Serge Lutens La Religieuse : Fragrance Review


“Whatever you do, just don’t be boring,” used to say my longtime ballet teacher. In her class, being off music and being boring were the worst crimes, because while everything else–a wrong arm position, an awkward turn or a weak jump–could be corrected through careful guidance, not listening to the music and not caring to excite the viewer spoke of more serious flaws. My teacher’s admonition flashed in my mind when I first smelled Serge Lutens La Religieuse.


La Religieuse belongs to the collection of understated compositions from the master-duo, Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake. It’s in the same polished and well-mannered corner as Nuit de Cellophane, Un Lys and Sa Majesté la Rose. If you want a pleasant fragrance that doesn’t try too hard, the type of perfume that sales associates call an “office scent”, it’s a good choice. If you want a soft, fluffy jasmine, La Religieuse will also hit the spot. But if you come to Serge Lutens to be thrilled and surprised, then you might want to pick another magic carpet ride.

In the typically obscure Lutenesque press release copy, which is unfortunately emulated by too many niche fragrance houses, La Religieuse, The Nun, is described as a fight between good and evil. As this white kitten of a perfume murmurs on my skin, I fail to see anything remotely as dramatic. Instead, the name evokes my favorite dessert, two cream filled choux pastry spheres that obliquely resemble a nun in her habit. The jasmine in Lutens’s version has a candied accent, with strawberry and apricot seeping into the white petals, and the first impression is mouthwatering. A swirl of peppery incense is a sobering touch, enough to cut down the sugar. It gently shades the frilly jasmine accord, and if you were to stop time at this point, La Religieuse is lovely. Not intense and smoldering, but alluring nonetheless.

But time doesn’t stop however much I wish it to, and the fragrance sheds one layer after another, until all that is left is musk and jasmine in soft focus. No need to go all the way to Palais Royal for this experience; your local department store will do. After the initial buildup, this run of the mill finish is disappointing. It doesn’t even last for long after that, although a mild musky aura lingers. La Religieuse is doubly disappointing, because the line already includes two excellent jasmines, À La Nuit and Sarrasins. The former is heady and dramatic, and the latter is introspective and suave. Either is anything but boring.

For more jasmine ideas, please see my article All About Jasmine Perfumes. If you indeed want a soft jasmine musk and don’t want to spend niche prices on it, Yves Rocher Tendre JasminJennifer Aniston, and Fresh Index Pink Jasmine are good alternatives.

Serge Lutens La Religieuse Eau de Parfum is part of the export line collection.



  • Caroline: While choux pastry spheres are lovely and have their place, they don’t have enough character or presence to help define my fragrance! I need to try Sarrasins again–only sampled and dismissed once in early perfumistahood. And I’ve never tried A la Nuit–must remedy that. March 18, 2015 at 8:14am Reply

    • Victoria: I recommend revisiting Sarrasins if you like jasmine. It seems like it’s going to be the dark and dramatic kind of composition, but it’s actually soft and enveloping, with lots of personality. March 18, 2015 at 2:35pm Reply

  • Michaela: What an article! Again… The ballet teacher is wise. ‘As this white kitten of a perfume murmurs on my skin[…]’ how cute! What could be farther away from drama?!
    I don’t feel too eager to sample this perfume (though I’d smell it for sure if given the occasion). I don’t like magic to turn quickly into common place.
    À La Nuit stays magic all the way, but I decided I couldn’t wear it. I’d like it on another person, no doubt. Ten times jasmine, if you ask me. I’ll give a try to Sarrasins, who knows?! And I’ll re-read All about Jasmine Perfumes.
    I like Sa Majeste la Rose very much. Polished and well mannered, no drama, but this one listens to the music and it’s never boring. March 18, 2015 at 9:00am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t mind mild-mannered either, and I really like Un Lys and Sa Majeste la Rose, especially when I want something polished and not too challenging. But La Religieuse doesn’t convey much. Pretty, yes, but on my skin, it didn’t sing. And it faded too quickly. March 18, 2015 at 2:36pm Reply

  • Masha: I agree with your review wholeheartedly. I felt the same (lack of) emotional oomph with this one that I did with Nuit de C and the “angry carnation” one whose name escapes me right now. Pleasant, but that’s about it. For my chilly, religion-inspired Serge Lutens, I prefer L’Eau Froide or Encens et Lavande. I prefer to battle with my Lutens perfumes in a love-hate struggle, not just sigh and say “meh” when I wear one. March 18, 2015 at 9:18am Reply

    • Victoria: Vitriol d’Oeillet was another one I didn’t like, especially since it evoked something medicinal and reminiscent of a hospital. Anyway, I have no qualms being demanding of SL, because it’s one of my top 5 favorite fragrance houses, and I have high expectations of them. March 18, 2015 at 2:38pm Reply

      • Hannah: I tried Vitriol d’oeillet since I was at the SL counter, first on paper which I rubbed onto my hand. It smelled like a tin of violet candy (to me…it isn’t supposed to have violet so I’m a bit confused about that XD but it smelled like the metal tin with the sweet pastilles to me) so I asked for it on skin. It smells really wrong to me, and not in an interesting way. I could almost like it but it needs tweaking.
        Louve is another weird one. I recognize that I’m supposed to smell almond and cherry, but I actually smell bandaids and cough syrup. For almond, Fourreau Noir is better. And actually, I’d discontinue it since Fourreau Noir exists but maybe there are Louve lovers who disagree. March 18, 2015 at 2:52pm Reply

        • Victoria: I like the idea of Louve, but it fades almost instantly on me and leaves a cough syrup drydown. Rahat Loukoum is a favorite of many people, but it’s too musky on me. Interestingly enough, La Myrrhe has a great almond note, and if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. It’s not at all sweet, though. March 18, 2015 at 3:08pm Reply

          • Hannah: La Myrrhe has been on the top of my samples-to-order list. I think I have all the exports that I like so now I need to look at more of the Paris exclusives.
            Speaking of candied jasmine, I’d like to share that I had a jasmine macaron yesterday. I’ve always been biased against KaDeWe in favor of GL Berlin so I never tried their macarons, but KaDeWe’s cost less and taste better. And they have jasmine flavored. And La Religieuse was not at KaDeWe yesterday just in case that is relevant information to anyone. March 19, 2015 at 4:30am Reply

            • Anka: Hi Hannah,
              you can test La Religieuse at Galeria Kaufhof (Alexanderplatz), it arrived there a week ago! March 19, 2015 at 8:44am Reply

            • Victoria: Yum! A jasmine macaron sounds like something I’d love to try right now. March 19, 2015 at 11:26am Reply

  • Hannah: This isn’t in Berlin yet as far as I know (unless it arrived at GL Berlin or KaDeWe today) so I haven’t tried it yet. A la Nuit is not my kind of jasmine, so I had some hopes for this one but the more I read, the less interested I am. I will still try it and decide for myself though. I’ll try to get a sample of Sarrasins, too. March 18, 2015 at 9:33am Reply

    • Victoria: Of course! Tara, who commented above, really liked it, and it’s possible that it will develop totally differently on you. I would love to hear what you (and others!) think and how you think it compares to other jasmines you like. March 18, 2015 at 2:39pm Reply

      • Hannah: I’m still looking for a jasmine I like! SL managed to make a tuberose I love so a Lutens jasmine really intrigues me. A la nuit, however, made me totally fear jasmine for years. That’s why I haven’t bothered with Sarrasins yet but I think I will finally get around to it. March 18, 2015 at 3:06pm Reply

        • Victoria: A la Nuit has also been tweaked and softened, so if you haven’t tried it recently, it’s a good idea to revisit it. You may like it at long last. March 18, 2015 at 6:07pm Reply

          • Rickyrebarco: That’s good to know. My initial trial of A la Nuit led me to describe it as “death by jasmine” and not a pleasant death either! March 20, 2015 at 2:27pm Reply

            • Victoria: It will be a bit different this time, but you never know, perhaps I simply got used to this much jasmine after years of wearing it. 🙂 March 23, 2015 at 11:40am Reply

      • Hannah: I finally tried La Religieuse. I don’t like the opening but the drydown is ok. March 21, 2015 at 11:22am Reply

        • Victoria: Then, it’s the opposite of my experience. I suppose, it all depends on which effects you like best. March 23, 2015 at 11:50am Reply

  • Kandice: I’ve tried this and was very disappointed considering it comes from the house of Lutens. I did like the opening very much and would have liked it much more if it had just stayed like that. But once the dry down began it turned into something I just didn’t care for and wouldn’t spend that kind of money on. I do like jasmine perfumes and haven’t tried the other two mentioned in your review so I will add them to my list to try. I definitely agree that the marketing seems all wrong for this as well. There isn’t any “fight” to this perfume. It is definitely more of a white kitten as you delightfully described. And while I love kittens, perhaps not as a perfume 🙂 March 18, 2015 at 9:57am Reply

    • Victoria: It sounds like we had a similar experience. I also loved the opening, and if it lasted longer, I really think I would have returned and bought a bottle on the spot. But the drydown is too bland. March 18, 2015 at 2:48pm Reply

  • maria: Oh, I was curious about this one as I would like to find a light-hearted jasmine! But your excellent review makes this feel very uninviting indeed. How would you see Van Cleef & Arpels California Reverie or L’Artisan Caligna to fulfill an idea of happy and light-hearted jasmine? Or would you say those as well could be replaced easily by something cheaper from a department store shelf? March 18, 2015 at 9:58am Reply

    • Victoria: Caligna is another fragrance I found really boring, and for all of the jasmine promises, it’s really just a nice herbal-woody blend, without much character or personality. L’Occitane has one jasmine (I can’t recall its name, though), which is nice, and Yves Rocher’s would be another good option. I haven’t tried California Reverie yet, but I’m going to see if I can find and compare it to other jasmines I have. March 18, 2015 at 2:50pm Reply

  • Hamamelis: No need to go all the way the Palais Royal…very funny. Lovely and honest review, and I am glad you recommend humble YR Tendre Jasmin instead, by Jacques Cavallier nontheless! March 18, 2015 at 9:59am Reply

    • Victoria: Yves Rocher for all of their humble prices do a great job with fragrances, and they spend as much on their perfumes (juices, not bottles!) as some of the luxury brands. I really should review it separately. March 18, 2015 at 2:52pm Reply

      • Hamamelis: I would be happy if you reviewed it! March 18, 2015 at 4:50pm Reply

        • Victoria: I have no excuses, since I live pretty much across the street from their store. March 18, 2015 at 6:13pm Reply

  • The Scented Salon: Just yesterday I passed up a free sample of this perfume because I am not in the least enamored of jasmine and now my decision is validated. There is nothing that disappoints me more than a boring perfume. Serge has so many masterpieces that a couple of awful ones (l’eauuuu) and boring ones will not make me stop being a fan but I am certainly not reaching for my wallet. Oh, how I hoped with a name like that this would be a fiery incense, as church-like and sensuous as the ecstasy of Teresa. March 18, 2015 at 10:08am Reply

    • Victoria: Gosh, your description sounds wonderful. A fiery incense with jasmine. Yes, please, sign me up for that. March 18, 2015 at 2:53pm Reply

  • Elena: I am glad for your review, because this sounds like something I would love at first and maybe not pay attention to its longevity or development before buying! (And then give away two years later, largely unused…) I think I need a great jasmine for spring. I tried VC&A California Reverie, and I loved it on a card. Do you know it? I think I will have to try it on skin and see how it does, because if it lives up to its opening, it might have to come home with me. I have never tried Sarrasins, either. March 18, 2015 at 10:46am Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve come to realize that these kind of front loaded fragrances are the ones I buy spontaneously and end up forgetting about. Yes, it’s wonderful to have this initial rush of pleasure, but when it peters out to nothing and you spend most of the day wishing you wore something else, it’s not interesting in the long run. Of course, maybe, it’s just me and the way it develops on my skin. March 18, 2015 at 2:55pm Reply

  • Celeste Church: Oddly, this sounds really pretty to me and I will most likely give it a try. The only Lutens I own, Five O’Clock Gingembre, is one I love, but it is “office-friendly” and not wildly dramatic, which is okay with me. The longevity is not great, as it sounds like is also an issue with this one, but it’s a nice beginning and not a lot else. If the beginning is one I love that’s okay with me.
    Soft musk and Jasmine, strawberry and apricot, peppermint incense….this sounds like my cup of tea. I rarely turn to perfume for drama; have enough of that in real life!
    Beautifully written article, as usual! March 18, 2015 at 11:09am Reply

    • Victoria: Definitely try it! I only share my experience, but in the end, perfume is so personal. You might actually find that a crucial thing you were missing in your wardrobe is a white kitten like, cuddly fragrance. 🙂 March 18, 2015 at 2:58pm Reply

    • Masha: It’s very pretty, soft, and soapy. I’ve enjoyed wearing it, I just like more disturbed yet harmonious complications in a Lutens. It’s eminently wearable! March 19, 2015 at 10:52am Reply

  • Ann: Aaarrggh… as my husband would say, “He’s just winding you up.” I get so irritated with SL’s marketing gobbly-gook prose (and his putative poetry)… because I find it insulting to my intelligence.. but ‘cannae deny it,’ I got very curious about La Religieuse.. Guess he was just winding me up.

    Beautiful review.

    Now I’m trying to think white kitten perfumes that I covet… maybe Wit. March 18, 2015 at 11:29am Reply

    • Victoria: In English, Lutens’s copy is not my favorite. In French, it has a poetic ring, but I find that his word play and subtle references don’t translate well). On the other hand, he’s been doing it for such a while, and if you read enough of his copy, the subsequent ones begin to make more sense. But when other niche brands copy this style, they merely sound silly. Why not develop one’s own voice?

      Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist is one of my white kitten perfumes. And Hermes Cuir d’Ange. I need to think of others. March 18, 2015 at 3:02pm Reply

      • Ann: His brilliant aesthetic translates into English so well… if not his prose. March 18, 2015 at 4:54pm Reply

  • Karen: Love your ballet teacher’s advice! And, in all honesty, I wish we all applied it to more in our lives. There may be times when I don’t want my perfume to make a grand entrance, but then I just spray/dab a little less. What I never want, though, is boredom from fragrance. And given the exquisite beauty of A la Nuit (and Fille de Berlin and Tuberouse Crimenelle – my 3 SL), we know what can be created by this amazing brand. March 18, 2015 at 11:51am Reply

    • Victoria: Such a good point. It’s much easier to turn the volume on a dramatic perfume rather than to raise the voice of a soft one. March 18, 2015 at 3:03pm Reply

  • Tara C: I loved this one at first sniff. The sweet, fruity, musky jasmine was exactly what I was looking for – a soft white kitten of a fragrance. I have a lot of challenging perfumes and sometimes you just want something easy to wear. I plan to wear this a lot this summer March 18, 2015 at 1:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m happy to hear that it worked well for you. Does it last ok on you? March 18, 2015 at 3:03pm Reply

      • Tara C: Yes, it lasts quite nicely. Not huge projection, but satisfying. March 18, 2015 at 3:10pm Reply

        • Victoria: Oh, good! Nothing is more frustrating than a perfume that fades too fast. March 18, 2015 at 6:08pm Reply

  • Joy: What an educational revue, Victoria! I have been planning to put together a list of Serge Luten perfumes to order from a decant service. I don’t think that I will put this on my list, but certainly will put your other suggestions on my list. I have not delved into jasmine very deeply except that I have always been a fan of Chanel no. 5. I loved Je Revien when it was real.
    I am enchanted with Borneo 1834 and Gris Clair, but his perfumes are expensive. I have to make considerate choices. March 18, 2015 at 2:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, if you’re new to jasmine, please try A la Nuit and Sarrasins, which are excellent, and I wouldn’t hesitate to call them jasmine gold standards.

      Yes, his perfumes are expensive, but at least, the sample service is good (you can request samples from the website). Of course, decanters always come in handy in such matters. What else are you going to try? March 18, 2015 at 3:05pm Reply

      • Joy: I thought that I would order Sa Majeste’ La Rose, Cedre, Daim Blond, Rose de Nuit, Cuir Mauresssque. All have been reviewed by you in the past and sound very interesting. One of the decant services allows a selection. I always start with a vial.
        I likely have mentioned in the past after brushing and bathing my Golden Retriever, I put a small amount of Gris Clair on my palms and lightly touch the hair on his shoulders and back. He doesn’t seem to mind, and he smells like a walking potpourri! March 18, 2015 at 4:38pm Reply

        • Victoria: If you want another good rose, then instead of Rose de Nuit, you could try El Attarine. I haven’t reviewed it, but it’s among my favorites from Lutens.

          I get a chuckle out of your dog smelling like Gris Clair. 🙂 March 18, 2015 at 6:13pm Reply

          • Joy: Wonderful! Thank you for your suggestions today, Victoria!
            I do love the sample/decant websites.

            Joy March 18, 2015 at 7:56pm Reply

            • Victoria: Hope that you enjoy your selection! March 19, 2015 at 11:28am Reply

        • angeldiva: This is too sweet! I want to see the video on youtube! Really, I’m going to hold this image in my heart until the time I can have a dog.
          What a lucky Bois De Jasime Pooch.
          I think if he minded this scenting of his coif- he would sneeze or wriggle away.
          I’ll bet he just feels as special as a canine action film star!
          🙂 March 19, 2015 at 1:45am Reply

  • Joy: I also very much enjoyed going back and reading your article on jasmine! It was an amazing explanation of the flower and how it is grown and used. March 18, 2015 at 2:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! As you probably can tell, it’s one of my favorite notes. March 18, 2015 at 3:06pm Reply

  • solanace: Oh, quick faders are a no go for me… And from Lutens I expect a long and thrilling magic carpet ride, nothing less. The name sounds meh, too. Of course I’d try it if I could, but it seems I’ll keep coveting a bottle of À la Nuit, my perfect, huge jasmine. March 18, 2015 at 2:59pm Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Solanace! off topic, what do you think of this: ” The timing of the events themselves was synchronized with celestial configurations of star groups and moon phases so that the Panathenaia would be as one with the cosmos.”
      It ‘s from ”The Parthenon Enigma” by Joan Breton Connelly. I don’t know if I am really convinced by her thesis about the Parthenon, but it is certainly worth considering and the book is beautifully written.

      I agree; A la Nuit is marvellous. March 18, 2015 at 5:02pm Reply

      • Victoria: Did you see the new book by Tom Holland, In the Shadow of the Sword? It’s not about Greek or Roman history, but I thought that it’s fascinating. March 18, 2015 at 6:14pm Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Yes, some years ago, when the dutch translation came out! I remember the content not very well; it is about the early period of the Islam, if I am not mistaken. Surely worth rereading (in this time of Islamitic swords).
          Thank you for reminding! March 18, 2015 at 6:32pm Reply

          • Victoria: Yes, that’s right. He presents new evidence to give better understanding of the early Islamic period. Another good author is Annemarie Schimmel. She has several books on Islam, Islamic art, poetry and much more. March 18, 2015 at 7:23pm Reply

            • Hamamelis: If you were captured by Rumi’s poetry (translated by Annemarie Schimmel) you may be interested in The perfume of the desert, by Andrew Harvey. March 19, 2015 at 11:50am Reply

              • Victoria: I read her book on Sufism and also her book on Sufi poetry, both excellent and erudite. Will have to look for Andrew Harvey’s book. Thank you! March 19, 2015 at 11:58am Reply

                • Hamamelis: It is beautiful, and unsettling, which I believe is part of its intent.

                  Thank you for posting the link to the Ukranian dance on your facebook, it gave me a few minutes of absolute joy (and my husband too!). March 19, 2015 at 12:56pm Reply

                  • Victoria: Anything that makes you pose questions is already a worthwhile exploration.

                    Glad that you liked the dance. The part when they jump and do splits in the air is mind-blowing! Hopak was originally designed as a dance to keep Cossacks in shape, which as you might imagine from the clip, that would be do it. March 19, 2015 at 1:09pm Reply

                    • Hamamelis: I would not be at all surprised if there is somewhere connection between those quzzaqs (free men!) and certain derwishes. March 19, 2015 at 1:58pm

                    • Victoria: That’s such a fascinating theory, and I wonder

                      Did you notice their outfits, especially the wide pants called sharovary, from the Persian word “shalvar”? March 19, 2015 at 4:14pm

                  • Victoria: If anyone else wants to see it, here is the link:
                    It starts slowly but builds up to the explosive finale. March 19, 2015 at 1:36pm Reply

                    • Hamamelis: What a mastery, how many hours, blood, sweat and tears are in their art! March 19, 2015 at 1:55pm

                    • Victoria: It’s really incredible. And to do those sitting kicks that give hopak its distinctive air requires so much control. The word hopak comes from the verb “to jump”, by the way. March 19, 2015 at 4:11pm

                    • Cornelia Blimber: Thank you so much for this link! Words fail me. i only can say, in Dutch: Hoe krijgen ze het voor elkaar!!
                      What a fire, energy and virtuosity.
                      There is a fierce ”hopak” in Tsjaikovski’s opera ”Mazeppa”, but on the opera stage you will never see something as virtuose as this! March 19, 2015 at 4:53pm

                    • Victoria: I originally posted a link on my FB page, because someone said that dancing is not a manly activity. 🙂 So, yes, you can see what I mean. Fiery is the word.

                      I haven’t heard this opera, and I need to find a recording. March 19, 2015 at 5:00pm

    • Victoria: Yes, my thoughts exactly. I want something more exciting from Serge Lutens. There are many other (and much less expensive) lines that offer good, understated perfumes. March 18, 2015 at 6:07pm Reply

  • Annikky: The problem I have with Lutens’s copy is that often and especially lately, it has lead me to expect something totally different from the actual perfume. It’s true for example for La Religieuse, L’Orpheline and La Vierge de Fer. After readjusting, I actually liked La Religieuse quite a bit, but I wanted more of it and for longer. I have only tried it once, though, so this is a snap judgement.

    Lovely review and I absolutely agree with your ballet teacher. March 18, 2015 at 3:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: I should put La Vierge de Fer in the same category as La Religieuse. My mom ended up buying a bottle of La Vierge on the spot and she gave me a generous decant. Just recently she asked if I want the whole bottle, because “it smells like an body wash to me. An expensive body wash, but body wash nonetheless.” I kind of have to agree. Having worn it on and off, it does have that clean, just shampooed smell. And La Religieuse does too (although of course, they don’t smell alike). March 18, 2015 at 6:11pm Reply

  • Austenfan: As I’m tired after a long day’s work (and a lot of complaining women) your review sent me off in another random direction:

    “Call me anything you like, but not dreary! Not one of those things you find in clubs!”

    D.L.Sayers, Have his Carcase.

    Your ballet teacher was very wise, as the essence of performing is not being boring.

    This sounds like a miss as there are bound to be in such a huge collection. I’m just grateful that they’ve given us Sarrasins (my favourite SL) and A la Nuit.
    I still think that in another life you could have been a diplomat 😉 , you must be disappointed with this one. March 18, 2015 at 5:46pm Reply

    • limegreen: Love your Lord Peter Wimsey quote! 🙂 March 18, 2015 at 6:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: I relaxed tonight by watching Poirot.
      Hastings: Smells delicious.
      Poirot: The aroma is the most important ingredient in any dish.

      Nah, I don’t see myself as a diplomat. I don’t enjoy this perfume, but nothing about it is particularly bad. Just not that memorable and not quite up to Lutens’s usual standard. March 18, 2015 at 6:34pm Reply

      • Austenfan: In re Poirot:Is that the rabbit stew episode?

        In re diplomacy: It’s all in the eye of the beholder I suppose 🙂 March 19, 2015 at 7:36am Reply

        • Victoria: Yes, the rabbit stew in the style of Liege. 🙂 March 19, 2015 at 11:25am Reply

          • Austenfan: On another note: Have you tried sirop de Liège? March 19, 2015 at 1:43pm Reply

            • Victoria: Yes! It was one of the first things I bought at the Belgian supermarket. It’s so delicious and is an important ingredient in the rabbit Liege style. 🙂 March 19, 2015 at 1:48pm Reply

              • Austenfan: It keeps it from jumping out of the pan! March 19, 2015 at 2:01pm Reply

  • Theresa: My favorite Dorothy Sayers quote (from Gaudy Night): “How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks.” March 18, 2015 at 6:44pm Reply

    • Joy: Love that quote and Dorothy Sayers! March 18, 2015 at 8:00pm Reply

    • Austenfan: Yes that’s a brilliant quote. Gaudy Night is my favourite of Sayers’ books, with The Nine Tailors a close second. March 19, 2015 at 7:37am Reply

    • Victoria: A great quote! 🙂 March 19, 2015 at 11:30am Reply

  • Andy: How fitting! I tried this today at Twisted Lily in Brooklyn. I agree, in many regards–I found the candied jasmine opening mouthwatering, but as a whole it doesn’t do anything to top the already excellent jasmines in the SL collection (particularly A La Nuit, for me). I didn’t make the association immediately, but you’re right, this pretty, sweet jasmine effect is nothing that can’t be found similarly in something from the department store. March 18, 2015 at 10:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: The start is very interesting, but the rest is not so much. There is technically nothing particularly wrong with it, but for the price you can find something better. March 19, 2015 at 11:29am Reply

  • angeldiva: Hi Everyone!
    I feel quite entertained by the review:) The direction of the dance teacher is so wonderful! I just love how the reviews on BdJ cut through the bull !
    I remember a funny pop culture phrase that people said in the US 1960’s. It was from a groundbreaking, racially diverse comedic TV show called, “Laugh In.”
    The phrase: ” Here Comes The Judge!”
    There is no escape from these noses Serge Lutens!
    BTW- I’m a huge fan- there are 23 different SL’s offered on starting at 69.99 US.
    They also stock ( and are at times out of stock):
    Geir Ness Laila
    Gucci Envy (not envy me…)
    Gucci eau de parfum
    Le Artisan
    and 47 Anick Goutals today.
    * with discounts and coupons I just ordered Spring Meadows by Kate Moss.
    I love A La Nuit. But, the first time I sprayed it I felt like I needed an insulin shot! lol
    I went back to the review, and bought Pacifica Sandalwood to layer it with. Now, I really appreciate what others of you do.
    Also, with all due love to the many amazing nuns I’ve been friends with- I can’t imagine a community of women that actually want to smell like a nun!!!
    I’ve read here of a nun that wore perfume, but back in my day at catholic school- I don’t think they were allowed to wear perfume. They certainly should be able to to wear it- that was back in the 1960’s.
    It’s the image that I find a bit kinky, I mean I want to buy perfume that is sexy, clean, atmospheric, transformative. But, “The Nun?”
    Maybe they want attention , but not revenue. lol
    P. March 19, 2015 at 12:41am Reply

    • Victoria: This is a funny analysis! My sense is that they do want revenues, which is why they realized such an approachable, no frills perfume. It’s certainly good for daytime or for someone who wants a soft, pretty blend. March 19, 2015 at 11:27am Reply

      • angeldiva: I danced the hopak as a child performer with the Westchester Lariats. An International Folk Dancing youth group who toured internationally.
        The move where you squat- then kick your heal over your head-ONE COUNT APART- was so hard!
        I was in the greatest shape of my life- and I loved the music and costume to that dance, too!
        P. March 19, 2015 at 6:43pm Reply

        • Victoria: You’re a Renaissance woman! I’m impressed you could do that move. 🙂 March 19, 2015 at 6:50pm Reply

        • Karen: Wow! Just watching it made my legs sore! Very impressive that you danced some of the moves! March 20, 2015 at 6:02am Reply

          • angeldiva: Hi,
            I just watched the video- what memories! Same music, different shape. The boys and girls danced in a large circle. The girls parts were much more strenuous than the beautiful dancers in the video. And, the boys did the high jump splits.
            As far as International folk dance goes- I believe the Hopak is the most challenging. More so than a Tarentella, or a Tinikling from the Philippines.
            🙂 March 20, 2015 at 6:59am Reply

  • Amer: I see you don’t even mention civet. Was that only in words? I had such high hopes from this after the recent Lutens releases that were flops in my books.

    🙁 March 19, 2015 at 8:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: I didn’t look for it specifically, and it didn’t seem prominent. It’s not a completely clean, wholesome floral, and there is a hint of the typical moth ball (indole) like note that you find in jasmine. But the drydown wasn’t particularly raunchy. March 20, 2015 at 6:18am Reply

  • Rickyrebarco: Thanks so much for this review. As a Lutens lover I always sample his latest offerings and I have even blind bought a couple of Lutens and loved them. I waited for reviews on this one and I’m glad I did. It sounds pleasant, but not worth all the $. Unfortunate, but it’s hard to hit the ball out of the park all the time. March 20, 2015 at 2:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m still in love with La Fille de Berlin, so it makes up for any other disappointments. I’m sure La Religieuse will have its fans. March 23, 2015 at 11:39am Reply

  • Emma: I get compliments with La Religieuse all the time, I believe it’s everything new Lutens fans want, something different and distinctive enough yet not too difficult. You won’t find similar jasmine with incense fragrances at Sephora, let’s be honest.
    I think the brand which is in the hands of Shiseido is looking to expand and open boutiques worldwide, they need more wearable options than Sarrasins and A la nuit which targets a very limited market otherwise. March 20, 2015 at 4:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s a very good point, Emma. I’m sure they are trying to expand their offerings and add different types of fragrances to the collection. March 23, 2015 at 11:42am Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: I was just given a sample of La Religieuse by my perfume loving bestie, Tom. I was very curious…after reading some of the press on it, I was hyped for a real Ken Russell movie of a scent (“The Devils” anyone? ) but the actual experience was much more sedate. Obviously more thought went into the explanation of the concept behind the scent than the scent itself. Still, I found the composition rather interesting in that he opening was very demure and subtle- “soapy” was the first word that sprang to mind- but as the fragrance developed, more interesting elements emerged: I could smell the musk and a touch of incense, something darker, more complex and more interesting. This alone inspired my admiration because too many modern scents seem to open and close as exactly the same thing: what you smell on the fragrance card in the store or in a magazine drop card is exactly what you will smell on your skin and it won’t evolve much as you wear it. Boring. Like an interesting woman, La Religieuse seemed to grow deeper and more compelling over time. Since highbrow literary references seem to be in order for this post, I thought of the Romantic poet, William Blake: La Religieuse seemed to evoke the “Songs of Innocence” and the “Songs of Experience” in a single scent.

    I am a huge fan of Lutens’ A la Nuit; I think I have worn it for seven or eight years. It is much more polarizing. Either you love it passionately or it makes you gag; there is almost no neutrality, and I love that: who wants a lukewarm reaction to something so personal? I think A La Nuit is a much more mature fragrance, not in the sense of being elderly, but in terms of personal confidence and certainty of identity, sexuality and purpose. There is nothing reticent, demure or girlish about it: it’s full-frontal womanly, and if you can’t handle that, you’re better off wearing something else. When I first tried it, my reaction was “Femme fatale in a bottle!” It made me think of that famous Steichen photo of a young Gloria Swanson staring out through a scrim of black lace: mysterious, seductive and potentially evil. When I wear it, I imagine myself all in black velvet except for the shocking red of my lipstick and the flash of red on the soles of my black satin pumps (and I don’t even own a pair of Louboutin shoes, yet!), no matter what I am wearing in reality. It’s just that kind of scent. The difference between La Religieuse and A la Nuit is the difference between a delicate antique rosary necklace and a long rope of black baroque pearls lolling across your cleavage.

    I liked La Religieuse. I would wear it for work, or when I want to conceal my true intentions! April 12, 2015 at 9:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for your thoughtful description, Lynn! I loved it! April 13, 2015 at 10:40am Reply

    • ClareObscure: Hi Lynn. Thanks for your comments. Trying to work out if I want to follow my heart & buy a bottle of La Religieuse at a good price.
      I fell in love with the incense & jasmine in my skin after trying it a few times. The sillage is not strongbbut but I’m a little in love with this nun. June 6, 2020 at 4:26pm Reply

  • Caroline: Hello Victoria,

    I own a bottle of La Religieuse and I’ve worn it together with Bvlgari Black. I must say I have a vision of myself eating sticky vanilla bonbon and inhaling incense while listening to a really boring sunday homily in a cathedral. I quite like it. April 16, 2015 at 3:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Your description is wonderful, and I love the layering idea. April 16, 2015 at 5:25am Reply

  • Julie Demelo: Dear Victoria- I enjoyed your review of this scent also the photo! It has been on my list for awhile.
    I noticed that in my collection I really haven’t explored jasmine perfumes all too often but I do enjoy the smell of it. Several years ago I started exploring and acquiring a lot of perfume. I adore many scents in the SL line so after reading your review I splurged!
    It arrived today and I just spritzed it on my wrist. It is lovely 🙂 Thank you for sharing your reviews and extensive writings. January 31, 2018 at 3:52pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Julie! So happy to hear it. February 1, 2018 at 4:43am Reply

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