Perfume Review: Serge Lutens Rousse
The latest export scent to join the Serge Lutens collection of fragrances, Rousse, was inspired by cinnamon and is said to be a perfume that “tells us about the essence of wood”. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) and Cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum) are trees, the bark of which is used to produce the cinnamon spice and essential oil. Those who might be worried that, with cinnamon as the center of the composition, Rousse might be straying into a gourmand territory, should not be concerned. Rousse will not greet you with the comforting smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns. Nor would it make you feel as if you stuck your nose into a jar of cinnamon powder. As the official copy promises, this really is all about the (cinnamon) wood.
Putting on Rousse is akin to being transferred, Peter Pan style, inside a magical tree. The smell of the spicy, powdery bark, of the resinous wood is all around you, like a warm cocoon. The top accord features a sweet, vaguely fruity and candied note (what I take to be mandarins), cinnamon and woods. As the scent progresses, it loses practically all of its initial sweetness and acquires a slightly powdery, slightly “buttery” violet note, as well as a brighter, spicier floral smell of carnation, which complements the cinnamon very nicely. The drydown is dark and balsamic, with plenty of amber and some vanilla to soften and round the composition. This is a melancholy, contemplative scent, an adult’s day-dream of an enchanted world.
Like Leopoldo, I can't help but notice the resemblance between the new Lutens fragrance and Idole de Lubin. In fact, for me, the two are rather too similar. I smell Idole in the spicy candiedness of the top notes of Rousse and in the resinous drydown. Rousse is woodier, drier, much less “boozy” and has a slight powdery undertone (the powder of the grated bark), but the two are still very alike, on my skin. Because of that, I can’t help but feel that I’ve been there, done that, got a bottle. Although I like Rousse quite a bit, I doubt that I will want to own it.
Rousse will be officially released on February 15, 2007, and hopefully will become available in the US not too long after. It will retail for €75.00 for 50ml.
The first image is from photoforum.ru, the second from femina.fr.