Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Narcisse Noir by Caron

The Lady Is Still A Little Strange

I purchased Narcisse Noir this spring on a whim. I was attracted to the name! I had never smelled it and I knew very well that it had middling reviews. Narcisse Noir is one of those perfumes that has been said to have been drastically reformulated since it's original release in 1911. Tania Sanchez in "Perfumes, The Guide" says it's a shadow of its former self; that it's lost all its drama and strangeness.

Well, I don't think so. It may not be what it was, but having never smelled the original, I can't miss it. What Narcisse Noir is now, is a pretty orange blossom perfume that manages to be both ladylike and a little odd at the same time.

Narcisse Noir isn't about narcissus. A fresh orange blossom dominates the perfume. The orange blossom has a soapy quality like very expensive, fine-milled French soaps.  It makes me feel graceful. But somewhere underneath the sweet flowers and soap is the smell of dry dirt. Can dirt be elegant? Imagine the smell of very expensive, fine-milled French dirt.  The combination of clean and dirty makes Narcisse Noir fun to wear.

Narcisse Noir may be a pretty, clean orange blossom on top, but she still hides a strange side.

House: Caron
Nose: Ernest Daltroff
Notes: african orange flower, narcissus, jasmine, orange, rose, vetyver, musk and sandalwood.