Sisley Soir de Lune : Perfume Review

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

If one were to take the English translation of Soir de Lune literally, a fragrance capturing a moonlit night could only be mysterious and dark. Indeed, Dominique Ropion who created the fragrance for Sisley worked on the classical chypre theme, setting the radiant floral heart in the voluptuous duskiness of oakmoss and patchouli. Its smoldering form is shrouded in enough floral sweetness to temper the sensuality of spicy, woody notes. Soir de Lune will seduce, yet it will not lend a clichéd sexy image to its wearer, and this is one of its most appealing qualities. Among the bubbly girly fragrances expected this fall, Soir de Lune, with its alluring womanly aura, comes as a pleasant surprise. …

The fresh top notes spill into layers of spices, interspersed with hints of rose that grow darker and richer as the fragrance dries down. The heart shimmers with floral nuances, exhibiting the chilly crispness of iris one moment and the honeyed sweetness of mimosa the next. The transition from floral opulence to woody darkness takes place in a harmonious manner, and when one finds oneself sinking into the raw silk warmth of the base, the sensation is nothing short of captivating.

Soir de Lune is the third fragrance in the line, along with Eau de Campagne (1974, Jean-Claude Ellena’s first commercial success) and Eau du Soir (1990). The result is a fragrance that befits Sisley’s luxurious image. It is an olfactory version of lacy lingerie under a classically cut dress—its seduction comes from the confidence it instills. Perhaps the lingerie metaphor is not completely out of place, because Soir de Lune is reminiscent of rosy chypres like Agent Provocateur EDP. It features the same spicy fresh top, the rich rosy heart and the opulently dark chypre base. However, Soir de Lune’s composition is better balanced by the rounded heart, avoiding the sharpness that made Agent Provocateur rather challenging for me to appreciate. However, as the fragrance develops, it attains its own distinctive character of understated sensuality and elegance.

Soir de Lune includes top notes of fresh citrus, bergamot orange, mandarin, lemon, coriander, nutmeg, chili pepper; mid notes of May rose centifolia absolute, mimosa flower absolute, jasmine, lily of the valley, iris, peach; base note of moss, musk, honey, sandalwood, Indonesian patchouli. It is debuting this month at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman.

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30 Comments

  • Elle: Beautiful review!! Sounds like I will love this as much as Eau du Soir. I really appreciate the fact that they have released a limited number of fragrances, but have taken the time to ensure that each will be a classic and not just reflect passing trends. August 4, 2006 at 1:11pm Reply

  • violetnoir: Chili pepper, V? Wow, I have to test this! :):)

    Hugs! August 4, 2006 at 2:48pm Reply

  • Katie: Oh lordy, chili pepper! Well, I won’t rush to buy unsniffed, but I gotta see if I can find a tester somewhere to find out if I can “Where’s Waldo” the chili pepper in that mix! :) August 4, 2006 at 7:53pm Reply

  • VeronicaV: Wow! This sounds wonderful Victoria. I can’t wait to smell it. BTW, tonight I purchased Hypnotic Poison. I guess I finally found a tester that wasn’t spoiled. I’m glad I kept an open mind and now I have something totally unlike anything I’ve had before. I almost got Declaration Essence, but I’m trying so hard to be good. lol Have a good weekend. August 4, 2006 at 11:51pm Reply

  • VeronicaV: —I forgot to ask—what store do you think will be carrying this fragrance when it comes out? I’ve heard of Sisley, but I don’t recall ever seeing the products in a store. Classy, sexy, womanly, chili pepper, And a pretty bottle? Sounds like I’m going to fall in love. August 4, 2006 at 11:57pm Reply

  • Nick: Dear Victoria,

    A diamond cut review. Superb.

    Best, August 7, 2006 at 2:35am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elle, I agree, every fragrance in the line is a classic. August 8, 2006 at 1:53pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I do not notice chili pepper per se, but the overall spicy warmth is evident in the top notes. August 8, 2006 at 1:53pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, if you like Cabaret and Agent Provocateur, Soir de Lune is certainly in the same vein. August 8, 2006 at 1:54pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Veronica, enjoy your HP! It is another wonderful comfort fragrance for me. August 8, 2006 at 1:55pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Veronica, check at the stores like Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. I do not recall seeing Sisley at Saks, but perhaps it is worth asking at the counter itself. They are mostly focusing on skincare. August 8, 2006 at 1:56pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Nick, thank you! Glad that you enjoyed it. August 8, 2006 at 1:56pm Reply

  • marchlion: Hmmmmm…. I will have to try this one! Agent Provocateur goes strangely flat on me (or maybe that’s just my perception). But the notes in Soir de Lune sound lovely. August 8, 2006 at 6:24pm Reply

  • Cheezwiz: Wow! this one sounds wonderful. I’m quite fond of Agent Provocateur, so I bet I’d enjoy this one as well. Not sure how long it will take for it to make its way to Canada.

    I quite like the other two Sisley fragrances as well. The bottle is also a stunner! August 9, 2006 at 3:35am Reply

  • marchlion: PS Victoria — they didn’t have it at Saks yesterday, in fact the Sisley SA seemed confused when I asked her! But they do have it at NM. It is GORGEOUS. Their SA there was lamenting that she wished chypres would come back in fashion. She was very funny — they get a very international crowd there (it’s D.C.) She says the European women love it, and the blond “American” women flee in fear… August 11, 2006 at 10:05pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cheezwiz, the bottle is even lovelier in person. I very much enjoyed this fragrance. I hope that it makes its way to Canada soon. August 11, 2006 at 11:08pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, I saw at Saks in NYC. Sisley counter had a lovely display, and I sprayed some on and enjoyed the beautiful scent for the whole day. I am in love with it. August 11, 2006 at 11:09pm Reply

  • koneko: Oh, V, this sounds wonderful! I will have to check this one out next time I am at Saks. But I was wondering: is the patchouli very strong in the drydown? (patchouli and I really never get along!) August 13, 2006 at 9:24am Reply

  • mjohn: Brought this from Neiman’s today. Beautiful and addictive. You will keep pausing to smell it. THE BEST. August 17, 2006 at 4:58pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: I agree, it is beautiful and elegant. August 24, 2006 at 1:20am Reply

  • Roo: Walked passed the perfume counter in my local store and was mesmerised by the fragrance from the Sisly counter! I have only ever worn one other perfume in my entire life but I had to have a bottle of soir de lune! It is simply euphoric!Shamefully I have even used it as a linen spray much to the delight of my family! September 5, 2006 at 4:01pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Roo, oh, a linen spray! That must be great, although I doubt I would dare to try this. September 14, 2006 at 12:50am Reply

  • Karen: This fragrance reminds me of Coriandre. Is Coriandre a chypre? February 7, 2007 at 4:23pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Karen, I agree with you, it has some similar facets. Yes, Coriander is a chypre too. February 7, 2007 at 4:33pm Reply

  • patricia Moon: Where can I buy Sisley Soir De Lune. March 6, 2007 at 11:37am Reply

  • Jedanna: Soir de lune is the most heavenly perfume you could buy. I bought it in Paris, even the pharmacies on the corners keep it, but coming from South Africa I can no longer get it, so I am going to try and import it. Buy it by the dozen girls, cause you wont be using anything else.
    Jedanna August 7, 2007 at 9:40am Reply

  • Jedanna: Only read after my last posting that Agent Provocateur is similar. Well what do you know, just last week I bought a bottle of Agent Provocateur, a totally unknown perfume in South Africa, and it is heaven in a bottle. I intend to buy another bottle now that I know they are so similar. Stock up girls. We need to “fumigate” the guys. August 8, 2007 at 10:18am Reply

  • Theresa: One of the finest perfumes i have ever had the pleasure to wear.I am now on my 2nd bottle. It will be one of the perfumes i will wear as long as i can. Thankyou sisleyxxxxx January 10, 2008 at 4:51pm Reply

  • Katherine: Victoria – Another great review – thank you so much! With time I’m starting to better-recognize the scents and feelings you describe so articulately and thoughtfully. So I sampled this scent at Saks for the first time yesterday and was wowed by the line. I’m a confirmed Sisley convert (fingers crossed that my husband will be too – it will be a couple of weeks before I see him again). A couple of caveats on two of the other Sisley scents – in the event you or others are interested in views from the peanut gallery: Campagne is beautifully green and tomatoey (as you mentioned elsewhere) but too fleeting on my skin – Next I’ll try it on my clothing – which should work better since my skin is particularly ill-suited for projecting or retaining perfumes. (Naturally this is unlike my mother who generates a gorgeous sillage which lasts for hours – with only a dab or two. She cares not a whit about scents. So unfair!) I digress though… Eau de Sisley 1’s opening notes are overly linear – floral and sweet, with a drydown that’s reminiscent of watered-down Cristalle at the end – all sweetness – no complexity. The rest I love unconditionally: Eau de Soir is a grand chypre; Eau de Sisley 2 is a light green sheer chypre; and Eau de Sisley 3 is a sheerish version of Eau de Soir or de Lune – I need to study this more). Forgive my overly broad descriptions – I cannot discern individual scents yet – unless they dominate.. And I simply haven’t taken the time to deconstruct the scents…That’s why we pay you the big bucks! 😉 Only kidding of course. July 9, 2015 at 11:16pm Reply

    • Katherine: Following up to respectfully disagree with my initial assessment of Eau de 2. I doubt it’s a chypre and I’ve changed my mind about liking it after a few more wears. It smelled musty (or frousy as we would say in Jamaica) on me and there was another note that turned me off. Forgive my vague description as I cannot recall the details and don’t have the stomach to reapply the scent to more fully describe. July 13, 2015 at 4:31pm Reply

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