Serge Lutens Datura Noir, 2001

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Perfumer Christopher Sheldrake

If I squint exceedingly hard, I can sometimes make out an individual part of Datura Noir. Almond, tonka, tuberose.

Simply focussing shows me some combinations. Oh, that was that creamy-coconut/green-tuberose sort of tuberose. Hhmmm. That almond was a bitter-almond/cherry-sweetness pastry gestalt. Nice. The drydown isn’t so much hazy as a vanilla/tonka/musky sweetness rolled loosely together. Lovely.

But Datura Noir is best seen through a unfocussed, half-hypnotized stare. It slides you into the true experience of this perfume. Datura Noir is a perfectly placed suggestion. It’s an impression of imagined summertimes, warm breezes and sweet-talk. It’s a steady, unyielding persuasion. You’re not so much seduced as you simply give way to the undertow. And when you do, it gives you that dreamlike sensation of standing beside yourself, experiencing something and observing yourself experiencing something. It’s as if you’re able to cast a spell on yourself.

Tripping. Lucid Dreaming. Depersonalization. Hypnagogia. Call it what you like.

Datura Noir. Cheaper than hallucinogenics, fewer negative side-effects than religion.


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