Narcissus (2005) by Harlan
On the short list of my favorite floral notes narcissus is right there. In my opinion it doesn’t get used enough especially in the kind of fresh floral fragrances that I reach for in the spring. Most of the time it is used to create something with more depth and it is more prevalent in my cooler weather fragrances. On the short list of my favorite perfumers Christopher Laudamiel is right there. On the short list of my very favorite fragrances of all time is the first collaboration between M. Laudamiel and Laura Slatkin back in 2003, Slatkin Absinthe. All of these things have come together in the new NEST Fragrances White Narcisse Body & Soul Eau de Toilette.
Christophe Laudamiel (Photo by Marcus Gaab)
M. Laudamiel has been concentrating on things outside of putting perfume in a bottle as he has continued with his ambient scenting company and he just opened another visual and olfactory art exhibit earlier this year. When Ms. Slatkin re-entered the perfume market with her line of NEST Fragrances, M. Laudamiel was right there by her side with Amazon Lily and Passiflora in the debut collection. I liked both of those but White Narcisse feels like a much more complete creation from top to base. For White Narcisse M. Laudamiel defines what he considers fresh and I found some of the choices he made fascinating in creating a fresh floral fragrance that has something there besides generic fresh.
White Narcisse begins with a crisp pear note paired with anise. This is an example of the kind of pairing M. Laudamiel seems to excel at. The anise adds a contrast to the fruity quality of the pear that makes both of the notes more than either would be on their own. The advertised narcissus arrives in the heart supported by muguet and mimosa. This is your typical fresh olfactory floral bouquet. But as he did in the top notes M. Laudamiel adds a couple of interesting contrasting notes in tarragon and paperwhites. The herbal quality of the tarragon really adds a unique twist of fresh. The paperwhites add their characteristic astringency which keeps the fresh from spiraling out of control. The base stays on a typical fresh trajectory with white musk and sandalwood providing the final touch.
White Narcisse has average longevity and above average sillage.
White Narcisse is an example of a fresh fragrance that does not have to follow the path so many other spring fresh florals do. By choosing a different keynote floral with an excellent creative team and an even more creative perfumer White Narcisse shows that the same old fresh doesn’t have to be the same old fresh.
Disclosure: This review was based on a bottle of White Narcisse provided by NEST Fragrances.
Thanks to NEST we have a very special draw of not only a full bottle of White Narcisse but also the Body Wash, the Body Cream, and the Candle. All four will go to one winner in the US ONLY. To be eligible leave a comment on what fresh means to you. The draw will end on April 24, 2013.
We announce the winners only onsite and on our Facebook page, so Like CaFleureBon and use our RSS option…..or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.
-Mark Behnke, Managing Editor