Review: the perfumes of Serge Lutens

A distinctive voice in the world of perfumery.

belljarBack in April 2011, I had an appointment to interview Serge Lutens, so ahead of time, the company sent me most of his perfume range to sample, in order to form an opinion. The list below isn’t entirely comprehensive, but it’s fairly thorough, and that initial sampling enabled me to come to some conclusions about this house.

This has been somewhat updated, as it’s now December 2011 and I’m more familiar with the perfumes from wearing them on a daily basis, so my initial impressions have often changed. However, many of them I still only know from the initial sample, so there the verdict remains unchanged. 

Serge Lutens – in case you haven’t heard of it – is what the cognoscenti call a ‘niche’ perfume house – that is, it doesn’t sell in many outlets. The polar opposite of a niche house would be something like Ralph Lauren, which sells in ‘grand distribution’ – ie: in loads of places.

Niche perfumes tend to be expensive, but by no means the most expensive fragrances you can buy. Serge Lutens prices start at around 79 euros for 50ml and rise to 120 euros for 75ml, but this falls way short of many fragrances from houses such as Hermes, Caron and even Ralph Lauren.

spray bottleSerge Lutens perfumes are theoretically unisex, though some definitely tilt more one way than the other. More men than women, I suspect, would wear Muscs Koublai Khan, for instance, while florals in the modern world tend to be worn mainly by women. Lutens himself would rather like to stir up that distinction, and make all perfumes available to both sexes, as they were in the past, but old habits die hard with consumers.  

There are around 60 perfumes in the range, in two lines: export and exclusive, and the perfumes come in three forms:

* 50ml or 100ml spray bottles available worldwide.

* 50ml or 100ml spray bottles available in Europe only. 

* 75ml exclusive bell jars available only from the Salons de Palais Royal de Shiseido in Paris, or by mail order to Europe.

This means that if you live outside of Europe and you want an exclusive, you either have to fly to Paris and buy a bottle direct, or get a European friend to buy the stuff for you and send it over. Alternatively, you may be able to buy a ‘decant’ from a reseller such as The Perfumed Court, or pick up the perfume on Ebay. 

The unchanging design of the bottles and the limited colours used in the labels and boxes, allied to the complete lack of advertising and marketing undertaken by this brand mean that the firm can spend more money on quality ingredients – something that definitely shows in the complexity of these fragrances. Some are not easy. Some are actively unpleasant. But they are all interesting. 

Samples

waxSamples of the perfume come in various sizes and types, and it must be said that this affects your perception of the perfumes. The export line is available in free 1.2ml spray bottles from shops such as Sephora; 5ml dab bottles are available for some perfumes, but for the exclusive belljar line, there are no liquid samples at all – instead, you send off to the Palais Royal and ask for the sampler set. These arrive in the form of wax, which is a very ancient form of perfume, and gives a good account of the true fragrance, but it’s one hit only – the samples are only big enough for one application. For this reason, I tried many of the perfumes at night, on going to bed, where I could keep sniffing my wrists as I read.

wandInitial impressions

After several weeks of tests, my conclusion was that although the house is generally known for its woodiness, of the whole range, I preferred the florals. How times change! After eight months of wearing these fragrances on a daily basis, I have become a firm favourite of the woods. These are complex, deeply female perfumes, not remotely girly and sparkly like the majority of modern female fragrances, but something cooler, darker, a little decadent, perhaps a little cruel.

They are not smiling perfumes – they have the glamour of old Hollywood – the high cheekbones and red lips of a Hedy Lamarr or a Marlene Dietrich. Very much perfumes for grown-ups.

For my money, the wax samples don’t really glean enough perfume to come to a conclusion and it would be nice to have these in a liquid format – it’s important to have enough quantity, and for this, the 1.2ml sprays or 5ml dab bottles are far better.Where I was able to sample a perfume multiple times, my opinions of it often changed. I found the best source of these was Ebay, where you can buy a 1, 3, or 5ml decant relatively cheaply, which gives you enough perfume to form a correct impression. 

My (original) April favourites, in order, were:
Miel de Bois *****
Jeux de Peau *****
Fleurs d’Oranger *****
Mandarine Mandarin *****
Tubereuse Criminelle ****
Datura Noir ****
Fourreau Noir ****
A la Nuit ****
Rose de Nuit ****
Bois de Violettes ***
Santal Blanc ***
Clair de musc ***

However, there were perfumes I hadn’t yet been able to try, including Chypre Rouge, Daim Blond, Encens et lavande, Fleurs de Citronnier, Five O’clock au Gingembre, Gris Clair, Louve, Nuit de Cellophane, Rousse and Sa Majesté la Rose

My December 2011 favourites, in contrast, were:

Fille en Aiguilles *****
Ambre Sultan *****
Chergui *****
Jeux de Peau ****
Tubereuse Criminelle ****
Fleurs d’Oranger ****
De Profundis ****
Feminité du Bois ****
Douce Amère ****
Miel de Bois ****

By May 2012 I had been able to sample more perfumes, including Gris Clair, Sa Majesté la Rose, Muscs Koublai Khan (in alcohol format), Chene (in alcohol format), Serge Noire, Nuits de Cellophane, Eau Froide and Fumerie Turque.  

My favourites in May 2012 were therefore:

Fille en Aiguilles *****
Serge Noire *****
Ambre Sultan *****
Chergui *****
Fleurs d’Oranger *****
A la Nuit *****
Sa Majesté la Rose ****
Tubereuse Criminelle ****
Muscs Koublai Khan ****  

The list

A LA NUIT
Sample type: wax
Top notes: heady, white, tropical floral.
Middle notes: ditto.
Base notes: ditto.
Verdict: **** intend to buy. Smells like my living room on a summer morning when the window has been left open and the jasmine is in flower.
Verdict of others: “death by jasmine”.

AMBRE SULTAN
Sample type: 5ml dab bottle, night.
Top notes: Fresh, light, ambery, masculine.
Middle notes: sweeter.
Base notes: gone by morning, but aged nicely on skin.
Verdict: ***** I initially thought this too masculine for me but a nice leathery scent, but I gradually became obsessed with it. I would dearly love to have this in the 50ml spray bottle now. On holiday recently, it was the only perfume I bothered to take with me, and I receive many compliments when wearing it.
Verdict of others: Many say it’s unbearable. Sandalwood herbal and spicy notes. Bay leaf, coriander. Bright, lively character that dims. Patchouli. Hint of balsam and vanilla.

ARABIE
Sample type: 5ml dab bottle.
Top notes: Spicy, light, alcoholic.
Middle notes: Light and sweet.
Base notes: was asleep.
Verdict: ** More of a masculine scent. Becomes seriously curry-like after a while.
Verdict of others: boozy pruney woodiness winter fruitcake syrup gourmand.

BAS DE SOIE
Sample type: 50ml spray bottle.
Top notes: Hyacinth and talcum powder.
Middle notes: Something else?
Base notes: Hyacinth.
Verdict: *** Wear because I was given it – I would not buy it at this price, though it is lovely. Makes me think of maiden aunts dressed in lavender silk.
Verdict of others: Many testers clearly detect iris notes that I do not – thankfully, as iris is really a vegetal note that I dislike.

BOIS DE VIOLETTES
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: Violets at the back of the mix, like faded violets in an Edwardian posy, pressed into a book that you come across when going through someone’s attic…
Middle notes: Violet coming forward in the mix.
Base notes: Was asleep.
Verdict: *** would wear if given it.
Verdict of others: violet leaves white cedar, clear violet. Gets five stars from Luca Turin.

BOIS ET FRUITS
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: Woody and fruity! Very nice. Warm.
Middle notes: Warmer and woodier – top notes of red fruits mostly gone.
Base notes: Faint trace of sandalwood.
Verdict: ** Perfectly nice, but like many others in the bois range (of the five, I’d choose Bois de Violettes). Useful to wear with fruit-scented body lotions to avoid a clash. Great if you  like the idea of dewberry but hate the actual scent.
Verdict of others: cedarwood ripe fall fruits—figs, peaches, and plums.

BOIS ET MUSC
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: Woody and musky.
Middle notes: Musk fades quickly.
Base notes: Gone by morning.
Verdict: *** Does just what it says on the tin, like the others in the Bois range.
Verdict of others: wood and musk.

BOIS ET VANILLE
Sample type: 5ml dab bottle.
Top notes: Pure vanilla, can’t really smell the wood at all.
Middle notes: Very true, lovely vanilla smell.
Base notes: Vanilla – one of those clean scents that stays true.
Verdict: *** Would wear if given it. Great base layer. Wouldn’t buy it, though, as there are other good vanillas far cheaper.
Verdict of others: Many find it unsubtle, too sweet, burnt sugar. Bounce fabric-softener sheet!

BOIS ORIENTAL
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: Ugh, something in this I like and something I really don’t like. Creosote?
Middle notes: Top notes gone and now doesn’t smell of much at all.
Base notes: Gone by morning.
Verdict: ** don’t care for this one at all.
Verdict of others: vanilla, spices, candied quince, rose sherbet, and cardamom almond halva.

BORNEO 1834
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: Spicy, tropical, woody.
Middle notes: Spicier.
Base notes: Was asleep.
Verdict: ** OK: bit too masculine for me. Like aftershave.
Verdict of others: Indonesian patchouli, white flowers, cardamom, camphor, cistus, galbanum, cannabis resin, cocoa accord. In other words, chocolate-patchouli – something I definitely don’t smell, perhaps due to the small sample.

BOXEUSES
Sample type: 75ml bell jar.
Top notes: Smells like Cola-Cola from the jar. Alcoholic. Nothing special.
Middle notes: Once the alcohol lifts, earthier notes appear. Layers of fruit, wood, bark, leather. Agen prunes in Calvados.
Base notes: Sweet, woody, leathery but feminine, musk.
Verdict: *** Wear it because I was given it. Lovely, provided used in quantity. Owning it obviates the need to buy Feminité du bois or any of its sisters, but given that I own FDB, I tend to wear that instead.
Verdict of others: leather, dark woody accord, castoreum, incense-smoky labdanum, maple syrup, sweet anise, plum.

CHENE
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: Cool, green, mossy, quite unpleasant. Iris?
Middle notes: A bit warmer but still basically the same.
Base notes: Faded.
Verdict: * Does nothing for me.
Verdict of others: Some detect cumin.

CHERGUI
Sample type: 1.2ml spray
Top notes: warm hay absolute
Middle notes: warm tobacco shop
Base notes: warm leather, skin and honey
Verdict: **** an absolute must-have. Smells like a warm day in the hayloft, the scent of the heat of summer, childhood, carefree days – a wonderful perfume that is like the distilled scent of happiness. For some reason, I missed it out of my initial review, although I had the sample, but it is one of those Lutens I have become a bit obsessed with. I still only have my free sample – must get round to buying a big bottle.
Verdict of others: honey, musk, leather, incense, tobacco leaf.

CLAIR DE MUSC
Sample type: 5ml dab bottle.
Top notes: Light white musk.
Middle notes: same.
Base notes: same.
Verdict: *** A lovely, light, true musk – very reminiscent of Jovan. At first I thought it pleasant, but not unusual enough to pay high price for. After several applications, I now realise it is deceptively simple, which is something that is actually very hard to achieve in any area. A musk that stays strong and true for up to 12 hours.
Verdict of others: simple. Easy to wear, smooth and exquisitely made perfume that always feels right. Powdery iris creamy base of sandalwood. Good for layering.

CUIR MAURESQUE
Sample type: 1ml dip bottle.
Top notes: fresh leather.
Middle notes: sweeter leather.
Base notes: the same.
Verdict: ** a nice true mannish leather – would buy, but we already own Trumper’s Spanish Leather, which is very similar.
Verdict of others: good but not as good as Chanel’s Cuir de Russie.

DATURA NOIR
Sample type: 1.2ml spray.
Top notes: Headache-inducing tropical floral.
Middle notes: Softening and sweetening.
Base notes: Very tropical.
Verdict: ****  intend to buy. Makes me imagine sexy dark nights in the tropics.
Verdict of others: mandarin peel, apricot, lemon flower, datura flower, tuberose, osmanthus, coconut, heliotrope, myrrh, bitter almond, vanilla, tonka bean, musk. Heady. tropical floral with subdued hints of coconut and chocolate and a very slight dusting of powder. It is lush and creamy but not loud. Sexy.

DOUCE AMERE
Sample type: Wax, night, then 5ml dab bottle.
Top notes: Sweet and sour, like it says.
Middle notes: Sweet and woody but very faint.
Base notes: By morning, the usual woody Lutens smell.
Verdict: *** Initially I thought it OK but nothing special, but it grew on me. I wear it but might not bother buying it.
Verdict of others: cinnamon, artemisia absinthium, anise, lily, jasmine, tiare flower, tagette, cedar, musk. One of the glories of the range.

EL ATTARINE
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: Fruity, warm, woody. Floral.
Middle notes: ditto.
Base notes: was asleep
Verdict: *** Would wear if given it. Gentle and balanced – doesn’t have the discord of other Lutens.
Verdict of others: immortelle after a soft opening, with copious lashings of spicy, sweaty cumin and honey notes.

FEMINITE DU BOIS
Sample type: 1.2ml spray.
Top notes: Florals, underlaid with woods.
Middle notes: Layers of the same.
Base notes: Wood.
Verdict: **** Very nice – feminine without being girly. Makes sense as Lutens’ signature scent, as it’s redolent of the house – woody, fruity.
Verdict of others: Moroccan orange, Turkish rose, Atlas cedarwood, violet, beeswax, honey, peach, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, sandalwood, musk. Some feel it is not as good as the old formulation, designed for Shiseido in the 1990s.

FILLE EN AIGUILLES
Sample type: 1.2ml spray
Top notes: Olibanum, pine.
Middle notes: Resin notes appearing.
Base notes: Gone.
Verdict: *****  At first try, I didn’t like it – it didn’t seem complex enough. On the second try, I LOVED it – it made me feel as happy as a walk on a pine-lined island in Brittany that the DH and I took one autumn. Shows the importance of trying Lutens perfumes on several occasions and is a good argument for replacing the wax samples with 1.2ml liquid sprays. The house gave me a bottle of this in Paris and then another when the first was nicked by my DH within minutes. He wears it every day: I wear it extremely often.
Verdict of others: Too piney, though not like cheap air freshener.

FLEURS D’ORANGER
Sample type: 1.2ml spray and 5ml dab bottle
Top notes: True neroli.
Middle notes: Woodier base.
Base notes: Neroli overlaid on spicier base.
Verdict: ***** Fabulous! Must-have. This was love at first sniff – an utterly enchanting perfume that made me feel calm and peaceful. However,  I fell asleep in the afternoon and woke up with a t-shirt full of wasps, so perhaps insects love it too?
Verdict of others: tuberose jasmine orange blossom cumin. Smooth and balanced.

FOURREAU NOIR
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: Gorgeous sweet heady.
Middle notes: was asleep.
Base notes: Reinvigorated by washing in the morning – most unusual.
Verdict: **** Intend to buy. Really lovely, strong, heady, sexy perfume.
Verdict of others: lavender, tonka, musk, almonds, smoky accords.

FUMERIE TURQUE
Sample type: 3ml perfume roll-on (decant)
Top notes: smoke and leather.
Middle notes: tobacco and patchouli. 
Base notes: honey and tonka bean.
Verdict: *** very nice on first try, not so good on second. Will try again in different weather. A very warm, leathery, tobaccoey scent.
Verdict of others: either love or hate. An old English library full of leather books where people have smoked for decades. 

GRIS CLAIR
Sample type: 3ml perfume roll-on (decant).
Top notes: Lavender, very strong.
Middle notes: Lavender and smoke.
Base notes: Lavender and smoke.
Verdict: * Doesn’t work on my skin at all. It smells like nothing more than lavender aftershave or toilet-bowl cleaner. Compared wrist for wrist with Caron’s Pour Un Homme, I find the latter infinitely preferable.
Verdict of others: lavender and smoke, grey-coloured.  

IRIS SILVER MIST
Sample type: Wax.
Top notes: Green, metallic, bitter, like turnip green ends.
Middle notes: After 20 minutes, has almost disappeared. Slight trace of florals.
Base notes: Couldn’t detect any.
Verdict: No stars – didn’t like it. A vile and unpleasant opening. Really wanted to wash it off and only persisted for the purposes of the test.
Verdict of others: Ethereal, evil, cold, enchanting. Iris, clove, cedarwood, sandalwood, vetiver, white amber, labdanum, musks, benzoin, incense. (I am beginning to think that iris is something I cannot smell and with this perfume I’m left only with the unpleasant undernotes.)

JEUX DE PEAU
Sample type: 50ml spray bottle.
Top notes: Black pepper, vanilla, sandalwood.
Middle notes: Woody, milky, musky.
Base notes: Woody and soft.
Verdict: ***** Must-have, but luckily already own. A GREAT scent –the opening notes are the best bit, though.
Verdict of others: Toast, sandalwood, vanilla. Pyrazines, which add scent to foodstuffs such as coffee.

LA MYRRH
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: Sharp, bright, heady.
Middle notes: More intense.
Base notes: Gone by morning.
Verdict: *** A very traditional smell, very heady and pleasant – familiar to me from aromatherapy.
Verdict of others: frames the myrrh by accenting its medicinal licorice tonality with anise notes and its sweetness with honey.

L’EAU SERGE LUTENS
Sample type: 50ml spray bottle
Top notes: Clean, white, floral.
Middle notes: Magnolia.
Base notes: Magnolia.
Verdict: ****. Would have it on my buy list if I didn’t own it already. At first I gave it three stars (would wear if I was given it), for its white, zen, clean, yoga smell, but over time I’ve upped it to four for its sheer persistence – you put it on and feel fresh as a daisy and it stays that way for hours and hours.
Verdict of others: transparent iris and white musk. Citrus notes. Magnolia.

MANDARINE MANDARIN
Sample type: Wax, night. Then 3ml perfume decant (roll-on) 
Top notes: Orange oil – slightly unpleasant, like the Clarins hand cream a friend gave me because she couldn’t bear the smell.
Middle notes: top note gone after about 10 seconds, leaving the FULL smell of an orange grove – leaves, fruit, flowers, petitgrain – delicious.
Base notes: Warm, milky, sandalwood trace left on skin by morning.
Verdict: *** On trying the wax sample, I gave it five stars and said it was a must-have. But sadly, the alcohol formulation is not an enticing. On my skin in was much more beeswaxy, and compared unfavourably with the new limited-edition Seville à l’Aube from Artisan Parfumeur. A shame, as originally, I thought it "a gorgeous scent – possibly even slightly better than Fleurs d’Oranger – a little greener and more petitgrainy".
Verdict of others: Unstable. Chinese orange, nutmeg, candied orange, peels of mandarins of Sicilia, Black Mandarin, Cashmere musk, clove, honey, beeswax, smoked Chinese tea, thyme, labdanum, rock rose, Tonka bean, and ambergris.

MIEL DE BOIS
Sample type: Wax, night, then 50ml spray bottle.
Top notes: WOW. Honey. Real honey. Like opening a good jar.
Middle notes: Woodier, but still honey.
Base notes: Bitter by morning.
Verdict: ***** must-have. Fabulous scent, full of warmth and summer – has the real scent of the hive about it.
Verdict of others: comments include ‘urine’, ‘public toilet’ and ‘disgusting’. Testers seem nonplussed by the frank smell of real honey. Are Americans used to crap honey, I ask myself? This perfume did not sell well and has been withdrawn from the export line.

MUSCS KOUBLAI KHAN
Sample type: Wax, then 3 x 1ml alcohol-based decants.
Top notes: Dusty roses.
Middle notes: Horses hoving into view. Smells like my friend N when she’s just mucked out.
Base notes: Warm, soft drydown.
Verdict: ***** Wonderful. It required repeated application with the proper EDP, but eventually I ‘got’ it. A warm, fireside fragrance like a horse saddle soaked in rose oil. I intend to buy this for my own private pleasure, as it’s not really something you can wear in company – I think people might take offence. From the tiny wax sample, I had originally thought it too masculine for me – a bit sweaty and horsey. "Smells like a stable or someone who’s just come in from one.  If a man wore this deliberately, I’d be a bit nervous of him." I said.  
Verdict of others: Lutens says: civet, castoreum, costus roots, cumin, labdanum, Moroccan rose, ambergris, ambrette seeds, beeswax, vanilla and patchouli. Others detect goat fur and fruits and say the wax sample is poor. Many people – those unused to animals, I suspect – can’t BEAR this scent at all.

NUITS DE CELLOPHANE
Sample type: 3ml perfume decant
Top notes: glitteringly bright mixed floral.
Middle notes: ditto. 
Base notes: the glitter fades and sweetens.
Verdict: *** this is a LOT better than I had expected – a very bright mixed floral with no particular flower standing out in the mix. It reminds me above all of walking into a flower shop. I might not buy this but would definitely wear it if given it. 
Verdict of others: a tad blah for this label, but others are very taken with its floral brightness which doesn’t turn on the skin. 

RAHAT LOUKOUM (Turkish delight)
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: unguent-like, waxy.
Middle notes: sweet but faint.
Base notes: gone by morning.
Verdict: ** Doesn’t smell like perfume but like some sort of ancient unguent. But I realise it DOES smell rather like Turkish delight, which although flavoured with roses, doesn’t smell of them. 
Verdict of others: fresh white almond, crushed cherry pits, hawthorn, heliotrope, Turkish rose, balsam, tonka bean, aldehydes, white honey, musk and vanilla.

ROSE DE NUIT
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: Rose over wood, like old ladies’ faded rose notepaper in a wooden drawer, or rose scent left on clothes in a wooden wardrobe.
Middle notes: Slight sherbetiness appearing.
Base notes: Was asleep.
Verdict: *** would wear if given it. But would also consider buying.
Verdict of others: A carnivorous, dark and rather scary rose. Soap, rotten, sweat-stained leather. A few people simply can’t stand the smell, which bemuses me somewhat, having grown up with rosewood boxes that remind me of this.

SA MAJESTE LA ROSE
Sample type: 25mls from a 50ml bottle
Top notes: very green, raspberry-scented and sappy rose – the true scent of a Bourbon rose.
Middle notes: ditto. 
Base notes: ditto. 
Verdict: ****. Really love this. I did in fact buy 40ml on Ebay, which a friend and I split between us. For me, this perfume knocks YSL Paris into a cocked hat. It reminds me of my garden on a wet summer’s morning – the scent of wet grass, green leaves, sweetbriar and my cascades of rambler roses. Very refreshing and with astonishing lasting power. Interestingly, it is Luten’s favourite of his creations. 
Verdict of others: harsh, rotten, green, musky. Generally not positive. Even the friend with whom I split the bottle finds it goes through a stage on her skin that is truly horrible. 

SANTAL BLANC
Sample type: 5ml dab bottle.
Top notes: Very sandalwoody, white, clean-smelling, very pure.
Middle notes: Clean, retains its purity. Great base scent.
Base notes: Faint but true trace of sandalwood like an old Indian box.
Verdict: *** Would wear if given it, but might not buy.
Verdict of others: white sandalwood, cinnamon, fenugreek, pink pepper, rose, jasmine, orris root, musk, benzoin and copaiba balsam. Smells like a pencil. Takes an hour to settle. Many people layer it with floaty florals to lock them to the skin. 

SANTAL DE MYSORE
Sample type: Wax.
Top notes: Curry and honey.
Middle notes: Curry fading – honey taking over.
Base notes: 5.00am still curry and honey.
Verdict: * Undoubtedly true to its origins but not for me at all – smells like the drains near the Indian takeaway where I used to live in Tottenham.
Verdict of others: most prefer Santal Blanc.

SERGE NOIRE
Sample type: 1.2ml spray.
Top notes: Cedar.
Middle notes: Cedar, woods, warmth, patchouli.
Base notes: Trace of cedar.
Verdict: *****. Gorgeous, woody, incensey – slightly warmer than Fille en Aiguilles, this is a perfume I later bought for myself and for my DH to wear also. On its original testing, I didn’t ‘get’ it at all. I gave it only one star and said: "Wouldn’t wear it. Too similar to FcdBois for me and smells perhaps more like a library than a person. Took me two goes to smell anything other than cedar." I can’t now understand what I was on about!  
Verdict of others: Unpleasant opening notes settling to the usual Lutens woodiness.

TUBEREUSE CRIMINELLE
Sample type: Wax.
Top notes: White floral, vanilla, condensed milk, slightly fromage blanc-ish but nothing shocking – very smooth and velvety like thick cream.
Middle notes: Pure tuberose.
Base notes: Faded.
Verdict: **** Gorgeous scent. I love the medicinal opening notes, and these give way to a real floral, nothing wimpish.
Verdict of others: Initial notes heady dark tropical floral. Camphor opening notes, Vick’s, tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom, hyacinth, styrax, musk, vanilla, heliotrope.

UN BOIS SEPIA
Sample type: Wax.
Top notes: Sharp, lemony, deeply pleasant.
Middle notes: 5.00am still pure and strong
Base notes: was asleep
Verdict: *** Would wear it if given it. Very nice indeed.
Verdict of others: A true triumph of oak moss, vetiver, and sandalwood opoponax.

UN LYS
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: Lily of the valley, condensed milk, cream.
Middle notes: Slight sherbetiness.
Base notes: Was asleep.
Verdict: **** intend to buy.
Verdict of others: Lilac top notes. (?) Slight musk. Vanilla.

VETIVER ORIENTAL
Sample type: Wax, night.
Top notes: Green, rooty.
Middle notes: Sweeter – very nice.
Base notes: Still strong in morning – great lasting power.
Verdict: *** Thought I wouldn’t like it but actually liked it a lot – I’ve always hated vetiver in the past, whose oil I use as a cat repellent.
Verdict of others: mmm! buttery leather, spicy old dark wood, complex rich green…

Perfumes not yet tried
Chypre Rouge
Daim Blond
Encens et lavande
Fleurs de citronnier
Five O’clock au Gingembre
Gris clair
Louve
Nuit de Cellophane
Rousse
Sa Majesté la Rose

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