I first heard of Nasomatto through their masterpiece Black Afgano, a scent whose reputation is marked by its massive performance and hashish note. If there was ever a ‘bad boy’ of the fragrance world – you know, besides the posturing that Etat Libre d’Orage pulls off – Black Afgano is it. However, the scent itself just isn’t that wild. Black Afgano is an incredibly smooth herbal wood scent that makes an impression without making a stink. As it turns out, this dynamic – edgy reputation, polished reality – is true for most of the Nasomatto line, including Narcotic V.
While it doesn’t share the massive reputation of Black Afgano, Narcotic V (shortened from Narcotic Venus) has its own renown as a tuberose powerhouse. Its bold yet elegant bottle design and pink coloring are hard to miss without coming across as loud. It’s less of inverse to Black Afgano and more of a sibling – a convincing foray into floral perfumery that’s both focused and ambitious. But is it worth exploring in the crowded arena of loud white floral perfumes?
Narcotic V notes
Tuberose, Jasmine, Lily, Spices
It’s difficult to nail down what is supporting Narcotic V’s florals; they take center stage for the vast majority of the fragrance’s life. It’s less difficult to see just how beautifully balanced these accords are. The tuberose is from the same family as that found in Carnal flower – lush and green – but it’s balanced against the calming elegance of the other flowers. The jasmine here is stunning, soft, and reminiscent of a delicious tea, and the lily is pronounced and natural without crossing the boundary into sharpness. Because every flower in Narcotic V has so much personality, it’s hard for my nose to pick out anything that could not be ascribed to either tuberose, jasmine, or lily. The ghost underneath is a musky foundation that grants the flowers a surprisingly long life on the skin.
All of this makes Narcotic V worth a sniff, but perhaps the fragrance’s bigger strength is just how timeless it feels. It lacks the sweetness that turns similar florals into youthful club fragrances. It also lacks the spicy or aldehydic bodies that mark ‘old-school’ fragrances. This is a perfume that goes in its own direction, wishing to lift up a few beautifully-combined floral notes and leave the rest behind. The marks of a specific genre or era seem to fade away at first sniff.
With strong performance and a glorious heart, Narcotic V stands as a testament to just how excellent Nasomatto perfumes can be. This perfume house continues to take risks while creating projects with immense focus and care. Back when “niche” was truly still an exciting word in the fragrance industry, perfumes like Narcotic V were making a strong case for dedicated perfume companies that prized experimentation. Scents like these will always be exciting. The next time you’re looking for that spark of hope in the form of a fragrance, you would be wise to find Narcotic V, spray it on, and witness it blossom.
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The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.
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