Niche Fragrance Magazine


Narada James - page 2

Narada James has 33 articles published.

Hi I am Narada! I discovered my love for all things fragrant after two years of living in France and running out of my sole bottle of cologne that I took with me, YSL L'Homme. Probably the greatest place on earth to run out of your signature scent. I tried to visit every perfumerie from Spain, all the way to Hungary. So, many of my reviews, stories and shorts may reference my travels. Enjoy!

Ormonde Jayne – Ormonde Man: The King of understated masculinity.

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I’m not sure how I’ve been deeply entrenched in the niche-fragrance “game” for the better part of 5 years, but I am just now becoming acquainted with this fragrance. I believe that we’ve crossed paths years ago, in the midst of a niche-sample haul. I could imagine with the amount of pepper and refined “matureness” running through the veins of Ormonde Man, I’m positive that I swapped that sample immediately or threw it in a goodie-bag for someone else to enjoy, or loathe.

Fast forward to present year, 2016, I am more seasoned to say the least. After chasing down every hyped fragrance to ever grace the channels of YouTube and forum pages of basenotes, I think it’s time to revisit, re-discover, and settle in with some lesser-mentioned, cult favorites. KEEP ON READING

Thoughts on Carolina Herrera’s; Burning Rose, Patchouli Nightfall, and Amber Desire.

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Patchouli Nightfall

A unique take on patchouli, that’s hardly ever seen today. Less the typical earthiness, dirtiness, or green facets that come to mind. Patch Nightfall is spiced up with loads of cinnamon, think Ambre Narguile, the patchouli is ever slightly green which immediately reminds me of tea leaves, or spiced, warm tea. The benzoin gives a dusty, resinous effect on paper, which turns into a warm vanilla on my skin. Patchouli Nightfall smells great, it just turns out to be a bit too “perfume-y” on my skin. KEEP ON READING

M. Micallef No. 1 for Ozzwald’s NYC

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Apparently, fragrances sell out when IFRA rears its ugly, little head into the businesses of our favorite niche houses. Luckily, I’ve acquired a fair share of Pre-IFRAban No. 1 for Ozzwald’s which is due to be reformulated.

The first thing that comes to mind, I’ve smelled this before, but where? The fruited-apple-y-vanillic opening, a ha, Aventus 2.0, perhaps? Where Aventus gives you that pineapple-apple-birch-vanilla opening (well the good batches at least), No. 1 runs the course of fruits backed by a wallop of vanilla. No. 1 is definitely very mainstream in a très-niche world. Two other fragrances immediately come to mind in the first couple of minutes, Paco Rabanne 1 Million and Xerjoff JTC Comandante, no shade, I like both, but Comandante is only a mere few seconds similar to No. 1. Obviously Paco Rabanne is of no help in me comparing the notes of the two, to find similarities other than “fruity notes”. KEEP ON READING

Lonesome Rider Review Series Pt. 4: The light and dark side of Masculinity.

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[Part 4 of a review series on the new Tauer Perfumes fragrance Lonesome Rider. Please find the other parts here: Part 1 – Sjörn | Part 2 – Neoxerxes | Part 3 – Claire | Available for purchase here]

Cow hide burnished and well-worn, it has soaked in years of oil, dirt and grime, but in due time, it will meet its maker, soap. Leave it to Andy Tauer to pin clean against dirty, dark against light; Lonesome Rider is a stray dog that has finally found his home.

I think Andy created a well-worn leather saddle, without giving us much leather at all. The play on orris and violet with a pinch of smoke evokes the oily, greased hands of a mechanic after a hard day’s work, the soiled, concrete floors of the mechanics shop, just before it’s splashed with chemicals and dissolvent to wipe away the grime. Lonesome Rider is everything that’s overlooked in society, but never completely forgotten. KEEP ON READING

A rose is a rose is a rose: 5 favorites.

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A rose, is a rose, is a rose, right? All roses are not created equal, thank God. This time of the year, Spring, St. Valentine’s Day, always put me in the mood for rose-based fragrances. There’s something sensual attached to this delicate flowery, a phenomena I can’t explain, but one of these will be my scent of the night for Valentine’s Day.

Atelier Cologne- Rose Anonyme 


Probably the most playful of the bunch. Rose, oud, patchouli, backed by a gang of fresh ginger, lime, and earthiness. Rose Anonyme starts off with a jammy rose, maybe, the truest to itself in this set. It turns a bit dirty as it transforms and herbaceous near the mid to dry down. Although, I feel as if I have to be dressed to the nines with any rose-based endeavor, Anonyme has a more playful side, it’s not as serious as the others and could probably be as casual as it is suit and tie appropriate. KEEP ON READING

Robert Piguet – Knightbridge: Elusive, but worth it.

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For anyone outside of the United Kingdom, this is as elusive as two-headed unicorn, (Shame on limited, hyper-exclusive distribution, that continually caters to the Euro, British, and Middle-Eastern markets.) AND what do we get exclusive in the United States of America, you ask? Kim Kardashian. Well, being in the Western-hemisphere, it’s probably easier getting your hands on a Kardashian than Knightsbridge.. I’m here all night folks.

I can now ride off into the Californian Sunset, on my two-headed unicorn, with a Kardashian in tow! KEEP ON READING

Roja Dove – Enigma edp (Creation-E)

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It seems as though, the tobacco/vanilla combination is just as prevalent as oud/rose. .Nah… There are a fair amount of tobacco and vanilla centered offerings on the market, but not many of them are worth the time. Enter Roja Dove Enigma (or Creation-E outside of the Eurozone) why yes, I’m still in the midst of my Roja Dove shuffle, Vetiver has since become my signature scent!

IMG_20151120_155606 (1)

Enigma is that super-wealthy uncle, that still dresses and talks like he teleported out of the Roaring Twenties.. KEEP ON READING

Roja Dove- Fetish (edp) a NSFW affair

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I recently capitalized on the infamous Roja Parfums Outlet sale, and now I happily sit here with a lifetime supply of Fetish edp. As aptly named as any fragrance I have come across, Fetish runs the artistic course from mind to canvas with little to no deviation.


For anyone who thinks Fetish is just a leather-chypre, probably thinks masterworks by Picasso are just scribbles on paper. I get heaps of castoreum and leather, which leads me into the genius of Roja’s perverted, little dungeon in his head. Is Fetish, supposed to smell like sex, like, literally, Mr. Dove? Granted, the tests run on my hands have not been consistent with my full-wearing’s, but upon applying Fetish to my usual spots; pulse points, chest, and hopefully NO WHERE ELSE, I’m engulfed with what my imagination led me to believe is the aftermath of a marathon of love making. I get the sweat, the secretions, the warmth, the sweetness and potential sour aspects of skin, it gets MUSTY, in a good way. It was never my intentions to be R-rated with this one, but hey, blame Roja. KEEP ON READING

My favorite cinnamon-laced offerings of the season

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Food & Drink
Download x768 cinnamon, sticks, crumbs, tubules HD background image

For the past four months or so, I have had a love affair with the note of cinnamon. Right around this time of the year, it’s unmistakably EVERYWHERE, but I still yearn to smell it at home, on my person, in the car, on the next person, etc. I guess I have been in preparation mode for holiday season  all along—I would not mind a stack of cinnamon sticks with string threaded through them in my stocking.*winks* No need for that, when I have fragrances to fill the void, so here are my favorite cinnamon heavy offerings, which I am somehow, completely enamored with this festive time of the year. KEEP ON READING

Woodcut by Ellen Covey of Olympic Orchids

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I may be short on words for this review, because I really want to just say—just go, leave wherever you may be, and purchase a sample of Woodcut, or a bottle if you are one of those blind-buying types. Whatever you do, find a way to sniff this immediately.

Woodcut is by a very long shot, the most natural woody fragrance I have come across. To be such a simple composition, it comes off extremely full bodied. I mean, I have smelled fragrances with a grocery list of notes and known of them come off as natural or “complete” as Woodcut. I love challenges and Woodcut is the Master of Tricks, at first sniff, I was floored—it felt as if I just walked into shop class back in High school. Where 20 or so students, would be chopping, burning all types of woods, namely-cedar. Take that aroma of dusty cedar wood and oak, right before it settles and sprinkle some cocoa powder in the air, that’s the opening to Woodcut. KEEP ON READING

Pick 5 — edition Xerjoff

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Here’s five reasons to check out Xerjoff’s offerings.



Uden would easily be a contender for my signature scent if I wasn’t so stubborn to elect one. Uden has this sparkly, coziness to it, its sparkling citruses and rum to start, with warm notes of; sandalwood, guaiac wood in the heart. There’s this underlying vanilla note throughout and a whipped, creaminess that keeps the whole blend from running off into sharp as a dagger territory. Outside of humid days (where no warm edp should go) Uden is a four-season’s, year-round kinda guy. KEEP ON READING

Naomi Goodsir- Cuir Velours

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Should I call myself a Julien Rasquinet fan or a Naomi Goodsir disciple? Whichever it may be, likely both, we can all agree that they make quite the pair! It’s unfortunate that Or du Serail turns my nose in the wrong way, or else Goodsir’s complete range would find itself nestled, snuggly into my fragrance cabinet. Or du Serail being one of the few Duchaufour creations that I couldn’t do my happy-olfactive-discovery-dance to. Nevertheless, I was smitten by Cuir Velours on first whiff and here’s why. KEEP ON READING

Pick 5– edition Amouage.

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Who has never heard of Amouage at this point? Amouage is a clear winner in modern perfumery and the production of niche scents. Amouage’s creations earmark opulence and decadence and place a thoughtful creative process, that can feel rushed while exploring other notable houses. Having “Amouage quality” is synonymous to modern creations being; opulent, of high value and quality. With that said, Amouage for some people, can be the gateway into niche perfume or their departure. To my fondness, Amouage has hardly failed in delivery of brash, complex and challenging scents, but I did not always reside with that sentiment. So, here are my “Pick 5’s” for those that are new to this or the many that departed and care to revisit. These deserve a bit of your time! KEEP ON READING

Byredo Bal d’Afrique- A comforting love affair in Paris

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Bal d’afrique changed it all for me. I remember like it was yesterday, I was strolling through the streets of Paris and to my delight, there is some kind of fragrant store on every street corner. I think I started on Boulevard Haussman, spending a whole morning and part of an afternoon in Galleries Lafayette and Le Printemps (mind blowing experience) . Wandering, on a fragrant journey with no expectations or final destination, my nose had finally made it to the Mecca of perfume. I sniffed every Guerlain, Kurdjian, Nasomatto, Chanel Exclusif and everything else within arm’s reach. Unbeknownst to me, Colette would be my final destination. Grace to their crappy customer service, I had ample, uninterrupted time to give the more than hyped houses of Le Labo and Comme des Garcons a shot. Nothing. They all fell flat, maybe, it was my worn down nose, my beat energy or my running-thin patience. Then, a glimmer of hope, a slither of heaven and ray of sunlight beckoned me and it came in the form of Byredo’s Bal d’Afrique. KEEP ON READING

Short olfactive-attention span? Give these a sniff!

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Small disclaimer, I have a very minute, undocumented case of ADHD. It rears its little head in the most obscure facets of my life, like, my sense of smell. I love fragrances, obviously, but what I do not love, are fragrances that tend to be linear. No matter how beautiful. No matter how masterfully executed. If any fragrance smells the same at hour two and hour five, ten or even thirty-six on my skin, :cough: Bois d”Argent :/cough: then I might as well wear lotion pour le corps from aisle 13. KEEP ON READING

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