The Black Narcissus

‘You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;

They called me the hyacinth girl.’


The appearance of The Hyacinth Girl in T.S Eliot’s The Wasteland is probably the most memorable part of the poem the for the budding and swooning flower acolyte, and many a romantic seventeen year old English student is probably sighing and dreaming on discovering her as I write this ( I know that I most certainly was; that age when I was blooming into  consciousness).

The flowers in the first part of the work, ‘The Burial Of The Dead’ (lilacs, hyacinths) speak of desire, death, and romantic loss (the cruelty of spring), and Chamade, Jean Paul Guerlain’s great masterpiece of 1969  – inspired by a tragic love story by Francoise Sagan, ‘La Chamade’ – reflects this: it is an exceptionally tender, sensitive perfume;  a perfume to own just for its own beauty even if you don’t…

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Filed under Flowers

4 responses to “CHAMADE by GUERLAIN (1969)

  1. The first time I tried Chamade I thought they should have named it charade because it seemed like a whirlwind of phases. From the sharp, green hyacinth opening to the lush lilac & pink rose, then grassy galbanum, spicy clove, the almost dissonant Peru balsam & benzoin , and lastly you are left with powdery vanilla drydown- this fragrance was quite the shape-shifter. The upside down heart shaped bottle, symbolizing emotional overwhelm? cupid’s arrow? a teardrop? Such a gorgeously well thought out presentation & stunning composition. As they say, “That’s love!”

  2. JulienFromDijon

    As Jean Cocteau fiercely put it :
    Change my odor, and my colour,
    the way you’ve changed Hyacinthus, into a flower” *

    P.S.: By serendipity, I’ve been reading about a banned hyacinth compound today, the bromostyrene.
    I’m no chemist or perfumer. But I was toying with the equivalent of wikipedia for fragrant compounds. And chewing some informations on my way. Turin quoted TheGoodScentCompany, and indeed its a goldmine.

    * From the poem Batterie.
    “Soleil (…),
    Change-moi d’odeur et de couleur
    comme tu as changé Hyacinthe en fleur”


    Then I found that sort of wiki (quite indigestible, but free too)

    Then there was the IFRA (big bad villain, but gives shared knowledge to amateur indiscriminately)
    Answer : It was axed for sheer precaution principle, by lack of evidences.

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