Rousse by Serge Lutens

Notes: amber, Mandarin orange, cloves, resin, cinnamon, and cedar.

Rousse is a special one to me. It was initially released in 2007 and it is sadly now only available as part of the exclusive Serge Lutens bell jar line. I suppose it wasn’t a terribly big seller. On the one hand, I can understand why. But, on the other, I love Rousse. It’s the perfect type of warm spice you’d want to wear in the doldrums of January/February. And it’s my go-to for Valentine’s Day.

I was lucky enough to snag my 50 ml spray bottle shortly before it was announced that Rousse was moving to the bell jar line. You can see it has the old Serge Lutens Palais Royal logo, which I love. I still have a substantial amount left. The juice has definitely changed over the years but, like a fine wine, Rousse has aged well. The fiery hot cinnamon is still very present. It always reminds me of Red Hots and various Valentine’s Day candies.

Rousse was initially famous for a waxy lipstick note paired with the cinnamon. It’s much less waxy now. I find it has developed into a warm rich musk and something like orris butter. I can’t find any specific floral notes listed for Rousse. (Least of all on the Serge Lutens website. Uncle Serge is always cryptic.) I’m guessing there’s a touch of iris and some kind of white floral. Kafkaesque guesses that it’s magnolia, which makes sense to my nose. Whatever the floral note, it’s become much more prominent and creamy over time.

Overall I think Rousse has become a little bit more smooth with time. It still has a quirky edge to it though, so it’s not completely mellow. That cinnamon still crackles right off of the skin with heat and intensity. The supporting notes seem to have become more rich and creamy, as though Rousse has now grown into itself. If you happen to track Rousse down, it’s absolutely worth it. There are so many greats from Christopher Sheldrake and Serge Lutens, but this one is a real gem.

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Rousse is available directly from Serge Lutens in the 75 ml bell jar bottle.

Image taken by me. Info on notes from Fragrantica.

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6 thoughts on “Rousse by Serge Lutens

  1. I love it when perfume ages well :)…..smooth and less waxy sounds divine!

    I see some of the Lutens heavily discounted online but am always a bit apprehensive about blind buys….I wonder if Sephora will ever start to carry this line as they are getting some more niche in their perfume line up (such as L’Artisan)……

    1. I hear that Sephora in France carries Serge Lutens in store (at least at the Champs Elysee location). It would be fantastic if we could get it in the US too! I know Barney’s carries the line, but not all of us live in New York. I understand being apprehensive of ordering a discounted Serge Lutens online. You never know if it could be a fake too, which would be such a bummer.

  2. Somehow I haven’t tried Rousse and haven’t read much about it. Are you sure it was first a part of non-exclusive line and then moved to bell jars? I’m asking because I remember reading about some perfumes that were bell jar only, then were released temporarily in the export line, and then returned to their original non-export line only. But I haven’t heard before about “promoting” perfumes to bell jar only (I’m not saying it didn’t happen, I’m just curious).

    1. The bottle of Rousse pictured here in the post is my own 50 ml spray bottle. Rousse was definitely part of the regular line initially and then “discontinued” in that format, and made available only in the bell jar. The post from Kafkaesque that I linked to above has more information about it if you’re interested.

      1. How interesting. See – I’ve learned something new. Still, I disagree with all those limited/special/etc. designations. All perfumes should be for everybody to buy! 🙂

        1. It’s actually how I discovered Luckyscent. It must have been late 2011. Rousse had disappeared from the Barneys’ website, and I was searching for a reputable source that still had the 50 ml bottle available. Fortunately they did!

          And I definitely agree with you on that! Exclusive and limited edition releases actually make me less excited about a brand/fragrance.

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