When I read perfume descriptions these days my eyes (usually) begin to tire and a nap seems a better use of my time; rarely do descriptions of perfumes come close to what's in the bottles. But the mention of certain notes shakes me awake and rouses my interest: notes like rosewood, hay, camphor, myrrh...and narcissus, perhaps my favorite scent of springtime.
Au Delà Narcisse des Montagnes (containing narcissus absolute)1 was created by indie perfumer (and artist) Bruno Fazzolari.2 The fragrance starts with a punch of furry and vibrant oak moss; blending with the moss are indolic flowers, first jasmine and then a syrupy/perfume-y narcissus-like aroma (I add the "-like" because this note is really blending with other notes). In mid-development, Au Delà Narcisse des Montagnes' narcissus becomes lighter, but it's joined by a hint of earthy muskiness. Certainly the perfume conjures the outdoors, not a cool, rainy spring morning, but a warm, sunny, early-summer afternoon (this aspect is helped along by occasional whiffs of orange blossom). The perfume's extreme dry down presents a translucent white flower accord (jasmine is noticeable) suspended in lightest-weight amber.
For those of you looking for a straight-on, long-lasting narcissus fragrance, Au Delà Narcisse des Montagnes probably won't thrill you (its lasting power is average at best and its wattage low). I accept the perfume for what it is: a well-made, non-standard, MOSSY-musky floral. Au Delà Narcisse des Montagnes has a vintage character (all that moss) and I think it's unisex (but with a bit more weight on the feminine side).
NOTE: don't judge Au Delà Narcisse des Montagnes on a card or fabric (where all I smell is oak moss); the fragrance on skin is where the flowers 'bloom.'
Please let me know if you've discovered a gem of a narcissus fragrance.
Bruno Fazzolari Au Delà Narcisse des Montagnes is $96 for 30 ml Eau de Parfum; the first 50 bottles sold in 2014 will come with a signed print. The perfume and prints (also sold separately) can be purchased at the Bruno Fazzolari website.
1. Additional notes include bergamot, jasmine, orange blossom, oak moss, amber.
2. Au Delà is French for "the beyond." It is inspired by the music of the French mystical composer, Olivier Messaïen who created luscious and intoxicatingly strange harmonies. (Via the Bruno Fazzolari website)
Note: top image [altered] via Wikimedia Commons.