I bought a new bottle of perfume.
Well, that should not be too momentous a confession on a perfume blog, but somehow it is.
I have been disenchanted with perfume, with blogging,with life in general, it seems lately, and just couldn’t be bothered.
Jean-Claude Ellena gave me a boost. A boost to smell a new perfume more closely, to write once more and to part with my money. He has a way of doing that…
Eau de Narcisse Bleu is part of the Les Colognes Collection, Tara reviewed its launch partner Eau de Mandarine Ambrée yesterday, Eau de Pamplemousse Rose is an old faithful friend and the other two Eau de Gentiane Blanche and the reformulated and repackaged classic from 1979 Eau d’Orange Verte are both on my “sniff and write asap” list now – I still like to complete a set.
A contemporary fragrance that looks at Cologne in a whole new light.
A style of writing that combines a dense and textured narcissus note with a delicate woody accord in a muted contrast.
(from the Hermès website)
Eau de Narcisse Bleu includes notes of galbanum, narcissus and woody notes and was created by Jean-Claude Ellena in 2013.
Eau de Narcisse Bleu is not your typical cologne. Far from it. It does not use a citrusy kind of freshness to achieve its purpose but a green, milky and clean one.
It opens with leafy greens, sharp, almost bracingly, but very soon it softens and smooths, it becomes round and billowy, any edges the opening had mellow into a mild softness, a delicate tenderness that mostly characterizes the perfume for me.
The dry and powdery facets of narcissus are there haunted by leafy green shadows, all resting on smooth, sun-bleached wood.
Eau de Narcisse Bleu has an inherent warmth and an enveloping quality that is way less substantial than I make it sound. It reminds me of gauzy material, Hermès’s own mousseline fabric comes to mind, impossibly sheer and light, somewhat fragile, but stilll undeniably present. Tender, never suffocating.
That last word – suffocating – seems important. I felt suffocated by perfume for the past few months. My body seemed to reject it violently, I was plagued by allergies, even when I could smell through my stuffy nose some days, my skin seemed to say “No, thanks, wash that off now!” Not an ideal situation when you have a big collection, when you want to write about it, when you love perfume and the exploration of it. But I listened to my body that apparently had enough and abstained from most temptations. Hermès perfumes and their lightness seem to be the only remaining fragrant stronghold.
Eau de Narcisse Bleu makes me happy because it is interesting, tender, unusual and beautiful. It didn’t make me sneeze, it didn’t cause a rash, it made me sit down and write about it without making a big fuss. It is not a big perfume, not a show-stopping, scene-stealing diva, not a huge development in the industry, no splash, no hype, no big hurray.
It is what it is and will stay with me.