Monday 6 March 2023

NARCISSE by Fragonard

A bottle of Narcisse perfume from Fragonard, their 2023 Flower of the Year created by Karin Dubreuil
The winter this year has felt like a very long, and a decidedly cold three months. That’s why the first signs of spring were eagerly welcomed by us all. Those green shoots bursting through the soil, promising the flowers that were to come, gave off an excitement if not any actual warmth. This period before the garden truly springs into action can be a little barren with regards to colour, but that doesn’t mean delicate white petals aren’t something to be celebrated. For their 2023 Flower of the Year, Fragonard has fixed its sights on the perfectly formed Narcisse, and it’s as captivating as its Grecian inspiration.

Fragonard is a company that I reviewed many times and which I’ve openly expressed my love for. Under the direction of the three Costa sisters - Agnès, Anne and Françoise - this Grasse perfumery has transformed from a simple tourist destination to a worldwide exporter. From their legendary Belle de Nuit through to the oud-sensation Secret Absolut, and not forgetting the much missed Tiarella, Fragonard produces beautiful fragrances that are a joy to wear. The female led company is also the perfect way to celebrate this week’s Intentional Women’s Day because, in a male dominated industry, they are a very powerful trio.

Fragonard launched their Flower of the Year series back in 2010 as a way of offering a collection of fragrances at an easily affordable price point. Under the ever-watchful eyes of the three sisters, quality was never compromised, and the series quickly became a firm favourite with their customers around the world. Mimosa was chosen to be the first flower in the limited edition range and was followed by Fleur d'Oranger, Violette, Muguet, Pois des Senteurs, Jasmine, Iris, Pivoine, Verveine, Lavender, Magnolia, Fleur de la Passion and last year’s Eglantine. However, 2023 sees Narcisse welcomed to the fragrant family.

The box for the Narcisse perfume from Fragonard, their 2023 Flower of the Year created by Karin Dubreuil
has been created by Karine Dubreuil, who was also the perfumer behind last year’s Eglantine and the fig-inspired Beau de Provence. This year however sees Karine immortalise the narcissus flower that, according to legend, grew from the spot where the same-named son of the Greek river god pined away after glimpsing his own inescapable beauty in the water. I can’t promise irresistible magnetism, but there’s a hefty dose of romance. Narcisse cleverly combines the heady floral with fresh spring-like nuances but, underneath, there’s an embracing warmth that should attract even the flightiest of hearts.

Narcisse opens with a bright pairing of bergamot and tangerine, with the latter contributing a sweet edge to the citrus mix, before a hint of peppered rose starts to come through. This is joined by the greener petitgrain, so conjuring those first shoots, before the star ingredient shows itself. Karine’s narcissus note is more watery and delicate than other examples, with its animalic aspect kept low so you can enjoy the floral aspect to the full, and the use of jasmine in here gently boosts those white blooms. There’s a sunny honey accord that then appears, accompanied by a delicious blend of sandalwood and cedarwood, before a cushion of musk completes this romantic and bewitching fragrance.

Narcisse is available from the Fragonard website at priced at €20 for 50ml, and is also available as a soap and a diffuser. [Sample provided by Fragonard]

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