These are my favorite ways to rinse off summer stickiness.
I love a good botanical backstory. I can usually tell you if
a certain plant was referenced in Shakespeare or can alleviate the burn of a wasp
sting. Basically, if I were on Jeopardy and a category called “Flowery Crap” came
up, I’d demolish.
Datura Noir immediately spoke to the flower-nerd in me,
because of all the fascinating vegetation out there, datura (comprised of languorous,
trumpet-shaped blossoms that lavishly drape from their shrubs in tropical
climes) is an ultimate favourite.
I first read about datura in a book by Wade Davis, an
ethnobotanist/anthropologist I was weirdly into circa grade 10 (I didn’t go to
a lot of parties, and not because there weren’t a lot of parties, y’know what I
mean). In the book, Davis explores
datura’s use in Haitian Voudu--namely, the administration of botanical
derivatives to “zombify” victims. Fundamentally, datura was slipped to a
person, whose vital signs would then slow to imperceptibility. Presumed dead by
loved ones, the victim would be buried, then dug back up later by whoever
But it’s not like they woke up feeling refreshed (like the
way you’d expect them to feel after being buried alive). Datura does some
serious brain damage, so all these resurrected folk would be a little, you
know, slow. A little zombie-ish--delirious, spacey, inarticulate husks of
their former selves.
Currently, the biggest threat datura represents is its use
as the key ingredient of scopolamine, a drug criminally used to induce a
terrifying waking unconsciousness in victims, who are rendered helplessly suggestible
and either come to days later with empty apartments and drained back accounts,
Also sometimes teenagers try to trip off of datura, but the
resultant hallucinogenic experience has been classified as “maddening” and is
100% a bad idea.
It’s a really pretty flower, though! It can’t help that it’s responsible for death, extortion, and zombies! And what’s more is it smells incredible: like almonds
and honey and the breath of angels, all unfurling softly as it night-blooms
(night blooming is inarguably v. in character for datura).
Serge Lutens’ Datura
Noir perfume attempts to capture the heartbreaking gorgeous/deadly dichotomy of
the innocently terrifying datura flower (see also: Rappaccini’s Daughter). The
fragrance melds creamy top notes of tuberose-y datura plus tonka bean, almond and
coconut, with a slight citrus blossom/sultry humid twilight dry down. It’s a
scent that melds a million paradoxes by being somehow both soft and seductive,
light and lingering, demure and dominant.
Datura Noir is a sexily ambiguous, complicated
kind of beautiful in some moments evokes delicate amaretti cookies, in
others, it’s a diabolical waft of smoke.
Recommended for those nebulously caught between naïve and
seductive, like an unwitting siren humming songs to herself on a pretty seaside
cliff while, unbeknownst to her, hypnotized men below crash to their deaths.
Datura Noir: for when you don’t even understand how
dangerous you are.