Tuesday, April 12, 2011

L'Artisan Parfumeur - Fleur de Narcisse (Exceptional Harvests Collection 2006)

Falling hard for a sunny beauty

Fleur de Narcisse, 2006 was created by L'Artisan Parfumeur as one of their "Exception Harvests" perfumes. These special-edition perfumes were created in limited quantity from a particular natural harvest and are meant to showcase the material and also the region, the way that certain vintages of wine reflect in their aroma and flavour the soil they came from. Fleur de Narcisse features a heady absolute made from narcissus, hand picked on June 6th and 7th, 2005, from the volcanic soil of Lozère, France. Only 3,000 bottles were made.

Luckily, my local perfume shop has a bottle of this gem. I first took a sniff of Fleur de Narcisse about two years ago but I was unimpressed. I don't know what I was thinking, because I tried a few sprays on my arm again this weekend and I am gone, baby gone. Fleur de Narcisse is marvelous.

It starts with the tart green smell of black currants and leaves, then blooms into big, sunny daffodils. Narcissus is one of my favourite notes in perfume. It has a honey-sweet side but also a waxy, thick smell and an earthiness. The narcissus in Fleur de Narcisse does seem to have an ashy quality, like the volcanic soil they grew in, thanks to the use of a gorgeous smoky leather note.

But as soon as I have recognized leather and smoke a gorgeous sweet, herbaceous hay note takes over. For an few minutes it's as if I am standing in a shaft of sunlight in a warm barn. I can smell hay all around me and a leather saddle nearby. Then, the honeyed daffodils come back and leave me smiling. It's a cheerful perfume.

The next day the scent left on my sweater is almost gourmand. Maybe it's the honey-sweet narcissus and the spicy hyacinth lingering? But, although they aren't listed, it smells to me like the cinnamon sweetness of tolu or the sweet nuttiness of tonka.

In any case, Fleur de Narcisse is big hit with both me and my husband. It might have taken me a couple of years to appreciate it, but now I'm hooked and saving for a full bottle.
House: L'Artisan Parfumeur
Nose: Anne Flipo
Notes: narcissus, hay, hyacinth, violet leaf, blond tobacco, iris, blackcurrant bud, moss and leather

Painting: J.W. Waterhouse, Echo and Narcissus, 1903


  1. Sounds absolutely great. :) How much is a full bottle?

  2. Hi Ines, it's about $300 for 100ml.

  3. Goodness, you do make this sound good!! Isn't it funny how it really didn't make an impression on you the first time you sniffed it, and now you're saving for a bottle. That's the way it has been with me on a couple of fragrances (FM Le Parfum de Therese particularly comes to mind. I used to hate it, but would absolutely love to have a bottle now). :)

  4. I continue to be surprised at how little FdN moved me. I'm a total sucker for narcissus, but I thought it was dry and sort of... weedy. Raspy, even.

    I'm not sure where that's coming from; there's nothing in the (listed) notes that would indicate that back-of-the-throat itch that I also get from Tauer Orange Star and Cacharel LouLou (*hated* them!). I didn't hate FdN, probably because of all the other good stuff in there, but still: I don't love it, and I don't know why.

    Do you get on with Le Temps d'une Fete? Love that. Also love my little sample of narcissus essential oil (which does indeed smell like hay!).

  5. Oh how lovely to find this locally! the hay note sounds very very lovely- I like L'Artisan very much but they have quite a lot of scents and I sometimes they think they focus heavily on their newer releases and don't talk about their back catalogue enough, so good to read this

  6. Hi Susanne: That's why I like to keep all my samples. Just in case I try it again someday and end up loving it.

  7. Hello Mals86: Yes, I love Le Temps d'un Fete too! I've probably been wearing it more than anything else for the past 2 months. Your essential oil sounds lovely, I'll keep my eye out for something like that.

  8. Howdy Rose: You're right, I couldn't even find a mention of Fleur de Narcisse on the L'Artisan website. But they have such a huge catalogue, that I suppose they can't focus on everything.

  9. I want to try it! Where did you find it? Noor?

  10. You make this sound very, very good. These notes are right up my alley. Pity it is so hard to find as well as expensive, but I guess many very good perfumes are just that...


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