When I heard Scentrique was carrying Vilhelm Parfumerie, I ran to the store excited to test their best sellers: Dear Polly, Morning Chess and Poets of Berlin. I had no idea I was about to fall in love with their most underrated perfume -Darling Nikki.
In an industry of endless releases, it is hard to find something that strikes as unique and intriguing. Like it or not, it is impossible to be indifferent to Darling Nikki – it smells like nothing else.
Darling Nikki opens on my skin with a blast of black pepper, a fresh burst of sparkling tangerine, a tart fruit note and saffron that at first smells like fresh paint, but quickly settles down turning into a subtle leather edge. The perfume pyramid shows cassis as the fruity note, but to be honest, I wouldn’t be able to distinguish the type of fruit if I hadn’t read the notes listed. It is for sure a berry, very tart and fun but also abstract.
The floral note soon joins the game and brings a vintage, soapy aspect to the fragrance that prevents it from being juvenile. The floral note listed is lotus, but again, I don’t get any aquatic aspect that usually is associated with this note. If I didn't know better, I would say rose or jasmine are the florals I perceive.
The fragrance lasts more than 8 hours on my skin and it has moderate projection. The black pepper is present in the entire lifespan of the fragrance, and this is the aspect that I admire the most. I love black pepper in perfumes but usually this note is very fleeting even for black pepper staple fragrances (Le Labo Poivre 23, I am talking to you!).
Darling Nikki filled up my cravings for a great black pepper perfume. Along with the black pepper, the tart, fruity and fun note never goes away. From the mid to the dry down of the fragrance, also a slightly smoky aspect and leather nuance is present, reminding me of the leftover cigarette smell on a leather jacket from a party night the day before. It has some sweetness lurking around the entire time and the notes say tonka beans but to me it comes off as amber. The unmistakable “shampoo-ish” musk, present in the whole Vilhelm line, is strongly present in Darling Nikki too and it is probably responsible for the soapy and clean facets of the perfume.
Overall, Darling Nikki is spicy, floral, fruity and ambery with a soft smoke and leather aspect. It recalls the 80’s and underground parties that the brand wanted to convey but it also has a strong connection with modernity, due to the fruity notes and clean musks.
Darling Nikki smells to me like underground bars, drinks, cigarettes, leather jackets over romantic dresses and a bad-ass attitude! The contrast of vintage aspects meeting the playful aspect makes this fragrance interesting and unforgettable, being more suitable for fall and winter in my opinion.
(photo source: Pinterest)
Notes Listed: Sicilian tangerine, cassis, black pepper, carrot seeds, saffron, black lotus, leather, wood smoke, tonka bean.
Give it a try if you like under the radar scents and to smell rather quirky but uncomplicated.
Written by Luciana Savaris
About Luciana Savaris
A designer with a curious nose! I was always obsessed about all things scented and my compulsive sniffing led me to become a perfume enthusiast. Perfume has been my hobby since a young age. I don’t have any professional training in perfumery, therefore, my insights on scents are from my perspective as a consumer, the way it makes me feel and the visuals it brings to my mind and less about notes and technicalities.