Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Once again, a turn of the earth

Another equinox come and gone.

With me apparently lost in the earth's turnings.  Sorry about that.

I woke up with this morning with the Fleur de Narcisse I had applied yesterday afternoon a bit boozier, a bit sweeter, and still ever so wonderful.  There is something about this one that matches "equinox" so perfectly for me.  I suspect, as I have mused before, that it connects with the same part of me that so loves digging in the dirt, putting my nose in flower and foliage, and lifting a slightly cocked head to the air to catch wafts of cut grass and cooked compost.

FdN has been a guilty and peculiar passion of mine since I first smelled it.  It doesn't "develop," really, though I could swear it "integrates."  Especially during times of the year when your clothing and the temperature DO "develop" during the day.  (Layers on, layers off.  See your breath, get warmed by the sun.)  Fleur de Narcisse is something that I don't even bother to take out of its precious little crate during much of the year.

Kind of like I don't even bother to peek inside the compost pile during high summer or the depths of winter.

But now...now...let's take the fork and poke in there a bit.  Naw, let's stab heartily and turn it over and see what we've got.

When life is good, in the pile you find something dark and easily crumbled and just the right moist and know it will be good for your garden.  In the crate, you find something bright dark and with depth and though it sings the same chord you are happy to let it ring like a prayer bowl and just get lost inside it.

Both smell good.

Once upon a time I was afraid to write about FdN, because it was/is so darn expensive.  I could pull the "what with the change in attitudes and prices when it comes to perfume, the L'Artisan harvest range is now more hiccup in thinking rather than deal breaker" attitude.  Because I won't.  Because putting down more than two C-notes (see, still the guilt; really, it's straight up three C's) for a bottle of perfume is putting down a lot of hours of working-persons paycheck.  Of course, why people were so comfortable picking on L'Artisan for this, and yet openly purchasing bottles of, say, Uncle Serge, which is nearly the same price per ml, I'm not quite sure.  The "exclusive" presentation?  Please.  There's no better run cult than that of Serge Lutens.  To be sure, I love Chergui...I mean, a LOT, especially in the right season...but I'd rank my Chergui experience in the same plane as my Fleur de Narcisse one.  As in, rich, heady, takes me away...but about the same in complexity and "evolution."

I'd argue that somebody did a much better job of selling one pile of compost over another.

Nonetheless, things are what they are.  Perfume folk are trying to decide how to get their hands on the juice inside an exclusive Scandinavian bottle.  Meanwhile, somewhere Eau de Polder sits unchatted about in a cute flask.  No, not an artisan bottle.  I get that.  But I'm just saying...

Oh, fie.  "Uncle," I cry.  Quality of juice and packaging and willing climate among consumers and adept sales machines and all get muddled together often enough.  I'm going to go back to my last wafts of Fleur de Narcisse, whose tobacco-y hay-ed somewhat liquered up narcissus has been such a source of pleasure this round.

Incidentally, patient readers with a good memory will recall that my bottle of FdN was an anniversary gift from my spouse of limited identity and only occasional mention.*  It occurs to me that there is no finer tangible substance to offer up as a gift marking many, many years of togetherness than a something which is not easily obtained, yet is easily identified (limited harvest, narcissus), and which brings hearty pleasure, yet only to the right audience (my experience, my peculiar nose).  It's nowhere near the date, but the ability to unearth the discovery of a Happy Anniversary is, as a famous fan of compost used to say, a Good Thing.

*Bonkers, as I like to refer to refer to Flittersniffer, author of "Bonkers About Perfume," once ruminated on how perfume bloggers refer to their significant others.  (See "Dear Husband...")  Nicknames abound, as she pointed out.  Here, there is none.  Whether that pronouncement should have a "yet" attached to it is yet to be determined.

Photo credit: author's own.


flittersniffer said...

Oh no, blogger ate my comment...

I was going to say: "Hey, you're back!" I sampled Fleur de Narcisse in Paris (you too?), and it was the first scent presented to me on a smelling strip housed in a protective greaseproof bag. Notwithstanding this civilised procedure, FdN was not particularly to my taste - a bit too grassy (but then I am not a gardener...), and sadly narcissus is a note which goes indolic on me.

I would have liked to have assigned your shadowy spouse the name of "Owl" or "The Other Ledge Lodger", but obviously only with the consent of all parties, which I sense has not yet been secured.

Ines said...

Nice to see you back! :)
I was thinking I might like to try FdN since you like it so much but when the Chergui popped out, I now think I'll pass for the time being. I just have a problem with Chergui - actually, my stomach does.

ScentScelf said...


Hey, I am! I think. (Looks around...)

So FdN was one of those things you experienced with the crazy bag? To my thinking, it really needs some skin time...but on skin or no, the grass/hay cannot be denied. It doesn't hit indolic heights on me; certain white flowers, yes, this, no.

I do like "Owl," especially as he perches and observes with near-non-reveal of thought/expression when I go through my perfume rituals. Honestly, I don't think he's mind so much being given a moniker; I've just preferred the mystery of an indeterminate significant other as I write, I guess.... Been here over two years, though. I guess at some point, skeletons--especially those with muscle and skin and a liking for Sel de Vetiver--will eventually out.

ScentScelf said...

Ines, I am sorry to hear Chergui interferes with your lunch.

To be fair to both Chergui and Fleur de Narcisse, the overall "mash" is definitely different. The overlap, besides my happiness, lies somewhere in the hay/tobacco with sweet zone. If that's the zone that disagrees with your stomach, well, I support your desire to steer clear.

You know I do have a number of chypres I love... ;)

Anonymous said...

When I was here earlier and this post was new, Blogger ate my comment four times. I said rude things and gave up.

But now I am back. Dear Daisy the Queen Enabler just sent me a small bit of FdN, which I have worn once, and... huh. I could barely smell it.

Clearly I must try again. Narcissus! Grass! Must try again.

Chergui I still just don't "get." I love that hay/tobacco stuff, I just didn't want spices in it - which is odd, since I generally love spices in nearly everything. I Don't Know Why. Clearly must try that one at least one more time.

Because Tabac Aurea (50% patchouli, :) ) and Le Temps d'une Fete are still making me very very very happy. And it's fall.

ScentScelf said...

BAD Blogger! Bad, bad!!

I will be investigating this, as I have had more than one report of comment consumption. More than ungood. Plus ungood.

Meanwhile...you know, with Chergui, that something "extra" can definitely be a deal breaker. Give it a roll again, but don't sweat it. I know how you love Tabac Aurea, which happens to be a happy place for me, too. But they "hang" in different places in my nose, which might be part of the reason why it doesn't play nicely with you.

And brings up Ines' lunch.

Ines said...

Btw, I finally tried Tabac Aurea this week and I love it. :)
Chergui is a strange beast. I will give it another go when it gets really cold because I bought it when it was really cold and when I smelled it then I thought it was really good. Ever since I keep wondering what the hell was I thinking?!