Monday, August 31, 2015

Scents of the Week, Serge Lutens Edition

[Samples were purchased by me from Surrender to Chance. No affiliate links.]

There were some Serge Lutens scents that were on my curiosity list, so I snagged some samples during a recent Surrender to Chance flash sale. Spoilers: I don't think we're friends. I love Gris Clair, but I think that may be it for SL and I - one shot romance, dudes.

So let's talk about them. (Disclaimer: I don't always wear a scent for the whole day, but I can really only handle one new scent a day. I tried to smell three or four at a time once and madness ensued. Not recommended.)

Also, I didn't start on a Sunday.

Wednesday: Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau edp
Bread note, spices, licorice, apricot, immortelle, sandalwood, woody notes, amber
Ah, sandalwood and immortelle, always ruining the party. Anyway.

Mmmhmm, "bread note." I WAS PROMISED BREAD. Every perfume blogger waxed eloquent about grannies baking bread or croissants on the streets of Paris or whatever. I like bread. Jeux de Peau does not smell like bread. I've made many a loaf - yeasted breads (plain baguettes and sour dough, pizza dough, flatbread, sandwich style), tea breads, quick breads...fresh baked/baking bread does not smell like this. Unless, I don't know, maybe you eat weird bread?

I mean, they were otherwise correct. It is weird. So maybe it is weird bread. Who knows. It has a apricot-anise opening, with erratic spices zinging through, like some madman just went nuts in a bakery. It's not sweet, and is baked with too much sandalwood and immortelle for this kid. A shame, because I like licorice, which gives it an herbal freshness, and the spices here are reminiscent of traditionally masculine scents, which make me feel cozy and romantic.

But yes, it's not for me, and lastly, I wouldn't say Jeux de Peau is a gourmand. I like gourmands, even though they never make me think of food, exactly. They're a dessert for your nose, instead. Not like smashing a piece of cake in your face, though. Ok, that's enough, obviously I can't write a coherent thought about the weird bread perfume. Next.

Thursday: Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger edp
Orange blossom, white jasmine, Indian tuberose, white rose, citrus peel, hibiscus seeds, cumin, nutmeg
This would be another ballsy one by Sheldrake. When you first put it on, it's like you stuck your nose on a tuberose spike. I know all you white floral haters are running for the hills already, but - funnily enough, it's a little more interesting on dry down. It's a little spicier, with the heat from the cumin and nutmeg, and a little greener, with the orange blossom and the aged tang of orange peel. It's warmer and fuller than L'Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons, bringing with it a little bit of salt, sweat, and the heat of skin. It doesn't cling to the butteriness of a lot of other white florals, which might make it more palatable to some. Still, it is a tuberose scent, and I think it's bigger than me, so while I like it, I don't think I could wear it routinely.

Friday: Serge Lutens Datura Noir edp
Myrrh, bitter almond, tonka bean, musk, osmanthus, heliotrope, mandarin, lemon blossom, tuberose, vanilla, coconut oil, apricot
Hells bells, this is weird. I'm going to go wear Jo Malone for a week after this, I swear. (Not a diss - I love Vanilla & Anise - I want a full bottle). People say it's a bit of a chameleon, and I get that. I think it starts off more strongly than it ends, though. Decadent, tooth-achingly sweet coconut macaroon one day, and subtler, flaky almond croissant the next. Pop of apricot here, like a blob of misplaced jam, and moments later, drowning in flan de coco - flambé. Also, there are flowers. Night-blooming and tenacious. Then it dries down into a weird, flowery, powdery, almond-aquatic note...kind of like baby powder. Not my cup of tea. I find it fascinating from a formulation standpoint - what molecules are responsible for these notes? Are they at some sort of threshold, which makes them so shifty? - but for my personal use, I prefer more well-behaved concoctions.

Saturday: Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille edp
Black vanilla absolute, licorice, sandalwood, coconut milk, beeswax, caramelized benzoin, bitter almond, Gaiac wood, tonka bean
I wanted to love this one the most, because I am unabashedly a vanilla fiend, but it is nothing like I expected, and I'm sad. I wanted it to be darker, with more smoke and licorice. On me, though, it smells like a slightly more refined Aquolina Pink Sugar. And stays that way. I mean, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is more expensive, and on my skin, the coconut gives it that weird synthetic edge, so it's not even a whole lot more refined. Verdict: A rare vanilla fail for me (but this means I can add another coveted vanilla to my stash at some point with no qualms about "too many vanillas." As if such a thing exists.).

Voila! I finished my sampler pack of Serge Lutens, I am so pleased. I think that's all I want to try from the house right now. I'm traveling this week and next, so I may be slow with comments, but I want to know: What's your favorite SL? (Mine is Gris Clair).