November 23, 2010
Caribbean capital of great beauty, history, and art; home to fine cigars and fine rum…
Visions of Hemingway, ex-patriates in casinos.
Entrepreneur Christian Bousidan was inspired by her, and created two new men’s eau de parfums to add to his existing NeJma line [which he founded with Marie Lise Bischoff].
Nejma means star– which explains the presence of the iconic emblem on all their products.
It is also a term of endearment by which Marie Lise’s grandmother called her, during her childhood in Nice.
Puro sings of cigars, cigars, and more cigars.
Top notes are delicious, but ever-so-quick to dissipate, alas.
The pure Cuban rum and Mexican lime wink at you, with such a delightful but brief whiff of crushed mint.
Ay, que placer!
Now, I have no bloody clue regarding cactus sap- but I’ve been told that it’s sweet 😉
Somehow, it commingles with cinnamon bark in the heart notes, but unlike other fragrances with a distinctly prominent heart, they manage to elude me somehow.
Not the base, though.
Cuban cigar leaves are all that’s listed- but I feel that an extremely expensive aromachemical- i.e., IFF’s Tobacarol- is in there, with its touch of Ambrox-like woody / ambery / non-syrupy complexity, along with an oudhy feeling.
The drydown of this scent is a very finished, long lasting tobacco scent with powerful sillage.
If one favors Laurie Erickson’s Tabac Aurea from Sonoma Scent Studios, there is an excellent chance that this, too, will be a favorite.
Puro Intense is my favorite of the two; I find it more interesting and rounder.
[It’s not any more intense, as the name implies.]
The top sports rum and lime, paired with bigarade this time around.
Lovely, lovely! A fleeting delight…
The heart is clearly defined as well, with the cinnamon gamboling about in the company of Arabica coffee and cocoa bean; it’s not sweet, but aromatic and a distinct pleasure.
The base boasts those Cuban cigar leaves once more- with burnt caramel and mahogany.
Again- these effects could be produced by Tobacarol, perhaps maltol, and a helichrysum-like note [immortelle].
Whatever the materials, the effect is simply a more balanced woodiness that is very satisfying.
I don’t see why these are ‘for men only ‘.
Anyone who enjoys a fine cigar with good coffee, a well-aged rum-
Will enjoy these new offerings.
NeJma logo: fragrantica.com
Buena Vista Social Club: tripadvisor.com
Cuban street in Old Havana: tripatlas.com
Cuban tobacco store: travelpod.com
Cuban cigars: flickr.com
Cuban rum and Hemingway’s signature: wayn.com
Cuban coffee and pickers: bedincuba.com
Saratoga Hotel: havanajournal.com
–Ida Meister, Senior Editor