rotting datura




How nice to have a weekend free after surviving six days on the trot :; yesterday at home with wine and cooking and an 80’s kitchen disco, blissfully listening to all those old 12” singles we lugged at backbreaking maximum weight from England to Japan.


Today, en route from Kannai station down Isezakicho street to our favourite Thai restaurant, Im Aroy, Japanese jasmine perfume already in the bag; Thursday, here I also picked up a pristine Ricci Capricci velvet-boxed parfum for virtually nothing, and there will be more later – we passed these dangling, perfumed atrocities that I immediately recognized as Hell’s Bell’s, Devil’s Weed, or Datura, one of the absolute poisinest plants in the natural world, psychotropic to the max, leading to hypothermia, convulsions, visions, and death (and probably easy to just slip into someone’s tea).



I grasped and inhaled one of the non-decomposing flowers pictured, and it smelled beautiful – literally intoxicating, and much closer to Serge Lutens’ Datura Noir than I had ever realized








Filed under Flowers

18 responses to “rotting datura

  1. Persolaise

    Not a Lutens with which I’m over-familiar. But I shall now have to seek out a sample.

    Note to self: never ask N for a cup of tea.

  2. MrsDalloway

    They look like demonic courgette flowers: not to be frittered.

  3. OnWingsofSaffron

    In Leo Delibes’s opera “Lakmé” the protagonist kills herself by eating from the datura plant. No need for a cuppa, just nibbling the leaf does the trick there—

    • How beautifully horrifying.

      Just a nibble ? It really is toxicity central, isn’t it, and yet some people mess with it as a psychedelic

      You would think in that case they would not have the damned things just growing in the street. Any random toddler could amble along .

  4. Phyllis Ann Iervello

    What I said in my reply to your December 2014 post of this scent still holds true for me in 2019. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I cannot wait to scrub it off.

    • Precisely.

      I also revisited that old review : it is definitely an odd scent, slightly repulsive and alluring simultaneously.

      And there IS something very attractive about the flowers, I think – the size of them for a start. These pictured were intensely perfumes

  5. Robin

    Lilac, lemon, coconut, almond? I’m intrigued. Closest I’ve got to either Datura Noir or the real thing is Keiko Mechuri Datura Blanche, which is probably a mile away. It is weird little slightly venomous powdery thing which I quite like.

  6. Robin

    A generously funded book tour of North America, including a day or two in Vancouver, natch.

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