New Perfume Review Nishane Istanbul Afrika Olifant- The Elephant in the Room

As I’ve explained previously when I get these huge collections from a new brand it has a tendency to just wear me out. One drawback it has is I put off trying all of them because there are just too many. For the new brand Nishane Istanbul I received a set of ten samples from Twisted Lily. As I’ve hit one of the doldrums on the perfume calendar it was time to give them a try. Of the ten I was sent there are two which really stood out and I will review both of them over the next couple of weeks.

mert and murat

Mert Guzel and Murat Katran

Nishane was founded in September 2012 by Mert Guzel and Murat Katran. Working with perfumer Jorge Lee they have created a collection of sixteen perfumes in less than three years. Many of the fragrances show glimmers of inspiration but they never came together completely for me. The one which stood out as the most unique in the ten I tried was Afrika-Olifant.

It caught my attention because it is almost entirely made up of notes which are usually found as basenotes. As a result it has a flattened development because everything tends to show up quickly. That kind of congestion actually works in Afrika-Olifant’s favor as it made me feel like I was constantly turning in a circle looking for different parts of the perfume.

Jorge Lee

Jorge Lee

The first notes I detected were a mix of incense and amber. The incense has that silvery edge fine incense provides to perfumes. M. Lee then uses myrrh to attenuate that sharpness while retaining the resinous quality. The next set of notes are a trio of animalic ingredients; civet, castoreum, and leather. These are superimposed on top of the resinous top accord. This now makes for an exotic animalic accord as the resins swirl throughout the very feral notes in the heart. Just as you might be getting your bearings a cocktail of four synthetic musks provide a scintillating counterpoint to the naturally animalic. This is where I fell for Afrika-Olifant. The blend of the synthetic musks have a futuristic aspect to them that seems to turn the animalic heart accord into something cyborg-like. As I mentioned none of the notes I have mentioned really recede at all and many hours of wearing Afrika-Olifant is spent with everything on display.

Afrika-Olifant has overnight longevity and average sillage.

The juxtaposition of the real animalic with the synthetic is what makes Afrika-Olifant stand out within the Nishane Istanbul line. It is the only one of the ten I tried to truly take a risk and it has paid off with one of my favorites of the line. Sometimes you just have to confront the elephant in the room which tells you to play it safe. Then you have the freedom to create a perfume like Afrika-Olifant.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Twisted Lily.

Mark Behnke

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