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 in line 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. The almond is quite evident in Fourreau Noir. But still, I think I like this as a smell, but 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.