Nishane Nanshe fragrance review, first published in Cafleurebon.
I must confess that my love of mythology is bookish only by association, the deeply-rooted seed being planted in my childhood, in the countless hours spent in front of the computer screen, playing videogames.
The immersive, visceral and vivid way of experiencing stories – first hand – appealed to me with the flawless successions of cause and effects, the special feeling of cozy safety mixed in with the adrenaline of adventure, all molded perfectly on my over-analytical personality and the everpresent need of escaping reality (or better said – my need of placing a more exciting filter on top of it).
Special shout-outs to the 1989 Prince of Persia that sent me straight to the school library to seek out illustrated tales of One Thousand and One Nights, much love to 1991 GODS where I was Hercules, on my quest to achieve immortality, to all the games references that made me seek out and joyfully learn all the gods and heroes of the Greek Mythos, exposed me to the Bardo Thodol, became intimately familiar with Norse gods, copied by hand excerpts from Mircea Eliade’s books dealing with the history of religions, all interconnected threads, passing through Clive Barker’s lore to Dark Age of Camelot to recent God(s) of War.
There must be, somewhere deeply embedded in my synapses, a happy-trigger button responsible for a child-like sense of giddy exhilaration when I perceive any dual, antagonistic, story-driven backbone to a marketing pitch. So my gaming Pavlovian reflexes were tickled from the first glance I took at the artwork for the two Nishane fragrances and I heard a voice compelling me to ”chose my character”. When the perfumes arrived, I was even more convinced of their “role-playing” qualities, with their familiar new-retro feel, so in this review, I will try to give them “flesh”, as imaginary characters of a role-playing scented game.
Motto: “Be the patron of dreams and prophecy.”
Alignment: Lawful Good; Oriental-Powdery-Floral
Name: Nanshe the Sumerian goddess of fertility, social justice, dreams, prophecy, fishing, and wildlife. She guards widows, orphans, and refugees; is a prophetess and a holly oracle.
Lore: daughter of Enki, the god of wisdom and fresh water, and Ninhursag, the Mother Goddess, sister to Nisaba, goddess of writing, consort of Haia, the god of storerooms.
Symbols: the fish and the pelican; the fish connects her with the element of water and also symbolizes life, while the pelican, who, in legend, is said to sacrifice itself to feed its young, symbolized Nanshe’s devotion to humanity.
Realm: Said to have dominion over dreams and creative fertility.
Special abilities: Summons a powdery cloud around you.
Character development: We are greeted into the journey by the slightly bitter carrot seeds, giving the opening an earthy, woody, dry, deep aura, with an assertive spicy bite. Building on its spicy-ness, we have the added depth of cardamom, accompanied by bergamot and yuzu, with a beautiful counterbalance of juicy sweetness. We soon enter the realm of flowers, where a dusty dry rose reigns supreme above a field of a yellowy nectared wall of bloom. Patchouli (a herbaceous, non-hippie kind) never lets the flowers become too feminine, keeping the fragrance in the same earthy, musky, almost solemn and godly powdery realm. In the drydown, stuff gets even dreamy-er with facets of orris, musk, and soft woods. On cloud number 9 –level of zen achieved
A note from the brand: “Together with the perfumer Cecile Zarokian, the main challenge was to create a scent that reflects the kind, compassionate, welcoming and wise attributes of this divine figure. It is aimed to bring fertility for more positive vibes and souls to make the world a better and fairer place to live. A world where the forgotten, the poor, the lonely, and disenfranchised are looked after.”
Motto: “Blue is the color of longing”
Alignment: Chaotic Good; Green-aquatic-aromatic
Name: Aegaeon (also known as Aegean, Goatish, Stormy – NOT to be mistaken for Poseidon) was the god of the storms of the Aegean Sea and an ally of the Titanes in their war against the gods. He was named after the Aegean Sea but his name also means “Stormy One”.
Lore: the son of Gaia (the Earth) and Pontos (the Sea)
Symbols: the goat – as the constellation Capra (the Storm-Goat) whose rising in late autumn marks the onset of stormy weather on the Aegean sea.
Realm: EGE is the Turkish name for the Aegean Sea (an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas) which was derived from the Greek name ΑΙΓΑΙΟ.
Special abilities: Direct teleport to a deeply relaxing Mediterranean summer vacation
Character development: Have you ever had ouzo? It’s a traditional greek liqueur, made out of anise, that has the most wonderful clouding effect when ice or water is added in, transforming a perfectly translucent drink into a cloudy pale drink, resembling the texture of milk (the same as with absinthe). The first spray takes me straight to an almost forgotten Greek vacation, adding in slow-motion a cube of ice in the glass of Ouzo in front of me. Rolling up my sleeves, I am outside, preparing breakfast, the scent of freshly picked mint mixing on my hands with the aroma of chopped basil and tomato leaves. The almost metallic salty after-storm smell of the sea invades the garden, messes up my hair, and raises the condiments set up on the table in a cloud of dust. In a time where travel happens in memories, bottled up scents, and sighs in front of the folders of old vacation pictures, I full-heartedly agree that blue is indeed the color of longing.
A note from the brand: “Having both names together as the name of the perfume (EGE / ΑΙΓΑΙΟ) is a deliberate choice by NISHANE to pay tribute to the shared skies and culture of Turkish and Greek people who are the neighboring residents of the Aegean costs who inhabit – as Herodotus said – a world of summer sea-breeze, deep blue waters with every pebble on the bottom clearly visible, towns and villages full of houses painted white and blue, a common bond of cuisine, shared instruments and lyrics having a feeling of nostalgia mixed with hopefulness, a cohabitation an interdependence of centuries.”
NANSHE was created by Cecile Zarokian in 2020. The notes are: bergamot, carrot seeds, cardamom, yuzu, water fruits & flowers, rose absolute, jasmine sambac absolute, ylang-ylang, orris, powdery notes, musk, patchouli, sandalwood
EGE/ΑΙΓΑΙΟ was created in 2020 by Ilias Ermenidis. Notes include: yuzu, violet leaves, anise, basil, green cardamom, mint, olibanum, licorice
Nanshe and EGE/ΑΙΓΑΙΟ are part of the No Boundaries line (together with Ani, Florane, Muskane, Nefs, Safran Colognise, Unutamam)
Disclosure: Nanshe bottle kindly provided by Nishane, thank you so much!
If you liked this review also read Nishane Musiqua Oud