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Au Delà Narcisse – Edgy and beyond beautiful


Au Delà Narcisse bottle and print -

I’m reading Perfumes The Guide 2018 by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, released only in Kindle format so far in Canada, but that’s fine with me. Anywhere, anytime, I can read their highly subjective and entertaining opinions with just a few clicks and scrolls on my phone. Scrolling through the “A” listings last night, for example, Au Delà Narcisse by Bruno Fazzolari came up on the screen. 

Luca Turin’s comment…”Not everyone can afford to put Laboratoire Monique Remy’s legendary narcissus in a composition, but this one does contain a slug of that amazing material, lending seen-it-all elegance and complexity…” Luca Turin, Perfumes The Guide 2018

Based in San Franciso and self-described as creating  “…Unusual artisanal scents for the discriminating and adventurous…Fiercely independent and crafted by hand…”, Bruno Fazzolari, who is also an accomplished visual artist, is one of the best perfumers in the “indie/artisanal” world at the moment, in my opinion, and I’m not alone in that sentiment. That’s why we’ve listed two of his scents - see Lampblack and Feu Secret.

Back story:

Four years ago I ordered a few Bruno Fazzolari samples, an assortment which included Au Delà Narcisse de Montagnes, a limited edition version of his original 2013 floral chypre Au Delà. This version included narcisse absolute, which he described in an interview with CaFleurBon:

“…it was all about the extraordinary raw material at the heart of this new edition. Narcisse des Montagnes is a star among floral absolutes, a floral that’s both earthy and green—tricky to work with because its more delicate notes are easily overwhelmed. This particular harvest was amazing and I wanted to share the beauty of it…”

I wanted to share it too, because I knew the beauty of the narcissus note first-hand from growing up with a gardener-Mother who could grow anything, grew everything, and who passionately loved white flowers, especially narcissus and lilies.

Bruno wasn’t kidding when he described narcisse as a star ingredient, and the truth is, it wasn’t just amazing, this narcisse absolute was riveting. Like fireworks, it burst open sparkly and green, juicy with tart bergamot, the nectar of orange blossom, and a spiced-honey jasmine, an accord which developed a sensuous indolic hum in the heart, like a cat purring with anticipated pleasure. The dry-down turned darker, earthy from real oakmoss, then warmed by a salty-skin amber and incense accord, the animalic waft of narcisse absolute floating in and out. It felt retro and very contmporary. at the same time.

The scent was perfection from top to bottom, not too sweet or too green, not austere or haughty like vintage chypre, it possessed a fierce warm beauty that I loved.  By the time my two decants ran out and I finally decided to order a bottle, the limited edition was sold out, and I could not forgive myself for ignoring the inner voice that had told me to click the BUY button after my first sniff. Stupid!

Fast forward to 2018:

I ordered a bottle of Au Delà Narcisse, which I discovered Bruno had recently added as a permanent scent to his catalogue (read his post here). From the original Au Delà in 2013, to Au Delà Narcisse de Montagnes in 2014, to finally the third version, Au Delà Narcisse in 2017. Is this last version the same, does it live up to my memories of my Narcisse de Montagnes decants?


From the website and the packaging:

Au Delà - Narcisse is a classic white-floral chypre, made in the old-school way with genuine oakmoss and labdanum. The narcissus note is clear, fresh and unmistakable, and is supported by heavy doses of highest quality absolutes of Egyptian jasmine and French orange flower. We make this with a very rare and exquisite extraction of Narcissus, but this is no fading flower! The flowers are supported by a classic base, richly spicy, and resinous and with just the right amount of animalic purr. The proportion of these high quality natural floral absolutes is very high and the formula is far and away my most expensive…

…Au Delà  is French for "the beyond," … The scent recalls…a time when fragrance was still bold, adventuresome and complex…Dries down to a smoldering, salty base of oakmoss and resins…big, ravishing, sensuous…”

In Au Delà Narcisse I’ve found a modern floral masterpiece, a piece of olfactory art that makes perfect sense to me. Classic bones, modern style, edgy, powerful, and beyond beautiful.

Au Delà Narcisse is listed in our Decant store. Decants are $7.00 for 1 ml.