The fact that Nu was a marketing flop and has since been discontinued borders on criminal in my opinion! Of course, I am not blameless. When this fragrance was released in 2001, I was a total ‘fume snob. I wore only niche fragrances. Until I realized that the same perfumers working in the niche houses are the same that work with the prestige brands, that is. Nu reminds me of my former ignorance and helps me keep my commitment to being an equal opportunity sniffer. What I like is what I like whether it comes from Bath & Body Works or Serge Lutens.
Nu is a swirl of frozen incense smoke; the sensation of pale gray silk against milky white skin. Strangely aloof yet completely sensuous, all at the same time. It opens with gorgeous cardamom underscored by bergamot and wood. Black pepper begins to lift and sharpen the spices. Sandalwood and incense eventually come in to soften the spices and pepper, bringing them closer to the body. The finale is cool incense underscored by velvety orchid petals. Wow.
To put it in simpler terms, if you like Comme de Garcons’ Avignon, but find it a little too cold and abstract, try Nu. But hurry, it’s disappearing fast and ebay prices are rising!
Also, the fragrance has excellent longevity (I get about 10 hours out of it) and good sillage.
The notes in Nu include bergamot, cardamom, elemi, white orchid, wild orchid, black pepper, sandalwood, musks, incense and olibanum, and was created by Jacques Cavallier.
****EDIT****: I should add that this review is for the EDP in the flat gray disk shaped bottle, NOT the edt in the cobalt blue botle
I found this last week at TJ Maxx for 29.99 for 3.4 oz. I had it back in 2001when it was first released. I wore it last night and compared my notes from 2001 in my fragrance journal -- pretty much feel the same....although the price was much better this time!
Nu is a glamorous, exotic, spiced amber oriental that manifests depth, complexity, and drama without undue bulk or opacity. It very clearly descends from Opium, Cinnabar, and Coco, but it is more lithe and supple than any of those predecessors. Nu delivers all the cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, and amber you’d expect, but they are offset by a contrasting accord of black pepper and smoky frankincense that slices through all that dense, sweet matter like a scalpel blade. As a result, Nu feels thoroughly modern where the unrelieved mass of Opium or Cinnabar can smell dated. In fact, it smells like a grand 1980s amber oriental viewed in the slenderizing glass of Féminité du Bois, Chaos, and Dolce Vita. The incense and pepper also recall Parfum Sacré, but Caron’s peppery incense oriental centers on a huge rose note entirely absent in Nu.
A dark oriental fragrance. Tthere are any top notes at all it’s a resinous bergamot that comes to my attention. The spices, amber, and incense are quick to follow, accompanied by a vanillia/ floral accord. For several hours the floral, spice, and resin components interweave in an olfactory pattern that seems to shift and rearrange itself from moment to moment. Eventually the floral notes subside, and then the spices, leaving base notes of benzoin, opoponax, cedar, musk, and perhaps some labdanum to carry the drydown. Sillage and projection are both substantial, even well into the drydown. Yet powerful as it seems, Nu never feels oppressively heavy.
While marketed to women during its commercial run, I know many men who wear NU-- my 90 yr. old father stole my first bottle. I really can’t imagine any man who’s comfortable in Arabie, Ambre Sultan, JHL, or Ambre Russe feeling self conscious wearing this.
Oh how I wish they had left out the black pepper, I know many like this as a note but it really doesn't work for me and I get lots of Pepper in this. The rest is just lovely and would be a gorgeous oriental for me without the pepper. Oh well.
Just received my bottle of "NU". Wow! The initial blast is a watered down "opium". It's drying down to a peppery powder. I love old fashioned as well as "quirky" fragrances right now. One of the most important reasons for me to choose a scent is that no one will recognize it. I love wearing "Old Spice" and spritzing on some Paul Smith "Rose" over it! This one fits the bill quite nicely. About 20 minutes after spritzing this is smelling like a carnation soap my mom stores in her underwear drawer. Spicey but not over powering. I wish this was a little stronger as I like a "throw" to my fragrances. I think this would be quite refreshing in the heat. I went to Barcelona about 20 years ago, and this reminds me of the "Maja" soap we smelled everywhere. Very nice!
I have worn this incensey, spicy, peppery, metallic for a decade, and I love it. My boyfriend calls it my Blood perfume. I don't even know what that means, but I always get texts every so often from exes saying that someone walked by wearing that "round perfume" that I always used to wear. I like that few people wear it. I like intense perfumes that most people don't like, and incensey ones are a weakness of mine. I notice this is getting to be harder to find. I was really happy/smug to see it listed as low as $28/oz on some sites, but I notice it has gone up a lot over the past year or so.
Nu eau de parfum is a SPICE BOMB. Another YSL masterpiece in a similar spirit as M7. I love it, but it should be categorized as a men's fragrance or at least unisex. It remindes me of a darker, more-complex, sophisticated version of L'Artisan's Safran Troublant or a male version of Estee Lauder's Sensuous (has none of the cloying vanilla). On my skin, Nu begins with a blast of pepper and then dark flowers, woods, saffron, and a little insence quickly emerge. It dries down to mostly saffron supported by other spices and dry woods. This is a fall and winter fragrance, in my opinion. It's a very dark, deep, smouldering scent, but in a kind of religious way. It intrigues me every time I wear it because it's both complex and simple, ornately historic and modern. I personally don't find it to be sexy. It reminds me of being in an art museum -- a spare, modern building that houses antiquities and relics such as intricately carved wooden boxes from Asia and Russian icons. It also calls to mind monks in an ornate church.
I rated it a 4 rather than a 5 because of the packaging -- something this strong, elegant, and spicy deserves a proper glass bottle, not a plastic lavender-metalic hockey puck. Also, even though it's a powerful composition, it stays close to the skin. I wish it had a bit more sillage.
My favourite fragrance. It is described on some of the fragrance sites as a blend of bergamot, musk , wild orchid. Bergamot, White Orchid, Jasmine, Incense and Sandalwood. Difficult to say what exactly is in it but it is definitely spicy.
Update: i checked out http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com and this has a hazard score of 8 which is really bad so i wont repurchase. I might as well find something that smells nice with a good safety rate. Shame on YSL-they should make a safe product.
I am seriously big on this perfume, especially in the summer/spring months, i first bought this when it came out and got a gift of the same product but with the shimmer in it and seriously havent looked back, its lovely and spicy but not overpowering like alot of YSL perfumes are, but do try before you buy! Perfumes are a personally thing, not a fashion thing, so do think carefully about any purchase
I thought user caravan's description of this fragrance was beautiful.
I was originally looking to repurchase "Vol de Nuit" by Guerlain in a perfume store in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Lucky for me, the shop owner actually knew what Vol de Nuit was (department store's like The Bay don't carry it anymore, bummer). But the shop owner didn't have it in stock. She immediately recommended Nu by YSL. I was intrigued by the name: I think of something very bare, raw, animalistic and sexy (in an effortless way). That's exactly what I got from my first sniff from the bottle. I didn't even sample it on my skin, but I kept the paper tester under my nose all day and walked away with a 50ml EDP.
Downside: doesn't last long on my skin. I don't know why, maybe I'm too conservative in the amount I spray? I usually do one spray on my wrists (which I gently press against each other), and one spray on my neck.
After searching for Nu for a very long time, I tried both the EDT and EDP today and I liked both scents very much, spice and woods and incense, gorgeous and balanced scents - but very fleeting! I could have picked either up for a great price today but didn't because they became nothing but a very lovely memory all too quickly. Of course this won't stop me from resampling - you know, just to be absolutely certain. You can believe that I am filled with deep regret since I am forced to declare No Sale for the lovely YSL Nu! *crestfallen*
UPDATE: I decided I just had to have some, so I got some of the EDP - it actually lasts decently enough and I really dig the vibe of it. Would repurchase if it were not a disco'd scent.
UPDATE II: I recently tried a little spritz on a hot summer evening, and it was simply fabulous! Who knew?