Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Keiko Mecheri Datura Blanche: A Review

Being a wee little perfume shop and decanter, it sometimes takes The Posh Peasant a bit longer to obtain new releases. Keiko Mecheri introduced a quartet of new fragrances in 2009, two iris scents, a leather and the one I’m reviewing today, Datura Blanche. From the moment I read the list of notes I knew I wanted to try Datura Blanche. Most Keiko Mecheri fragrances agree with me quite nicely, and this is part of the reason we carry KM at The Posh Peasant...just in case we don’t sell a single bottle, at least I know I can wear them!

Datura Blanche does not disappoint me. But for the first time in a long while, Datura Blanche is exactly the fragrance I imagined it would be when I read the list of notes. If you’ve ever smelled Dior Cologne Blanche and Serge Lutens Datura Noir then you can probably imagine KM Datura Blanche (DB) because it's a middle ground between the two. DB is not nearly as heady, sweet and tropical as Lutens Datura Noir nor is it a plain, dryer sheet fragrance like Cologne Blanche. In my estimation, DB is perfect. DB exhibits a subtle datura flower aroma, which is a heady and intoxicating night-blooming oddity. I had a few datura plants in my sunroom back in NJ and I can attest to their smell being sweet, sultry and somewhat odd. The flowers and plants themselves have a “Little Shop of Horrors” vibe so I guess the scent is fitting with their appearance. DB is a wondrously light and not-too-sweet datura scent accompanied with one of my favorite things: heliotrope. The heliotrope gives the overall fragrance a fluffy, puffy, cottony texture that’s delightful. The actual scent of datura blooms are slightly similarly to jasmine with a green stemmy aspect. KM captures this idea of datura blooms perfectly. I find Datura Blanche to be a hybrid between a straight floral and a heliotrope/vanilla skin scent. It’s probably 50/50 floral & oriental/gourmand. I use gourmand cautiously because DB contains vanilla and almond therefore I’m sure it technically contains gourmand genes but it is not, by any means, foodie. Last year I discovered LT Piver Heliotrope Blanc. There are some similarities between the LT Piver and KM but overall Datura Blanche has a more overtly floral quality, it’s less sweet and lasts longer. Datura Blanche seems impossible to dislike. It’s the sort of fragrance co-workers will compliment. It’s easily casual yet could be elegant. I’ve asked those in my household what they think of it and they all responded quite favorably, which is far from the case most of the time! DB starts of with a fragrant dose of datura but once it dries down I smell more heliotrope/vanilla/almond than flower. The Datura is still there yet it has moved to the background after about 90 minutes. Whipped fluffy clouds of datura blooms on a bed of vanilla, tonka and almond... mmmmm... what’s not to love?

Notes: white datura, Indian tuberose, heliotrope, bitter almond, tonka bean, vanilla madagascar


em said...

Sounds lovely!

CyndiF said...

Does Datura smell the same as its perennial cousin, Brugmansia? I grow the latter on my deck in the summer but haven't smelled Datura yet. Brugs are very sweet with an ineffable underlying scent. I love it but wonder if, like tuberose, I might find it too heady as a wearable scent.

Abigail said...

Hi CyndiF,
I just googled Brugmansia and they look exactly like datura flowers. I searched around a bit and they are being called closely related. I'm not sure if their scent is exactly alike but they sure do look quite similar.

CyndiF said...

"Some South American plants formerly thought of as Daturas are now treated as belonging to the distinct genus Brugmansia[1] (Brugmansia differs from Datura in that it is woody, making shrubs or small trees, and in that it has pendulous flowers, rather than erect ones)."

This (from wikipedia) suggests that what perfumers call datura is probably the same or quite similar to brugmansia. The datura I've seen have very similar flowers but different growth patterns-kind of a trailing vine on the ground rather than a tree or shrub.

Sorry to distract the topic but two of my loves (perfume and gardening) sort of intersected here.