Collecting Serge Lutens

I was going through my fragrance collection recently and pulled all of my Serge Lutens bottles together for a little round-up. I thought I’d write about the four I currently own and what my thoughts are.

Rousse

This is the one that really inspired this post because Rousse is one of my all-time favorite scents and I just don’t wear it or talk about it often enough. It always reminds me of February and Valentine’s Day because of the cinnamon note. It’s such a realistic cinnamon red hot candy note. It instantly reminds me of making Valentine’s boxes in grade school and eating Valentine’s Day candy. I want to both wear Rousse all the time and save my bottle forever like a hoarder. I just love it.

Bas de Soie

I believe Bas de Soie is really supposed to be a hyacinth composition, but it’s more iris and galbanum to me. The thing is, I sampled this before making a purchase, so I knew I liked this one. And, while I really enjoy Bas de Soie, when I’m in this kind of mood, I will usually pick Chanel over this. I will wear either No. 19 for the galbanum or Misia for the elegant powdery vibe. I feel like this is a scent in my collection that I need to make more of an effort to wear.

La Religieuse

This is my fool-proof pleasant work wear scent. It’s a very pretty jasmine. It smells like a hotel spa: very calm and like nothing bad could ever happen to you if you surround yourself with this scent. It’s fairly linear on me, but it lasts almost an 8 hour workday. I remember when this was released and it was pretty much panned by everyone because it’s not one of the more interesting SLs. But it definitely has a place in my collection and I get a lot of every day wear out of it. Plus, I love the name. I love anything that’s named after a pastry and Catholic nuns. The name just seems to fit Monsieur Lutens’ humor.

Fille en Aiguilles

I’ve written about Fille en Aiguilles quite a bit over the years. It’s just one of the most lovely scents for the holiday season. The pine needle and incense accord is done in such a unique way. It smells like Christmas, and yet, it’s also elegant. And I’ve been able to wear it in January and February winter weather without feeling like I’m burning a leftover Christmas candle or something like that. It still feels in season because of the refined, contemplative nature of this scent.

The Serge Lutens I’ve finished up is Five O’Clock au Gingembre. I love it and I’ve thought about repurchasing it. The problem is that it fulfills a similar role in my collection as Fille en Aiguilles: a perfect holiday scent. So, it would be a bit redundant in my collection right now.

The other SL I would consider purchasing is Baptême du Feu. It’s a newer release from the house, but it really made an impression on me. I wouldn’t even mind owning it in the new packaging with the new labels! (Which I think are ugly and clunky compared to the older packaging!)

What scents do you guys like from Serge Lutens? Does anyone own any of the bell jars?

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I have purchased my Serge Lutens bottles over the years from Barney’s and from Luckyscent.

I took this photo of my bottles all together myself. I love Rousse for the old Palais Royal logo on the label!

Happy 2019!

Happy New Year, all!

 

My resolution for the new year is to test out and support more indie and artisanal brands. They work hard and are doing some really creative things in the world of Fragrance. I’m also trying to stick to a Low Buy, which means no blind buys and no impulse buys! I want to sample and evaluate everything before making any purchases this year.

I’m wishing only good thing for you all in the new year! And may your year be as fragrant as ever!

Mon Numéro 10 by L’Artisan Parfumeur

l'artisan mon numero 10Notes: fennel, lime, aldehydes, pink pepper, cinnamon, cabrueva, cardamom, leather, incense, rose, heliotrope, musk, vanilla, benzoin, hyrax, and tonka bean.

The nose for L’Artisan’s exclusive Mon Numéro line is Bertrand Duchaufour. As is typical of Monsieur Duchaufour, Mon Numéro 10 is packed with different notes, and the list of notes copied above looks rather overwhelming. Even so, Mon Numéro 10 is not overwhelming as a scent. In fact, it’s quite simple. As many perfume reviewers have noted, Mon Numéro 10 bears a striking resemblance to Coca-Cola, cherry cola to be specific. What can I say, I like Cherry Coke, so it’s not a problem for me.

This is an incense-leather fragrance. As with all incense fragrances of late, it wears quietly on me. I wouldn’t say it’s quite skin scent territory. After initially applying it, the fragrance settles into my skin in a pleasant way, but with minimal projection. However, Mon Numéro 10 is spicy and warm, so I could see it projecting more strongly on other people.

Patchouli blooms on my skin fairly early on, along with a mix of cinnamon and I assume nutmeg, although I don’t see it listed in the notes. The aldehydes are to give some lift and ensure the fragrance doesn’t become too dense early on. There is also a soft rose note that peeks through, adding a floral aspect and some balance to the otherwise spicy composition.

I don’t wear a lot of leather fragrances, and I wonder if fans of more traditional leather fragrances dislike Mon Numéro 10. Because, there is no denying it, the drydown is leather and cherry cola. It’s as though all the spices swirl together to create a sweet syrup (in this case, Coke syrup). Despite the anchoring base of vanilla and tonka bean, there is something liquid about the composition at this stage, as though you’re pouring the fragrance onto the skin. The memory of the aldehydes lingers, adding an effervescent quality. This is the point at which you truly have cherry cola in perfume form. But, blended with the dark, cedar-infused leather, it makes for a nicely rich combination.

Bertrand Duchaufor initially created only one bottle of each fragrance in the Mon Numéro line, making it an outrageously exclusive collection. L’Artisan then opted to make Mon Numéro 10 part of the permanent line in 2014. There must be a reason that Powers That Be are fans, and I assume Mon Numéro 10 has some kind of mass appeal for it to be made permanent.

Understandably, some people don’t enjoy the soft drink association present here in Mon Numéro 10. But I have to say, I personally love this one – enough even to go for a full bottle! I found it festive enough to wear during the holidays, while the warmth and quiet smokey incense makes it perfect for the cold, dark days of January. This is a delicious warm and spicy perfume that resists the urge to pull sweet or gourmand until the very end, when it goes full-on leather laced with cherry cola. The combination of leather/cola is more appealing than you might initially think. It works well, and is even a little bit seductive.

I bought my bottle of Mon Numéro 10 at Barney’s New York. Samples are available from The Perfumed Court.

Image and info on notes is from Luckyscent.

summer holidays

Bonjour everyone! Just a quick update to say that I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow. I’ll be back July 5th, and should resume posting then.

I learned my lesson with my last trip, I’m not bringing any full bottles along with me. It’s not worth it and takes up valuable packing space! Of course I’m bringing samples with me though:

  • Byredo; Bal d’Afrique
  • Byredo; Gypsy Water
  • Parfumerie Generale; Indochine
  • Guerlain; Jicky EDT

Au revoir!

à Paris!

 

Hiatus!

I’ll be in Paris for 6 days coming up this week, and likely will not have time write anything until after I return on May 7th. But of course I’m hoping to return with some new goodies to write about!

I stressed out a bit over what perfumes to bring with me (what is good enough for Paris?!) but this is what I settled on:

  • L’Artisan Parfumer, Timbuktu (full bottle, terrible for traveling to be honest)
  • By Kilian, A Taste of Heaven (Kilian travel bottle)
  • Chanel, Sycomore (sample)
  • Frederic Malle, Angeliques Sous la Pluie (sample)
  • Guerlain, Jicky EDT (5 ml decant)

Too many for only a 6 day trip? Undoubtedly. But I couldn’t live without the options!

Au revoir.

Parfums MDCI; Invasion Barbare

Notes: Grapefruit, bergamot, violet leaves, white thyme, cardamom, lavender, ginger, cedarwood, vanilla and musk

When I saw reviewers at Luckyscent and Basenotes comparing Invasion Barbare to Jicky, I marked it immediately as something to try. And it’s true, the sharp citrus opening here definitely recalls the famous Guerlain fragrance. I actually wish the spicy/astringent opening notes lasted longer. It’s an intoxicating blend of citrus notes with ginger and cardamom. But within a few minutes, Invasion Barbare transforms into a smooth blend of lavender, cedar and vanilla. Seriously, I cannot emphasize enough how smooth this composition is. I would drink it if I could.

But the really striking thing about this scent for me is the texture. If a perfume can feel like something, this one is like crushed velvet. This is a soft, somewhat sheer fragrance that wears close to the skin. But don’t worry, it’s definitely persistent. The lavender note lingers long into wear time, adding a little kick to the cedar & vanilla.  Invasion Barbare has a confidence about it, a quiet resolve. The Napoleonic bust on the bottle is no accident. This is the fragrance to wear while sitting on a velvet throne, surveying your empire.

Parfums MDCI pushes Invasion Barbare as a masculine scent and, while I can see why they would (that dry lavender and cedar), I love wearing it for myself. Gendered fragrance is kind of a silly idea to me anyway. It really comes down to skin chemistry and personal taste, not marketing, right? Regardless, I see Invasion Barbare as perfectly wearable for a woman.

Parfums MDCI is a pricey brand, there’s no getting around it. The bottles with the resin busts go as high as $600. Clearly these perfumes are not something you would impulse-buy. Knowing this, Parfums MDCI offers a sampling program on their website. It’s noteworthy that their sample bottles are 12 ml, allowing for plenty of opportunities to test each fragrance. Luckyscent also offers a sample package of eight of Parfums MDCI’s offerings.

Invasion Barbare is a gorgeous, regal scent. It’s something that’s definitely worth experiencing. I can’t say I’m ready to shell out for the big fancy bottle myself just yet, but I’ll definitely be ordering another sample to keep on hand. You know, just in case I need to smell nice while sitting on my throne.

Invasion Barbare: $250 for 60 ml //$375 for the resin bust edition

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