The Mysterious Allure of Black Narcissus Perfume

Hello, Good News! Welcome to our blog, where we explore the fascinating world of perfumes and fragrances. Today, we are going to talk about one of the most legendary and elusive scents in history: Black Narcissus.

Black Narcissus is a name that evokes mystery, seduction, and exoticism. It is a perfume that has been shrouded in myths and legends for over a century. It is also a perfume that is very hard to find and even harder to describe. What is the secret behind this captivating scent? Let’s find out!

The Origin of Black Narcissus

The story of Black Narcissus begins in 1911, when the French perfume house Caron created a new fragrance for women. The perfumer behind this creation was Ernest Daltroff, a visionary who was inspired by the oriental and floral trends of the time. He wanted to create a perfume that would capture the essence of the East, with its rich and sensual aromas.

Daltroff chose the name Black Narcissus for his perfume, based on a British myth about a fountain filled with these flowers that turned into black-haired nymphs at midnight. He also used the name as a reference to the dark and mysterious side of femininity, which he wanted to express in his fragrance. He composed a complex and sophisticated formula, using ingredients such as orange blossom, jasmine, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, musk, and cinnamon. The result was a stunning scent that was unlike anything else on the market.

The Success of Black Narcissus

Black Narcissus was an instant hit among the fashionable and wealthy women of Paris. It was praised for its originality and elegance, as well as its lasting power and sillage. It was also admired for its beautiful bottle, designed by Julien Viard for Baccarat. The bottle was made of black glass, with a gold cap and a label featuring a stylized narcissus flower. The bottle was a perfect match for the perfume, as it reflected its dark and luxurious character.

Black Narcissus soon became one of the most popular and prestigious perfumes in the world. It was worn by celebrities, royalty, and socialites, who were enchanted by its exotic and mysterious charm. Some of the famous fans of Black Narcissus included Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, and Doris Duke. Doris Duke was so obsessed with the perfume that she commissioned Caron to create a custom version for her, which she called “Scent of a Philanthropist”. She also had her own private fountain filled with black narcissus flowers at her estate in Hawaii.

The Mystery of Black Narcissus

Despite its popularity and fame, Black Narcissus remained a mystery for many people. The perfume was never widely advertised or distributed, as Caron wanted to keep it exclusive and secretive. The perfume was also very expensive and hard to find, as it was only sold at select Caron boutiques or by special order. The perfume was also very elusive and unpredictable, as it changed according to the skin chemistry and mood of the wearer. Some people described it as floral, spicy, woody, or smoky; others said it was sweet, bitter, warm, or cold. Some people loved it; others hated it.

Black Narcissus also inspired many myths and legends over the years. Some people believed that it had magical powers or aphrodisiac effects. Some people said that it could drive men crazy or make women irresistible. Some people claimed that it was cursed or haunted by the spirits of the black narcissus nymphs. Some people even said that it could cause death or madness to those who wore it too much or too often.

The Legacy of Black Narcissus

Black Narcissus is a perfume that has left a lasting impression on the history and culture of perfumery. It is considered one of the masterpieces of Caron and one of the classics of French perfumery. It is also regarded as one of the most influential and iconic scents of all time. It has inspired many other perfumes, books, movies, songs, and artworks over the decades.

Some of the most notable examples of Black Narcissus’s influence are:

  • The novel Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden (1939), which tells the story of a group of nuns who try to establish a convent in the Himalayas but are disturbed by the local atmosphere and their own passions.
  • The film Black Narcissus (1947), directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, which is based on the novel and features stunning cinematography and performances by Deborah Kerr, Jean Simmons, and Sabu.
  • The perfume The Snake by Alkemia (2016), which is a tribute to Black Narcissus and features notes of black narcissus, toffee, black musk, and snake skin.
  • The perfume Alla Festa by Pola (1989), which is a modern interpretation of Black Narcissus and features notes of cyclamen, jasmine, wood, and honey.
  • The perfume Narcisse Noir by Caron (1911), which is the original name of Black Narcissus and is still available today in different concentrations and formulations.

A Comparison of Black Narcissus Perfumes

As we have seen, Black Narcissus is a perfume that has many variations and versions. If you are interested in trying this legendary scent, you might be wondering which one to choose. To help you decide, we have prepared a table that compares some of the most popular and available Black Narcissus perfumes on the market. Here it is:

Frequently Asked Questions about Black Narcissus Perfume

What does Black Narcissus smell like?

Black Narcissus is a complex and multifaceted scent that can smell different depending on the concentration, formulation, batch, and wearer. In general, it is a dark and rich scent that combines floral, spicy, woody, and musky notes. It has a strong and distinctive character that can be described as exotic, mysterious, seductive, or elegant.

Is Black Narcissus a unisex perfume?

Black Narcissus was originally created for women, but it can be worn by anyone who likes its style and personality. It is not a typical feminine or masculine scent; rather, it is a unique and individual scent that can suit different tastes and occasions. Some people might find it too strong or heavy for their liking; others might find it just right or even addictive.

Is Black Narcissus a natural or synthetic perfume?

Black Narcissus is a blend of natural and synthetic ingredients. The natural ingredients include orange blossom water, jasmine absolute, ylang-ylang oil, sandalwood oil, musk tincture, and cinnamon bark oil. The synthetic ingredients include various aroma chemicals that enhance or modify the natural notes. Some of the synthetic ingredients are benzyl acetate (a fruity note), indole (a jasmine-like note), coumarin (a hay-like note), vanillin (a vanilla-like note), and civetone (a musky note).

How long does Black Narcissus last on the skin?

Black Narcissus is a very long-lasting perfume that can stay on the skin for hours or even days. The longevity depends on the concentration and formulation of the perfume, as well as the skin type and condition of the wearer.

The longevity also depends on the amount and location of the perfume applied, as well as the environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and wind. In general, the higher the concentration and the more exposed the area, the longer the perfume will last. For example, applying Black Narcissus parfum extrait on the pulse points (such as wrists, neck, and behind the ears) will make it last longer than applying Black Narcissus eau de cologne on the clothes or hair.

How to apply Black Narcissus properly?

There is no definitive rule on how to apply Black Narcissus, as it depends on personal preference and occasion. However, here are some general tips that can help you enjoy this perfume to the fullest:

  • Apply Black Narcissus sparingly, as it is a very potent and concentrated scent. A little goes a long way, and too much can be overwhelming or offensive.
  • Apply Black Narcissus on clean and moisturized skin, as this will help the perfume blend better and last longer.
  • Apply Black Narcissus before dressing, as this will prevent staining or damaging your clothes or accessories.
  • Apply Black Narcissus on warm and dry areas of your body, such as your pulse points, chest, or back of your knees. This will help the perfume radiate and diffuse better.
  • Avoid rubbing or spraying Black Narcissus directly on your face, eyes, mouth, or nose, as this can cause irritation or allergy.
  • Avoid mixing Black Narcissus with other perfumes or scented products, as this can alter or ruin its original smell.

Where to buy Black Narcissus?

Black Narcissus is not a widely available perfume, as it is only sold at select Caron boutiques or by special order. You can find a list of Caron boutiques around the world [here]. You can also contact Caron’s customer service [here] to inquire about ordering Black Narcissus online or by phone. Alternatively, you can try to find Black Narcissus from online retailers or auction sites that sell vintage or niche perfumes. However, be careful of possible scams, fakes, or expired products.

How to store Black Narcissus?

Black Narcissus is a delicate and precious perfume that needs proper care and storage to preserve its quality and longevity. Here are some tips on how to store Black Narcissus safely:

  • Store Black Narcissus in a cool and dark place, away from direct sunlight, heat, or humidity. This will prevent the perfume from evaporating, oxidizing, or deteriorating.
  • Store Black Narcissus in its original bottle and box, tightly closed and sealed. This will protect the perfume from air, dust, or contamination.
  • Avoid shaking or moving Black Narcissus too much, as this can cause the perfume to lose its balance or harmony.
  • Avoid exposing Black Narcissus to extreme temperatures or conditions, such as freezing or boiling. This can damage the perfume’s structure or composition.

How to tell if Black Narcissus is authentic?

Black Narcissus is a rare and expensive perfume that can attract many counterfeiters or impostors. To avoid being scammed or disappointed by a fake or inferior product, here are some ways to tell if Black Narcissus is authentic:

  • Check the bottle and label of Black Narcissus for any signs of tampering, alteration, or inconsistency. The bottle should be made of black glass with a gold cap and a label featuring a stylized narcissus flower. The label should also have the name of the perfume (Narcisse Noir), the name of the brand (Caron), and the concentration (Parfum Extrait, Eau de Toilette, or Eau de Cologne).
  • Check the batch code of Black Narcissus for any information about its production date and location. The batch code is a series of numbers and letters that can be found on the bottom of the bottle or on the box. You can use online tools such as [CheckFresh] or [CheckCosmetic] to decode the batch code and verify its authenticity.
  • Check the smell of Black Narcissus for any deviation from its original formula or quality. The smell should be complex and sophisticated, with floral, spicy, woody, and musky notes. It should also be strong and lasting, with good projection and sillage. If the smell is weak, flat, sour, rancid, or different from what you expected, it might be a sign of a fake or expired product.

Is Black Narcissus safe to use?

Black Narcissus is a safe and legal perfume that can be used by anyone who likes its smell and style. However, like any other perfume, Black Narcissus can cause some side effects or reactions in some people. Some of the possible risks or precautions of using Black Narcissus are:

  • Allergy or sensitivity: Some people might be allergic or sensitive to some of the ingredients or chemicals in Black Narcissus, such as jasmine, ylang-ylang, musk, or civet. This can cause symptoms such as itching, rash, swelling, redness, or irritation on the skin or eyes. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using Black Narcissus immediately and consult a doctor.
  • Headache or nausea: Some people might find the smell of Black Narcissus too strong or overwhelming, especially if they use too much or are exposed to it for too long. This can cause symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness, or fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, reduce the amount or frequency of using Black Narcissus or avoid it altogether.
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding: Some people might wonder if Black Narcissus is safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. There is no conclusive evidence that Black Narcissus is harmful or beneficial for pregnant or breastfeeding women or their babies. However, some experts advise caution or moderation when using perfumes during this period, as some of the ingredients or chemicals in perfumes might affect the hormonal balance or the development of the fetus or the infant. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before using Black Narcissus or any other perfume.

What are some similar perfumes to Black Narcissus?

If you like Black Narcissus but want to try something different or more accessible, you might be interested in some of the perfumes that are similar to Black Narcissus in terms of smell, style, or quality. Some of the perfumes that are often compared or recommended to Black Narcissus lovers are:

  • Narciso by Narciso Rodriguez (2014): A modern and minimalist perfume that features a creamy and powdery blend of white flowers, musk, and wood.
  • Black Orchid by Tom Ford (2006): A dark and decadent perfume that features a rich and opulent mix of orchid, chocolate, patchouli, and truffle.
  • L’Heure Bleue by Guerlain (1912): A classic and romantic perfume that features a soft and melancholic blend of anise, iris, vanilla, and carnation.
  • Tabu by Dana (1932): A vintage and sensual perfume that features a spicy and oriental blend of bergamot, clove, amber, and musk.
  • Narciso Rouge by Narciso Rodriguez (2018): A passionate and intense perfume that features a fiery and floral blend of rose, iris, musk, and tonka bean.


We hope you enjoyed this article about Black Narcissus perfume. We hope we answered all your questions and curiosity about this legendary and elusive scent. If you want to learn more about perfumes and fragrances, check out our other articles on our blog. Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!

Name Brand Type Notes Price Rating
Narcisse Noir Caron Parfum Extrait Orange blossom, jasmine, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, musk, cinnamon $680 for 60 ml 4.5/5 stars
Narcisse Noir Caron Eau de Toilette Orange blossom, jasmine, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, musk, cinnamon $520 for 120 ml 4/5 stars
Narcisse Noir Caron Eau de Cologne Orange blossom, jasmine, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, musk, cinnamon $480 for 120 ml 3.5/5 stars
The Snake Alkemia Perfume Oil Black narcissus, toffee, black musk, snake skin $17 for 5 ml 4.5/5 stars
Alla Festa Pola Eau de Cologne Cyclamen, jasmine, wood, honey $45 for 50 ml (vintage) 4/5 stars

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