I associate the Japanese narcissus, or suisen, with the end of the year and the beginning of January – never November.

But cycling the other day on a warm bright morning I was suddenly met with that unmistakeable sweet insistence, encircling me, invisible, hidden in gardens – blinding me – until other clusters of narcissus flowers became visible fully opened by the roadside.

The scent of these flowers always alarms, even while it gets me as instantaneously high as a drug. Narcotic, as befits the origin of their Greek name, narkos – the ravishing prettiness that sends one into narcosis upon one sweet inhalation, yet also always with that plangent, intrinsic essence leaving traces of ambivalence: evil: : poisonously idyllic.

In perfumery, the excitement of the soliflore is also something for me that never dims. A unique portrait of a particular bloom in a flacon, the components secret except to the creator, perfuming the liquid with alchemic precision, a constantly evaporating, and re-evaporating, apparition.

Breathing in Parfums Osaji’s Suisen yesterday, this was manifestly narcissus. The fresh adultness of the narcissus: decaying newness of the flower mouths; low-breathed, almost foul: a rich essence of jasmine – mature, full-bodied indolic jasmine, yet with intestines removed; lab-clipped; edited into an intriguing modern floral that is certainly unsettling, though also also probably lacking something (beauty? ) . Even so, like the flowers the other day by the wayside, in the department store in Fujisawa. – Suisen did stop me in my tracks.


Filed under Flowers

5 responses to “SUISEN ( NARCISSUS ) by OSAJI (2020)

  1. To my nose, narcissus is indolic to the extreme. Their scent is reminiscent of soiled, poopy baby diaper and mouldy breath. Sends me retching consistently. Kind of sad because narcissus’ pouty cup and saucer face paired with pristine, pleated petals is so pleasing to the eye. Ever the herald of Spring, I look forward to their appearance despite their stench.
    That being said, I am curious as to what a fragrance of this blog’s namesake, a black narcissus, would be like? Is there such a thing? Would it be tinged with leather, spice, tobacco, liquor, and deep woods denoting it’s darkness?

  2. For that, I think Caron’s Narcisse Noir will suffice !

    As for the narcissus, there are different varieties vastly differing in faecality. There are some that make me laugh out loud for their deep halitosis.

    Others are honestly sweet as a bell – particularly the predominant varietal here. I think your mind could be changed, even though they are never ENTIRELY undodgy

  3. OnWingsofSaffron

    I looked up Osaji on the internet; their site doesn‘t seem to offer any information in English—strange!

  4. I absolutely adore the scent of narcissus, in all its varied glory. We have it blooming by our house here in Spring, but it is the very proper kind with very little of the true narcotic scent about it. Oh how I wish I had some with the really dirty indolic presence to them.
    I managed to find Osaji fragrances on Amazon.JP, but they were out of stock on most of the scents, including this one, which they translated as Daffodils. They are very reasonably priced.

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