Of all the products I’ll ever feature on Fragraphilia, I’m fairly certain that TokyoMilk soaps by Margot Elena will be the one that I’ve probably used the longest. I’ve been buying them so long that I can’t even remember exactly how I first stumbled upon them. My mostly hazy best guess is some time around 2003-2004 at Anthropologie while shopping with a friend. Back then, Anthro was my best source for luxury soaps as they were one of the few options in my area that carried a wide variety but also rotated new ones in regularly. It was where I first found Claus Porto, Mistal, Barr-Co, and so many others. The best part of all was how they’d discount them significantly a few times a year. I would go in during each sale season and buy up handfuls at no more than $4 each, most of the time a little less. Those were the days! In more recent years, they’ve started carrying fewer lines, but you can still find a few new discoveries here and there.
There was a time in the late 2000s when I was able to look beyond the perfumes and colognes you would typically find on the shelves at department stores and beauty shops located in the mall. Luxury and niche fragrances became more available in Dallas when Barney’s opened one of their largest stores here in 2006 (RIP). The store was two stories with beauty and fragrance occupying the front half of the first floor. It was the first place located in my peripheral that offered fragrance lines like Frederic Malle, Comme des Garçon, Le Labo, and Byredo. It was the latter that eventually drew me in the most. In 2009 alone they released both Baudelaire and Bal D’Afrique which became and remain to this day two of my all time favorites perfumes.
As with all Nasomatto’s fragrances, Nudiflorum perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri is not interested in breaking it down for you. You won’t find a list of notes included with the packaging. The vague description provided on the official site is limited to a handful of words that read romantic but really don’t tell you much about the scent itself. When asked to describe the composition in an interview with Wallpaper he responded defiantly, “Why ask me? People always need to explain everything, to understand, to give a reason to things. Sometimes, you just need to feel it“. It’s a sentiment I agree with entirely. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, why should it be any different for the nose?