Scent Note: What does narcissus smell like?

Narcissus in perfumery

In This Article

Origin and characteristics of Narcissus

Narcissus is a perennial herbaceous plant in the Amaryllidaceae family. According to the classical classification, the narcissus is part of the Liliaceae. The narcissus is poisonous to dogs, the latter usually consume the narcissus flower or the water in which the bulb or flower has been soaked. The most poisonous are the narcissus bulbs, 15 g is enough to kill a dog. They contain alkaloids which are acutely toxic. As for the rodent, they manage to smell the toxicity of the daffodils and move away from it. This is the reason gardeners grow daffodils around plants to protect them from rodents.

After extracting the narcissus flowers with volatile solvents and washing with alcohol, the narcissus absolute is obtained. It is used to design prestigious chypre and floral fragrances. Narcissus absolute generates a green, floral, animal and oily note.
Daffodils are mainly produced in Auvergne, then in Egypt and Morocco.

Narcissus-based perfumes

Hermès Blue Narcissus Water, according to its creator Jean-Claude Ellena, has been freely designed to express the tactile aspect of the narcissus. With its facet of galbanum and orange blossom, Blue Narcissus Water is extremely fresh. The mix of the density of narcissus and the delicate woody note is very appreciated. Created in 2013, Eau de narcisse bleu gives a feeling of cleanliness and overflows with sensuality.

Released in 1984, the feminine perfume Ysatis by Givenchy includes a note of narcissus in its composition. Belonging to the floral olfactory family, it has galbanum, coconut, mandarin and rosewood top notes. In the middle note, it contains narcissus, carnation, tuberose and jasmine. As a base note, this fragrance includes sandalwood, civet, patchouli and castoreum. It is sensual and opulent. 

Lancôme's Magie Noire fragrance also contains narcissus. Launched in 1978 and created by Gérard Goupy, this oriental olfactory family fragrance is composed of a top note of blackcurrant bud, Bulgarian rose, raspberry, bergamot, hyacinth and gummy ferrule. Narcissus is part of its heart note along with ylang-ylang, honey, cedar, iris, tuberose and jasmine. In base note, there is musk, sandalwood, spices, civet, patchouli, myrrh, amber, frankincense, vetiver. The bark of Cascarilla, a West Indian tree, spices up and seems to cleanse the scent of the narcissus in the perfume. This old version is opulent and very elegant.

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