Spring! Spring! Spring !

The Black Narcissus





Walking through the woods yesterday and seeing some wild narcissus, I thought we should go and visit Zuisenji (literally ‘Narcissus Temple’), a famous Buddhist place of worship and contemplation originating in the fourteenth century set in the hillside that for some reason I have never been to, with its swathes of fragrant narcissi laid out in the grounds.

When we got there, however, it turned out, disappointingly, that we had missed them.

it is here5873

The place itself though was anything but a disappointment, as you can see.

Beautifully situated in a sun-filled corner of Kamakura it was exquisitely tranquil and pretty, with magnolia in bloom and the first flowering cherry trees of the season.



cherryblossomat zuisenji


It was quite a long walk there from our house, though, and we were quite exhausted. After a tempura lunch in a restaurant in the century of the city we caught possibly my favourite temple, the relatively ramshackle…

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  1. Robin

    I have been wearing Narcisse Bleu for a whole week now!

    • Ooh interesting choice. Last time I tried it, I think at Ho Chi Minh airport, I was worried the ending was a bit sports fragrancey. But I still love the cold beginning. What possessed you to go all cool grotto?

      • Robin

        Cool grotto. Perfect. No sports fragrancey note to this nose. Quite a bit of iris, though. Actually gives me a bit of an echo of Hiris. Hiris with galbanum and narcissus, almost.

        After your post about narcissus, it occured to me I hadn’t worn Narcisse Bleu in ages and I have a whole neglected bottle. Turns out Ric loves it on me. I think Hermes often has a base that is quite delicate, Les Exclusifs-like, a base Ric always loves. Bingo.

        Speaking of which, I just realized I can totally picture you in 31 Rue Cambon. Is it one of your go-tos? That’s what my gut says but I can’t recall what you’ve said about it. The original 2007 formulation is in my Top 5 or 10, easily.

      • I don’t think I like it for some reason. It makes me a bit queasy or something.

        I prefer the Hermes delicacy to the Chanel, actually : I saw a reduced price bottle of the Narcisse Bleu recently but didn’t quite have the cash to get it – now you are making me crave it. What weather does it work best in? Would it wilt in summer?

      • Robin

        Re: 31 RC: Maybe the newer edp would work better than the original?! Not trying to push anything on you. Just that I love it and I think I know you and your skin. I do know what you mean about the queasiness sometimes. I had that with FM Le Parfum de Therese for a long time before I got over it. And queasiness is not a fun feeling.

        I think summer — heat, humidity — would be a really good time for Narcisse Noir, maybe even better than now. It’s green and crisp and cool enough to stand up. The narcissus might well bloom and be nice and heady and almost tropical, but still with that bite. I’ve got the Narcisse Noir bath and body gel too, which is very true to the edt and performs well in the steamy confines of the shower, so . . .

      • Oh my god the ‘steamy confines of the shower’………WHAT BLISS! Just the IDEA of a Caron shower gel is beyond luxurious.

      • Robin

        Damn, sorry, Neil. I wasn’t thinking when I was typing. It’s Narcisse Bleu I was talking about when it came to summer weather and shower gel. Oh god, would Narcisse Noir make the most incredible shower gel!!!!!!!

      • One would never wash it off.

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