Serge Lutens Les Trois Nuits Trio

Serge Lutens is relaunching Datura Noir, Serge Noire, Clair de Musc as a themed Les Trois Nuits trio. The fragrances have not been changed. It’s a good way to discover them if you’ve missed these perfumes previously.

lutens trois nuits

Datura Noir (2002) – “To lead the pleasure of a lover to wed her childish fear.”

Serge Noire (2009) – “She and he are made of the same stuff.”

Clair de Musc (2003) – “When one is light, the other is black.”

When I read the news, I realized that these three perfumes were among the ones I neglected the most out of Serge Lutens’s collection. Perhaps, it’s time for me to revisit them. Do you have a favorite among them?

If you’re interested in Serge Lutens’s work and understand French, I highly recommend the podcasts of Serge Lutens’s interviews with Philippe Bresson available at franceculture.fr.

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62 Comments

  • rosarita: I have flirted with buying a bottle of Clair de Musc for years, having gone through several decants. It’s a deceptively simple white musk, clean and elegant. But then I put on some vintage Coty Wild Musk and wonder how many white musks I really need, since I don’t wear them very often. I just got a sample of Serge Noire last week but haven’t tried it yet, and I know nothing about Datura Noir. But since it’s “noir” maybe I should look into it. September 25, 2013 at 8:44am Reply

    • solmarea: I found Datura was a plume of cloying, edible sweetness. Intoxicating, slightly disturbing {like the flower it’s named after}. September 25, 2013 at 9:33am Reply

      • Victoria: Hmm, I think I also found it too sweet, but it was such a long time since I’ve smelled it. There is a Lutens counter at a perfumery down the street from me, so I will try it again soon. September 25, 2013 at 10:49am Reply

    • Victoria: I remember layering Clair de Musc with various simple florals, and it worked really well.
      Serge Lutens was well ahead of the Noir trend, since Datura Noir is now 11 years old. September 25, 2013 at 10:32am Reply

      • rosarita: I am in the midst of revisiting some SL’s that I know I tried when I first started my perfume hobby but can’t remember how they smell. I like Ambre Sultan much more than I recall but Chergui still smells terrible on me though I like it on paper. How lovely to be able to pop down to a local perfumery to sniff some Lutens! September 25, 2013 at 11:24am Reply

        • Victoria: It’s a Sephora like store called Ici Paris XL. They have only a small selection from the export line, but I’m not complaining. 🙂 Every time I stop by to buy skincare or makeup, I can’t resist spraying something, even if it’s a perfume I already know well. September 25, 2013 at 11:27am Reply

  • Ines: Well, I have a bottle of both Datura and Serge Noire. 🙂
    I should probably revisit Clair de Musc then as I love the other two. September 25, 2013 at 9:16am Reply

    • Victoria: I just remembered that I have a large decant of Serge Noire. Time to revisit it. September 25, 2013 at 10:47am Reply

      • rosarita: I just put on a generous spritz of my Serge Noire sample and it does smell wonderful, but also like other things I already have, Donna Karan Black Cashmere to be specific. I’ll try them side by side but I’m pretty sure Black Cashmere wins 🙂 September 25, 2013 at 11:20am Reply

        • Victoria: I would love to hear how they compare to you. Black Cashmere is one of my favorites when it comes to woods and spices interpreted in a cozy, warm fashion. September 25, 2013 at 11:24am Reply

          • rosarita: Ok, I just put each on opposite wrists. Bl Cashmere is much drier w/more incense, and SN has more spice. Now that I’m thinking, the Lutens smells more like the original Commes des Garcons edt. At any rate, I don’t think I need a bottle of Serge Noire 🙂 September 25, 2013 at 2:14pm Reply

            • Hannah: Black Cashmere and CdG original are two of my absolute favorites and Serge Noire is one of my least favorites so I find this very interesting. It may be body chemistry because I found Serge Noire to be nightmare-inducing. September 25, 2013 at 2:51pm Reply

            • Victoria: Thank you! I think that Black Cashmere is still my favorite incense crossed with woods. I’m going to smell both of them next to the CdG original perfume. September 25, 2013 at 4:08pm Reply

  • Ruta: Oh yes, I wear Serge Noir and Clair de Must interchangeably, they are indead black and white. Like Zuchero and J.L.Hooker singing “I lay down”
    “Datura Noir” is a bit to sweet for me, but it is one of the rare coconuts I tolerate and can wear September 25, 2013 at 9:29am Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 I just love how you’ve made this association. September 25, 2013 at 10:48am Reply

  • Cath: Clair de Musc was my first Lutens, before I became adventurous and bought most of his other creations. I have to admit that I haven’t used it a lot. After discovering the likes of Chergui, Fumerie Turque, Daim Blond and many others, I found Clair de Musc uninteresting and it migrated to the back of the closet.
    This post makes me want to revisit it.
    I also have Datura Noir which I love but can’t wear daily. Serge Noire didn’t appeal to me when it was released. I need to try it again next time I’m at the store. September 25, 2013 at 10:13am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s like a simple t-shirt of a perfume. Sometimes you really need one of those to take a break from the more elaborate favorites. September 25, 2013 at 10:58am Reply

  • Elisa: I like Datura Noir as an easygoing beach fragrance — it’s not very noir at all and not very Serge Lutens! The nice thing about it is that the coconut note doesn’t do that salty popcorn-shampoo thing — it’s well judged. September 25, 2013 at 11:23am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s already something! Well, I definitely must revisit it. September 25, 2013 at 11:25am Reply

  • lila: Clair de Musc is in my collection and I love it for it’s simple beauty, if there can be such a thing (maybe like a super model not wearing make up). It didn’t pique my interest at first, but I think I was comparing it to the rest of the Lutens ( super models in bizarre runway make up). 🙂 Datura Noir is a barefaced model too, but I prefer CdM and I can’t explain why. I just do. I’ve never tried Serge Noir. Sounds like it might be better suited for a guy (?). September 25, 2013 at 11:38am Reply

    • Victoria: I like this comparison too, and it makes sense. The simplicity of Clair de Musc is refreshing. Sometimes all you need is something comforting and uncluttered. September 25, 2013 at 3:59pm Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: I have all three of these Serge Lutens fragrances. I love Clair de Musc and it’s one of my go to scents. I think Serge Noir is very sexy and I always get compliments when I wear Datura Noir but I don’t wear it very much…for some reason it annoys me after a while. September 25, 2013 at 12:48pm Reply

    • lila: I totally agree with you, Phyllis. Datura annoys me too!! I’m going to try it this afternoon and see if I can figure out why. September 25, 2013 at 1:59pm Reply

    • Victoria: I wonder what it is about Datura Noir that bothers some of us. I used to have a bottle at one point, but I exchanged it with a friend for a bottle of Ambre Sultan. September 25, 2013 at 4:00pm Reply

      • Isis: If you find out what it is let me know! I liked Datura Noir very much but something about it felt too heavy, or too dense, or something in that direction…. I couldn’t put my finger on it but it made it difficult to wear for me. September 25, 2013 at 4:30pm Reply

        • Victoria: Maybe the creamy, milky notes? There is definitely something rich and opaque inside. I can’t say that it bothers me, but it’s unexpected. September 26, 2013 at 11:29am Reply

          • Isis: Yes, I think it was the creamy stuff that made it too much for me. Like when you eat too much pastry…. first you feel great, than you feel like you’ve got lead in your shoes. I do like the IDEA of creamy and milky notes in perfume. But I haven’t come across a sandalwood that I can wear either. September 26, 2013 at 2:34pm Reply

            • Victoria: “Lead in your shoes” is such a terrific imagery. 🙂 September 26, 2013 at 6:26pm Reply

      • lila: Well, I drained my sample dry so this is it for me and DN. I’ve come to a quick conclusion that DN is a frustrating tease. I love the yummy, almondy coconut opening but then she decides to go white floral bombshell and the transition is disingenuous. She’s trying to be something she’s not. Like someone made a plate full of delicious looking coconut macaroons but when you take a bite you find out they were made with soap shavings. I also get something synthetic in the mix. Maybe it’s the myrrh. At least with CdM you know what you’re getting. From the name to the dry down, Clair is who she is. September 25, 2013 at 5:02pm Reply

        • lila: And just for the record, I don’t dislike Datura. She’s just not for me. I think I might enjoy it better on someone else. September 25, 2013 at 5:05pm Reply

        • lila: Hmmm, I’m on the 7th hour with Datura and the vanilla is making another much needed and appreciated appearance. Reminds me of Hermessence Vanille Galante. September 25, 2013 at 8:36pm Reply

        • Isis: Yes! That’s it! I love almonds and coconut. I love bombshel flowerfests. But somehow in this case the mix puts me off. In my imagination a burst of white bombastic flowers combined with creamy coconut and almond is wonderful, so I was very dissapointed that this didn’t work for me. September 26, 2013 at 3:52am Reply

          • lila: I love them both too, Isis. This one just set me up for such a delicious, mouth watering gourmand that I was disappointed when the flowers showed up. It left me starving. September 26, 2013 at 10:02am Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you for a beautiful (and tempting and intriguing) description, Lila! If I had a sample of DN, I would go and put it on right away to experience what you’re describing. 🙂 September 26, 2013 at 11:33am Reply

  • Lucas: I love Datura Noir. Its beachy and at the same time theres a poisonous quality about it. Very sexy and fun. September 25, 2013 at 12:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds intriguing enough that I want to resmell it right away. September 25, 2013 at 4:04pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Please do and perhaps you will give us a review of these 3 Lutens! I agree with Lucas: DN is sweet, but not without an intruiging twist. Sweetness becomes this perfume (for me, most of the Lutens are too sweet). I used up almost the whole bottle, especially in the summer. It reminded me of the heavy but pleasant smell of some flowers in Greece.
        I have samples of Clair de Musc and Serge Noire.
        As for Clair de Musc: yes, pleasant, charming, but too simple for its € 85.
        Serge Noire must wait: I have a cold now.
        We all look forward to your opinion when you have revisited SN and DN! September 25, 2013 at 4:24pm Reply

        • Victoria: I will do! I will give them a proper test over the next couple of weeks. September 26, 2013 at 11:27am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: intriguing i mean (!!). Blame it on the flu. September 26, 2013 at 12:27pm Reply

  • Nataliya: Recently I tried Datura Noir and Serge Noir. Datura Noir seems very deep, sweet and fall/winter parfume, for Rome weather trying it now was a bit adventurous, it is still hot here. Serge Noir I consider more appropriate for men. What do you think about Louve? September 25, 2013 at 1:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: My problem with Louve is that it doesn’t last on me. I like the start, but then it really fades to nothing. September 25, 2013 at 4:05pm Reply

  • Badri: Serge Noire is quite possibly my favorite SL composition in modern times. It is incredibly powerful, but with a lot of character – and could arguably be a part of the Bois series- as “Bois et Encens (avec un peau du quelques fruits)”. September 25, 2013 at 2:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think that it’s the most classical of Serge Lutens’s incenses. Definitely in need of some more exposure. September 25, 2013 at 4:07pm Reply

  • Alicia: I don’t know any of the Nuits, but among my favorite fragrances is a Serge Lutens, Bois de Violette. I also like very much Fille de Berlin, and his three sandalwoods ( I love sandalwood since I was very young and given a sandal fan). It continues raining in Buenos Aires. Time for the theatre. September 25, 2013 at 4:25pm Reply

    • Alicia: Lord! How could I have forgotten among my favorite SL the fragrance I am wearing just now, this unique iris, Silver Mist? Inexcusable. September 25, 2013 at 4:52pm Reply

      • Victoria: My own favorite too! September 26, 2013 at 11:32am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, I also have a little sandalwood fan, and the scent is so beautiful. Santal Blanc smells very much like a pile of sandalwood shavings.
      Enjoy the theater! September 26, 2013 at 11:28am Reply

  • Jennifer C: I had a sample of Datura Noir that I ended up giving away because it just didn’t work for me at all. I think the almond note ruined it for me. It kept making me think of a particular pink liquid soap that I would sometimes come across in public restrooms, but with a bit of tuberose added to it. But as for the other two, I remember trying Clair de Musc and liking it well enough, though I don’t remember it all that well. I haven’t tried Serge Noire at all, but it sounds like one I might like. September 25, 2013 at 4:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s what happened with Rahat Loukoum for me. It reminded me of cheap vanilla scented candles. I like Louve much more, but it just doesn’t last on me. September 26, 2013 at 11:30am Reply

  • Madeleine: Hi Victoria,

    I happen to love Datura Noir. On my skin, it’s not too sweet just white floral. I must try Serge Noire again but when I first sampled I got this overwhelming BO note in the middle…..

    Madeleine September 25, 2013 at 4:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: Aha, I now remember what was the issue with Serge Noire–the cumin or something like cumin. It doesn’t bother me, but there are people who are very sensitive to it. September 26, 2013 at 11:31am Reply

      • Isis: ok, now I REALLY want to try Serge Noire…. such a pity. I was really happy when I saw a bad review somewhere, much much better for my wallet. September 26, 2013 at 11:40am Reply

  • minette: yes, clair de musc! it’s a gorgeous fluffy thing with enough musk to satisfy this musk-hound. i always feel pretty in it. usually don’t like my musks on the light side, but this one has enough going on it to keep it from being a drugstore musk, which some people derisively call it.

    also love datura noir, but it’s such wildly different scent from clair de musc – very rich and thick and narcotic. it also always makes me remember theresa duncan of ‘the wit of the staircase.” she loved this scent.

    serge noire, on the other hand, smells like super-nasty BO on me. and never gets better. one of the biggest scrubbers ever on my skin! September 25, 2013 at 8:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: I agree! Clair de Musc is simple, but it’s such a beautifully crafted musk that is a pleasure to wear. It’s like the softest of cashmere wraps. September 26, 2013 at 11:36am Reply

  • george: Victoria, I am sure you are a French speaker and writer so might be able to explain this to me- why is it Datura Noir and Coco Noir, but Serge Noire? Is the e on the end of Serge Noire to do with the quote, about she and he being the same (i.e. it’s a self-concious “wrong” use of the feminine?) Whereas Datura Noir uses “noir” because parfum is masculine, which is why Coco Noir is also masculine, despite Chanel obviously being a woman. I’m a little confused as to why noir and noire is being used! September 26, 2013 at 5:32am Reply

    • Victoria: Serge is a type of fabric, so while it’s a play on Serge’s name, the word is feminine in French, hence Noire. Datura, on the other hand, is masculine. As for Coco… Now we need Bela, our French expert and a blogger behind the wonderful Frag Name of the Day. 🙂 September 26, 2013 at 11:56am Reply

      • george: Thanks for the explanation! September 27, 2013 at 4:12am Reply

  • Emma M: Of the three, I probably like Datura Noir best; I remember liking it a lot when I first discovered SL, but then I must have been distracted by other things as I have never owned a bottle. I’m inspired to go and dig out my sample now and re-visit it.

    Clair de Musc is very pretty, but to my nose it’s a bit linear and too similar to the drydown of the far more appealing Fleurs du Citronnier. September 26, 2013 at 10:43am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m craving something rich, lush and floral right now, so DN is starting to seem more and more appealing. September 26, 2013 at 12:21pm Reply

  • Hunter: I’ve only tried Serge Noire, and I liked it when I tried it years ago. A very nice mix of woods, cinnamon and incense. It always made me pause that so many seemed to hate it, as I found the whole affair rather pleasant, even mild.

    I liked how (I read this on Grain De Musc, I believe) that it’s known as Serge’s “Grey Oriental” which I still feel is a perfect explanation for it, in the Sanchez/Turin style. September 26, 2013 at 4:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: It really is, and I can just see SN as Grey Oriental. It has a dusky, somber quality, not quite a true rich oriental, but no longer a simple dry woody blend. September 26, 2013 at 6:31pm Reply

  • limonov: If you’re interested in Serge Lutens’s work and understand French, I highly recommend the podcasts of Serge Lutens’s interviews with Philippe Bresson available at http://www.franceculture.fr/personne-serge-lutens March 29, 2016 at 3:21pm Reply

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