Impressions: Some Serge Lutens Exclusives and L’Wren Scott

I was fortunate to smell/test (or retest in some cases) several Serge Lutens Exclusives at Barney’s in New York earlier this month. I thought it might be interesting to share these impressions, because my initial reactions to Serge Lutens are almost never my “final” opinions about them. I’d be curious to know if there is a perfume line that any of you feel this way about, and/or if you have a completely different opinion of any of these perfumes.

Rose de Nuit. Notes for this are Turkish rose, yellow jasmine, apricot, amber, musk, sandalwood and beeswax. Fragrantica describes it as a “dark and animalistic female rose perfume.” So I’m at a loss that it goes a little rosewater, and not in a good way, on my skin. My notes say “sour and fusty.”

Fourreau Noir. Notes for this are lavender, tonka, musk, almonds, and smokey accords. It reminds me of Eau Noire, but not as rich and overpowering, and it smells less like unappetizing leftovers than Eau Noire. The almond is quite evident in Fourreau Noir. But still, I think this is a smell, not a perfume.

Une Voix Noire. Gardenia as inspired by Billy Holliday and done up by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens seems like a dream. But what can I say? I wasn’t wowed. I wanted it to be weirder and more audacious.

Rahat Loukoum. Notes for this are aldehydes, almond, cherry, hawthorn, Turkish rose, heliotrope, white honey, vanilla, tonka bean, balsam and musk. To my nose, this is almond pastry, straight up, with a drydown to vanilla with a hint of charcoal smoke.

Of these four, I will test Une Voix Noire and Rahat Loukoum more. I was also more interested in De Profundis, after testing on the strip, than I had thought I would be. And I will continue trying to fall in love with Boxeuses.

L’Wren Scott. This Ralph Schweiger creation is a Barney’s exclusive. Notes per a Refinery 29 interview are absinthe, coriander, marigold, tuberose, geranium, clove buds, curry, patchouli, amber, and moss. To my nose, it started out as a perfumey modern chypre that stays close to the skin but does make a statement. A floral with a backbone of spiciness, patchouli,  and creamy wood. I also think I smell a bit of fruitiness to it, but nothing overt—just enough to hint at another fragrance dimension. Unfortunately, and I don’t know if this was nose fatigue, but it seemed to have very little sillage and to disintegrate on my skin within an hour. I hope to revisit this, since I really liked what I smelled initially. For a review of L’Wren Scott perfume, click to go to Ca Fleure Bon.

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12 responses

  1. It’s interesting that I’m completely opposite from you on these 4: I plan to keep testing the first two. I thought I didn’t like Rose de nuit right after applying it but then I kept sniffing my wrist and thought it was very nice. Fourreau noir I liked but it bothers me that it reminds me of some other perfume (I’ll try your suggestion but I doubt my association was with it).

    I really-really-really disliked Rahat Loukoum on paper and wasn’t impressed by Une Voix Noire. I might try them eventually on skin if I come across samples/testers but I won’t be actively pursuing them.

    • Oh, that is interesting. I was also thinking about this, that while there is a good amount of overlap in our taste on the more elegant/refined end of the perfume spectrum, when it comes to Serge Lutens we seem to be almost opposites.

  2. These are not the 4 easiest Lutenses to love. I do like Rose de Nuit and I did love FN until someone said it smelled like pancake syrup (which it does). After that things never became the same between us… Un Voix Noire felst like being beaten across the head with a metal baking sheet containing strawberry jam filled Danish pastries until there is a lot of blood. The blood-metal-strawberry jam combo gives me a severe headache but the warm floral scent that emerges after 6 hours of wear is lovely. No one ever said love is easy… Rahat Lokum, finally, is a no-no for me, at least by itself. It’s WAY too sweet. I have worn it after using a chocolate/coffee body scrub and then it’s bearable and reminds me of Belgian cherry beer (Kriek), which I rather enjoy :) And have a great christmas!!!

  3. Ooh, I’d all but forgotten the existence of Rahat Loukoum. I remember finding it just a little bit too weird, early in my perfume experience. I wonder if now it will be just right, or not weird enough?

    • If I had to guess: maybe not weird enough? Although I do think my skin must have magnified the sweetness. I can’t imagine it would lack some subtleties that seemed lost on me (literally).

  4. Oh, I’m so glad to hear that the L’Wren Scott is decent. She’s so elegant, and I would have been really disappointed if it was another fruitchouli.

  5. LOL at “sour and fusty”. Rose de Nuit also goes very civet-y on me. Not tried most of the others, though Rahat Loukoum was a bit too much for me as I recall. I am not really one for almonds though.

    • Oooh, civet-y? Perhaps that was another thing I didn’t like about it? I despise civet. Not sure when or if I will try this again, but I’ll watch for that if I do.

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