Narciso Rodriguez’s Narciso (2014)

Narciso Rodriguez’s Narciso © Victor Wong
Narciso Rodriguez’s Narciso © Victor Wong

Smelling Narciso Rodriguez’s Narciso is like looking at an autostereogram poster, or Magic Eye, if you still remember what it is. Autostereograms are 2D images, but if you cross your eyes to a really friendly position while staring at one, you can see a very simple 3D silhouette image hidden in the bigger image. Not many people can see anything out of it, but once you’ve learned the trick, it’s quite fun. I remember when autostereograms were really popular in the late 90s’, a local Chinese buffet restaurant put up a dozen autostereogram posters on the walls of its waiting room so that clients had something to do to pass the waiting time.

So back to Narciso as an autostereogram – when I first smelled it, I couldn’t figure out what I was smelling. I was completely lost. Very seldom I experience such thing, because usually either the fragrance belongs to a distinct category (gourmand, floral, etc) or the name already suggests what it is (Une Rose – rose, Tea for Two – tea, Lady gaga – gag, etc), but Narciso suggests nothing. I couldn’t figure out what the top notes were, so I waited a little bit and focused on the bigger picture. Ok, it’s a floral powder scent. The strength of the floral is intense, but the powderiness is even more intense. It is like the Indian Holi festival where everyone is throwing powder at each other, but there is only one color here – white.

After wearing it a few times, I finally “saw the hidden picture” – there’s a cedar forest submerged in a field of roses, jasmine and powder. Just like what Luca Turin calls it, a “woody powdery” scent. This scent is a bomb, and a very unique one.

Here are some autostereograms for fun: