La Collection de Grasse included 4 new fragances which are rather nice, but quite forgettable too, with the exception of Vanille & Narcisse, which is the only one i would consider purchasing. This is unusual for me, since i am not a huge admirer of vanilla-centered fragances, specially if they are too sweet or fluffy. In the case of Vanille & Narcisse, the vanilla note is probably closer to the "fermented orchid" than to the dessert ingredient and it is not overpowering at all.
So this perfect balance between the vanilla and the narcissus where both boost each other instead or being one the supporter of the other, fulfills the aspirations of L´Occitane when they say they pursued a fusion of exotic and autocthonous ingredients, being the narcissus the french one. Narcissus, a note that in my opinion was not used as much as it deserves (because i love it) has been the focus of several recent launches, starting with the TF Jonquille de Nuit, and then the (stunning) Eau de Narcisse Bleu of Hermes, Nest´s limited White Narcissus, a Diptyque candle and now this.
It is a sensual, cheeky fragance from the beginning. Narcissus is handsomely featured and smells natural. This flower that stands on the crossroad of the green and the animalic, veers to the warmth of the white flower. Vanilla is the one to blame,and a touch of creamy carnality of gardenia that is really hard to catch by itself, since is so semlessly integrated in the narcissus... but the fragance is not heavy at all, but quite light and wearable. I noticed some spice, but i should smell it again, maybe nutmeg. Definitely a floriental. After a 2/3 hours, when the narcissus is not more than a whisper, the tonkilla stay for longer. The drydown is not overly sweet, slightly resinous, a tad of smoke. Sexy stuff.
The price is higher than the other L´Occitane perfumes. The Lady of L´Occitane told me they are indeed eaux de parfums, but they labeled as eaux de toilette because they were going to be launched in summer and didnt´t want the people to perceive them as "heavy". I guess marketing brains think of this things, but why such a positive feature, as high concentration is, would be concealed and reduced to a (suspicious) customer-Lady of L´Occitane secret confession? I dont know what to think. Not so much not so little. It lasts much longer than other eaux de toilettes of the brand, but it´s not incredibly intense (intensity is not a L´Occitane forté) which makes it a good choice for summer too despite the vanilla/tonka based perfumes seem more appropriate for cold weather.
Nice one, L´Occitane.
UPDATE: the cassis and the gardenia are somehow more noticeable on the bath line. The fragance after a shower really stays on the skin, although is a bit pricey.