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    sean-dt's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Narcisse Noir by Caron

    Can a perfume tell a story? There are countless theories about the way the sense of smell is tied up with memory, but with Narcisse Noir there is something I don't understand. It reminds me of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. It really conjures up the atmosphere of old Hollywood films, but as I only smelled the perfume recently, and never met an old-school Hollywood femme fatale, there can't be any memory that Narcisse Noir triggers whenever I smell it. Still, it just seems to fit my image of this other world, and it just so happens that it was the perfume Norma Desmond drenched herself with as she made the transition from the glamorous to the grotesque. Indeed actress Gloria Swanson is said to have had the Sunset Boulevard set sprayed with the stuff, so it must have had a similar effect on her.

    Now I'm sure if I could trace back all of the scents I have ever smelled throughout my life as well as the complex of associations I have made with them, it would become clear why this perfume presents itself to me the way it does. Still, I canít imagine how I could possibly interpret its bold mix of coppery tones over a dank spicy base as anything other than the dark edgy side of glamour from a bygone age. Maybe I'm suggestible, or maybe Narcisse Noir actually is a film noir in a bottle.

    28 December, 2010