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Soussanne - Datura with a difference – May16, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - cafleurebon - Keiko Mecheri

Datura, an enormous and lovely white flower, has incredible power. “Come close, lean in to me,” says its sultry, come-hither voice, “ inhale the scent from my perfect blooms, surrender to my intoxicating beauty. You will never forget me…..if you survive.”

Datura knows whereof she speaks (she is female, btw). She is poisonous, with the power to kill, so when she plays the lead role in a perfume, as in Serge Lutens Datura Noir  - the beautiful but deadly white flower with the black heart - I do indeed sit up and pay attention. The seductively sweet floral waft of datura flowers and creamy tuberose, layered with coconut, vanilla, peach, and juicy apricot, the sweet accord edged with the bitter almond scent of the deadly cyanide which resides within the sensuous fruit …it’s the delicious scent of a paradise with a dark, dark secret, and it’s unforgettable….

Soussanne, another scent which features the datura flower, is different. This makes perfect sense, because it is one of the seven fragrances in the 2012 Bespoke Collection by Keiko Mecheri. Bespoke is a word not often used in contemporary vernacular – it means “made to fit for, or commissioned for, a particular person”, as in a bespoke suit, or a bespoke perfume. What is bespoke, therefore, is customized, made-to-measure, usually hand-crafted with quality materials, special, different, designed for individual tastes, not meant for everyone – all of which describe Soussanne to perfection.

Photo - MiN New York, Keiko Mecheri Bespoke Collection

Soussanne means “lily” in Greek, according to Wikipedia, and it’s the lily note, a close cousin to the datura, which shares the white flower spotlight  and contributes to the difference in this luminous scent. Soussanne opens with a delicious fresh green lily, green and sweet with the aquatic factor ramped down so that it’s barely perceptible – it’s the very best of the lily note, vegetal and delicate. Almost immediately, it’s joined by the sweet datura, with its minty vibe, and then a real rose, forming a floral accord which becomes spicy and powdery, still light and airy.

At this point, Soussanne is lovely white floral, and I’m loving the lily, but within minutes the scent segues smoothly from lovely to remarkable as the woody notes get into the mix. Creamy sandalwood and musty dusty rich resinous oud, which according to Ms. Mecheri was used in all seven of the Bespoke Collection fragrances, combine to add delicious depth. When musk appears as the final base-note, Soussanne  becomes a full-bodied fragrance, and it plays out on my skin for hours, smelling rich, luxurious, and romantically inviting, completely transformed from the delicate scent that first came out of the bottle.

Soussanne needs time to develop on your skin to reveal its datura story. It’s surprising in its development, and I love surprises, especially when it comes to perfumes. Keiko Mecheri is a  talented California artist who’s been creating beautiful niche perfumes from the best of ingredients since 1998 – Loukham, a sweet almondy rose is recognized as her benchmark scent. She says “I follow my own intuition of what defines a fragrance, however, my fragrances must smell great and must be wearable”.

It’s possible that Keiko created the Bespoke Collection just for herself. Soussanne is the datura note, and it is different, and not everyone will like it, but I feel as if it was made just for me. When people ask what I’m wearing, and they always do when I wear Sousanne, I tell them it’s a bespoke fragrance. I don’t like to lie.

Soussanne is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1ml.