The new perfume brand Ex Nihilo definitely likes exploring the field of powerhouse florals. In the first set of releases three of them explored some of the more common florals; Rose Hubris and Jasmine Fauve along with Fleur Narcotique. The naming of the last one might give you to think founders and creative directors Benoit Verdier, Olivier Royere, and Sylvie Loday see florals as something which are happily habit-forming. With one of their two newest releases, Sweet Morphine, this belief has further confirmation.
One of the other interesting aspects of Ex Nihilo is that they are choosing different perfumers to achieve the floral effect they desire. For Sweet Morphine they asked perfumer Nathalie Gracia-Cetto to create a fragrance with iris as that nucleus to build around. Mme Gracia-Cetto uses orris butter as the keynote. Surrounding the fantastic raw material are variations on green.
Mme Gracia-Cetto chooses lily as the top note. This version of lily has much of the greener qualities pushed forward. It keeps the lily from being cloying. Then the orris arrives. This is a richer iris effect with much of the lighter powderiness overridden by the concentration and the lily. This is the iris source I like best because it eschews the powder for the rooty earthiness of the rhizome. To keep that beat going patchouli supports it. Vetiver bookends the green from the lily in the top but this time in a sharper way. Any tiny trace of delicacy gets pushed aside by the vetiver. The final note is vanilla to provide the promised sweet in the name. Its presence is a nice way to change things up over the last phase of the development.
Sweet Morphine has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
In a perfume market where lighter and fresher seems to be the prevailing trend it is nice to see a brand going in a different direction. Sweet Morphine makes it a fourth addition to the cabinet of addicting florals being produced by Ex Nihilo.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Ex Nihilo.