NadiaZ – Emotion by Essence
Could it be a discovery, a new scent dimension? In perspective, scent conforms in unique atmospheres that go beyond our olfactive pleasures, truly an unforgettable experience. However, such encounter is not an every day occurrence, that’s until I came across Nadia Zuodar and her ultra niche all natural line of fragrance by the name of NadiaZ.
Nadia Zuodar was born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1976, a physicist, a social entrepreneur, an international development expert with a humanist and artistic soul. Through NadiaZ, she shares her love for Nature and Plants transmitted by her agronomist Italian father with a taste for refinement, precious oriental scents and skin care rituals inherited from her Tunisian grandmother.
Highlighting her background, Nadia graduated from EPFL and performed researches in physics, biochemistry and neurobiology. She then dedicated more than a decade of her life to international development and humanitarian missions in Africa and around the globe for organizations such as States, United Nations, NGOs,…which she pursues till today while developing NadiaZ environmental foundation architecture. Thanks to these invaluable experiences, she got introduced to indigenous plants and traditional medicine knowledge from many different cultures, developed a worldwide sourcing network and acquired in-depth expertise on sustainable natural resource management and ethical trade.
Nadia’s passion for discovery and formulating dates back from childhood but making her own natural products became a necessity in her twenties, when she developed allergies and designed her own solutions to address them, while coaching others on the management of chronic illnesses. Many years later, NadiaZ was born out of the desire to put her love for plants, scientific knowledge and creativity at the service of conceiving her own natural premium brand as one of her contributions to the World.
“Emotion by essence” is emulated in her works as a perfumer, and also as a guide, to help one better envelop into a journey of scent.
What if perfume could convey, your world, your true self, the essence of life, like painting your aura would? What if it could evoke instantaneously your unique presence, bring back vivid memories or transport you to a place of confidence, harmony with nature and bonding with other? Nadia’s soul purpose and devotion is to celebrate and care for a vast diversity in all forms of life. By contributing her mastery in nature, the secrets of precious indigenous plants around the world, she is able to offer the most inspiring journey in the most exclusive, sophisticated yet natural products available to mankind.
Nadia presents her craft in many forms but precisely, her talents elevate perfume beyond Art, while composing unique masterpieces containing rare indigenous plants poured in hand sculpted art pieces of Shona Sculptures; a world wide acclaimed art home to Zimbabwe.
I had the pleasure of contacting Nadia recently and after a few exchanges she willingly contributed partials of her drudgery in order for me to experience and present the impact of her works to the public and the fragrance community.
Shortly, I was able to verify that NadiaZ natural perfumes are intimate fragrances, revealing themselves in the vicinity of the wearer, bringing subtle sensuality rather than aggressive occupation of public olfactive space. The fragrances evolve with each individual skin specifications taking into account natural pheromones, genetic background and hormonal variations. The subtlety of the creators compositions unleash the magic of precious natural ingredients; more than 9000 different molecules may create a complexity that captures the mind unlike the pale synthetic imitations. They will act as enhancer and catalysts to bring to consciousness signals emanating from your state of mind and being while bringing you the health benefits of natural substances. This is why despite the classification in categories such as man, woman and unisex perfumes, gender-based fragrance designation is mainly indicative and often socially based, you may well find your match in another gender category, as your skin will provide it with just the right aura.
NadiaZ compositions with male and female versions are conceived on the same principles as nature embryonic differentiation by hormones; male or female fragrances use each other as a base for aromatic variations, the Yin and Yang complement each other. They capture the sensory dialectical communication between the perfume wearer and his/her partner. Some perfumes explore different states of mind and find themselves in Day or Night versions or even in Pink! They are the result of patient state of the art scientific and artistic research, often taking up to three years composition and fine-tuning to create the Perfect Harmony.
Through Nadia’s generous affiliation, I was able to experience her mastery and I’m happy to present to you the experiences associated with her works through the following selections she hand picked herself specifically for me.
MAR DE CADIZ HOMME
Mar de Cadiz (Sea of Cadiz). Man. Natural Perfume.
“The true essence of the Ocean through the eyes of a lover of the blue depths. ”
Oceanic, Earthy, Wild and Virile.
Notes: The perfume oceanic salty smoky hint is recreated from various Oceanic Seaweeds while the forest soil dampness is subtly emanating from Tree Mosses, Mushrooms, Precious Woods and various Indigenous Oils (Ximenia, Ucuuba). Its fresh lightness is extracted from leaves such as the exclusive Kewra (Pandanus), Green Tea and Mate. Its dynamism is conferred by various flowers, leaves and citruses including the vivifying Narcissus, Indian Cress, Green Mandarin, Bergamot, Yuzu and Iranian Black Lemons. Its hypnotic and sensual undertones emerge from precious flowers such as Lotus and Carnation.
My interpretation: Leads a bit off-putting due to the soil moss and mushroom earthy animalic tones, which quickly fade as bergamot and green seaweed takes forefront. It is so well blended that it’s almost impossible to deduce a particular note other then the ones meant to be present. It does transform into a more pleasing, very salty and dirty seaweed and if you close your eyes you can imagine yourself beach side of the Black Sea.
CAMINO DE AZAHAR HOMME
(Orange Blossom Flowers Alley). Man. Natural Perfume.
“A celebration of the Mediterranean, wandering through the Orange Blossom alleys of its ancient cities.” Passionate, Oriental Spicy, Citrusy and Woody.
Notes: A very powerful and passionate composition with an explosion of citruses, such as Orange Blossom (Neroli), Iranian Black Lemons, and Bergamot, as well as vivifying fragrant flowers and leaves, such as the African Cape Verbena, Longoza and Tagete. Its seductive, spicy heart emanates from Vetiver, Woods, Coffee, Wild Mushrooms and Indigenous Oils, while Rooibos, Damascus Rose, Andiroba and Honey exude tender undertones.
My interpretation: Opens with a dirty, spicy orange, deep chocolate vibe with the coffee coming through, a nice hot sugar tone which envelops the composition; then, a woody base reminiscent of wet pavement, and a licorice note present. Settles into a warm touch of sunrays hitting a basket of fruit in the middle or a green park late spring.
MAR DE CADIZ
(Sea Of Cadiz) Unisex. Natural Perfume.
The air filled with scents from fresh fruits, green leaves and cucurbitacea from Cadiz coastal gardens in the autumn shower rains. This is a day fragrance for modern active men and women. This is a sporty and natural scent. Those who shy away from strong perfumes will enjoy its delicate and boosty dynamism.
Notes: A mainly green, aquatic and sporty composition constructed around remarkable sweet green crisp notes of Cucumber, Eggplant, Green Tea, Mate and Indigenous Oils, with a hint of water elements – from Seaweed and Kewra (Pandanus). It is vivified and sweetened by citrus aromas, including the majestic Japanese Yuzu, Bergamot, Iranian Black Lemons, and Grapefruit, as well as flowers, such as the seductive Narcissus and Indian Cress.
Its delicate powdery undertones emerge from precious flowers, such as the Lotus and Iris.
My interpretation: Begins with an earthy, dark citrus, green accord similar to a combination of soil, green tea and oak moss maybe some vetiver or patchouli in the mix that’s surrounded by warmth. It stays pretty linear through the opening and every now and then you can pick out a hint of salty seaweed. I can’t detect eggplant, cucumber or yuzu but I’m confident they are essential to the accord obtained. As it enters the heart, aquatic notes seemed to peek through, and a fresher citrus became prominent however, it was heavily hidden in the green tea and seaweed.
Man Natural Perfume
Watching the stars from the silence of the night, the moon’s ascension and its cold peaceful light: white, blue, violet, incredibly deep. Closing my eyes as if now out into space, my body unattached to the earth, a virtual sensation yet the reality of the galaxy…My senses meeting with an experience exhilaratingly unknown. Was it a dream? One certitude remains: this superb celestial scent.
This transcendental composition is for those who follow their inner path, flourishing discreetly yet surely and meet their soul mate with no need for words.
Notes: An ethereal nature drawn from extremely rare Namibian Omumbungu Resin, the narcotic emanations of Hyacinth sweetened by a romantic touch of Violet. The pheromonal Hyraceum and red fruits-scented South African Buchu with a hint of Australian Strawberry Gum make for an even more vibrant composition.
My interpretation: Opens into a dark aura of strawberry and resin almost boozy at times. A very succulent, realistic strawberry dipped in a bowl of sugar left on the table outside in the hottest summer night. A violet tone creates a dusty atmosphere in the background as the heart settles. I assume the red fruit and phermonal Hyraceum are part of the strawberry accord. Indeed, a very romantic and personal touch achieved in this composition. This can easily pass for unisex and is my favorite from the samples!
MÉTAMORPHOSE LILAS NIGHT
(Metamorfosis Lilac for the night) Unisex. Natural Perfume.
From the glacial winds blowing in winter to the lilac blossoming in spring in the Bulgarian steppes. The spiritual path and metamorphosis leading to winter, wisdom, the fall of the night, the place where yin and yang meet at the end of the journey before another cycle begins. The reward of inner growth and the self-confidence that draws others naturally to one’s light. This is a night scent drawing man and woman to meet as equal partners without loosing their differences, embracing their true sensual natures and selves.
Notes: The incredibly inspiring and delicate scent of blooming Lilac flowers imperceptibly soften the soul, married with penetrating scents of Frankincense and Agarwood. The smokey wintery undertone of Black Tea is complemented by the subtle caramel and powdery emanations from Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Blue Cypress and Indigenous Amazonian Oils.
My interpretation: Begins with light smoke, frankincense & agarwood, which mild’s down into a bittersweet sandalwood and tonka like sweetness. Perhaps, vanilla and some amber accord are present. The smoke seemed to surround the sweet heart of the composition leaving the illusion of a faint, just put out, campfire in the middle of a flower field (lilac aery like presence) that maintains some of its sweetness in the dry-down.
ANJI BAMBOO MIST
Unisex. Natural Perfume
Trekking in the heart of Anji Bamboo Forest in the early morning mist. The fresh, green and slightly acidulated scent of broken Bamboo leaves and stems while clearing the way towards the top of the hills. Taking a deep breath of the scented air and purifying one’s body and mind. The rejuvenating feeling associated to thriving physically, mentally and emotionally. The fulfillment, deeply penetrating one’s soul, brightening every moment since then in a promise never to take anything for granted again. The subtle power of an evanescent fragrance that reminds what one’s made of; best treasured once lost and found again.
Notes: The magic of imagining a Bamboo Forest through the unexpected floral, green and fruity accords of intense flowers such as the magnificent Chinese Aglaia, the exotic Australian Boronia and the enigmatic Tuberose. Spirituality, complexity and depth emanate from Palo Santo, Coffee Flower, Wild Mushrooms and Precious Woods in an evanescent fragrance best treasured once lost and found again in a perpetual movement.
My interpretation: Opens with an earthy mushroom, tuberose and some violet accord over a woody heart. A refreshing green element begins to mingle with the tuberose and provides woody bamboo like note. You can just imagine yourself on a bamboo plantation in the quiet of the night.
CAMINO DE AZAHAR ORO (Orange Blossom Flowers Alley in Gold)
Man Natural Perfume
Humankind’s connection to the Sun, symbolized by pure Gold and the olfactive evocation of the landscapes and ages it has lived on unaltered. One generation, one kingdom, passes to the next. The Inca soil, roots, essences and exuberant tropical fruits from the archetypal primitive forest, the Spanish Glory with its emblematic Azahar flower and fragrant ancient cities, the mystical spices and resins purifying the Ethiopian Aksum holy sites or the Pharaohs Pyramids… and then finally all melts away under the incandescent African Sun bathing all living forms in the Kruger Savannah, embracing them all: the fire, the honey-scented flowers, the drying wood, the dust and the sweat. A drop of this perfume will bring you to meet your own splendor and share your light with the World.
Notes: A very powerful and resplendent composition with an explosion of captivating sweet scented flowers such as Orange Blossom (Neroli), Lily, Champaca and Ylang Ylang melted in a caramelized heart of precious Namibian Omumbiri and Omumgorwa resins, African Yangu, Cape Verbena (Lippia Jivanica), Honey and Vanilla. The exuberant tropical fruits and nuts from the Amazon, Andiroba, Sapote harmoniously toned down by Wild Mushrooms, and Precious Woods in a pure symphony.
My interpretation: I immediately pick up the boozy sweetness of champaca with a heavy warmth of neroli and some mandarin surrounding it (perhaps ylang-ylang) that dives into an almost perfect burnt sugar representation smoothened by a smooth honey tone into caramel over a woody base. From here, it continues a linear path of degradation of floral woody concoction.
OMUMGORWA WALNUT (Night).
Unisex Natural Perfume
The magical nomad tale of timeless night festivities, from the Sahara to the Arabian Desert, by the light of the stars. The air is filled with women’s laughter, darbuka rhythms and Ney music, and the bewitching scent of spices, Arabic pastries, dates and caramelized nuts impregnate the men and women’s luxurious dresses, hair, skin and even the breath of lovers. This night version is a scent with great character and charisma, more candied and wilder than its day companion.
Notes: The caramelized date-like sweetness of Omumgorwa blended with the earthy freshness of Omumbiri resins from Namibia, are transported by the heavenly powdery scent of Lily, the tropical notes of Frangipani, and the sensual ambiguous depth of Champaca undertones. Nutty hints of Sapote give this gourmand blend an almost maple-walnut ice-cream aroma with a twist of Arabian Spices, arousing all the senses simultaneously.
My interpretation: Initiates very sweet, with the depth of dried dates, and burnt sugar with an undertone of champaca. Yet, a fresh invigorating powdery plant effect enlightens the composition surrounded by a nutty aura. I can truly envision a European spicy vanilla flavored ice cream from the powdery lily infused with pecans/walnuts as the artist inspired in her description. This is a very nice gourmand representation.
MÉTAMORPHOSE LILAS CUIR (Metamorfosis Lilac in Leather)
Unisex Natural Perfume
A couple’s arousal towards their own sensual Nature. The moment of Truth when all artifices are dropped, giving way to meaningful union. Skin to skin, warmth to warmth, experiencing wholeness with one’s lover and beyond. The quintessential scent of loving bodies and aspiring souls, necessarily unisex as true attraction can only be drawn by one’s unique identity, leather-like to remind us of our beating hearts, always.
Notes: The incredibly inspiring and delicate scent of blooming Lilac flowers married to the sensual and powdery Tuberose, with a hint of red-fruit passion from Fynbos Buchu and Australian Strawberry Gum. Playful and discrete, these accords are deepened by this composition true nature, a warm, leather-like heart, drawing from Patchouli, Beeswax, Vetiver, Namibian Precious Omumgorwa resin, indigenous woods and the revered Agarwood. Its refinement and a sweet touch originate from the Tonka Bean and Honey with a pheromonal seductive twist of Hyraceum.
My interpretation: Unfastens sweet but fresh, resinous agarwood/patchouli dipped in soft honey then opens up the stage with a very faint depth of sweet smoky fruity background. It slowly transitions into floral leather dry down that fades fairly quick into a skin type scent (I presume lilac accord), which might yield anosmia to ones nose.
On an ending note, it’s truly been a pleasure presenting NadiaZ fragrances, and a magical journey throughout our collaboration. I suggest any one, regardless of personal opinion on natural perfumery, to at least get their nose on her works. It is highly impossible not be able to associate with at least one of the fragrances she bequeaths, not to mention the beneficial health qualities some of the fragrances posses. A truly special, personalized experience!
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Self-thought Perfume Reviewer/Critic/Tester