Tart wild strawberries, basil, black narcissus, entangling seaweed, watery graves
At its heart, Lorelei is a strawberry-forward fragrance, but much like the Lorelei of legend, there are much darker things lurking not far below. This is a jammy and tart strawberry that is encircled by a bed of salty seaweed and sweet basil. There is a watery quality that submerges the entire scent, and adds an intense dewy quality to the strawberry and basil without making it read as an entirely aquatic fragrance. The heady, narcotic floral of black narcissus lurks underneath it all.
Extrait de parfum. Ingredients: denatured alcohol (isopropyl myristate for international orders), fragrance. 1 oz glass bottle with fine mist spray pump.
Narcissus was a common note in vintage perfumes and cosmetics, but the opulent and loud floral has fallen out of vogue in the world of respectable, clean fragrances that dominate the market today. It is equally represented by facets of sweet floral, spice, and musk aspects to create the dark and sensual fragrance of blooming narcissus. This flower was also chosen for Lorelei as it hearkens back to the Greek myth of Narcissus, who ultimately drowned due to his own vanity and beauty.
Lorelei is described as possessing long hair the color of sunrays, which would draw the eye along with her siren's song among the grey rocks and water. We chose wild strawberries to act as this siren song to draw one in with the allure of sweet strawberry among the darker, stranger notes.
Her origins in German folklore are as nebulous as her classification as a monster. Some tales label her as a siren, nymph, or the vindictive daughter of the spirit of the Rhine River, and some paint her as an avenging ghost.
The Lorelei rock itself sits at the sharpest and most dangerous turn of the Rhine in Germany, and has inspired numerous tales of creatures, from gnomes to sirens, that inhabit the rock and cause sailors' destruction. A natural phenomenon causes the sound of the river and a nearby waterfall to echo off the rock. This creates an otherworldly murmuring sound that brings to life the tale of Lorelei and her song, which can still be heard by those brave enough to venture close.
The earliest known written legend that "explains" the strange acoustics of Lorelei rock was a ballad by Clemens Brentano telling of a sorceress named Lore Lay, spurned by her lover and condemned to live in a convent, who fell into the Rhine from the rock. While traveling to the convent in the company of three knights, she asks to climb the rock in order to get one last glimpse of her lover's castle. They oblige her, and while looking, she sees a ship in the river. Imagining her lover must be on it, she leans over too far trying to spot him, and falls into the river along with the knights who try to rescue her. The murmuring sound heard by the rock is from the knights who are still calling her name.
Later variations build on the myth of her as a siren, especially a popular poem by the German poet Heinrich Heine, "The Lorelei," which reads:
I don't know what it means
That I am so sad at heart.
A legend of days gone by,
I can't get it out of my head.
The air is cool and night is coming.
The Rhine calmly courses its way;
The peak of the mountain sparkles
In the evening's final ray.
The fairest of maidens is seated
Wonderfully up there,
Her golden jewels are shining,
She's combing her golden hair.
She combs it with a golden comb,
And sings a song;
It has a wonderful,
The skipper in the little boat
Is seized by it with savage woe.
He looks not at the rocky reefs,
He only gazes toward the heights.
I think the waves devour
In the end the boatman and boat;
And this, by her singing,
The Lorelei has done.