The official blurb for Mont De Narcisse asks us to accept that here the location is the Auvergne, and yes, there is certainly something of that area’s eye-widening openness in the combination of the cardamom and the pink pepper. But as the scent develops and the central narcissus note is coaxed into revealing its leathery, animalic facets, the outside world is abandoned for a much more intimate setting: a candle-lit room in which long-hidden confidences are revealed over coffee, and the wood in the fireplace crackles with an occasional hint of danger. It’s a gorgeous, slinky piece of work which frequently calls to mind the feline elegance of Habanita, with its not dissimilar marriage of smoke, leather and vanilla.
True to expectation-thwarting form, L’Artisan are about to play what would seem like a comedy card by releasing Bana Banana, a Celine Ellena composition inspired by brand founder Jean-Francois Laporte's decision to attend a fancy dress party dressed as a banana; an event which coincided with the formation of L’Artisan as a company. On the face of it, this is perfume as facetious joke, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The scent’s opening makes ample use of substances - such as amyl acetate - that evoke sickly childhood confections. But thankfully, this is a stand-up routine that displays real heart towards the end, because when the silliness fades away, what you’re left with is an amber-hued, powdery white floral (banana easily links with ylang ylang which is, of course, close to jasmine) with sufficient depth and gravitas to keep you watching its performance for hours. Clever stuff.
[Reviews based on samples of eau de parfum provided by L'Artisan Parfumeur in 2018 and 2019.]