serge lutens: 63 posts

“10 Fragrances Every Woman Should Own” : Red Magazine

Red Magazine’s November issue includes my love letter to Guerlain Chamade in its feature, “10 Fragrances Every Woman Should Own.” I was thinking more along the lines of a great perfume everyone should try, and Chamade made the cut for a number of reasons: it has a distinctive personality, an original form, and it is beyond the trends and whims of fashion. There are many excellent and unexpected selections in the article. For instance, Tania Sanchez makes an impassioned call for Lush’s Gorilla Perfume Breath of God. Michael Donovan writes about Caldey Island Lavender Water, and Sali Hughes makes a great case for considering Chanel No 5.


I also describe why I love Serge Lutens’s Féminité du Bois in Red’s online feature, Best Perfumes for Women.

If you were to suggest fragrances for others to try, what would you include?

Serge Lutens L’Orpheline : Perfume Review


The other day I was trying hard to figure out why exactly I disliked Serge Lutens’s L’Orpheline as much as I did. Because I didn’t simply not care for it; it made me recoil and I had difficulty wearing it multiple times in order to review it. With some fragrances, you need a longer courtship to learn their moods and see how they can match yours, but in the case of L’Orpheline, I liked it less and less with each wear.


On the face of it, L’Orpheline should be the right one for me. It’s an incense blend, and I love incense. It intriguingly promises to layer incense with cream, and I’m game for such surprises. It’s also the product of a collaboration between Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake, and I have so many perfumes created by them in my wardrobe that I can be easily called a fan. So, why does L’Orpheline fail so dramatically to entice me?

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Serge Lutens Laine de Verre : New Perfume

Serge Lutens is launching a new fragrance in the export collection. Laine de Verre, “Glass Wool,” continues Serge Lutens’s quest for clean that he has explored in L’Eau and L’Eau Froide. The perfume is built on the accord of citrus, aldehydes, musk and Cashmeran, a unique material that oscillates between woods and musk. According to Serge Lutens, Laine de Verre is inspired by “complementary opposites.”


To borrow a phrase from Denyse, Laine de Verre “smells like a sweater hand-washed in Volvic” (please read her review at Grain de Musc).

Laine de Verre debuts at the Palais-Royal Shiseido in February, while the international launch will take place a month later. Via press materials,

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

Serge Lutens La Vierge de Fer : Perfume Review


I don’t know why I expected a perfume called La Vierge de Fer (The Iron Maiden) to be the olfactory equivalent of punk rock*. Serge Lutens is as enigmatic as ever in his description and sources of inspiration. The fragrance was inspired by Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. It references a lily, a flower traditionally associated with the Virgin Mary. The website blurb also mentions instruments of torture. Oddly enough, this kind of eclectic mix appeals to me, and I was curious to see what scented shape it would take.


I dabbed the pale, grey tinted liquid on my skin and took a deep breath. I inhaled jasmine; its green twigs, yellow pollen and crinkly petals unfolded one by one as I stood with my nose pressed to the pulse point on my wrist. Every time I’ve worn La Vierge de Fer since then, I’ve noticed other elements–the fizzy, silvery sparkle, the waxy lily petals, the warm musky sweetness, but I still can’t shake off my initial impression of being wrapped in a soft jasmine veil.

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