Sunday, November 26, 2006

L'Artisan Fleur De Narcisse

It seems I am almost the last to review this one; if you haven't already, please check out the excellent reviews by Marina, Marlen and both Patty and March at Perfume Posse.

The very first moments are the only ones that smell to me like living plant: there is an initial peppery, greenish tickle. My husband claims this phase smells like the inside of a milkweed pod - the milky sap, the down, the seeds - and he is usually good at these comparisons, but I have not smelled any milkweed in many a year, so I can't comment. The blackcurrant bud lends a little sweetness to the top and heart notes of the composition, which is nicely countered by the occasional waft of spicy green hyacinth. There is a touch of soap-scrubbed skin. Mostly, however, there is the scent of leather, hay and smoke. The leather is oily, like well-conditioned tack. Hay is one of my favourite notes, with its balance between rich sweetness - almost floral, like good pastry - and mustiness or dry rot. Here, these two "stable" notes (haha) are overlaid with a very airy smoke. As March writes, it is "distant, like a chimney a half a mile away", a very atmospheric smoke.

The scent overall, actually, conveys distance and atmosphere; it is a perfume with is its own weather system. Fleur de Narcisse is like a taking a deep breath of country field air as you zip by in your car with the windows down. It reminds me of the scene in E.B. White's Charlotte's Web where Avery and Fern (wonderful, capable Fern!) are jumping from the Zuckerman hay loft with a swing made from a knotted rope and flying dizzily in and out of the buzzing summer air. It is a lovely scene that brings back the giddiness of being outside as a child, the smell of warm breezes, fresh-picked berries, baked dirt, rope and very purposeful leisure. For all that, I have no remorse that I can't afford Fleur de Narcisse. It is precisely the sort of scent that blooms magnificently on me, and it certainly suits me better than the wistful, dainty beauty of Fleur D'Oranger. Somehow, though, it does not hook me the same way, say, Nicolai Pour Homme does (more on this later...) I shall leave it to those with deeper pockets and keener senses of nostalgia for those sunburnt days. (I was a nerdy, indoorsy sort of child.)

6 Comments:

At 5:32 AM, Blogger chaya ruchama said...

I like your review...
I suspect that this is one of those scents to which one rapidly becomes anosmic after awhile, while others continue to have wafts of it.

I love hay, and leather, but I can't shell out for it either, happily !

Not when I can get my jollies w/ Tabac Blond, or Cuir de Russie, for less...

How's the beauty doin'?

 
At 6:17 AM, Blogger marchlion said...

Great review! As much as I liked it, I didn't run out and buy a bigger decant. It's a very interesting fragrance that, once I was through playing with it for the purposes of blogging, would probably never find its way to my arm again. The things I actually reach for to wear like a normal person are laughably few....

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger colombina said...

I was a nerdy, indoorsy sort of child too, high five! :-) I still adore FdeN beyond all reason...and way beyond my financial abilities :-(

 
At 8:47 AM, Blogger Erin said...

chaya: Thank you! Certainly it is strong on application, but it becomes more "distant" or faint as time goes on, although I did not find the lasting power to be poor, just the heart and drydown sillage to be lower. People around me *did* seem to be more aware of it than me, though... It is a pretty uncompromising leather scent, in that I get relatively little traditional "softener" (vanilla, florals, fruit) to cut the effect. It does not smell like perfume, really.

The little one has learned to bop her head to music this week. It's quite cute!

 
At 8:53 AM, Blogger Erin said...

march: Your comments describe my feelings very well. I am glad I tried it, and it grew on me as I sampled it for blogging, but I don't feel the need to reach for it. I usually dither about what perfume I'm going to put on, and there are only, say, a dozen or so that normally call to me and then erase my doubts once I have them on.

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger Erin said...

colombina: can't bring up yor blog this morning! Wonder what evil blogger is doing today?

But, yes, careful high-five! *pushes glasses back up her nose* (Actually, I don't wear glasses, which seemed a great injustice to me when I was young.)

I feel for you, hon. I'm normally a bit worried about trying things this expensive, just in case I fall in love (vintages, JARs etc.)

 

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