In the dark recesses of a box, lies something very special. Only, its all but run out, with just one spray left of what was a 0.5ml sample. I keep it for very special occasions, and being the romantic (cheapskate) that I am, I believe that no other 0.5ml sample will ever smell quite as good, least the same (that or I refuse to shell out any more money). Needless to say, 4ml of said perfume costs €42, for which, I cannot quite push myself to spend. But then again…

The perfume in question is Narcotic Venus by Nasomatto. A white floral homage with tuberose as reigning supreme, it was created by Alessandro Gualtieri, and claims to be the result of a quest for the ‘overwhelming addictive intensity of female sexual power’ (www.nasomatto.com). And I have to agree. As perfumes go, it’s beautiful. And not in the way you would say your friend was beautiful (average-pretty), or the sunrise was beautiful (majestic), it is quite simply, and without strings/buts/maybes, quite honestly, rather simply… beautiful. Like a moment of pure content, sheer transparency, and overall, calm. That at least, is after the drydown when you’ve gone past the stages of ecstasy and falling head first into the unknown, only to be delivered into a haze of white flower euphoria. Tuberose, Jasmine and Lily twine seamlessly at the heart of the perfume, and unlike many perfume structures that make you wait for their indulgent tones, you’re hit with them at the first sniff.

Beyond the beauty of the perfume, we have to question why Gualtieri chose a floral composition. Without much fanfare, there are several good reasons. Firstly, nothing says femininity in nature more so than flowers- they are the lure plants use to attract insects to be pollinated. However, these are white flowers, and their attraction is based in their very chemical composition. Tuberose has the highest concentration of lactones of all white flowers, which smell like peach, hay, coconut and fat; here we have the physical body of Venus. Jasmine has the highest number of fatty acid esters of all the white flowers, and are reminiscent of the oil found in our skin. Thus, jasmine makes up Venus’ skin, and conceals her tuberose body. Lilies are full of indoles (smells like mothballs), and gives the fragrance an overall lift- or, in terms of our Venus, her lightness of foot, youth and  spirit. Thus, Gualtieri has embodied his Narcotic Venus in her floral counterpart.

Taken just as it is, the beauty of the perfume means that we become (at some elemental part) a version of this Venus- we smell indulgent, powerful, and it drives me to such distraction on my own skin, I can’t help but assume what it would do to others. Call it forward, call it intense, it is everything and more.

 

Narcotic Venus is only available in Extrait de Parfum at 30ml/€118, or 4ml/€42. For more information, see www.nasomatto.com.