narcissus absolute and the living flower is nil. Void. Nada.
If it wasn't for the name, there would be nothing in it to suggest the intoxicating perfume that linger in the air in mid-winter in the Mediterranean region. When a Narcissus tazetta* is around and in bloom, you can't miss it. The humble little bulb plant often hides between thorny bushes but the scent cannot conceal itself. Little pillars carrying bright shining stars that seem to have a face and a character of their own. The flowers radiate a most audacious, heady, refreshing, intoxicating and inviting aroma.
On sunny winter weekend, after a night of showers, we would jump in the puddles and the scent of narcissus flowers will stop us on their tracks. We'd look around for the source of this lovely scent (and after a year or two in the village, noticed they will usually show up in the same place - which is only logical for an endangered bulb plant). But once coming closer - there is a certain point when you're too close, and the scent is almost repulsive, reminiscent of ripe corpses and feces abandoned in some ancient battlefield.
The absolute of narcissus, while certainly haunting, as a different story. It has a certain voluptuous darkness about it, yet is also honeyed, greenish and soft. Narcissus being related to tuberose, it is no surprise to find relationship there - tuberose-like character but not nearly as dominant. Not quite powerful as to bring to mind any of the dark tales of doom associated with this flower in Greek mythology. Like its tuberose cousin, it is heady yet waxy and smooth, green and also slightly buttery and powdery. There is also an underlying sweetness reminiscent of dry hay-laden meadows and wet soils it brings to mind the surroundings of a Mediterranean winter landscape rather than the aroma of the flower itself.
Coming back to the lab this morning for round 3 of my narcissus perfume, I'm now compelled to tell the story of the winter meadow, rather than a standalone flower perfume or a soliflore. I wanted version .03 (created on 03.03.2014) to feel like that haunted moment when you spot a rainbow in the cloud. The realization that some mushroom have grown overnight after the rain, within arm reach of where the narcissus flowers are hiding.
* The cultivated plant Narcissus Poeticus is also used for extraction. So the variations in scent also are due to the variations between these particular species, not only the extraction method or the locale.