Perfume Review: Serge Lutens Cedre and Bois Oriental
Cèdre, another new scent from Serge Lutens, this time from the export line, is a tribute to his favorite tree, cedar. Cedar is the note on which Lutens based most of his Les Eaux Boisées from the non-export line (Bois Oriental, Bois et Fruits, Bois et Musc, Bois de Violette). The description on Senteurs d'Ailleurs site, which, I assume, quotes Serge Lutens himself, portraits Cèdre as a “wildcat” that “glides along, cautious and rhythmic with supple, velvety steps of steel. The forest watches… A heavy, restless silence, a tense moment, similar to those preceding the jury’s verdict to condemn the accused, guilty or even innocent… The embrace of life, the grip of death…once decided, it will bring peace. Time holds its breath…A rich, woody, animalistic, soft fragrance… harmonizes in full splendor with arrogant tuberose. A strong musk blended with amber, cloves and cinnamon adds the final touch to the regalia. An irrevocable verdict for this essential, profoundly original fragrance…"
Official perfume descriptions are notoriously prone to exaggeration and over-dramatization. Having said that, the description of Cèdre is one of the most over the top marketing endeavours I have ever read. Cèdre of that description is practically nothing like Cèdre on my skin. On my skin, it is very pleasant. There, I just used the word Lutens would probably absolutely hate in relation to his perfumes. Yet that’s what it is. Sweet-ish woods, lovely almost imperceptible tuberose, a tiny dash of cinnamon. Every note is understated, muted, almost demure. Rich and animalistic? Absolutely not. Soft? Definitely. Also, I must say, rather unremarkable. Cèdre is one of those neutral, elegant, “politically correct” scents that are appropriate anywhere, anytime. Désolé, Monsieur Lutens, I know you would have hated every single word of this review.
I must say I am a little surprised that Lutens deemed necessary to create yet another (and lesser) cedar-based scent, when he already has the wonderful Bois Oriental in his Exclusives collection, and all he had to do was to release it in the export line. Bois Oriental is an incredible edible wood. Emphasis on incredible. It is not an animalistic “wildcat” scent either, but to me, this is pretty much a definitive cedar fragrance, soft, almost creamy, slightly sweet, a little spicy bois, to which I compare all the others. Cèdre definitely pales and loses in comparison. If I haven’t tried Bois Oriental, Cèdre would have been “full bottle worthy” for me, but I have and I would much rather buy Bois Oriental. It would be harder to get, but hey, when did that stop us?
Cèdre retails at Aedes, $120.00 for 50ml; Bois Oriental can be found on salons-shiseido.com, 100 Euros for 75ml.
*Photo of Cèdre is from escentual-news.co.uk. Photo of Bois Oriental is from Salons Shiseido website.
Labels: Serge Lutens