Fleur Nocturne (Isabey)

In my early twenties, I slept alone in a bedroom on the ground floor of my parents' house. Everyone else slept on the second floor, so at night I found myself quite isolated. Being of anxious disposition, I embarked on nightly orgies of deadbolt checking and double-checking-- but on summer nights, in a contradiction of my own security policies, I left my bedroom window open.

Outside my window grew a marvelous shrub -- Mirabilis jalapa, AKA the "four-o'clock plant" -- whose night-blooming flowers produced a perfume which excelled that of any other blossom I knew. Imagine a soufflé flavored with vanilla, lemon, and saffron-- this is the celestial scent I inhaled all night long, so sweet and narcotic it would surely subdue any intruder who attempted to jimmy open my window screen.

Headspace technology notwithstanding, I am not sure that any perfumer could concoct an exact facsimile of those magical four-o'clocks-- and I'm not sure I'd want them to. There is something very attractive about the idea of a flower no computer can capture. And although I've left the old homestead far behind me, I smile to think of that enchanting odor lulling someone else to sleep in that little room on the ground floor.

Fleur Nocturne comes close to the ideal without trespassing on hallowed memory. Heady and hypnotic, this white floral bouquet laden with peach and apricot notes smells like a summer night concentrated into a breath. At times I think it's a little too sweet for me, almost cloying-- but then I settle back with a sigh and let its cicada buzz wash over me. It's a pleasure that will never admit to guilt.

Scent Elements: Mandarin, apricot flower, white peach, jasmine, gardenia, magnolia, vanilla, patchouli