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Nose-to-Nose - More white flowers, please - May 14, 2014

Photo - Wikimedia Commons - brugmansia candida or datura flower

Gwen:        Wow! Where did you get that plant - the flowers are enormous!

Kay:           It’s going in a pot on the back deck, and its name is brugmansia candida. Isn’t it fantastic? I’ve just googled it, and discovered that it’s a twin sister of the Datura plant. They’re both called Datura, or Angel’s Trumpet, or Trumpet Flower, or Moonflowers, or Devil’s Weed, or Witch’s Weed.

Gwen:        Great names! Boy oh boy, it’s got a really strong scent. Really unusual.

Kay:           I know - I love it! How would you describe it?

Gwen:        Well, it’s sort of medicine-y at first, with a camphourous green smell, mixed with mint, I think. And then it’s sweet, too, with a bit of coconut, and that jasmine or tuberose waft of danger…..

Kay:           Exactly - it smells exotic and erotic! Aren’t white flowers incredible! It’s a night blooming plant, and – get this - it’s incredibly toxic.      

Gwen:        Hmmm – is it a killer?

Kay:           Yup, can be. The flowers and seeds contain alkaloids such as scopolamine, hyoscyamine, and atropine, which  act as deliriants or hallucinogenics  - potent drugs -and have a horrible effect on the nervous system, shutting down the body and the mind so that you become dissociated, trapped in a painful alternate reality.  Datura and brugmansia grow almost like weeds in warm temperate climates, so they’ve been used for centuries by cultures all over the world as medicine, or as poison. And, of course, wouldn’t you know….the intoxicating scent of the flowers is used in perfumes.

Gwen:        I knew this was leading up to something.

Kay:           All paths lead to perfumes…

Gwen:        Well, your timing is perfect, because I was just sniffing samples and reading on Fragrantica about Datura in Perfumes, and how the Serge Lutens Datura Noir has a kind of schizophrenic effect, pushing several note buttons at once – you never know what you’re going to smell next when you wear it – the almond apricot fruity aspect, the dirty tuberose,  the beachy coconut, the dusty tonka. It’s one of the few Serge Lutens we haven’t listed in our Decant Store.

Kay:           The same for Evening Edged in Gold by Ineke – it’s built around the Datura note, too, but leans toward the sweet erotic, rather than dangerous exotic. We list three Ineke scents - After my own Heart, Field Notes from Paris, Gilded Lily – when are we going to list that one?

Gwen:        We should add those two to our “Soon” list.

Kay:           And how about Sousanne by Keiko Mecheri, and Trumpet Flower by Illuminum, and Delirium by Boadicea the Victorious. We definitely need some of these Datura frags.

Gwen:        Yeah, Daturas add another meaning to White Flowers.

Kay:           How’s that, BFF?

Gwen:        They’re dangerous, Kay, these Daturas – they’re killer frags. Once you smell them, you’re done.

Kay:           I can’t wait – help me plant this, Gwen. 


Don’t let the suspense kill you - check back soon to see which Datura frag we list first.