I’ve unchangingly been drawn to narcissus, a spring floweret with an autumnal soul. The narcissus poeticus typically used in perfumery is a soft-hued floweret of gauzy white petals surrounding a small orange crown in the center. At first sniff, it evokes whiteness, purity, and a touch of stake honey, but if you printing it to your face, not caring well-nigh it leaving a tincture of pollen on your cheeks, you will notice darker, deeper, heavier notes. Some people smell suede in it, others–antique books. I notice a hint of mulch and barnyard.
This complexity becomes plane increasingly evident when narcissus is distilled into an absolute. The flurry of white petals gives way to a humid warmth reminiscent of tuberose or gardenia and then transforms into the darkness of leather and tobacco leaves. Narcissus wool is an expensive material, and using it requires skill to bring out all of its variegated facets in a composition, but when it works, the results are spellbinding.
And so I decided to put together a list of my favorite narcissus fragrances, from classics to modern blends. I didn’t realize that it would run into 20 perfumes! I’m sure you have your own choices, so I would love to hear what you enjoy.