|The Beauty of the Night, rukuku|
The Song of India Night Queen (NQ) being reviewed here is the current iteration. This is important to note because ten years ago, this fragrance was retooled and it was not a minor tweak; the current version bears no resemblance to the original. Anyone familiar with this scent, who has not tried this scent since then, would be well advised to retry it.
The reasons behind such a radical change are understandable though. NQ1 was a challenging scent. A sour and bitter fruit/flower scent with a strong, smoky undercurrent, not easy to wear and very Middle Eastern in nature. The Moth Woman grew to love it though. Being a loyal insect, she was extremely saddened when, a few years back, she purchased a replacement bottle, only to find it smelled nothing like her beloved original. Disheartened, she put it aside without wearing it once. Only when she was planning to review Song of India oils, did she reconsider NQ2.
Approaching this scent takes an act of daring. From the bottle, NQ2 blasts you will a dreadful toilet cleanser stench. Based on this, you will go in expecting gold spandex, hooker heels and "hello sailor!" from a scarlet smeared mouth. What you get though is a Laura Ashley blouse, doe eyes, freshly scrubbed skin and blushing. On skin though, it completely mutates and becomes this lingering, subtle powdery delight with the heliotrope/marzipan elements not unlike Guerlain’s L'Heure Bleue, halfway through its development.
Furthermore, it NQ2's defence, it does seem the fragrance was intended to be a replication of the scent of NightScented Jessamine (Cestrum Nocturnum). The Moth Woman loves this plant. Her garden is full of it. It is not, however, the subtlest of blooms. A few days before she wrote this review, the Moth Woman was standing at her bathroom vanity, contemplating the stench of NQ2 in its bottle, thinking to herself that Cestrum Nocturnum resolutely does not smell like toilet cleaner. In the window comes a gust of fragrance from the bush of the aforementioned; it smelt EXACTLY like toilet cleaner…
This is a very long lasting scent. I applied it at noon and could still smell the delicious honey/heliotrope fragrance well after 2am. It opens with bitter almonds and hints of incense but without the smoke elements. This is followed by a super realistic night scented jessamine. These notes are short lived. Within the first hour, honey and strawberry notes take over. The strawberry is faint but gifts the mixture much needed sharpness that stops it lurching into an unbearably saccharine mess. There is also a hint of something approximating Mysore sandalwood, just a hint though. Around four hours till the end over fourteen hours away, all the other notes vanish and it becomes an enticing mix of everlasting daisy, warm powdered honey with a touch of non-specific nuts.
I am not sure how to classify this perfume because it backflips after the opening. Although the elements suggest gourmand, NQ2 never really smells like food. It smells like something far more expensive than it is and I will say, this one you love for the dry down.
Keynotes: bitter almonds, night scented jessamine, smokeless incense, everlasting daisy, honey, strawberry
- Cheap fun for loves of L’Heure Bleue
- Incredibly long lasting
- Very feminine (after the first moments)
- Unusual and unexpected development
- THE OPENING
- Nothing like the original
Available on eBay and here.