New Perfume Review Nomad Two Worlds Raw Spirit Summer Rain- Canoeing on the River of Grass

Growing up in South Florida some of my favorite moments were in my canoe paddling through the Everglades. When you are on the water the sobriquet of the “river of Grass” is never more apparent as there are long moments where you are paddling through a green field of sawgrass waving above your head. It was easy to lose your direction when surrounded by the fronds taller than my head in the boat. There was a specific combination of water and green; which was the smell of those canoe trips.

Joyce Lanigan the creative director behind Nomad Two Worlds handed me a sample of the latest release Raw Spirit Summer Rain and I was struck by that mix of water and green I was so familiar with from the back of my canoe. When she told me perfumer Harry Fremont was attempting to make a fragrance which captures summer in the Everglades it carried me right back there, via scent, from New York City.

Harry Fremont

Harry Fremont

Summer Rain is a consistent meditation on green floating on top of water. M. Fremont slowly turns up the intensity of his green components as Summer Rain develops. He adds in other indigenous qualities of the South Florida milieu like citrus and orange blossom but in the end this is a watery green perfume.

Summer Rain opens on a citrus burst of grapefruit, bergamot, mandarin, and lime. That covers most of the citrus notes. M. Fremont then lays down the first layer of green as he uses basil and lime leaves to form a fairly transparent green accord. In a nod to the Florida Water sold in the area orange blossom and jasmine open the heart. Very quickly galbanum now adds a sterner green quality. A tiny bit of mint is used to tune the strident green of galbanum into something more fresh. M. Fremont get this balance right as the mint never becomes intrusive. The base is vetiver and moss over cedar. As I would paddle under trees covered in tendrils of Spanish Moss the smell of green alive on the air is what the base of Summer Rain smells like to me.

Summer Rain has 6-8 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

Perfume has the ability to unlock memories like a fragrant time machine. Summer Rain is a spot on olfactory evocation of the smells I associate with canoeing in the Everglades. On the days I wore this it was hard to believe I was hundreds of miles away from where my mind was. The Nomad Two World Raw Spirit collection has been very adept at creating this sense of place by using indigenous raw materials. Summer Rain is a day on the water surrounded by the green stalks with the sun shining overhead.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Nomad Two Worlds.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Reviews Nomad Two Worlds Raw Spirit Citadelle, Bijou Vert, Wild Fire, Desert Blush- Good Intentions Gone Excellent


One of my favorite quotes by Chandler Burr is, “Every bottle of perfume contains a world.” This refers to the far flung places in the world many of the raw materials are harvested in to make the ingredients within our favorite fragrances. One of the things I have been most pleased to see is the continuing recognition by the people who make perfume that they are reliant on the communities within the developing world which collaborate with them. One of those companies is a brand called Nomad Two Worlds. Russell James, the founder and world-renowned photographer, had a vision of a company that could work together with indigenous and marginalized communities throughout the world.


Russell James

The first Raw Spirit fragrance, Fire Tree, introduced the oil produced by the indigenous tree of the Australian Outback. I was a big fan and it felt like good intentions done right. This past October Mr. James announced a collaboration between the Clinton Global Initiative, and Firmenich. They have agreed to create ten new “Raw Spirit” perfumes following the ideals Mr. James has outlined. Besides support Firmenich has also supplied one of their most accomplished perfumers, Harry Fremont, to compose these new perfumes.

Harry Fremont

Harry Fremont

The first four of the ten have been released and two feature notes from Mr. James’ Australia and the other two are differing takes on Haitian Vetiver. What strikes me, again, about this project is everyone participating is doing this for all of the right reasons and then on top of that they are producing very good fragrances.

The two different versions based on the Haitian Vetiver are Citadelle and Bijou Vert. One is a sort of traditional vetiver construct and the other is something quite beautifully different.

Citadelle is the different one as M. Fremont takes the strength of the Haitian Vetiver and adds in some wonderfully contrasting notes. It starts with a crisp pear whose sweetness stands in opposition to the green facets of the vetiver. Lemon adds some tartness and marigold adds a bit of green floral quality to now amplify the green. It all settles down to a cedar and musk base which picks up the woody underpinning of the vetiver.


Bijou Vert is a more straightforward vetiver fragrance. M. Fremont takes grapefruit and mandarin to give a traditional citrus opening. As the vetiver becomes more focused he brackets it with black pepper and geranium along with lotus flower. The lotus adds a bit of watery subtlety to the heart of Bijou Vert. The base is benzoin, patchouli, and cedar once again giving the woodiness of this Haitian Vetiver a place to shine in the final moments.

For the remaining two fragrances Wild Fire and Desert Blush we return to Australia and M. Fremont is asked to use wild harvested Australian sandalwood for Wild Fire and the indigenous flower Boronia is the star of Desert Blush. Although I could say both of these are explorations of Australian sandalwood as it plays a prominent part in Desert Blush.

As Mysore sandalwood became proscribed the world turned to the Australian version. Wild Fire is a “soliflore” of this source of the very familiar note. M. Fremont sets the desiccated quality of the sandalwood as the hub of Wild Fire. He then adds in spokes of ylang ylang, jasmine, amber, cedar, and musk. Each of these come together to produce a spinning wheel of a fragrance. It carries warmth like a day in the Outback and it is equally as fascinating.

desert blush

I had the opportunity to smell Desert Blush early on in its development and even in that raw version I knew I was going to adore this perfume. Boronia has been used sparingly in perfumery although one of its first uses in Edmond Roudnitska’s Diorissimo, as part of the central muguet accord, showed its versatility. In Desert Blush the boronia gets the chance to be a star and it makes sure to make its turn in the spotlight memorable. Boronia has what I would call a strong herbal tea character infused with floralcy and honey. It is that which I first encounter when wearing Desert Blush. As it warms on my skin there is a spicy component of the boronia which becomes more prevalent and this is where the Australian sandalwood comes in as it picks this up and creates an energetic synergy of these two Down Under ingredients. Osmanthus and ylang ylang support the floral character of the boronia and cedar and musk support the sandalwood.

All of the Raw Spirit fragrances are perfume oils and as such have 8-10 hour longevity but almost no sillage.

All four of these fragrances are very good and Desert Blush is my favorite for the singularity of the boronia but I have been happily wearing all of them. Good intentions are always to be applauded but when they produce excellent fragrances like these four Raw Spirit perfumes it deserves a standing ovation.

Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by Nomad Two Worlds.

Mark Behnke