This is the latest round of Serge Lutens testing, with results as follows. Blue, I love. Pink, I like. Green, I dislike. Purple, I despise. Beyond La Myrrhe, there’s not a single SL fragrance that I am dying to own – so far, anyway. Thanks again to everybody kind enough to send me samples… and you might have to remind me who you are, because my older emails are just buried in this insane pile…
Arabie – curry spices and amber and woods, very rich and almost edible but almost sweaty, too. I like smelling it, but not on my skin. I’d rather smell this smell in a house where I’ve been invited to dinner.
A La Nuit– the Perfumes: The Guide review says “Death by jasmine,” and it’s quite correct. JasminesR-us. All jasmine, all the time. Jasmine Overload. Now if it were “death by tuberose,” I’d probably like it. I don’t hate A La Nuit, but I don’t like it either. If you like jasmine, have at it. You can have my share.
(Sidenote: Is it not freaky, weird and/or strange that I should love tuberose so much, and have a mild aversion to its partner-in-smell, jasmine? But there you go: it’s how I feel. Tuberose? gimme more. Tuberose with other white florals (including jasmine)? yes, please. Jasmine on its own? I’lllllll…. just back away. I’ll be over here sniffing my Vamp a NY, thanks. Or the Fracas, or Beyond Love, or Carnal Flower, or Tuberosa d’Autonno. You can keep the Tubereuse Criminelle, though.)
Fille en Aiguilles – the first moments are very camphoraceous, then it’s piney spice. I like this a lot, and at the same time, I’m not sure I could really enjoy wearing it on my skin. I’d love to have it as a candle. After an hour’s time, it’s very enjoyable, a pine-spice-incense thing that is very pleasant, but half an hour after that, it picks up a sour, wet-ashes acridity that I’ve noticed before in other scents (Paestum Rose, the Aedes de Venustas fragrance, and Comme des Garcons White). This seems to be a nexus of cedar and incense, with possibly some rose involved. I never, ever like this accord, and my word for it is unbearable. Luckily, three hours after application, the Fee en Eggwee is pretty much gone. This perfume swings from “dislike” to “mild enjoyment” to “greater enjoyment” and then veers straight for “Dear God, No!” This one doesn’t quite approach the KillMeNow hatred that I have for those few Lutens (Tube Criminy comes to mind), but it’s pretty close.
Boxeuses – This one seems… unstable. Could be my perception, could be my skin, but the components seem a hairsbreadth away from just falling to pieces instead of joining together the way I thought they would. You know how if you let a ripe peach just sit and dry out for awhile, it gets leathery? And how good leather has that soft peachskin texture to it? Makes sense to me that peach and leather would hold hands and get along. But in Boxeuses, they don’t. I don’t know why. Also, I found it animalic in a disturbing way.
Fourreau Noir– Lord help me, this is evil lavender. Instant blinding headache… wait, now it’s shaving cream covered in maple syrup… Okay, this one is KillMeNow hatred. I could not wait for the drydown, I had to scrub within ten minutes. I was shaking with nausea. Couldn’t face the concept of a retest, either.
This was not a good set for me. (Duh, ya think?) You can see my reactions to other Serge Lutens fragrances in Part 1 and Part 2. What I’d be interested to know is, was anybody surprised that I didn’t like these, given my usual tastes? I try to be unbiased, I really do – I sincerely try to just grab a sample out of the basket and put it on for the first time without looking at the name or the notes, only looking at the vial when I have a preliminary feel for what’s on my skin. Repeat testings, of course, can’t be done this way.
And of course there’s always the fact that the Lutens line is heavily weighted toward accords that I am not instinctively drawn to. We all have our preferences, and I’m not willing to say that certain preferences are more worthy than others (especially when it’s my preferences that are going to get some scorn!). I’m not big on curried fruit and cedar-incense and Bold and Weird, I’m just not, and I refuse to feel guilty. I like what I like. It’s interesting to me that La Myrrhe is both Bold and Weird, and yet seems so absolutely perfect. Go figure. Other than being Bold and Weird, it’s not in the usual Lutensian style, I suppose.
There are more Serges to test, so there will be more reviews here soon. Oh, and we move the blog tomorrow! There will be a link here to forward you to the new site. Hope you’ll join me there.
Image of Arabie from Fragrantica.