Monthly Archives: November 2013

4160 Tuesdays ‘Urara’s Tokyo Cafe’

UTC

There is something special about Sarah McCartney’s perfumes. I have been living with two of them for the last couple of weeks and both have enchanted my nose and cradled my senses in their spellbinding embrace. ‘Sunshine and Pancakes’ was, and continues to be true love, with it’s simplicity shining from my skin like the glow of pure happiness. ‘Urara’s Tokyo Cafe’ has taken a little longer to find it’s voice but I feel that it becomes all the more powerful for being mysterious…. But more on that later.

The question that burns at the heart of this new love affair that I have going on with 4160 Tuesdays is this: Is Ms. McCartney a genius, or is she just blessed with a natural flair and lots of luck? You see, when I think of the process involved for making fragrance, I have this idea of a poised and immaculate perfumer in a white shirt, sitting at their organ, drawing from a huge catalogue of knowledge as they painstakingly mix and blend and calculate. It seems so clinical and controlled, all the passion of the perfume contained within the glass beaker, to release it’s emotion only when it touches skin. When I think of Sarah McCartney I imagine a lady wearing excellent glasses and stripy tights, chucking stuff into a big mixing bowl and having a cup of tea at the same time. The resulting perfume one would assume to be of a lesser quality to that produced by the perfumer in white. That is simply not the case. Somehow, in her spontaneous, seemingly haphazard way, Sarah McCartney has created fragrance with as much beauty, structure and credibility as any classically trained perfumer.

Sarah

The stories behind the perfumes explain a lot about Sarah’s work ethic. They all started as gifts for friends, as bespoke scent made to measure for a particular person, as perfume to be worn by the characters in a book. Her perfumes are personal, they have not been made for a wide audience, although they certainly seem to appeal to an awful lot of people. They have a wonderful homespun quality that only adds to their attractiveness. The idea that she might be able to sell her fragrance still seems to be rather an afterthought for Sarah McCartney, this being one of a dozen different projects she has on the go right now. It is hard to know whether it is this spontaneity and freedom that allows the fragrances their unadulterated appeal, or whether Sarah is one of those mad workaholics who does an amazing job of making everything look effortless. 4160 Tuesdays has the organic feel of a brand built purely on instinct and a lot of luck, but Sarah McCartney has the look of a warrior, albeit wrapped in multiple, brightly coloured layers. Which ever it may be, I like the outcome very much.

So to the fragrance in question. From what I can garner, Urara was the owner of a cafe in Tokyo where Sarah McCartney hosted an event. Literally translated Urara means ‘breeze in the cherry blossoms’. If that’s not inspirational for a fragrance then I don’t know what is! The perfume contains  notes of Rose, Violet, Geranium, Raspberry Leaf and Tangerine, with a resinous base of Opoponax and Tolu Balsam. One look at the note listing and I was rather excited. I also (although I generally make it a rule not to) read a very lovely review of the perfume from The Scent Critic which is quoted on the 4160 Tuesdays website, which describes the fragrance thus:

 “It’s probably the ‘easiest’ of her scents to wear:  a gorgeous fuzzy marshmallow of a perfume, baby-powder pretty but with a touch of green grass.  And then when you’ve had it on for a while, quite a while, it gets quite sexy.  But it’s probably the hardest of the 4160 Tuesdays fragrances to review:  so seamless it’s virtually impossible to identify any one note.  To me, it is essence-of-spring blossom.  Imagine lying under a cherry tree in a dream, while petals gently float down and shroud you in their floral sweetness, as if on time-lapse.  It smells like all the edges have been lovingly buffed off this perfume, till it’s smooth and soft as a baby’s bottom.  (Only a lot more deliciously-scented.)  It is also quite seriously, seriously addictive.”

I definitely agree with the seriously addictive part. However, such is the wonder of personal skin chemistry that in other respects I feel as if I’m wearing a different perfume to the one described (beautifully) above. My initial reactions were similar but very quickly all turns shaded and mysterious….

‘Urara’s Tokyo Cafe’ opens with lovely fresh rose, petals unfurling in the daintiest of pinks. Atop this  sparkles grapefruit and tangerine, the feeling is very bright and airy. Almost as soon as those petals have opened a slightly more aromatic accord appears, herby and green. The perfume is now dappled with shade between the rose bushes.

From beneath, the resinous warmth of sweet Myrrh stains the green and pink with umber tones. I usually find Myrrh way too prevalent in perfume, my skin makes it cloyingly sweet and churchy. Here it gives the wonderful impression of a great splash of strong green tea, saturating the base of the scent with an almost tannin-like tang. It’s such a pleasant experience to smell the resin balanced by the green goodness of geranium and rose. It has all the atmospheric depth that incense can bring to a fragrance, without any of the smokiness. It took me a good few tests to identify it for what it was and I was so pleasantly surprised.

‘Urara’s Tokyo Cafe’ stays brooding darkly on my skin, like forest mosses. For the longest time it doesn’t change, seeping colours across my wrists, olive green, deep umber with tiny pink blossoms opening like stars here and there. For all it’s depth it stays translucent, like gouache, projecting with amazing vibrancy.

Only after about an hour does the perfume start to shift, warming and sweetening. The sweetness is fruity from the raspberry leaf and warm from the resin and slightly powdered from the violet. I try to enjoy violet in perfume but I often find it rather challenging when done ‘artistically’ and stifling when done ‘classically’. Here it is just a pleasant dusting over the richness of the main body. Very subtly done. ‘Urara’s Tokyo Cafe’ is still brooding and shaded, but now it seems also to glow with warmth. A very enigmatic effect that leaves me with my noise glued to my wrist, trying to breathe it all in before it fades….which it doesn’t, for about ten hours.

There is some seriously clever perfumery at work behind this fragrance. If I hadn’t been testing it over and over to pick out different notes I could have just let it flow over me in one continuous drift of shadow and light. It is at the very end that I can imagine lying under the aforementioned cherry blossom branches, as the notes all blend together and sing me softly to sleep. It has wonderful balance, clarity and structure, it flows beautifully from the skin, last for hours and is undeniably alluring. There is only one tiny hole I would pick in this perfume and that is a very slight laundryesque, musky note at the very end that seems out of place and a bit artificial. It may just be my skin.

So, Sarah McCartney. Talented self taught perfumer or just lucky with the pipettes……..? Without a shadow of a doubt she is getting it very right, whatever she’s doing. I suspect a big splash of magic goes into each bottle she produces and the result is right here on my skin. I sincerely hope that she continues to build 4160 Tuesdays into a brand that gains as much recognition as it deserves and long may her intuitive and very individual approach to perfumery continue.

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Scent is my Story Book

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I don’t believe there to be anything more subjective than scent. In whatever form, be it the rising vapours from the kitchen, a whisper on the breeze or held within the faceted confines of a glass bottle, an olfactory experience reaches deeper into the soul than any other. What it discovers there is entirely personal, completely unique and utterly fascinating.

One could argue that writing about scent is a self indulgent pastime. The only story I am telling is my own and a ‘review’ of a perfume doesn’t really inform the reader of anything except the emotional reaction of one person. Even the most factual reviews can seem utterly at odds with the perfume that you smell on your own skin, a breakdown of notes, composition and development make for interesting reading but were you to write it yourself, the analysis might be quite different. The beauty of writing about my experiences with scent and reading other people’s is that it opens a little window into the soul, and the story is unique to that soul. It is coloured by memories, twisted by personal interpretation. I believe that asking someone to tell you what a smell makes them think about is more revealing than asking them to draw a self portrait.

I began writing about perfume because it moves me emotionally and creatively.  I also like to examine the inner workings of my own mind. The experiences I have with scent present me with memories, pictures and emotions that are sometimes very personal, sometimes unnervingly alien. A stirring happens somewhere deep in my subconscious and struggles to break through the fog of other stuff that swirls around in there. It can be like having a thought that doesn’t belong to me. I am  continually intrigued by these reactions. There are stories to be told about these perfumes. The scent fuels my imagination and helps me to create characters that couldn’t exist without it.

As a writer, I fear a blank page above all else. It exudes malice and demands to be written upon. The biggest challenge is finding words to fill the vast expanse. Even with a hundred ideas chattering in my mind, typing a coherent sentence has sometimes been beyond me. The moment I decided to try writing about a perfume was the moment my fear evaporated. Perfume gives me instant inspiration, it takes me on a journey into a scented story book where all the characters and landscapes are there waiting to be rendered descriptively upon the page.

Often I draw from my own experience and memory. There have been times in my life that I hadn’t realised were connected with a scent until I came across it again. Even a single note in a perfume can be enough to transport me back through time. Lemongrass reminds me of a summer overshadowed by thunderstorms but glowing with love beneath the heavy skies. Powdery rose is an instant vision of my grandmother’s bedroom at the house in Stansted Road where she lived for many years. I am a little girl again, sitting at the dressing table, surrounded by vintage perfume bottles and searching through her costume jewellery as if it were treasure.

We all have scent associations. The comforting vanilla of sweet pastries, berry picking in summer, incense wafting through lofty churches. Green grass, orange citrus, coal fires and rainy streets. A mother’s embrace, the scent of a father’s briefcase, the crush of too many people on the tube. All that imagery is to be found in perfume. Even unfamiliar scents can conjure a vivid portrait. For example, I have never seen or smelt frangipani blossoming in the wild, but the scent of it in perfume is a pollen filled, fleshy wallop of tropical humidity that is expressive enough to paint a picture of paradise.

Scent has colour too. If you close your eyes and try to see what you are smelling, even if you have no idea of the components, the perfume will develop shape, shade and tone. Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes a complete surprise. Not all woody notes have autumnal hues. Sweet doesn’t always have to be pink. Often there is texture to accompany the colour. Cashmere, water, silk, fur. Fuzzy fluff, spikes and grit and sandpaper. Flushed skin, oiled skin, waxy petals and freshly unfurled leaves. Ash and fire, dry baked earth, talcum and lipstick. Frozen stone, wet pavements, mulch and murky ponds.

It can be difficult to use your imagination when a scent is thrust out into the world, branded to the hilt. It struts down the red carpet in glamorous designer wrappings, with a superstar on its arm. Such dazzle is hard to ignore. I do so wish that perfume was not marketed in this way because I prefer to make up my own characters. I believe that fragrance can look just as attractive in abstract clothing. But scent is big business. Everyone likes to smell good and with directional branding it is simple to find your perfume and believe you smell great in it. For many, fashionable and popular fragrance is the only fragrance. There are so many of these to choose from, with new releases coming thick and fast. It is affordable, accessible, but most importantly, it conforms to the ideal.

For those looking for something ‘other’, there are also hundreds of niche houses to explore. Here the perfumers are usually more dedicated to the quality and individuality of their creations and it is within this realm of scent making that I have found the most challenging and genuinely moving perfumes. There is a lot more room for interpretation and personal experiences here. The branding does not seek to guide the consumer in the same way as mass market perfume does. Of course it is still designed to intrigue and bewitch, but in using more subtle visual communication we are made to feel that the discovery of a perfume has been truly our own. I cannot deny that I am a sucker for beautiful packaging. The fragrance I first chose for myself when I was twelve, I chose because I loved the illustrated label. I don’t think I am alone in this, a lot of people’s first infatuation with scent starts with a covetable bottle. I wonder, if we were to smell those long lost scents again, whether a whole different set of memories would dredge themselves up. Memories we had forgotten about. Such is the wonder of our own minds.

Perfume is also a way of communicating something about myself, similar to my choice in clothing, music, lifestyle. My scent represents me. In many ways it is easier to express myself in this way. It may be invisible but fragrance can leave a lasting impression on the people around me. I can speak without words, impress my image into another’s mind with a simple spritz onto warm skin. I can disguise myself or bare my soul, depending on which perfume I choose. Personal chemistry plays a huge part in this communication. The sound of a scent sings a different melody for me than it may do for you and that is what makes it so beautiful. When a perfume touches skin it becomes a deeply unique expression of self.

Scent is the most intimate kind of art. I think about the motivations of the perfumer as a fragrance takes shape in their mind. I seems to me that they create a beautifully bound book, the delicate pages impregnated with essences and oils, the outlines of a story sketched in brilliant ink. It is up to me to fill in the details. Only my skin can bring the painterly brush strokes to life and summon the characters from the page to tell their scented tale. Every person will tell the story differently. To make something that is so open to interpretation must take courage. In comparison writing about it is easy.

Of all the knowledge that there is to garner out there in the world of perfume, the most fundamental lesson to be learned is that of enjoyment. Too much deconstruction of a scent renders it lifeless for me. To truly enjoy perfume my advice would be this: find something that appeals to you aesthetically and intellectually. Spray it onto your skin. Forget everything you’ve read about it, close your eyes and just let it take you on a journey.

Remember, reflect, imagine. Be emotional, be truthful, wear it however you want, as long as you make it your own.

4160 Tuesdays ‘Sunshine and Pancakes’

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For all of you who are regular readers, you will know that I am at the stage in my perfume journey where I become infatuated with scents on a regular basis. I believe it is a phase that all perfumistas go through, before the sheer number of new releases begins to wear a little thin. I am enthusiastic by nature, so when I come across a fragrance that challenges me and fuels my imagination I write as I feel. The thrill of discovery is still providing me with the rush that I crave. Give me another year and maybe I’ll be a little more picky with my adoration.

I am self aware enough to realise that although the experience of a perfume may be intense at the time, it is unlikely that I will be wearing said perfume on a regular basis. I think I know straight away, the moment a scent touches my skin whether it’s going to push all my buttons. A little like visiting an art gallery, you appreciate the art, become involved in the experience, but you know which pieces you’d take home to hang on your wall. I only review perfume that engages my interest in a positive way, but of the twenty odd fragrances I’ve written about so far, there are only five or six that I love enough to wear.

These perfumes I love for different reasons. They provoke memories, they give me confidence, they clothe me like a costume. They relax me, or invigorate me, or help me to think. Each scent has a purpose, fits a mood, suits an environment. For me choosing perfume has become just as important as choosing clothes. I am an epic over thinker, my inner monologue is constant and at times intensely irritating. Everything becomes a fairy tale in my mind, it’s why I love to write, but sometimes something just is what it is. Simple beauty is a concept that rubs my mind up the wrong way, but my soul rejoices in it because the opportunity to silence the incessant chattering is right there for the taking. Just experience and enjoy. It’s something I do not do enough.

This brings me to the subject of this review, a perfume called ‘Sunshine and Pancakes’ from a wonderfully fresh and inspiring London based perfume house named 4160 Tuesdays. For your information, 4160 is the number of Tuesdays we will have if we all live until we are eighty. Sarah McCartney, founder and perfumer, believes we should be making the most of them. Previously head writer for Lush, hers are words that I have been reading faithfully since I was thirteen years old. Since retiring from ‘solving other people’s problems’ as her Lush Times alter ego Auntie Pamela, she has been writing novels and making perfume for loved ones. At some point she must have realised she was damn good at it, and 4160 Tuesdays was born.

I chose ‘Sunshine and Pancakes’ for review because I’ve had an experience with this perfume that until now I have been lacking. An experience of pure joy. I have actually struggled to find words to express the way that this perfume makes me feel, not because it is overly emotional or complex, quite the opposite really. This perfume doesn’t trigger any scent memories or conjure up a story for me to tell you. When I dabbed it onto my skin and sat with my nose pressed to my wrist, I just felt really, really happy to be smelling it. Six hours later I was still just so enchanted by it, I wanted to put it on like a wooly jumper, or climb into a bed with it, or run through a field full of it. I wanted to eat it, shower in it, spray everyone else with it. ‘Sunshine and Pancakes’ is simply lovely.

I suppose you’d like to know how it smells. Well that’s very simple too. It opens with a tart lemon zing of freshly squeezed juice, tangy sharp and sunny yellow. This goes on for a while and you think “oh this is nice, this is fresh.” Then the scent becomes a little honeyed and sweet, still very light. Again this continues for a while, warm sunshine through the curtains on a summers morning.

Vanilla arrives all melting and mouthwatering, not too much, never too sickly. Jasmine floats through the window on the breeze, smelt from a distance, the animalic, sexy thrust of it’s concentrated form filtered by the citrus and vanilla into gauzy prettiness.

Then all of a sudden a heart of cedar opens in the airy brightness, settling the perfume into delicious, warm, woody sweet joy that stretches on and on for hours. I continually caught whiffs of scent through the whole afternoon, my husband came home and said that the house smelt yummy. I kept raising my wrist to my nose and the only word that came was “good. I smell good.”

I put more on. I could happily have continued to cover my entire body in it until the little sample vial was empty. Only the fact that I wanted to wear it again tomorrow held me back. Yet more happiness comes in the form of the price tag. At £40 for a 30ml bottle, I can own this perfume as soon as my next pay check arrives. And I shall own it to be sure. I might just pull off the top and empty it over my head in one go, then order another one.

I am thrilled to have discovered ‘Sunshine and Pancakes’. Part of it’s joy is that is so accessible. I feel no pang of resentment that such beauty is out of my reach, as I have with other, ludicrously expensive niche perfumes. Sarah McCartney had created something here that ticks every single one of my boxes, although on paper I initially thought I would find it a little dull. How wrong I was. How speechless I have been rendered. Her voice, that I have heard though the pages of the Lush Times for so many years, has acquired even more strength and individuality in the form of her fragrances. Sarah McCartney should be applauded for setting herself completely apart with such fresh, beautiful scent making. I believe that she has an understanding of human nature that is rare. We all need perfume that makes us feel good in the most uncomplicated way, it reminds us to stop occasionally and just be happy. To cater for the simple pleasures in life rather than making a bold, artistic statement is brave in the ever expanding market of ‘niche’ perfumery.

For me in particular, coming across 4160 Tuesdays has reminded me that serious and complex doesn’t always equal successful. Sarah McCartney’s perfumes are by no means gimmicky or contrived in their lightheartedness. This is scent packed with genuine and intelligent humour, presented with a smile.

In retrospect, ‘Sunshine and Pancakes’ does remind me of something. My daughter. She will be one year old in a few weeks and when I look at her little face I see pure joy shining back at me. If she remembers me smelling of this perfume then I hope her earliest memories of me will be as filled with happiness as mine are of her. Now pass me a tissue.

umaface

Caron ‘Narcisse Noir’

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Caron is a prestigious French perfume house that thus far has not really appealed to me. I’m not exactly sure why, I suppose I have felt a little intimidated by the general high regard the perfume community has for Caron fragrances. Until very recently I have sought out the new and contemporary and edgy. Perfumes that allow me to come to my own conclusions without the heavy weight of acclaim effecting my judgement. I find it difficult to be confident in my own opinions, especially when the perfume in question has been widely critiqued. With the aim of educating my nose, I am dedicated to understanding the classics, but I often fear that I have nothing new to say. I strive for something other than a straightforward breakdown of notes and development, because for me this is secondary to my enjoyment of a scent. My emotional reaction to perfume is what inspires me to write. I also do not fully trust my nose to tell me what a fragrance contains.

For the sake of being informed, I felt I should probably sample some Caron perfumes, so I asked the online fragrance community for their Caron recommendations and ‘Narcisse Noir’ came top of the list. I know a little about the Art Deco era in which it was created and also that is has become forever linked with Gloria Swanson in the iconic film ‘Sunset Boulevard’. This knowledge conjures extremely potent imagery which is hard to ignore. However, when my sample arrived from Les Senteurs I promptly forgot it all.

‘Narcisse Noir’ is indeed a dramatic perfume, full of light and shade, except for me it is not so much the cinematic, sculpted impact of the black and white movie screen. I find a far more explicit chiaroscuro that sings of burning earth, dark desire and sorcery…

It is dusk and the wind whispers in the canopy overhead as the sky fades from blue to purple. Her fires burn more brightly as the gloom creeps in, licking expectantly at the dry wood. She kneels bare legged in the soft earth, watching the flames. Dark things gather in the blackness outside the flickering circle. She has wreathed herself in garlands of night flowering jasmine, picked just before the light departed. Now the tiny blooms are opening as if they still draw life force from the soil, releasing perfume to twine all about her. She perceives this to be a good omen.

In her hand she clutches a little flower bulb. Beneath it’s papery skin the flesh is luminous in the firelight. She waits here, burying her toes into the cool mulch of dead leaves, taking shallow breaths and listening to the thumping of her own heart. With every rhythmic pulse of blood she pushes a little of her own will into the bulb held tightly in her hand, concentrating all her desire for the man that who must be returned to her. She yearns for the warmth of his skin on hers, his musky scent as their bodies intertwine. She will have him back, by any means.

A sudden flare in the circle of fire tells her it is time to begin. Gathering her strength she raises both arms above her head, the living seed of her lust held between her palms. In a rush of excursion she drives her hands down deep into the earth, pushing the bulb beneath the black soil. Gasping out an incantation she stays buried to the elbows, forcing all her strength, all her love, all her life to flow into the ground and propagate the growth of her heart’s desire. If the narcissus blooms by morning, he will come back to her.

She is shaking, her breath comes too fast and the fires around her spin out into the darkness. Pulling her arms from the earth she reels backward, crushing the garlands of jasmine beneath her as she falls…

A fluttering against her cheek brings her to her senses. She is lying sprawled amidst the smoldering remains of the fire. The smashed and wilted jasmine is strewn about the coals, white on black. Clawing at the dirt to pull herself upright, she sees that the air is filled with moths. Drawn by the flames, they flitter like powdered shadows in the dying embers. Above her the sky is touched with pink, dawn is about to break. She casts her eyes desperately about the ruins of her sacred circle. Where is he? Where is her love?

In the very centre the moths are gathered like a cloak upon the ground. She crawls forward and brushes them away, finding beneath the first delicate shoots of a spring flower. Before her eyes the fronds uncurl and stretch upwards, a bud forming, fattening, peeling open in a perfect white star. The scent blossoming forth is heavy with pollen, intoxicatingly beautiful. With a sob of joy she once again pushes her hands into the earth, scooping it away in great furrows. Beneath, encased in a papery shell veined with iridescence, there lays the curled body of a man. She pulls away the flaking layers and heaves his head onto her lap, kissing his closed eyes, his forehead, his lips.

His skin is the colour of darkest wood, polished and smooth. His hair curls around her fingers like smoke. His chest rises and as he exhales his breath is scented with narcissus. Thick lashes part to reveal eyes black as the depths from which he has returned, her narcisse noir…..

sorceress

This is a perfume of witchery and darkness, of desire and desperation. It would suit the stark monochrome of a silver screen siren perfectly, it has heft and presence enough to fill the whole cinema. I found it’s muskiness and burnt earth undertones equally reminiscent of an ancient, powerful magic.

The initial opening is all orange blossom, jasmine and other fluttering petals. Very quickly though, all becomes tainted with musky, smoke infused shadows. ‘Narcisse Noir’ billows forth from the skin with an intoxicating strength the like of which would usually have me whimpering in fear, (I am a sillage wimp) however here the change in the character of the perfume is too fascinating to turn away from. The delicate florals are all there, only turned animalic and suspended in textural musk that renders everything in deeper tones. Leaf mulch and moth wings and tangled hair beneath the blooms.

I was wary of the ‘black’ narcissus note before I smelt this perfume. Daffodils grow in abundance in England every spring, all along the roads, in window boxes and front gardens, in little pots and great drifts. They are the ultimate symbol of new life and have a green and yellow pollen smell unlike anything I have smelt in a perfume. When I have grown the lovely, star shaped blooms of narcissus inside, up close the scent is delicate and pretty, but from a distance the effect is one of slightly damp towels. Not overly pleasant.

In ‘Narcisse Noir’ the narcissus works it’s way out through the musk in green tendrils, before opening fully atop the whole composition in a breath of pollen dust. It is an amplification of the bloom itself, a deeper, heavier accord that holds it’s own in potent splendor. There is a point in the development where every note sings together in a cacophony of glorious sorcery. I feel hypnotised and can only wonder at the effect of the perfume on the people around me. ‘Narcisse Noir’ has a commanding, intoxicating nature with mysterious depths that leaves me feeling a little spun around.

Then as the perfume warms fully into my skin, more comforting woods subdue the wildness of the musk. ‘Narcisse Noir’ retreats behind it’s jasmine and orange blossom veil and the sorceress collapses into the embers.

The perfume is superbly dramatic, deep and brooding. Although it’s fading whisper is far removed from the intensity with which it begins, I never quite recover from the powerful and textural nature of it’s heart. I can only imagine the animalic growl of the original, so packed with civet and lashings of jasmine. It must have been a tremendous, smoldering masterpiece.

As it is now, ‘Narcisse Noir’ still holds incredible strength, sillage and longevity. This is a fragrance for one who wishes to intoxicate, to summon darkness and desire, to seduce and control. I would describe it as a heavy scent, although I appreciate that everyone has different standards. On my pale, magnifying skin the musk and indoles are almost too overwhelming but I think that maybe on others ‘Narcisse Noir’ would be the ideal evening scent, dramatic, timeless and ever so glamorous.

The smoldering femme fatale in the movie and the ancient sorceress are the same woman. Her powerful mystique unchanged by the passing of time, her seduction just as brutal. Wrap yourself in a swathe of ‘Narcisse Noir’ and discover that dark heart beating in your own chest.