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.
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