The bewitched carnations : DIAMOND WATER & GOLCONDA by JAR (2001)

The Black Narcissus

















That reclusive, nebulous jeweller of perfumery, Joel Arthur Rosenthal ( or ‘JAR’ to use his acronym ), has a very dark and cryptic boutique just off the Place Vendôme in Paris, swathed in black and borderline vaudeville, that radically changes the way in which perfume is presented.

A very theatrically-rendered thunder bolt painted across the ceiling of this perfumery announces you have entered a fragrant world of showmanship, as you sheepishly pull back the curtains and the perfume show begins….




But first to the scents themselves. Rosenthal seems to have quite a thing for cloves and carnations (as do I), and his powdery, opoponax/incense carnation creation, Diamond Water, is quite alluring. It is a rich and decadent floral, with rose; tuberose perhaps (they will reveal nothing), possibly cinnamon, and honey-drenched luminous white lilies over santal…

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