Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Review: Nobile 1942 - Infinito, Sun Warmed Wood For Late Night Dancing

In recent months I’ve been drenching myself in citrus scents, revelling in the joy that is a great big spritz over lethargic hot skin. In fact, the delight of the citrus cologne is one of my favourite aspects of summer, so much so that I will heave my enormous bottle of Guerlain’s Eau Imperiale around in my work bag all day, just for the simple pleasure of admiring the bee festooned vessel as I reach for my next immersion.

By evening however, I’m hankering after a richer scent, seeking out a heady and stinking white floral or a syrupy oriental to add a sense of occasion to the decadent atmosphere of summer in the city. You cannot retire drunkenly late to your bed on a Tuesday night wearing lemons, it’s just not rock n roll.

Nobile 1942’s smoky spiced wood – Infinito, is most definitely rock n roll. It’s the elder, sexier (and much more dangerous) brother of Acqua di Parma’s Cipresso di Toscana. Whilst AdP’s Cypress refreshes and revives with notes of aromatic woods and herbs so clean that the scent feels like a vitamin shot, Infinito presents a night time cypress, dancing in the woods with boozed up blood and a sense of hedonism.

My first thought upon discovering Infinito was that it smelt similar to a fine single malt whisky, perhaps an ‘eau de Jura’, so steeped in dense peat and smoke that it could be sold as the official scent of the Scottish tourism board. It contains vetiver, a lot of it, which often reads as smoky grass. Nobile 1942 are known for their use of predominantly natural materials, which is clearly evident in their offerings.  Lovers of Chanel’s Sycomore would be mightily excited by the authentically intense vetiver in Infinito.

It is also cloaked in a great swathe of greenery. With oakmoss, cypress and cedar, there is a distinct forest vibe to be imagined. Whereas this can be a (beautifully) chilly combination, in Infinito there is a great warmth alike a forest being warmed under the sun. Ginger provides this heat, with an almost sweet quality, most unusual in a vanilla free whiff. In the many paintings of Van Gogh that feature the cypress tree, we see this coniferous icon baking under a harsh Provence sun. It’s a wonderful visual representation of the smell of Infinito, especially due to the burnt ochre and deep emerald green palette that seams so harmonious to scent that surrounds me as I write.

Van Gogh - landscape with Cypress trees

In the heart of the hills of North Yorkshire, a brilliantly debauched summer music festival takes place called Beatherder. Some years ago I danced here all night, weaving in and out of the trees in a haze of deep dark waves of bass heavy beats. Across the fields rode wisps of campfire carried on the breeze. Infinito reminds me of that forest, not just in the associated scent memory but also in it’s spirit. It’s grandly natural smell would merge beautifully with the genuine whiff of humans, never smelt more clearly than at a festival where showers and cleanliness are replaced by dancing, hedonism and a sense of tribal unity. Humans are no longer the sanitised polite folk of daily life here, we regress into beasts enthused by the emotion of a truly euphoric sound. I’m not suggesting that I’d like us to return to the stinking bodies of long ago, but if Infinito were layered over the natural secretions of the camping and dancing body, it would smell damn fine.

Dancing in the forest at Beatherder

If you enjoyed this article you might like to read about Nobile 1942’s citrus themed Vespri series by clicking here.
Forest lovers can take a peak at related posts about Serge Lutens - Fille En Aiguilles and The Vagabond Prince – Enchanted Forest by clicking here. Those who like their forests filled with witches can get spooked out with Ormonde Jayne – Ormonde Woman, here.


  1. Oooh, I love the sound of this.
    I haven't tried everything from 1942 Nobile, but those that I did, I thought were rather good (wished I had more than just a sample).

    1. Hi Ines,
      It really is quite something for wood lovers. I've smelt so many boring scents in this genre recently, it was a great treat to find something this quirky and WITHOUT OUD!
      Have you tried any of the feminine line? I'd love to take a whiff at some of these.

  2. LOL at this: "You cannot retire drunkenly late to your bed on a Tuesday night wearing lemons, it’s just not rock n roll." I completely agree and I do that thing of switching to a decadent white floral on warm evenings.

    Not sure Infinito would be my thing (a bit herby/woody), but I really enjoyed your forest rave analogy!

    1. Thanks Vanessa.
      The summer holidays started today, 6 weeks off. I'm tempted to have gin breakfasts wearing only leathery orientals, rock n roll!

  3. I did. :)
    Here is one:

    I also tried Ambra Nobile which is rather good.