The Black Narcissus



Opera singer portraying Valkyrie opera singer portraying Valkyrie Wagner's Ring Cycle

The release of Guerlain’s Samsara in I989 will forever be one of those utterly unforgettable perfume experiences. I remember it vividly. We had never smelled anything like it before. Nobody had. A perfume that rich; robust; strong, and eighties: its faux-oriental red canister, its ‘spiritual’ longeurs of thick, never ending sandalwood and jasmine, its shoulder-loving base tones that ate the air. This was a perfume that achieved a feat I have never quite come across since, almost a Marvel Comics-like power: the perfume, once sprayed, or even dabbed, to literally appear in the room, full-bodied and busted, dripping with lusciousness and redness, long before you ever did. You would have just emerged from your bedroom; about to come down the stairs, but before you had even put one foot forward your perfume (god what a perfume) would already be waiting for you impatiently, corporeal, present, at the front door. The…

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