Nefs is one of the two crown jewels of the house of Nishane, launched back in 2019! The name “Nefs” means “desire” in Turkish. What an accurate name for a desirable scent. This scent is one of the most complicated that I’ve ever come across. There’s so much said about Nefs but no one can truly capture the essence of it and translate it into words. I’m one of them and try my best to do it here. It’s not overly challenging but hard to describe. Like our mind, our desires, you know it is there but can’t quite put your fingers on it. Sometimes you cannot even tell what your own deepest desires are. So the question here is, “what do you truly desire?”
Nefs is definitely one of those fragrances that confuse you during your very first sniff. The whole composition of this is unusual in the sense of how it comes off. Forget the note pyramid that is presented on the official site because it’s like the olfactory pyramid has turned upside down.
The composition feels a bit all over the place initially but when you’re patient enough and spend some time with it, it tells you a life story that only a select few are able to understand. It’s a tale of desire that possesses the one who smells it. It’s about the lust that people would rather keep in their bedroom than face in the daylight, the essence of a lusty night.
The “olfactory desire” starts off bold and dry; Warm spicy Saffron, milky Fig and sensuous Cinnamon bars are soaked in a slight throat-burning Whiskey. Then comes the earthy green woodiness from Oud and Cypriol which is dark, sticky, resinous and almost leathery. It never comes off as animalic in any way but is still quite hard to bear at first. As you might infer, all of those notes come a bit later in the heart or base.
After the big blast in the opening, a delicate bouquet of flowers blooms up all of a sudden, one of them being a peachy-fruity Osmanthus. Like wait, hold up, is this a different scent now?! It turned into a majestic and jammy Rose soaked in gluey Honey with Oud in a traditional Middle Eastern scent profile.
There is only just a slight moment of delicateness before the monstrous opening returns once again. But this time, not so harsh. It’s sort of being pulled back and forward between the opening and heart but in a less dramatic fashion. This time, with a trail of Rose-Woods DNA as a backbone.
This scent doesn’t follow a regular note pyramid. It’s like the notes have gone upside down, switching back and forward – constantly evolving. It’s like we’re having a Super Bowl halftime show here right after a thrilling and intense game! Though, during the halftime show, 50 cent is literally upside down. By which I mean the fragrance is very complex and all of the notes I can pick up don’t fade away, they stay there taking turns to be noticed. What a theatrical show but a very entertaining one! There are ups and down, left and right just like our emotions when we are in lust.
Sometimes it’s rough and sometimes it’s softer while the rest sits in between. This is absolutely the most experimental fragrance in their collection.
Let me set up a metaphorical scene to help you to approach the scent from another point of view, just for a moment. When the sun has set, it evokes the intense feeling lurking from the darkness which comes with the darkening hours. The muted feelings and desires are like a chained lion that is waiting for its release or to break free. During the day, the wicked desires and modesty dance with one another, all eyes lay upon each other forming an intolerable pressure between the hips.
The word “desire” usually is associated with “lust” and “sin” which is often associated with the Devil, Lucifer. I see nothing sinful to desire. The desire doesn’t have anything to do with kinky stuff. This scent evokes emotions that are hard to describe. However, In brief: I feel… Loved. Cared for. Desired.
Nefs is no longer news to the fragrance community as it’s received all of its deserving hype and attention! I got to know it when it was launched and no one spoke about it, which might partially be because of its outrageous price tag. I mean, 50ml retails for $560 USD, of course with a luxury presentation; Nude coloured coffret and bottle wrapped up with a golden metal “cage”. Though I think it’s not the presentation that we are paying for, it’s the liquid inside which is PURE GOLD!