetic of the brand.
Longevity and projection is very good, surely to delight those lucky enough to be around your scent cloud.
Nanban will soon be available at Twisted Lily and Osswald NYC and will run you $190 for a 100ml bottle.
Fragrance Family: Woody Oriental
Top Notes: Malabar black pepper, Persian saffron, black tea accord and Chinese osmanthus.
Heart Notes: Coffee absolute, Spanish leather, sandalwood and myrrh.
Background Notes: Frankincense, styrax, copaiba balsam and cade.
DISCLAIMER: This review was based on a sample sent by Arquiste Parfumeur, and all opinions are my own.