Perfume Review: Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge
Chypre Rouge is the latest fragrance to join the export part of Serge Lutens collection. The official description outdoes all the previous ones in its sheer poetical obscurity:
Chypre Rouge starts with a strange juxtaposition of a green, vegetal smell of celery and a dark, dry and smoky smell of coffee. It smells as bizarre as it sounds, and is quite wonderful. When immortelle joins the mix, Chypre Rouge becomes better still, since the note accentuates and enriches the spicy-vegetable aspect of the fragrance. Because of the immortelle note, Chypre Rouge reminds me a little of Annick Goutal Sables, however, the former lacks the syrupy thickness of Sables; at that stage of its development, Chypre Rouge is a much drier, much less sweet scent. At one point, I smell a sharply fresh-floral note that might be lavender and that, in conjunction with immortelle, makes me think of Dior’s Eau Noire. The woody accord of Chypre Rouge is smoky and warm, somewhat reminiscent of Chene…And, to conclude this orgy of comparisons, somewhere towards the end of the middle stage, Chypre Rouge acquires a sweet, darkly gourmand, licorice undertone, which makes it scarily evocative of my arch-enemy, Lolita Lempicka…
Objectively speaking, the combination of sharp “vegetal” notes, smoky woods and sweet anise/licorice is striking and interesting. Despite the fact that I provided here a list of scents that somewhat remind me of Chypre Rouge, this is an entirely original, very interesting composition, certainly on a par with Lutens’ other weird and wonderful creations. Unfortunately, although I admire the idea and its execution, because of the Lempickaesque licorice drydown, I am unable to enjoy Chypre Rouge. I humbly predict, however, that the fragrance will have many fans, both women and men. I should also add that, like Cèdre and Daim Blond, Chypre Rouge is an Haute Concentration Eau de Parfum, and has great lasting power.
Right now, Chypre Rouge is available at Senteurs dAilleurs in Brussels and at Salons du Palais Royal in Paris, however, it should be arriving to the States in the near future.