Warm Fuzzies: Narciso and Guerlain Eau de Cashmere

Marshmallow Fluff

Marshmallow Fluff

Not so long ago I was writing about influential perfumes and one of the two names which landed on the top of the pile was Narciso For Her.  The whole floral woody musk genre probably dates back to that perfume.  Anyway, the musk and flowers and a little bit of wood recipe has proven so popular that nowadays several releases a year fall into the fuzzily soft fabric (or fabric softener) of the fwm.  Everyone likes this plush toy formula, well everyone who does not require a little backbone in a perfume. Put it this way, floral woody musks are proof that in the perfume world the invertebrates can survive and thrive- even proliferate.

Of course the Narciso people could not let a success like Narciso For her go without progeny.  There have been several scents by now, all in the beautifully designed minimalist bottles that the brand is justly famous for, modern, streamlined and an ornament to any vanity though the contents are Fluff.

The warm and fuzzy floral woody musk mascot

The warm and fuzzy floral woody musk mascot

The scents are pretty but seem a bit banal.  To begin with you must like musk, and musk is just not my thing.  I was okay with Frederic Malle’s Dries Van Noten which is the very woody end of the musk ox stuffie, say the tooter rather than the hooter, and although several people on Basenotes detected too much Cashmeran in that perfume, I don’t hate the stuff.  Cashmeran takes me back to the good old days of Cacharel’s Eden, and of Parfums de Nicolai’s mango driven but Cashmeran powered Eau Exotique.

Eau de Cashmere seems to be one of Guerlain’s attempts to dumb down the L’Origan/L’Heure Bleue message along the lines of the floral woody musk.  You get a bit of citrus and then lavender and heliotrope and a tiny amount of iris, vetiver and cedar.  The whole thing smells rather synthetic to me and is not in any case much of a survivor on your wrist.  E de C had breathed its last by the time I got to the car park.  I suppose the scent’s not bad exactly but is not particularly inspiring for a Guerlain, and fairly or not I do tend to hold Guerlain to a high standard.  It seems as though the myriad releases of the houses these days are undermining quality.  Surely we don’t need ten releases a year, two will do. Even one.

Narciso

Narciso

Narciso is in this sense a slightly  better worked out perfume than Eau de Cashmere.  The idea here is the marriage of the fabled white floral of all perfume house’s dreams to irresistible Musk. This is bound to be a hit.  I doubt that Narciso will be a monster hit because it smells too similar to a number of other things out there these days, but this is a perfume that marries the currently popular floral woody muskosity to the white floracy, and that will attract an audience, maybe the marriage will last.

Then again these nuptials could end on the same rocks as most celebrity marriages. Is Narciso’s musk going to stay faithful to its gardenia?  Is this a partnership of theJennifer Anniston / Brad Pitt variety or is this gardenia really Angelina in disguise?  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I’m sure I’ll smell Narciso everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Warm Fuzzies: Narciso and Guerlain Eau de Cashmere

  1. I haven’t smelled either of these. In fact, I haven’t even smelled the original Narciso Rodriguez.

    As for a floofy soft floral woody musk, I like Marc Jacobs Daisy. It doesn’t stay fruity very long on me and is basically a soft, diffuse white floral with quiet woodsy notes and musk. Very wearable. But then I don’t really mind Cashmeran. Back in 2009, before I got into fragrance in a consistent, exploratory sort of way, I was wearing B&BW Velvet Tuberose, which is basically a soft “tuberose white floral” atop Cashmeran. These days I use it as air freshener in the master bathroom (shut up. Teh CEO doesn’t mind.), because it smells quite cheap to me, but still sort of nice.

  2. Cashmeran doesn’t really bother me either, hence my okayness with Dries Van Noten, but I just am not a musk person. Or rather I don’t remember ever having reliably encountered the real thing and therefore don’t know for sure, but bet I’m not.

    I’m prettty sure I’ve smelled civet and that is a nice addition to flowers as long as the volume is kept way low, and know I’ve sniffed ambergris-which is very good-but musk… Guess the price all my life has been so prohibitive that it would only have been in Guerlain extracts and maybe a few other things. No one in my family ever wore actual perfume. They wore edts and so forth so how would I really know?
    Do you think real musk is in any Amouages?

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