Perfumer: Alexandra Saceanu
Size: 0.35 oz./10 g (I ordered a 2 g mini but Alex upgraded me to a full size. Thank you, Alex!)
Base: soy wax, jojoba oil
Vegan-friendly: Yes! Per the brand, their fragrances are “non-toxic, vegan, phthalate free, alcohol free, paraben free and cruelty free.”
Natural or Mixed Media: This is a natural perfume composed of 100% botanical ingredients.
Fragrance Description by the Brand: from the official website:
“Narcotica is an intoxicating olfactory shock reminiscent of the overwhelming addictive intensity of feminine sensual power.
“Sleek, alluring and a little dangerous, it doesn’t apologize for its outright provocative charm or try to hide it. Its deadly secret? A deeply narcotic sweet and fiery vein of sumptuous white flowers and juicy fruits. An intriguing and effervescent citrus base gently simmers us, drags us into the deep, rolls us with a passion and brings us back to surface, the subtle use of violet leaf anchors the fragrance masterfully, while the irresistible jasmine ensures a seductive dry down. The deep, animalic call of tuberose balances feminine and masculine from top to bottom, gives courage and introduces you to a world full of lust only to gently lay us on a warm bed of creamy vanilla. One sniff is likely all you’ll need to turn your world upside-down. Instantly crushing like a long-lost lover’s hug, Narcotica will spend hours curling itself around you, its power on full display. It is comforting and sultry as can be imagined, a concoction that begs you to sniff your skin with abandon.”
Notes: Tuberose, Vanilla, Jasmine, Lavender, Violet Leaf, Tangerine and White Grapefruit.
Longevity: This one has excellent longevity for a natural perfume–around seven hours, though it’s largely a skin scent after the three-hour mark.
Sillage: Goes on with moderate sillage (arm’s length) that settles to intimate within the hour. Gradually fades to a skin scent.
Fragrance category: Hmm. There are noticeable fruity notes but they’re more citrus than sugary fruit punch. The vanilla gives it a lovely warmth and organic sweetness. Floral Amber feels like the best fit.
The experience: I’ve smelled many natural perfumes in my time but none of have smelled quite like Narcotica. Not all perfumes are works of art, but some perfumers are definitely artists and Alex of Arbore Perfume Atelier is one of these. I’ve smelled perfumes that include all of the above notes/ingredients, but none have wowed me in quite the same way. Narcotica is such a beautiful scent and I fear some folks will pass it over because it’s a solid fragrance or because it’s a natural fragrance. That would be a mistake, folks! This is one of the best fragrances I’ve tried this year and I hope if the notes or my review intrigue you that you’ll give it a try!
Narcotica smells like flowers, candy, powder and fresh-squeezed fruit juice, with a touch of something animalic. It’s not quite a gourmand–the vanilla is more vanilla bean than vanilla cake frosting. To call it simply a floral doesn’t paint the whole picture, either. It’s warm and sexy, seductive but not threatening, flirtatious and girly but definitely made for a grown-ass woman. (And if you’re not female but aren’t afraid to wear florals, go for it!) I have worn it to the office for my own enjoyment, but it’s truly a perfect date night scent. Actually, it’s the embodiment of a date night: flowers and candy, sweet cocktails, an undercurrent of animal attraction and anticipation of what’s to come.
Tuberose does the heavy lifting in this fragrance, bolstered with a little jasmine. The violet tames the animalic aspects of these two powerhouse white flowers with a puff of powder. The citrus notes and lavender add succulent green touches, and the sultry vanilla envelops the entire composition in a gentle sweetness. Any of these notes in isolation would be beautiful, but their synergy is truly magical.
As I noted in my overview of the samples from Arbole, the brand’s Tuberose soliflore is lovely and I ordered that one to wear on its own and to layer with other fragrances in my collection. I layered it over (and under) Narcotica as an experiment, and while it did amp up the tuberose note, the effect wasn’t overly dramatic and the resulting fragrance was not any prettier than Narcotica or Tuberose on their own. All of which is proof that Narcotica really doesn’t need anything else added to it. (I do recommend the Tuberose soliflore if you enjoy that note. It’s nice for solo wear and I have had lots of success blending it with the other liquid and solid fragrances I own.)
Occasion(s): this fragrance is suitable for any occasion. I apply with a lighter hand for work/office but swipe heavily for date nights and romantic occasions.
Season(s): This fragrance is suitable for any season. I enjoyed it on warmer fall days and it’s just as lovely on chilly winter days so far.
Gender considerations (Note: I include this information for people who may find it valuable, though I believe all fragrances are unisex and you should wear what you love): this one skews a little more traditionally feminine with its sweetness and floral notes.
Where to buy: this fragrance is available from the official Arbore Perfume Atelier website.
Price: As of the date of this publication, the tester set with samples of all the brand’s fragrances is $10. A 2 g mini is $15. The full-size tin is $65. The brand currently offers 15% off your first order with code “welcome15“.
Editor’s Note 1/23/2023: While supplies last, you can use code
to receive 25% off your order. Better still, it can be combined with the other code FREE75 which gives free shipping on orders over $75.
Availability: this is one of the brand’s signature scents and it is available year-round, with free shipping on U.S. orders over $75, or a flat rate of $5 for U.S. orders under $75. International shipping is also available.
All images by me.