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Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Surge of Serge

Review by Tom

Today (Thursday, August 16th) I received a plethora of Serge: A trade with the wonderful Lee of Perfume Posse, which ended up with a nearly full bottle of Cedre, and a package from the Perfumed Court, including samples of all the exclusives I haven't tried yet (but will review, whether you like it or not) and the latest import, Louve.

Cedre

Colombina dismissed this as pleasant, and it is: it's a well balanced cedar, with notes as various as cloves and tuberose. I think I have found a tuberose that I might actually wear: it's the barest peep of that gorgeous flower tinged with camphor amongst light woods, spices and I smell citrus. Will I reach for it? Sure. The camphor and the tuberose do a fascinating if very subtle dance around one another that I like a lot. Will I feel a burning need to replace it if it runs out? I don't know. It may be one of those in the line like Un Lys: quietly beautiful, and since it doesn't have the fireworks of some of the others, easily overlooked.

Louve

One that apparently is getting a meh/meh reaction on the internets; am I crazy that I love it? Yes, it seems like a less dirty, more almondy Rahat Loukoum. Is that a bad thing? Louve tones down the overt booziness of Rahat Loukoum, drops the cherries, amps up the Almond and adds a divine rose note (barely discernible) and replaces the musky musk of RL with a lighter musk - but I have to write that in this slighter concoction that this musk comes across as sly as a...wolf? . Do I wish that they would just release Rahat as an import? Well, yeah. Actually I would like them to drop the whole artificial "exclusive/import" crap and give me what I want. But I am at heart an American and feel it's my right to have bell jars delivered to my door (note to Mssr. Lutens, I will sell out my country if you will only deliver to me) whenever I so desire.

On its own Louve is a delicious scent, totally compelling and identifyably a Lutens/Sheldrake creation. Sitting here in 90 degree weather I am finding this Amaretto she-wolf gorgeous, and yes, as an owner of a bell jar of Rahat, I will be buying this when it shows up at Barneys.

Cedre is at Barneys and Neimans in San Francisco, I assume for $110, since it's not on the website. I assume also that Louve will be the same price in September. Look for it.

42 Comments:

Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Hm, I'm waiting for my Louve sample and am quite excited. I'm still looking for MY almond scent - but I want something almondy-milky, white and fluffy, with not too much sugar in it. So far I loved everything musky from Lutens...

2:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Leopoldo said...

Dear boy - Cedre is Haute Concentration and therefore more pricey. I only point this out in the interests of truth and so on...

How were the Malles? The di Orios? Pray tell.

No kidding - my word verification is iamhag.

3:45 AM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp (Judith) said...

Well, I guess I need to try this, since it's the cherry I most object to in RL. But I am not really an almond freak, either, so I don't have high hopes. . .

8:33 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Hokay, I DEFINITELY have to give Louve a go. No cherries, less boozy, more almond ... sounds perfect!

And after my Serge screed the other day: you know, they don't all have to be brilliantly innovative. I just have to love them. I'm a fanclub of one, I think, for Clair de Musc. The consensus seems to be: not worth the money for a musk you could get for less money elsewhere. To which I always think, where? It's just Serge enough, but it's easy. Bet it'd layer great with Louve...

8:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Is a less dirty, more almondy Rahat Loukoum a bad thing, you ask. My almond-hatin' answer would be, yes :-)

9:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Gail S said...

They've already gone up to $130 :(

Count me in there with the "meh" people on Louve. Basically, it sat there on my arm and elicited no reaction whatsoever.

Oh, and I'm a fan of Clair de Musc. Fan club of two now!!

9:16 AM EDT  
Blogger The non-blonde said...

Good morning, Tom!
Cedre was a love at first sniff for me, and now I'm also fighting my husband for it. I find the pairing of clove, camphore and tuberose brilliant (I believe tuberose always needs to be controled by a masculine note for me to wear it, like the vetiver in Caron Nocturnes).

I'm getting excited about Louve. If you like it, there's a good chance I will, too. And I'm with you on the exclusive issue: If we can go to Bergdorf and buy JAR, why can't Serge be nice about his little jars and send me some? The idea of something I can't find in NYC doesn't sit well with my sense of entitlement ;)

10:18 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Gail, I ADORE your manic avatar.

I really like Cedre, but not enough to buy it.
RL did not ring my chimes, but I'm with Lady Jane...
Haven't met HG almond status yet...

And Leo is NOT a hag..
I am.

Love you, Tom.

10:20 AM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Here is the third member of the Clair de Musc fan club..., it was a love at first site (sniff) for me.

10:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Christine said...

Nice to see someone likeing Louve. I'll have to keep my eyes open to sample it when/if it ever arrives around these parts. Which may be never. Stupid city, but not really a city, Philadelphia. Harumph.

10:52 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Jane-

I think you might be pleased by this one- let us know!

11:24 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Lily-

If you don't care for almonds, you won't like this much...

11:24 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

March-

I never got the indifference to Clair de Musc: while I won't wear it (I find it too feminine for butch little me :-)) I think it's just gorgeous and wroth every penny.

I think you should give Louve a try

11:26 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

marina-

This is definitely not yours then..

11:27 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Gail-

$130? Ugh. Drat that exchange rate!

11:27 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

non-blonde

I think you might like it..

As for the exclusives, I totally agree. The least he could do it open a branch in Bergdorfs. See how generous I am? I didn't even say Neimans!

11:30 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Chaya-

(frantically scanning post) Did I write that Lee was a hag?

Well, he isn't: he was a total mensch to send me such a huge package of stuff and now that we've seen his photo we all know how cute he is..

Love you too!

11:33 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Jane-

I'm a token member of the club as well. It's a lovely scent that I don't feel I can wear, but on a woman; oh my!

11:34 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

christine-

Philly's what, an hour or so to NYC by train?

In any case, you can sample it at the Perfumed Court (where I bought my decant)

11:35 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Don't know that Louve is really getting a meh/meh reaction online -- the mentions I've seen at MUA, anyway, have been more positive than not. But it certainly got one from me :-)

12:49 PM EDT  
Anonymous Divalano said...

I'm with you on Cedre. I even came close to getting a bottle, jealous of yours! I've been meaning to do a wrist by wrist, side by side comparison btwn Cedre & Bois Oriental. Inspired by your review, am taking advantage of the early NY fall (!!) weather to do it now. Cedre is SO much more mmmwowyum. Love the way the wood balances the tuberose (one of my fave flowers) & it all soars on the menthol.

Louve ... sorry. I'm meh on Louve & I'm not an almond-hater. Love the almond in Datura Noir, and have even been known to wear L'A Jour de Fete now & then.

1:08 PM EDT  
Anonymous Leopoldo said...

Is my first post not visible to you, Tom? Explains the hag misprision (pretentious word du jour).

1:45 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

divalano-

I was surprised by Cedre; I've seen it at Barneys and thought it would never work for me. Glad to be proved wrong.

I think Louve is going to put quite a few off, but I love it.

1:56 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Lee-

Duh! That's what I get for answering comments before even the first cuppa.

my word confirmations is fcxcme

this is getting odd

1:57 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

nowsmellthis-

I read your review. I can agree with you that this does somewhat pale in comparison to Rahat, which is a love of mine. Since Bell jars are so hard to get however I will be happy to be more free with Louve than I ever could be with Rahat

2:01 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

lee-

I was also brain-dead enough to only respond to your comment in my head:

I will be telling about the Malles and the di Orios in future posts- you've given me a lot to write about!

2:04 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Lee and TMP -- I swear Colombina's up to something. My verifies are IMPOSSIBLE over here. It's either something completely incomprehensible like:

xfhtitpwreiutofh; (written in cyrillic)

or it's rude. like: gobiteme
or uraloozr

AHA!! RIGHT NOW it's syqobud (say "psychobud")

2:27 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

March-

Tee hee!

mines quyblmut.

3:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Erin said...

Mine is exrtwy (Exert - why?) I good question...

4:27 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Erin-

The great thing about your own blog is that you never see the dreaded login..

4:50 PM EDT  
Anonymous denise l. said...

Chene sounds fascinating...I'm excited about the Serge Lutens sample set I'm expecting from the Perfumed Court any day now. (The only SLs I've tried are Chergui and MKK- I'm a begininer, yes- found both incredibly evocative and enjoyable. The bf, however, pleaded "Don't wear that again!" in reaction to MKK.)

5:19 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

denise-

you are more than welcome to send that MKK my way! ;-)

Chene IMHO is one of the most stunningly beautiful fragrance there is. I hope it works on you (it doesn't on Columbina), and not on your bf, because it could cause heartless internecine poaching..

5:59 PM EDT  
Blogger Patty said...

You're not alone, I love Louve too! It's a wearable Rahat. i love the smel of Rahat in the bottle, but something happens to it after an hour on me, though it doesn't always do it, but some horrible concoction shows up to take its place. Louve stays true to its almondy goodness!

10:49 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Thanks Patty!

Rahat never goes bad on me, but I think it might not be the best in heat (although I am almost never in heat, my office could keep meat). Louve however really sings in the heat: in my office it's subdued, but when I walked out at lunch that almond she-wolf reared her delicious head. I am in thrall.

11:48 PM EDT  
Anonymous Flora said...

Tom, now I wish I had ever tried Rahat so I could compare - dang this "Exclusive" business anyway! I am sure I will try Louve when it shows up at my local shop, but of course the new one I really want to try is Sarrasins, and I CAN'T HAFF EET! Wah!

Being a total Lutens love-slave is really hard sometimes, but I have to say I have not found any yet that I really dislike - Rousse perplexes me, as does Chypre Rouge, but I love some of the other weirdo ones too -I am all over the Miel de Bois and Douce Amere, so go figure.

BTW the login thinks I'm an alien -it's "veblarl" which sounds like one of the more exotic species from Star Trek: DS9. We are Veblarl! :-D

1:39 AM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

I'm with Flora on this : there is no SL-pefume for me, which I dislike. I'm not for oriental perfumes, I couldn't wear them - but anyway, I have to admit that his ones are just wonderful.

3:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Gail S said...

Thanks for the avatar love, Chaya! It's as close a representation as I could get to the actual me, messy living room and all!

4:30 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Flora-

Not to relentlessly flog them, but the Perfumed Court has samples. Watch out though, because then you start to relentlessly covet bell jars

11:24 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Jane-

Marina tells me that she didn't like La Myrre, which I have not tried yet. Of all of the others I have tried, only Chypre Rouge was one that I didn't care for, and even then it was just "meh" not "gak"

11:26 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

gail-

I forgot to mention- I lik you avatar as well. Wish I could get a dancing Pansy..

11:27 AM EDT  
Anonymous Flora said...

Tom, believe me, I have been obsessing over The Perfumed Court since it opened - my problem is WHICH ones to get! I know Tubereuse Criminelle is going to be in the first order, but then I got distracted by some of the other lines too - they are like an AM-PM Mini Mart - too much good stuff! =:-O

8:48 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Flora-

They do offer a pack of the exclusives for a good price, and I write that not even getting kickbacks!

12:46 AM EDT  

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