Nu_Be Sulphur and Mercury: Hell and Hell.

Sulphur [16S]

My expectations on Sulphur were pretty high so I approached this fragrance with some trepidation...

The first thing that comes to mind is Kinski...and then, to a MUCH lesser extent, Chypre Palatin.

Nose tingling opening with a blast of angelica and grapefruit. The sulphuric vibe is definitely there. Sort of salty, pungent and unquestionably yellow in the chromatic scale. Costus and castoreum take over right away with their unmistakeable, warm musky, leathery / animalic, wet-hair presence. There's a *green thing* going on that made me immediately think about vetiver but it could honestly be a sort of sinergy between other elements to create this effect because it almost dissipates within the fragrance evolution. In this phase I think of Kinski. Kinski is definitely more centered around vetiver, bolder and more straight forward whereas Sulphur belongs more to the Comme Des Garcons type of aesthetic. It's unquestionably there and while it doesn't scream, it definitely strikes. The drydown is smoother, simple but very refined and extremely well blended. Cinnamon, resins and smooth woody notes bring the fragrance to a slightly more oriental territory while an unquestionable vetiver note remarks its presence in full force. Very pleasing, slightly twisted, sort of safer than the opening / middle phase but so enjoyable...

If I were to sum it up in a bunch of words, my impression is that it could be sort of an office-friendly version of Kinski. As much as it might sound disappointing, that's exactly the opposite. There's a sense of restraint to Sulphur (and to most of the other Nu_be deliveries) which I find incredibly compelling and successful. I can see myself wearing this on a regular basis. In this context, this will probably appeal more to Comme Des Garcons fans than, say, to those who are looking for a unapologetic and straight forward composition. Just lovely.

Rating: 7.5-8/10

Mercury [80Hg]

Delivered by the same guy who gave birth to Secretion Magnifique and several other odd-balls, all I can say during my first testing of Mercury is...


This is weird. I don't know yet if good-weird or bad-weird but definitely weird. It is like some of the
oddest Comme Des Garçons having a gangbang with a bunch of Humiecki & Graef while Sec Mag is video-taping the whole scene. There's a remarkable *cold metal* vibe going on together with the most sparkling aldehydes/citrus combo in perfume history. A mandarin hologram enhances the overall fresh vibe and brings it to unseen levels while aldehydes provide a transparency that goes beyond olfaction to cross the border of other senses such as sight. In this context I would say Mercury feels almost dazzling. I've to say though, that while definitely feeling clean and cold, the fragrance never fall into aseptic / disinfectant / hospital territories. Au contraire, it feels incredibly alive and pulsating. I believe in this context, Antoine Lie perfectly achieved to translate
into a fragrance the true essence of such an enigmatic and fascinating metal such as Mercury. 

The fragrance morphes then into a smooth woody-creamy-sandalwood with greenish-metallic facets.

Chromatic scale: Lime Green, Fluo Yellow, Tangerine, Fluo Orange, Fluo Green, Silver, White, Fluo Green. 

I'm not sure what to do with this yet, honestly, but there's one thing I can say with quite some confidence: Mercury and Sulphur are by all
means two polar opposites. 

Here are a few more considerations: 

- It's funny. 
- It's weird. 
- It surely pushes the boundaries of perfumery. 
- It will make perfume purists recoil in horror.

Rating: 7.5/10 (because it's so daring).


  1. Great reviews alfarom, as always. Interesting that Anoine Lie is also the nose behind the new Puredistance Black. A real departure for him. He has dome some really "out there" stuff. Looking forward to see how he handles the classical style of Puredistance.

  2. Thanks Chris! Antoine Lie, together with Laudamiel is definitely one of the most interesting perfumers out there. I'm so looking forward to his Black for Puredistance. Great concept and, hopefully, great fragrance too.