I was rummaging through my perfumes trying to find ones which has a prominent narcissus note, or Easter lily as it’s called here, as it seemed the perfect match for today.
So how many narcissus perfumes do you own? Turns out that I don’t have all that many; actually I was looking at vintage Narcisse Noir EdT (Caron), a great perfume which happens to be one of the few that always brings in compliments, much to my own bewilderment, because great as it is, it does smell rather poisonous to me and always reminds me a little of the bad half of the snow-white apple. The other is the discontinued Fleurs de Narcisse from L’Artisan Parfumeur, which would have been very suitable, but since it’s more or less unobtainable, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for either.
I ended up with 1926 from Histoires de Parfums’ opera collection, a collection I have previously written about. This time it’s perfumer Gérald Ghislain’s interpretation of the opera Turandot by Puccini, a rather beautiful narcissus-oriental perfume, which I have been wearing.
The perfume starts with a very true and decisive narcissus, and that strange almost chorine like sharpness of the narcissus accentuated by means of ginger. On my skin it is sharper and seems more poisonous yellow, than on the mouillette, where it’s softer and a bit sweet as soon as a subtle juicy pear scent sets in. I would say it’s almost pretty, yet in an adult way, just with that touch of razor sharpness.
Even when the top starts blending into the heart of jasmine and carnation, I still feel that the narcissus plays the first violin to a very subdued powdery, hardly spicy at all, carnation and a well behaved jasmine, just enough for a feminine touch. Even here it’s still the narcissus which provides the backbone, keeping this perfume expensively elegant.
The dry down according to the official notes is patchouli, amber, leather and incense, again something that sounds a lot more ‘in your face’ than this fragrance ever becomes. The slightly bitter and non-smoky incense ties in with the ginger and the narcissus to keep a tart trail throughout the perfume. All notes are beautifully intertwined, and I do perceive soft floral-tinted leather as well as fruity amber chord, but truly everything here is so subtle, quiet even, especially compared both to the materials used and some of the regular line-up by HdPs. The whole fragrance almost reminds me of something that wouldn’t be out of place at the MDCI line, in that whole quiet elegance way.
I like Turandot- the perfume very much. It doesn’t remind me at all of anything to do with Turandot, but my image there might also be slightly tainted, but that’s another story which will have to wait.
1 The one with the famous aria, dragged through the mud by several talent show competitors. The real deal is HERE
And don’t think for a moment that this was the first time that perfume history was inspired by Puccini’s opera. The supporting role of Liu, Price Calaf’s sister, was the inspiration for Guerlain’s perfume of that name back in 1929.
* Pics are mine and I bought the sample pack from www.histoiresdeparfums.com