Serge Lutens released Datura Noir in 2001. It was created by perfumer Chris Sheldrake, and the notes are mandarin peel, apricot, lemon flower, datura flower, tuberose, osmanthus, coconut, heliotrope, myrrh, bitter almond, vanilla, tonka bean, musk.
Datura Noir starts off rather heady, with all of its notes in evidence. They slowly rearrange themselves; in no particular order you might notice the mandarin peel or the almond or the tuberose. Eventually it resolves into a tropical floral with subdued hints of coconut and chocolate and a very slight dusting of powder. It is lush and creamy but not loud — the white florals hum rather than scream, as they are sometimes wont to do — and sweet without being cloying.
It is an unusual fragrance. At times it seems to perfectly conjure up the mystical connotations of the Datura flower, and so I tend to think of it as a sexy, secret rendezvous kind of perfume, not something to be worn by the light of day. Other times, the almond in particular seems to strike a jarring note, as though you had shown up for an assignation with a tall, dark stranger and found only a dainty plate of Amaretti cookies. Then there is nothing to do but scrub it off and try again another day.
Datura Noir is an Eau de Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Serge Lutens under Perfume Houses.
Tomorrow: Datura Noir's kissing cousin, Keiko Mecheri Fleurs d'Osmanthus.