This time of year calls for unique fragrances that inspire and define. If I had to live the rest of my life without a fragrance from the master of houses himself, I surely would endure a less fulfilled existence. Serge Lutens is to fragrance as Angelo Gaia is to wine. Read more about him here and read my narrative on Les Salons here. I have reviewed other offerings from Mr. Lutens and find all of his fragrances to be completely different from one another. Today I offer several that I am wearing through the holidays, all created by perfumer Christopher Sheldrake.
- Chergui - An ode to the hot winds that blow through the Moroccan desert and an olfactory time traveler, whisking the wearer away to desert sand, resting camels, spicy cuisine and opulent palaces. Sweet and rich, spicy and luxurious with honey, tobacco and an ambery-leather accord that compels me to bury my nose in it, Chergui holds the #1 spot in the MakeupAlly Top 25 Fragrances for 2007. Indeed!
- Douce Amere - An instant love that faded away to strong like after one wearing due to overspraying. Immediately I thought it very similar to Chergui with its honeyed and oriental sweetness. However, this fragrance's loveliness lies in its lighter sweetness, contrary to the heavy, spicy and luxurious sweetness of Chergui. Douce Amere's composition centers around artemisia absinthium which is used to make Absinthe liqueur. With anise, cinnamon, cedar and musk to counterbalance the medicinal and bitter nature of artemisia absinthium, Douce Amere smells like a sweet, creamy and sophisticated dessert. One spritz is all that is needed for hours of wear.
- Rousse - Pure, unadulterated cinnamon! Fabulous when layered with Douce Amere. The top of this fragrance perfectly reminds the wearer of cinnamon candy. As it dries and fades, the musky base of dark woods and iris takes over, but at this point the fragrance is very faint. Therefore, an enduring and sweet scent like Douce Amere is its flawless compliment.
- Un Lys - With the exception of Bois de Violette, the only other fragrance from this line that I find utterly pretty and feminine. It is the perfect, creamy and abundantly blooming white lily - make that bouquets of them. Nothing sharp, overwhelming or cloying occurs during the olfactory progression of this fragrance. Rather, the vanilla and musk at the heart maintain its creamy quality from start to finish. I could easily call this my favorite soliflore scent.
Photo of Serge Lutens courtesy of osmoz.com and Douce Amere courtesy of lamurefavorite.com.