Introducing the Exotic Scents of Swiss Natural Perfumer NadiaZ by Fragrantica
Introducing the Exotic Scents of Swiss Natural Perfumer NadiaZ
by: Miguel Matos
Nadia Zuodar is a Swiss perfumer who creates artisanal perfumes with precious indigenous plants from all around the world. She is the nose behind the niche brand Nadia Z and what she wants is to express emotions through olfactory works of art. Judging by the samples I got from some of her creations these are intense and bold feelings full of interesting nuances. The line was launched in 2014 and it comprises 20 different scents.
The prevalence of natural exotic ingredients is very obvious in these fragrances. There is a sense of ancestry and of ancient rituals both in the smells and the bottles with hand sculpted caps. These are sensuous, deep, complex and dense scents, very far from commercial perfumery. These are truly serious perfumes for true perfume aficionados. “Nature becomes the ultimate refinement,” claims Nadia Z. In fact this is 100% natural perfumery, using no synthetic fragrances and a high percentage of indigenous oils.
The samples I got from Nadia Z are thick juices charged with unusual and spiritually rich scents. As I was opening the samples again I noticed that they had solid particles, floating oils and resins. This was strange to me but I still tried them on my skin. They all smelled heavenly gorgeous and no harm seems to have happened to the perfume. So I asked Nadia why this happened. I found the answer very honest and interesting, so I wanted to share it with you: “As part of my unique way of formulating, I do not filtrate the perfumes, I keep the plant oils inside, some of them will remain on your skin, others will be absorbed,” explains the perfumer. “Sometimes if you keep it too cold like in the freezer, some of the oils may solidify into butter, so you just need to warm it a little but no more than 30°C. In the actual bottle the heavier oils are remaining at the bottom at a small amount and one needs to shake it well before applying to avoid blocking the pump. In the samples like you have I sometimes put more of the oil part to make sure people realize it is a different composition.”
By assuming these changes in the aspect of the liquid and by enhancing the therapeutic properties of the various plants, Nadia Z is a natural perfumery statement. Being Swiss can be a plus regarding the resrictions imposed by IFRA. “In Switzerland we do not have these restrictions that is why I am more free to do research on plants and health and produce exclusive perfumes locally. In my opinion it is always a matter of what you use, in what quantities, whether or not it is isolated (I use complete plants because many times the bioactivity is different if you use extracts or if you single out a molecule), and in what mix you do it. And finally also how you apply it.”
Natural perfumery is still not a very well-known field for European consumers and this is why NadiaZ can be such a surprising brand, providing us with a really different perfume experience, more closely connected to our ancient roots and the origins of perfume itself. Mixing dozens of plant extracts, some of them still rarely used in this field, Nadia Z insists on very complex juices with complex ingredient interactions. Nadia says: “unfortunately most laws do not take into account the different factors and try to simplify by putting a single factor like a concentration as determinant, while working with plants is a more complex matter. On the biochemistry side only, science today enables us to measure the interactions of a few molecules at a time, not the 9000+molecules you may have in one of my perfumes with the high number of plants. That is why the science behind perfumery and its impact on health, the brain and the skin is so interesting. On the scientific side I would like to develop further research with universities on specific plants and neurobiology, which is why in the mid-long run I’d like to build a foundation that can facilitate research.”
Nadia uses indigenous oils like Ximenia as fixatives, so that it is also part of the oily feel you have when you use them. Nadia Z is, therefore, a different experience of fragrance. According to her, “the smell stays good nevertheless but the more oil you have, the best it is fixed and it moisturizes the skin, avoiding for example the dryness caused by alcohol and sometimes enabling the use of ingredients that otherwise may sting the skin a bit. In Mar de Cadiz you have some green algae inside, in Fleur de Loukoum you have resins too. All the perfumes remain good for 2 years as long as you don’t expose to sun, UV or overheat, some can remain longer, some like the citrus (for example Camino de Azahar) may become less sharp if kept beyond 2 years but again it depends also on the version (man or woman). So far I never had a perfume turn bad. Then if you leave the tube open and the alcohol evaporates together with the lighter perfume particles, you will remain only with the oils which will have a different perfume profile.”
“Perfume Made Art” is the promise of Nadia Z. Not only by creating a different style of perfumery but also by incorporating the Shona Stone Sculptures from Zimbabwe into its bottles. I have not smelled all of her creations, but I was astonished by the balmy, resinous, sweet and enveloping character of Japanese Spring and Métamorphose Lilas Night. Camino de Azahar For Men is a sensual interpretation of the Mediterranean orange blossom that opens with a very pungent clove-effect top. Fleur de Loukoum Night is a sweet narcotic floral with indolic white florals that are truly mesmerizing. Mar de Cadiz is fresher but it has a balmy heart too. Everything verges toward the oriental and they have an oily aspect that I find comfortable. These fragrances have just the right intensity and projection but they are thick for sure and you have to enjoy the warmth in a perfume and have a taste for the exotic to like them. Below I showcase three of the fragrances from the collection.
Nadia Z Perfumes for Women
The romantic, delicate and inspiring scent of blooming lilac and tuberose flowers sublimed by a hint of red fruits from the Fynbus Buchu and Australian Strawberry Gum. The tenderness of Patchouli, Beeswax, Tonka Bean and precious Namibian Omumgorwa Resin, gounded by mystical woods such as Sandalwood and Oudh and an evanescent touch of Hyraceum.
Nadia Z Perfumes for Men
A well kept secret which can be described by the scent of rain. It draws its original and ethereal nature from Namibian Omumbingu Resin, the narcotic emanations of Hyacinth sweetened by the earthy and masculine hint of pheromonal Hyraceum.
Nadia Z Unisex Perfumes
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.
The Nadia Z fragrances can be found on the brand’s Official Website. For now Nadia only does 365 bottles a year starting from 5000CHF. And there is also a discovery box for the price of 800CHF.
|Miguel Matos is a Portuguese journalist obsessed with perfume. Miguel likes to see himself as a fragrance curator, investigating perfume as contemporary art. He directs his own cultural magazine, Umbigo, and writes texts for museums and galleries. He is a vintage perfume collector and organizes regular talks called Vintage Perfume Sniffing. He also writes on beauty and grooming for Beautyalmanac.com. He is a Fragrantica writer, translator and editor of Fragrantica.com.br.|
This house to me is very extraordinary, the perfumes are world class in quality and extremely unique. I did asked her about the price tag and the high price is due to the rarity of all the ingredients involve. One perfume can contain up to 150 rare natural ingredients and indigenous oils from around the world that are expensive to harvest and process. That’s also the reason for the limited production of these perfumes. The Shona Stone art are also a breathtaking piece of art, all handmade by very amazing sculptors, being handmade all of these sculptors will have it’s similarities but also contains uniqueness for everyone who has it. For this house it’s not just buying perfumes, it’s also buying the art (both sculptures and the art of perfumery) and the culture 🙂
When I think about this house and what I’m paying for, is one, the most exotic and unique scent you’ll ever fine on the market, two, the exclusivity of these ingredients, three, the immense cultural aspect infuse in each of these bottles. The Shona stone and ingredients are not just any stones and plants, they are special in ways that it incorporate the culture of those places they were made and harvested. And It shows in the scent when you smell it, if you smelled these before you’ll know what I mean when I say it takes you places, let you experience the culture from all different corners of the world, entices you to begin an adventure in your own life. There are a lot of perfumes in my opinion that can paint a picture in your mind but very very little actually take you places, plays a cinematic adventure, and connects you to cultures you never experience before 🙂
Saying all that, I do understand that these scent are not for everyone due to it’s highly exclusive price, but as I stated before you really get the the value of the dollars you spent. These, to sum them up, are like the timeless paintings, made by Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso, or Vincent Van Gogh. Some look at them as just painting for wall decoration, but some look at them as much much more. Nadia Z are timeless art that you wear and enjoy, and they are more for the people who can appreciate them, although the scent themselves can be appreciate by absolutely everyone 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to read this guys, hope you all have a wonderful day!
– Timmy from Imagine Scent
This is one of the reasons I love scents and perfumery; its vastness. The inclusion of the most humble cheapies that give me an instant and memorable thrill to the unique creation of olfactory wonders that take time, risk, devotion, commitment and considerable time to come to fruition. I wholeheartedly applaud Nadia Zuodar’s efforts to give something unique and natural and her dedication to research on specific plants and neurobiology which specifically caught my attention as I believe this is a field that is hugely unexplored and with enormous potential not only from the point of perfumery but also Medicine. Ah, and, of course, her Camino de Azahar, Mar de Kadiz,Fleur de Loukoum night and Japanese Spring. I could just about afford a tiny sample of one if i stretched the Bank’s plastic, but that’s not the point, some people pay happily double that just to get the latest Couture. To me it is another step to a field full of potential, research and promise; and, you never know, a ‘Diffusion’ Line may not be far off (those in Fashion know what I mean…………)