by Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)
Translation © by Emily Wyatt

Quand, les deux yeux fermés, en un soir...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG HUN
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.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du mal, Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1857, in Spleen et Idéal, pages 54-55.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Haasz) , "Cizokrajná vůně"
  • 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, London, Elkin Mathews, 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]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 113

Exotic perfume
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
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 may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2012-10-09
Line count: 14
Word count: 104