Essential Oil of the Month: The Intoxicating Narcissus!

Narcissus poeticus

History and Mythology:
Beautiful though this white daffodil is, there is a certain transcendental, even ghostlike quality about it. The pale white petals surrounding the dark eye at the center of the star-shaped flower is reminiscent of a disembodied eye. The story of Narcissus is sad indeed: a beautiful youth, much adored by every nymph of the forest, had neither eyes nor ears for any of their heartfelt pleas. He was so vain and self-absorbed that he never even noticed their pain until one day he passed a clear spring and caught a glimpse of a beautiful youth – and hopelessly fell in love with his own image. In the end he could not bear the heartache any longer and died in a tight embrace with the watery reflection of himself. The strange white flower that sprang up where he had died was named after him. The word ‘Narcissus’ in Greek derives from ‘narkeo’, meaning ‘narcotic’. The unfortunate youth “Narcissus” had died of intoxicating self-love that made him blind to all other love and beauty in the world. It has also been suggested that daffodils bending over streams evoked the image of the youth admiring his own reflection in the water. There were accounts of narcissi growing, such as in the legend of Persephone, long before the story of Narcissus appeared. Narcissus is indeed intoxicating and can powerfully affect the nervous system. Long celebrated in art and literature, the Narcissus has become the national flower of Wales and is associated with a number of themes in different cultures ranging from death to good fortune, and as a symbol of Spring. The appearance of the wild flowers in Spring is associated with festivals in many places.

A narcotic, heady, green, floral scent.

Blends well with:

Clove, Jasmine, Vanilla, Hyacinth, Neroli, Ylang Ylang and Rose.


“The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus.

The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.

But this was not how the author of the book ended the story.

He said that when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.

‘Why do you weep?’ the goddesses asked.

‘I weep for Narcissus,” the lake replied.

‘Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,’ they said, ‘for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.’

‘But… was Narcissus beautiful?’ the lake asked.

‘Who better than you to know that?’ the goddesses asked in wonder. ‘After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!’

The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said:

‘I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.’

‘What a lovely story,’ the alchemist thought.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


This oil is practically never employed in aromatherapy. It used to be used for its sedative and antispasmodic properties, but the narcotic effects have deemed it unsuitable for modern aromatherapy applications. It still plays a role in high class perfumery. Use with extreme caution.

Various common names including daffodil, narcissus (plural narcissi), and jonquil are used.


Do not take the essential oil internally. It may be poisonous if accidentally ingested!!!!!

Essential Oil should not be applied directly to the skin but in carrier oils, putting the oils directly on the skin is too harsh due to their concentrated form. Add a few drops of cinnamon oil to the carrier oil.

If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!

While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.


While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

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