WHAT I SMELL: Narcisse Noir opens with a dark and deep narcissus, like it comes from the depths of a country field that is moistened with a warm undercurrent that runs through it. It’s sharp like the flower, but not so much that it’s all bite. After around five minutes the orange blossom comes to the surface. It’s not bright and it’s not juicy, but rather mixed with the narcissus it retains this darker, more mysterious edge. The jasmine adds a bit of rubberiness to the mix almost like its tuberose. I like it at this stage because it fills your lungs with weighted beefy florals. But soon enough, the darker veil lifts a bit to reveal a lighter side which unfortunately reminds me of expensive hair spray. If only the fragrance could have stayed in that early stage! The drydown….well, see below…
Top notes are african orange flower and narcissus; middle notes are jasmine, orange and tincture of rose; base notes are vetyver, musk and sandalwood.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Years ago, the first home I ever purchased was in a suburb outside of Atlanta, GA called College Park. I lived in a neighborhood where we all had historic plaques on our homes and it was very homey, pretty and was a great place to live. Unfortunately, historic College Park is surrounded by some not so nice areas and quality grocery shopping was hard to come by. In East Point, the town next to us there was the Kroger Citi Center. I don’t know if they were trying to recreate a neighborhood concept, but whatever it was, it failed. Instead of walking directly into the grocery store, you had to walk by a series of mom and pop small businesses in addition to a Popeyes chicken restaurant. One of the business was a nasty looking beauty salon. I don’t know what kind of chemicals were used in that shop, but that horrid burnt hair, chemical smell combined with the smell of Popeye’s Fried Chicken always gave me a headache and made me nauseous. Unfortunately, the drydown in Narcisse Noir reminds me of the Kroger Citi Center. OK, this is better than that, but it still reminds me of the gauntlet that I used to have to walk through to get my groceries.
As I was having a hard time getting past this association, I asked my husband what he thought it smelled like. He said it smells kind of powdery like a girls bedroom and said it reminded him of his sister. Go figure…maybe she ate a lot of fried chicken while she was under the hairdryer!
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE NARCISSE NOIR: sour, strange, pungent
BOTTOM LINE: You would think that I would give this a great big “1 Bone”, but for some reason I am repulsed, yet attracted to this Caron classic and every once in a while will wear it. So even though it’s not for me there is a reason that it has been around since 1911. Besides, who couldn’t love that perfume bottle?
- Bone Rating: 3 out of 5 possible bones
- Scent: Oriental Floral
- Nose: Ernest Daltroff
- Classification: Feminine, with masculine leanings
- Expense: $180 for 15ml Parfum Extrait which this review was based on.