This Badass Fragrance Was Inspired by an Episode of Breaking Bad
Mild spoilers ahead if you haven't watched every episode of Breaking Bad and constantly think about the series finale like we do, but to be fair, catch up.
File this under the most badass fragrance line in history. After viewing Breaking Bad's Face Off episode in which Walter White uses the lily of the valley to poison someone, perfumer Joseph Quartana became fascinated by the dual nature of the plant. The flower is undeniably gorgeous and often used in fragrances, but in the wrong hands (particularly Walter White's), have a very dangerous side. Quartana began researching the plant, which eventually came to show that it had roots in both Christian and Greek legend as a sign of purity and innocence. With that, the idea for his Lily of the Valley fragrance ($165; six-scents.com) was born. We'd describe the scent as your favorite white floral wearing a girl gang-appropriate leather jacket—we love how the jasmine petals and orange blossom elements initially grab your attention, but on contact with your skin, darker notes like bourbon, sandalwood, and black leather start to come through.
Quartana then started researching other poisonous plants, resulting in the creation of his Les Potions Fatales collection. Each of the 9 fragrances explore both the beautiful and deadly aspects of the botanicals, incorporating contrasting elements for an end result unlike anything else in your collection. But even the toughest scents have some heart—a portion of proceeds from the collection will benefit the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Scroll down to find out more about each of the scents, and to shop them now.
Like all the fragrances in the collection, blood flower was used as a poison, but is unique in the role it plays in transforming the Monarch Caterpillar to a butterfly. Appropriately, the blend of clover, dark rose, and amber changes as it blends with your skin to reveal a liquor-esque Sambuca twist, and a slightly metallic hint of blood accord.
Though the white flower from the hemlock plant may seem unassuming, especially considering the green, grassy fields it thrives in, the plant has a much darker side—it was used in ancient Greece to poison condemned prisoners, with Socrates being one of them. The fragrance counterpart blends elements like crushed leaves and white florals, but is grounded by notes of rum, amber woods, musks, and suede.
Night-blooming datura—better known as "moonflower" to some—is an ingredient used in love potions, which often results in a hallucinogenic, trance-like state. A mix of ten different flowers, including datura, tuberose, and heliotrope, are used in this airy mix, but the black pepper heart prevents the fragrance from coming off too sweet.
If you're a Harry Potter fan, you'll probably remember Mandrake as the plant that emitted a piercing scream that caused certain members of Gryffindor to pass out upon hearing it, and its reputation holds true in Wiccan legend. The shriek gets translated into scent form with aromatic notes like birch leaf and bergamot, but play up the apple-like aroma of the mandrake flower with fruity pomegranate and rhubarb elements.
Paying homage to the sap that bleeds from a poppy bulb, Poppy Soma blends dark floral notes like black gardenia, red rose, and jasmine sambac with a heady base of incense.
The word "belladonna" quite literally translates into "beautiful woman," and in medieval times, women in Italy were known to put droplets containing the ingredient into their eyes to dilate their pupils. On the flipside, it is rumored that witches in Northern Italy used belladonna to place seduction spells on men, and the floral was actually used to poison Emperor Agustus. The Venetian Belladonna scent plays up the idea of the "dangerous beauty" vibe by mixing fruit and floral notes like plum, cassis, and purple iris with elements like suede and sandalwood.
This super-masculine blend of sandalwood, black truffle, and tobacco flower certainly isn't for the faint of heart, but is one that would do any Game of Thrones fan proud. Often used in battle, a certain scene in season 2 featured darts infused with the poisonous plant.
Digitalis is the freshest blend of the bunch, mixing cucumber, basil, wet moss, and fern to mirror the plant's history of being used to summon woodland spirits.