*There's a special draw at the end of this post*
Don't call it a flanker.
Au Delà - Narcisse des Montagnes is a limited edition perfume, a variation on the original Au Delà theme of a classic green floral chypre. Perfumer Bruno Fazzolari created it around a gorgeous raw material: Narcisse des Montagnes absolute, which in this interpretation of the note smells sweeter and softer than the crunchy hay that usually accompanies narcissus. There's still enough edginess to this Au Delà incarnation: a dark green undercurrent that runs just beneath the surface and creates a tension and some drama against the ambery base.
My list of perfume regrets includes not buying a bottle of the original Au Delà from its first batch. Bruno Fazzolari's gorgeous chypre is now sold out. It will be back when the right ingredients are available again, but I'm still kicking myself for waiting. How many real chypres on all their mossy elegance can one find these days? Well, Au Delà - Narcisse des Montagnes definitely adds to the very short list. It has a vintage sensibility, which as Bruno Fazzolari explains, comes from his love of mid-century aesthetics. You can smell it, and you can also see it the screen print Fazzolari (who is a visual artist as well as a perfumer) created to accompany the fragrance.
It's very different from the artist's abstract work (you can see some examples in my overview of Bruno Fazzolari's perfume line), and goes perfectly with the perfume. I see both as almost-feminine-but-not-quite. Green floral chypres used to be marketed as women's perfume, but the modern nose perceives many of them as unisex (oh how I hate this word!), if not downright masculine. The bitter greenness of galbanum next to a velvety oakmoss appeals to men and women alike, making everything from Vent Vert to Caleche gender-free.
It's the same with Au Delà - Narcisse des Montagnes. The perfume balances well all its aspects, never becoming too sweet, sharp, floral, or green. It is somehow softer than the original Au Dela, but only by so much. The main impression is of elegance, understated chic, and a very careful construction. As I smell a certain kinship with both vintage perfumes (I was thinking of Via Lanvin, which also makes a good use of narcissus) and modern artisan perfumery (Moss Gown by Providence Perfume Company), I feel we're all very lucky to have this kind of perfumers working among us, using precious materials and creating true luxuries.
And now for the draw:
One lucky winner (US only) will win a sample of Au Delà - Narcisse des Montagnes AND the beautiful print by Bruno Fazzolari (you can read about the process of making it on the artist's blog). To enter please tell us about an artwork and a scent you personally connect with it.
Bruno Fazzolari- Au Delà - Narcisse des Montagnes ($96, 1oz ) is available at Twisted Lily and directly from brunofazzolari.com. The sample for this review was provided by the perfumer.