Monday 17 May 2021

NIGHTSCAPE by Ulrich Lang

The part of reviewing fragrances that I really enjoy is when you end up with connections that, until you stumble across them, hadn’t been mentioned before. This can be because journalists are nervous about veering too far from the company’s press release, for fear of upsetting the person that’s written it, or they’re financially tied in some way to the promotion of the scent. So, when the worlds of Netflix, perfume, and American fashioned collided spectacularly this week, I finally realised that I was sitting on a modern day classic. It’s time to revisit, or discover for the first time, the Ultrasuede styling of Nightscape by Ulrich Lang.

Inspiration can come from many sources and often, without us realising, it’s buried deep in our memory just waiting to emerge. Back in 2016 Ulrich Lang spoke to The Perfume Society about his first trip to New York in the Eighties. “Mesmerised by the infinite possibilities of Manhattan, I tried to be as American as possible, wearing Halston’s ground-breaking Z-14 which would become my favourite scent for a decade. Nobody wore it back then in Germany – so I had scored a signature scent (almost) all to myself!” It would be five years before I realised the importance of this memory.

This week has seen the release of the Netflix series Halston, and it’s brought his classic fragrances back into the spotlight. The series gives a whole episode over to the creation of his original Halston by Halston, but it also gives a brief nod to his “masculine” follow up which was called Halston Z-14. This fragrance opened with an aromatic citrus before moving through a masculine floral to reach a richly resinous patchouli and leather. It very much is a child of the seventies, 1976 to be exact, but it definitely feels as though Nightscape is a modern relation to this classic scent.

At the time of its launch in 2009, Ulrich Lang said of the perfume, “I wanted to develop a fragrance that contains patchouli but points to the future rather than the vibes usually associated with the ingredient.” He enlisted the help of perfumer Frank Voelkl from Firmenich, and together they absolutely accomplished this. The leather became suede, Halston’s Studio 54 became the Plaza Hotel, and the star ingredient was crafted into the epitome of refinement. Once again the box is given a photographic styling, this time by Matt Licari, and it definitely helps to transport you to a world of comfortable, yet exciting, elegance.

Nightscape opens with an uplifting bergamot alongside a green aromatic aspect, which immediately brings out its more herbal side. The star ingredient of patchouli is also present from the very beginning, but definitely feels as if its usual roughness has been smoothed out. As the scent develops you get a honeyed geranium coming through, alongside a beautiful touch of violet, but the best is yet to come. A suede-like note appears, instead of the usual leathery ones, and adds wonderful elegance to the patchouli. This, alongside a delicately powdery amber accord, makes wearing Nightscape an absolute delight, and the nod to Ulrich's formative Halston is a beautiful touch.

Nightscape is available from the Ulrich Lang website at and Roullier White in London priced at £98 for 100ml. [Sample provided by Ulrich Lang]

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