Sacred and profane… Nu by Yves Saint Laurent The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

Is this the New Religion?

If so, he is on the very cusp of being converted.

A work of worship, it started in an ante chamber with an Eastern rite of purification: an almost overwhelming and unexpected crescendo of cardamon.

In ecstasy the assembled are encouraged to give up residual resentments, forgo bitterness with a sweetness bought by bergamot rubbed briefly across your brow by way of blessing.

Progressing to the main hall of the temple you find the central act of adoration perpetually in motion.

True incense, that is frankincense, oil of olibanum, is caressed across the nape of your neck by a true believer.

Others of his brethren throw precious petals persistently into the air.

Arms like widmills in snow storms of the imagination, they create constant flurries out of jasmine and orchid clouds.

So commences the final act of complete consummation.

Recalling Roman ritual, that spice they valued most and which the contemporary world has made mere condiment, is wholly and wholeheartedly invoked.

Rich imperial pepper.

Of strange quality and quantities un-experienced for centuries it stimulates and eroticises the whole holy throng.

It’s intoxication invigorates incandescent adherents onwards to the climax of their idolatry.

Collective carnal embrace.

In the room beyond, you attempt to gather in your dignity and thoughts; foraging through feelings and folds of skin for meaning.

Your body is smoothed by suplicants with sandalwood oil whilst they replace your robes.

Only one question remains:

Are you fallen or have you joined the faithful?

A truly sacred and profane perfume Nu by Yves Saint Laurent is probably best summed up by the phrase ‘orgy in the temple’.

The original fragrance, prior to its recent repackaging and relaunch, mixes the conventions of Eastern and Western olfactory worship: opening with olibanum, cardamon and bergamot giving way to oriental florals.

It then proceeds to an highly sexualised heart; all pagan pepper and more frankincense this time with animalic musk.

This fragrant frenzy persists for a truly improper period, and is decidedly Tantric in its staying power especially in the much much to be preferred Eau de Parfum.

In both the drydown is sandalwood soft and gently reflective, possibly tinged with a subtle regret or is it a passion hangover?

Who cares? Strip away away the symbolism and everyone’s in this one for the ride!


Bi-sexual more like. And even that might be a little limiting!

I don’t think this one’s too fussy about all those fuzzy male female distinctions…

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy


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21 responses to “Sacred and profane… Nu by Yves Saint Laurent The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

  1. “Orgy in the temple” too funny! I love frankinsence e.o.- straight up! Nu sounds like my “cup of tea” (no pun intented ๐Ÿ™‚ !!!)

    • Dear Brie
      The Dandy adores frankincense too and is forever scenting his home with it, so much so that I am often surprised that people don’t wander in thinking they have chanced upon a Catholic church.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  2. Oh, my. I will run, not walk to make this purchase. Thank you, Dandy. What a stimulating way to start my day! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Dear Gripping
      If you like your frankincense sultry then this is a must buy, but be sure to go for the old version – the new Nu is a different beast altogether, not unpleasant but not nearly so sensual an experience.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  3. Hahaha – I’m liking that nod towards polyamorous perfumery there Mr Dandy!

  4. Cairo Rose

    Oh my!!! So no wearing Nu to the market I guess!!! Sounds like this is a fragrance to be worn with great care and applied with a delicate hand. Superb review as always!

  5. Lilybelle

    As my oldest, dearest friend Suzie always says, โ€œSexxy-Mexxy!โ€ Nu is one I never *knew*. Too bad. I think it is discontinued now so I never will(?). I suppose we must each of us leave a few stones unturned in this life. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Dearest Lily
      “Sexxy-Mexxy” well that is a nu one on the The Dandy!
      It is discontinued, like the whole of the YSL range since l’Oreal took over, and the new version is not the same perfume – good but just plain different.
      It is around on the internet though… so should you ever feel the need to turn that particular stone…
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  6. And in the middle – Sir Lawrence!

  7. I love the bottle – it looks like an industrial design project. True story – pepper makes me break out in a rash… but probably not in the slight concentration in this perfume ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Saw a bottle of this on Tuesday in a Yokohama ‘fashion recycle’ shop; new or vintage I couldn’t say, but in any case I am amazed at the heights of your arousal. I am tempted to investigate after this vivid frenzy, but I am so TIRED and bored of the whole incense pepper thing I could die, so probably I won’t. Possibly maybe.

    • This is essentially incense and peeper. So I would be wary as a result of your weariness.
      The Dandy adores both (though when will there be a proper pepper and myrrh?)
      I never overloaded my wardrobe with the male equivalents, except a few notable exceptions and the EdP of this quite knocked spots off most of the ones I’ tried previously.
      If the packaging looked like that pictured it’s the vintage.
      l’Oreal have in the main been honest enough to completely relaunch the perfumes they’ve largely ruined in new garb.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  9. Goodness! Sounds a little wild! Must try.

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