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Quand, les deux yeux fermés, en un soir chaud d'automne, Je respire l'odeur de ton sein chaleureux, Je vois se dérouler des rivages heureux Qu'éblouissent les feux d'un soleil monotone : Une île paresseuse où la nature donne Des arbres singuliers et des fruits savoureux ; Des hommes dont le corps est mince et vigoureux, Et des femmes dont l'œil par sa franchise étonne. Guidé par ton odeur vers de charmants climats, Je vois un port rempli de voiles et de mâts Encor tout fatigués par la vague marine, Pendant que le parfum des verts tamariniers, Qui circule dans l'air et m'enfle la narine, Se mêle dans mon âme au chant des mariniers.
Confirmed with Les Fleurs du mal, Spleen et Idéal, Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1857, pages 54-55.
- by Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867), "Parfum exotique", appears in Les Fleurs du mal, in 1. Spleen et Idéal, no. 22, Paris, Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, first published 1857 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Jean-Guy Bailly (1925 - 2009), "Parfum exotique ", 1982 [ medium voice and piano ], from Six poèmes de Charles Baudelaire, no. 3 [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Maxime Belliard (1888 - 1986), "Parfum exotique", published  [ medium voice and piano ], Édition Maurice Senart [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Benjamin C. S. Boyle , "Parfum exotique", op. 24 no. 2, published 2011, first performed 2011 [ vocal duet for tenor and soprano with piano ], from Chansons de Diane, no. 2 [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Gustave Charpentier (1860 - 1956), "Parfum exotique", 1893, published 1894 [ voice and piano or orchestra ], from Poèmes chantés, no. 3, Éd. H. Tellier [ sung text checked 1 time]
- by Germain Desbonnet (1938 - 2007), "Parfum exotique", 1978, published 1985 [ high voice and piano ], from Mélodies, no. 2, Éd. du compositeur [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Philippe Gaubert (1879 - 1941), "Parfum exotique", 1933, published 1934 [ medium voice and piano ], from Dix poèmes pour chant et piano, no. 2, Éd. Heugel [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Joseph Jongen (1873 - 1953), "Parfum exotique", op. 29 no. ? (1906) [ soprano, piano, and string quartet ] [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Guillemette Marrannes (b. 1954), "Parfum exotique", 1997 [ medium voice and piano ], from Sept mélodies de mer et d'amour, no. 1 [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (Emily Wyatt) , "Exotic perfume", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ENG English (Cyril Meir Scott) , "Exotic Perfume", appears in The Flowers of Evil, first published 1909
- HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Tamás Rédey) , "Varázsos illat", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Árpád Tóth) , "Exotikus illat"
Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]
When, both eyes closed, during a hot autumn evening, I inhale the smell of your warm breast, I see happy shores unfold Dazzled by the fires of an unchanging sun; A lazy island where nature gives Singular trees and savoury fruits, Men whose bodies are slim and vigorous, And women whose eyes surprise with their candour. Guided by your fragrance towards charming climes, I see a harbour full of sails and masts Yet all wearied by the ocean wave, While the fragrance of green tamarinds, Which floats in the air and swells my nostrils, Mingles in my soul with the song of the mariners.
- Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2012 by Emily Wyatt, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.
Emily Wyatt.  Contact: cobbsquint (AT) gmail (DOT) comIf you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
- a text in French (Français) by Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867), "Parfum exotique", appears in Les Fleurs du mal, in 1. Spleen et Idéal, no. 22, Paris, Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, first published 1857