Two words: holy grail. Nirmala found me not long ago after a decades-long search. I cannot understand why I had never heard of her, it almost seems like a conspiracy. Now, it's as though we were made to be together and I have purchased 4 bottles. Nirmala is the fresher cousin of a very famous copycat that will not be named here. Why should I? Nirmala was here first, by a long shot. She is my perfect companion in all seasons and makes me feel divine. And her price is perfect. A must try for all you fragrance hounds.
I've tried this in two formulations--the high-priced 1849 Collection EDP with bulb atomizer and the lower-priced Les Feminines EDT, but the one that comes in a blue 4 oz. bottle. (That's a different formulation than the discontinued Les Feminines which comes in a 3.4 oz. bottle). I have no idea what Nirmala smells like in the new clear or pinkish bottle. Yes, there is cumin in my Nirmala bottle, and I usually hate cumin. But I don't hate the cumin here. Older Nirmala has a very fine, not funky cumin. Just as Molinard created the best ever tobacco and leather in Habanita, Nirmala is one of the best oriental gourmands ever. Yes, my Nirmala bottle reminds me a bit of Angel...but with the addition of a spicy Indian custard-like desert.
I was first introduced to this by my aunt a few years ago, who had sent the solid version to me from the Molinard in Grasse. I loved it and wore it everyday, even if I was just staying home. It was the first 'real' perfume I ever owned that didn't give me a headache or trigger an allergic reaction, and it was difficult to find it anywhere for an affordable price for years. At one point I saw it in a store in the city, but I wasn't about to spend $200 on a bottle of perfume no matter how much I liked it.
I recently found the EDT online, and in spite of some of the bad reviews it received I decided to take a chance and buy it. Nirmala had been my signature scent and I missed wearing it every day.
At first I was extremely disappointed, it was incredibly strong and right after putting it on I wanted to wash it off. The top note(s) are strange, I think one of them mixed with the alcohol in the EDT makes it smell vaguely like sweat. This goes away after about 20 minutes, and all that's left behind is the Nirmala I knew years ago. Once it mellows out that wonderful, slightly sweet, not-too-strong vanilla base comes through without even a hint of the initial weird sweaty smell left behind. For that reason I put this on at least an hour before leaving the house, otherwise it's way too strong. The solid didn't have this problem, so I'm guessing this is because of the reformulation, or it could be from the alcohol that's present in the EDT.
I'll keep buying this and wearing it forever, because I now know those wonderful base scents will come through. If you decide to buy it, make sure you give it a chance and wear it for at least half an hour. It'll transform into something beautiful and incredibly unique.
I am the pickiest person ever when it comes to perfumes, and had never found one that I really loved until I picked up a sample of Nirmala in 2008. I loved it. Sweet but not cloying, clean but complex...subtle but enthusiastic fruity top notes, a lovely gourmand body, and an enigmatic, sensuous woody base. It made me feel like "me" at my prettiest, strongest, most confident self. We're talking holy grail perfume! I was actually ashamed at how much I spent on the bottle--$200--but it was worth it. It came in a lovely purple bottle with an old-fashioned atomizer.
Then I ordered another bottle (from Molinard directly) earlier this year. I was disappointed at first because I noticed it came in a different bottle; it looked ugly and plastic to me. But the real let-down was when I realized that the scent was completely different. It smelled low-quality and super synthetic...like cheap, artificial toilet bowl cleaner you'd find in a musty French hostel bathroom. I am SO SAD! Beware the new formula! :(
(My old purple bottle is empty, but I've kept it because I can still catch a whiff of the old stuff. Aw.)
I inherited an edt bottle of this- a friend wore it, and it was a gift to her from another friend. It is the old formulation, and I went to find an old tester bottle on ebay I like it so much. At first it's sweet and strong, but I love the sandalwood that lingers. It smells clean to me.
Smells EXACTLY like "Angel" by Mugler. Unfortunantly I one of those who just can't stand neither one. But why not go for this original one created in 1955 instead? every Angel-lover should absolutley compare these 2 perfumes. ;)
I bought all of my Molinard perfumes in Grasse at the Molinard perfumery....that was about 5 years ago. I USED to wear Angel and all kinds of dept store perfumes before I went to Grasse. Now, I don't wear anything that can be purchased at my local dept store. I try to stick to REAL perfumes and especially those made the way I learned touring the Grasse region. I've come to really appreciate the art of perfumery and wearing perfume now is such a delight. Now, regarding Nirmala...it is one of my favs. I like to use it lightly as it can be in your face and I hate when people spray too much! My husband loves it too!
At first it smells exactly like the blackberry chewing-gum (hubba-bubba or something like that).
Sweet, a little plastic, "burnt plastic". After 20 minutes becomes "sweaty" (!) - and it is not a feminine sweat (not even under arm...) it's the cumin note, which I personally detest.
I TOTALLY agree with SpinDiva's review below; I am a former deadhead / hippie who is all grown up now, but certain smells still bring back those happy, peaceful feelings from my past. This is one of them because to me it smells exactly like this grapefruity incense I used to burn in my bedroom called "Peace of Mind". I found this and sampled it yesterday at Aedes in the West Village, where it was in a beautiful purple crystal bottle with a long atomizer. That one retails for about $200. Then I found the same product this morning from scentiments.com for $19.99--3.4 oz edt--just sans the fancy bottle. Now THAT's a savings! I just hope the one from scentiments is the real thing... (p.s. I rated ths price "3" and packaging quality "3" because it depends--if you buy this at Aedes.com then these are both 5's! If you buy at scentiments then it's a 1!)
In a word..B.O. To me this was like spraying Angel onto a rancid, dirty armpit. And it has amazing lasting powers, can't scrub it off.