Dark night, Green Knight… La Nuit by Paco Rabanne The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

All Hallow’s Eve.


Four hundred feet tall the hall and twice as long again.

A human being hoard gathers beneath hammer beam ceiling to celebrate the old day’s death and the coming of the dawn bringing with it the return of holy souls.

At the upper table sit the twelve on their dais.

Joined only by England’s fairest rose. A rose queen fit for Camelot’s King.

Their leather layered armour lined with fur is laid aside for revelry and love’s sake. No swords raised so recently in religious anger to shed infidel blood will be unsheathed tonight.

Beyond their bethroned and handsome huddle the ugly crowd, craws and cranes to catch sight of the delights and delicacies their semi-deities dine on.

Here tankards of mead, that is honey wine, wash down plates of oriental sweetmeats: preserved peaches, clove pickled oranges and lemons from the heal of Italy.

The throng contemplates such meal time majesty as among them their beasts mingle with their own offspring. The cattle, the oxen, the sheep even. Their fur, their fleas, their faeces.

The whole hall is unwashed in animal grandeur.

Yet she, Guinevere, England’s flower shines out as if from on higher still.

Her peerless note of manicured and manured rose cutting through the woodmoke, the wooden beams, the mosses of the woods just waiting to burn.

Then the gigantic green unbidden figure appears.

Unarmoured in his enormity. Unarmed save for a extraordinary axe and an holy bow in other hand.

He booms: ‘Who will accept my challenge?

Rats flee, sheep scatter, men cower and children scream.

The Queen alone remains resolute.

One man steps forward.

‘I will’.

So the journey begins.

Paco Rabanne’s La Nuit is a perfume of the darkest, starless night, almost sacrilegious in its animalistic sexual intensity.

It is a fragrance both feral and fecal, given mediaeval epic length and grandeur by a structure of heavy moss-frosted wooden lintels.

And yet, at it’s heart there is a powerful rose. Which, at first appearing innocent, is too revealed to be both knowing and corruptible.


This is a scent of labour and war like aggression taken from the brink of actual violence by the be-stilling force of a floral feminine aspect.

Sadly lost to us for now, out of print and unregarded. As long as original manuscripts exist its mythic status can only grow.

So that tiresome modern question? Male or female?

I suggest you go read your sagas for the Witch and the Knight play equal parts in this story and should in this scent too.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy


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10 responses to “Dark night, Green Knight… La Nuit by Paco Rabanne The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

  1. Lilybelle

    I LOVE that review. ♥ I bought a decant of the fragrance because of it. How could I resist a fragrance with a narrative like that? Unfortunately, I can’t wear La Nuit. It’s way too overpowering for me, but I do appreciate it, and your review does it full justice, Mr. Dandy.

    • Dearest Lily
      Overpowering is just the word, this is a marauding army of crusaders made aroma and bottled.
      Even in the age of the great ‘macho scents’ like Cabochard, Bandit, Azure, Diorling et al one wonders how this one slipped through.
      It would be rather too butch even for a ‘male’ scent.
      I love it though and when the rose does finally emerge it has a dirty beautiful quality, a little like that in Estee Lauder’s under-rated Knowing.
      I’m so pleased you at least tried this though, for I firmly believe it is one that can be appreciated from afar.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  2. beautycalyptique

    that’s been an impressive ride. the scent is such a chameleon, so it’s probably a very ancient witch that can shapeshift into a bold knight or into a beautiful girl, the better to confuse you, my dear…

  3. A corrupt rose – now, if I hadn’t a cold I would very much like to sample that!

  4. fleurdelys

    I was fortunate to acquire a bottle of this via swap, and I love it, both the fragrance and the bottle design. It is exactly as you describe, green, mossy, animalic, dark, and VERY sexy. Not to be worn unless you really mean business!

    • Dearest Fleur
      With such a name as yours it would be improper not to get along with such a sumptuously medieval scent!
      Yes, the emphasis here is most definitely on the sexy… one wonders how they got away with releasing it without an ‘X’ certificate!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

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