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Friday, March 25, 2011

Sparkling Cyanide: Datura Noir by Serge Lutens

By Marina

In my imagination, the delicate, passive Farnesiana has an alter ego...because there is only so much a sweet-natured girl can take... push her to the limit and we'll be looking at your necrologue in The NY Times. If you make her really, really angry, Farnesiana turns into Datura Noir, which is anything but delicate or passive. What unites the two for me is the bitter almond quality presented on a creamy floral background. And it is that quality that also makes them oh so different.

In Farnesiana, the almond-heliotrope accord is a soft, if melancholy embrace. In Datura Noir, it is a soupçon of cyanide in your champagne. Lutens and Cheldrake cleverly used various gourmand notes to enhance the sweet allure of brugmansia/angel's trumpet/datura...A little bit of juicy mandarin and peachy osmanthus in the top, vanilla, coconut and apricot in the base, and almond throughout the composition turn Datura Noir into an irresistible temptation....better to pull you in, my dear.

The tuberose, the presence of which lends the composition a languid, tropical feel, is wonderfully creamy, and makes a perfect seductive accomplice to the evil almond. “Very few of us are what we seem,” warns Agatha Christie. That certainly describes Datura Noir. Delicious but poisonous, beautiful but lethal, creamy-white but with the heart of darkness, it will kill you, but softly...if that's any consolation.

Available somewhat more readily than cyanide, wherever Serge Lutens fragrances are sold.

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24 Comments:

Blogger Carrie Meredith said...

I absolutely adore Datura Noir. It's insane sweetness is not something I can handle every day, but when I'm in the mood, nothing else will do.

12:11 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Why did I never make this connection? Datura Noir is the Catwoman to Selina Kyle's Farnesiana?

Hmm, by word ven if "beast"

1:27 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ay, she's a nasty beast, that aptly named Datura Noir! One of my favorite tropicals. Anything modeled on a tropical jungle should have some scary underpinnings, shouldn't it? I've always wondered when a perfumer would use a tid tad of rotting lilikoi (passion fruit), a very distinct jungle odor that always reminds me of my days in Hawai'i! Sadly, it hasn't happened yet.
-Marla

1:37 AM EDT  
OpenID olfactoriastravels.com said...

Beautiful review - scary though. ;)

4:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Dusan said...

Joining the ranks of Datura Noir fans. It is everything you say it is, and more. Love it!

6:06 AM EDT  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

Datura Noir certainly is fascinating; unfortunately, I've never been able to fall in love with it, and I've tried more than a few times. Love your description of it being equivalent to a bit of cyanide in your champagne; there is something unsettling about it, and the actual flower itself isn't exactly innocent. :)

8:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Carrie Meredith
I couldn't handle it every day either, but once in a while it's just the thing :)

9:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Tom,
Exactly, what a perfect, perfect analogy!!

9:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Marla,
Oh, I'd love to see what that could be like. I like it when fruits and flowers smells a tad too ripe in perfume :)

9:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Birgit,
Have you tried this one?

9:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Dusan,
Lovely to see you here!

9:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Suzanne,
I don't think I could fall in love with it either. Maybe it's our instinct of self-preservation working? :)

9:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Sturdykit said...

I'm not sure about osmanthus and coconut- sounds a bit much.

11:36 AM EDT  
OpenID olfactoriastravels.com said...

I have tried it long ago but just in passing, will retrieve my sample tonight. :)

11:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Love this.

1:16 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Sturdykit
It is kind of over the top :) But in a delicate way. :)

2:34 PM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Hah, what a review !
Farnesiana is one of my alltime favorites - but I've never tried Datura noir. So, high time...
(I love Brugmansias)

2:34 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Birgit
would love to know what you think!

2:34 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Alyssa
I am glad!!

2:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Melinda
I would be curious to know how you'd compare the two when you try DN

2:36 PM EDT  
Anonymous Flora said...

Lovelovelove it - it was my first Serge and I am still in its thrall. That underpinning of poison/danger is EXACTLY why I adore it ! :-)

4:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Donna
Me too! Want a bottle now :)

4:25 PM EDT  
OpenID Victoria said...

It is such a nice coincidence to read this post, because I just started reading Sparkling Cyanide (or rather, re-reading!) I love it.

11:09 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I've been promising myself to start re-reading all Christie :) Such a pleasure...

11:10 AM EDT  

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