S-Perfume S-ex : Fragrance Review



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

The exploration of synergy between art and scents is the main premise of S-Perfume project, which was founded by a sculptor Sacré Nobi. Fragrance composition is like a sculpture that fills the space. It is both an architectural construction, with the notes arranged in order to present a particular form and a dynamic vision, with the accords unfolding to spell out a concatenation of images. In this sense, fragrance transcends the simple, bounded space. Indeed, it transcends the temporal boundary as well, being able to move and transport to another reality, to evoke different experiences and to awaken forgotten memories.

Like Frédéric Malle of Editions de Parfums, Sacré Nobi works directly with the perfumers, allowing them to express their ideas without the limitations of the traditional marketing approaches. The fragrances produced by his collaboration with such famous perfumers as Sophia Grojsman, Thierry Wasser, Alberto Morillas, Christophe Laudamiel, Jacques Cavallier, and Annick Menardo are both daring and evocative. …

If I compared Frédéric Malle Editions de Parfums to the Center Pompidou installations, S-Perfume fragrances are even more avant-garde. The simplicity of their packaging belies the uniqueness of their substance. They are the dream-like and cerebral abstractions. 100% Love is a feeling of perfect contentment as much as a scent of roses in water. S-Perfume Jet-scent ReMix recalls either the scent of a lover’s skin or the balmy sea breeze, as if in a kaleidoscopic movement, with its ethereal combination of musks, sandalwood and vanilla.

S-ex is one of my favorite fragrances from the line, along with 100% Love. It was created by Christophe Laudamiel, the nose behind S-Perfume S-Perfume Remix, Michael Kors Island. Clinique Happy Heart, Ralph Lauren Polo Blue (with Carlos Benaïm), and Slatkin Body Therapy line. It explores the dissonance in order to achieve a memorable orchestration. The ozonic top notes, their chill austere and sharp, lend a sensation of touching metal on a cold winter day. Yet, almost immediately a cascade of leather notes appears underneath the icy breeze of the top accord. Smoky and sharp, the leather provides a bridge into the warm musky base. Smooth drydown of luxurious musks attests to the elegant juxtaposition of elements; the unabashed sensuality and radiant freshness are complemented by subtle fruity sweetness. The composition dries down as the scent of warm skin, lacking any balmy or sweaty components. Clarity of metallic twist provides an interesting counterpoint to the transparent animalic notes. Despite what its name might suggest, S-ex treats sensuality in an understated manner. It is an essence of exquisite simplicity that is Modigliani’s Nude, rather than an allusion to the voluptuous Bather by Ingres.

The fragrance lasts rather well on my skin, and it would be perfectly suited for both men and women. While it was not an immediate love, I grew to appreciate the elegant abstraction of its composition. Above everything else, I find it wonderfully serene and its sweet muskiness intriguing.

Notes include salt, oxygen, spirit of life, camellia, willow, white leather, skin musk, malt, strawberry, baroque musk, black leather.

Painting: Amedeo Modigliani. Nude. (Anna Akhmatova). c.1911. Pencil on paper. Private collection.



  • kaie: Interesting to learn more about S-Perfume. Thank you! I tried S-Ex at Colette and it was nice, but maybe too sharp? I should go back and try it again. But I liked the S-Perfume parfum very much. I will buy it in the summer. November 23, 2005 at 5:16am Reply

  • Robin: T & K, I am so surprised…I hate overly sweet fragrances, usually, and don’t find 100% Love to be overly sweet at all. Off to spray it on and consider… November 23, 2005 at 11:18am Reply

  • mreenymo: What the heck is “spirit of life”? LOL!

    I tested these earlier this year, was not impressed and found the packaging to be very, well, strange. Little sperms on spray atomizers is not my idea of fragrance packaging.

    In the meantime, darling, have a wonderful Holiday weekend.

    Hugs! November 23, 2005 at 11:32am Reply

  • Cait: V,
    I am curious about these scents, though I admit the simplicity of their marketing and packaging seems crass to me. I should overlook that.

    Do you know any gossip about Modigliani’s tryst with Ahkmatova? That sounds interesting. November 23, 2005 at 12:23pm Reply

  • Laura: As I recall (and I may not) this one was too evocative of body fluids for moi. However, after reading this I sprayed on my new (thanks to you) favorite, 100% Love, and I’m in rosy heaven, looking into the heart of darkest chocolate. November 23, 2005 at 7:54am Reply

  • Katie: I’ll refrain from commenting on this one, but I do hope to hear your thoughts on the Jet-Scent and remix when you have an opportunity to write about them.

    Also, once again, I must point out that you do have the most interesting taste and wonderful eye for art and images. November 23, 2005 at 8:58am Reply

  • Marina: Your review makes it sound like a fascinating scent. I am a little scared by ozone notes though. As for “spirit of life” note…I wonder what that’s like 🙂 I need some of that for sure. 🙂 November 23, 2005 at 9:45am Reply

  • Tania: I did really, really like this one. Your review captures the essence of the strangeness of it. It was much colder than I would ever have expected from a scent with such a straightforwardly sexual name. It begins in an icy chill and settles into a leather and metal that is anything but animalic — it’s sex as a Triumph motorcycle parked at the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge.

    “Salt, oxygen, spirit of life”? That’s pretty funny. 🙂

    Coincidentally, I tried 100% Love just last night. Wow, was that 100% sweet. I found it sickly sweet, actually. I tried to find something nice I could say about it, or to find the angle that other people were enjoying, but I could not see any appeal in it at all. November 23, 2005 at 10:16am Reply

  • Katie: You’re not alone in that opinion of 100% Love, Tania. November 23, 2005 at 10:29am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kaie, I can sort of understand what you mean by sharp, although I grew to like it and I do not mind it at all. Also, I can imagine how the chilly top notes of Jet-Scent ReMix and the delicate warm base will make a nice summer composition. November 23, 2005 at 11:30am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, body fluids–hmmm, that was not an association I had. However, I cannot agree more on 100% Love, which for me is just that. 🙂 November 23, 2005 at 11:31am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, thank you! I love Modigliani’s work, and his drawings of Anna Akhmatova have always moved me. They are so simple, yet they capture so much of what she was like and what their relationship must have been like. Illicit love affair, if that was one. November 23, 2005 at 11:34am Reply

  • parislondres: Dear V – this did not impress me as much as 100% Love. Thanks for the lovely review. :))
    I also agree with Robin that I do not find 100% Love too sweet. It is really pretty. November 23, 2005 at 11:34am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, the ozonic notes are very obvious, and you may not like them. I do not tend to care for ozonic effects either, however this is a different story from the needles in the nose effect I have when I smell certain fragrances with Calone.

    “Spirit of life” — you can guess as well as I can! 🙂 November 23, 2005 at 11:37am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, “it’s sex as a Triumph motorcycle parked at the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge” made me laugh out loud (as did your Ninja Ricci comment under the Musks article). I was also suprised by the chilly accords of this composition, and I suppose that is exactly what made it appealing to me. November 23, 2005 at 11:40am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: K and T, I am a little bit surprised by the comments that 100% Love is overly sweet, however I heard this before. I actually do not find it to be so, but perhaps it is because the coolness of the intial notes remains on my skin even into the drydown, softening the sweetness of rose and chocolate. November 23, 2005 at 11:42am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I would agree. I do not find it overly sweet either. November 23, 2005 at 11:42am Reply

  • Tania: Robin, by overly sweet, I don’t mean that vanilla thing we all think of as sweet. There’s this particular harmony that happens in the scent, in which the dewy fresh innocence of the rose note goes la-la-la dancing hand in hand with the sticky, slightly medicinal and cough-syrup smelling sweetness of the chocolate, which gives the whole thing the aura of a horrifyingly cute rosy-cheeked plastic girly doll.

    I apologize, Victoria, for going on about this! I know you like it. It just…it’s so weird. I put 100% Love on last night, thinking it sounded like a cozy thing to relax to after a hard evening of writing, but instead of a pretty piano melody, I got blasting on top volume the soundtrack to Disney’s ride “It’s a Small World.”

    But I repeat, I love S-eX.

    However, typing that sentence just now made me feel like the victim of an ongoing practical joke. November 23, 2005 at 11:44am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, these days I am actually glad if I do not like something. It is a tremendous relief for me.

    Spirit of life–as I said to M, your guess is as good as mine. I shall not ponder it too much. 🙂

    Have a great holiday weekend! November 23, 2005 at 11:45am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear N, you are welcome! I am glad that you liked it, even if you were not pleased with the fragrance itself. November 23, 2005 at 11:46am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, go on as much about it, if you wish! I like to hear all opinions, as it is interesting how we perceive similar things and how experiences, body chemistry affect the impressions. So, really, no need to apologize.

    I was composing an email to someone about these fragrances, and after writing, “I hope that you enjoy S-ex,” I thought better of it, lest the person would think I were making a proposition. What was the solution you came up with? Calling it by a name of some sort of British county? I am now forgetting… November 23, 2005 at 11:52am Reply

  • Tania: 😀 I believe I recommended pronouncing it “Essex.” November 23, 2005 at 11:54am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ha, ha! That is great. 🙂 November 23, 2005 at 11:58am Reply

  • Tara: My thoughts were basically identical to mreenymo – I found these uninspiring and the packaging was off-putting with the spermatozoids on the clear vials – way too clinical. I also did not find 100% love terribly sweet. I should retest these I suppose, if I manage to motivate myself to do so – they were fairly sharp and bland last time I tried. November 23, 2005 at 6:29pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cait, yes, the scents are quite unusual and they are definitely worth exploring.

    I understand that she met him during her stay in Italy, and there was a possibly a love affair. These sketches were part of the reason she was labeled as a “whore” by the Soviet government and lived in absolute poverty. November 23, 2005 at 5:31pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, I would have to agree that these fragrances would not be everyone’s cup of tea. That is not necessarily a bad thing though. At least, they are different. November 23, 2005 at 6:39pm Reply

  • mireille: V, you’re one of my persons-to-be-grateful-for! Happy Thanksgiving! xoxo November 23, 2005 at 10:02pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, and you are mine! Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂 November 23, 2005 at 10:48pm Reply

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