Serge Lutens: 45 posts

Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum : Perfume Review

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Rl

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

In my 10 Perfumes I Should Love … But Do Not, Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum occupies the top spot. It contains everything I should enjoy, but the end result smells like a cross between a cheap almond candle and a cleaning product. It is also one of the most popular Lutens fragrance. One of the reasons I finally decided to write this review is to hear the views of those who love this fragrance and gladly wear it. Since all of us perceive fragrances slightly differently, perhaps I am missing something. As things stand however, Rahat Loukoum, inspired by the Turkish confection, is not much of a delight for me.

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Serge Lutens De Profundis : Perfume Review

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Dep

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

“Prosperity, pleasure and success, may be rough of grain and common in fibre, but sorrow is the most sensitive of all created things,” wrote Oscar Wilde in his moving essay “De Profundis,” which inspired Serge Lutens’s wistful and delicate creation. De Profundis, which also refers to Psalm 130, means “from the depth” in Latin, and it is from the depths of sadness and despair that Wilde wrote his epistle during his imprisonment. Knowing the background story can easily color one’s perception of a perfume, and this is especially true in the case of Lutens  who is fond of complex and eclectic imagery. So, having learned of the origins of De Profundis, one might expect a somber composition of funereal darkness. Nothing could be further from the truth—De Profundis is a soaring, ethereal vignette of green flowers, full of surprises and such magic twists that I once again have to take off my hat to Lutens and his perfumer Christopher Sheldrake.

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Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan : Perfume Review

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Mkk

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

Reading reviews and impressions of Serge Lutens Muscs Koublaï Khan can be both frightening and hilarious. Just consider Tania Sanchez’s “the armpit of a camel driver who has not been near running water in a week!” Out of my respect for your sensibilities, I will spare you further colorful descriptions I have found. All I can say is that I do not get why Muscs Koublaï Khan instills the same fear as the Mongol horde once did. Either I have had enough of clean fragrances or have enjoyed too many animalic ones, but I find Muscs Koublaï Khan glamorous and sophisticated in the style of great oriental classics like Dana Tabu, Myrurgia Maja, and a more recent vintage, Calvin Klein Obsession. Unlike these “Venus in furs” fragrances, however, Muscs Koublaï Khan is drier and sharper, which makes it more modern. If your tolerance for animalic notes extends only to the soft suggestion of “freshly laundered linen,” then Muscs Koublaï Khan will be offensive. On the other hand, if you love the sensual richness of animalic notes, it is a must try perfume.

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Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan : Perfume Review

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Amber

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

Some fragrances need to be well-tested over time to become classics. Guerlain Nahéma was an utter failure when first launched in 1979, but today its ripe, voluptuous accord of ylang-ylang, rose and sandalwood is considered archetypal. Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan, on the other hand, has achieved the status of an amber gold standard in a mere decade. Created as an interpretation of a classical sweet amber theme, today it is among the most imitated and recognizable amber fragrances. The genius of Serge Lutens and perfumer Christopher Sheldrake lied in layering a sweet, unctuous amber accord with the camphorous brightness of herbs. The result is a fascinating sweet-savory interplay that evokes as much caramel ganache as tomates à la provençale (tomatoes grilled with parsley and oregano.)

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Serge Lutens Nuit de Cellophane : Perfume Review

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Cellophane

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

If Nuit de Cellophane arrived under a big perfume house label, I would probably not have smelled it more than a couple of times and forgotten it, but it is a testament to the pull of Serge Lutens’ name that despite my initial disappointment, I kept revisiting it. I suppose that I have held hope that one day I would smell this bland fruity-floral and will figure out what Serge Lutens was trying to achieve with it. It has been a year since I have first smelled Nuit de Cellophane and no such revelation has occurred—it still smells like shampoo to me and I still do not care for it.

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