Perfume Review: Serge Lutens Five O' Clock Au Gingembre
Review by Tom
Lutens's newest, about to hit Barneys anytime now. "Le 5 O'clock" is of course the phrase in French for afternoon tea, and I approached the scent keeping this angle in mind. Notes of ginger, honey, pepper and cocoa has me thinking that perhaps this would be a much stronger concoction than it turned out to be. It is all about tea, but not in the smoky, almost savage way that say, Dzing! or Chergui are; those are being served milky tea in a circus tent and being served smoky Souchong by a hot Sheik respectively. Gigembre is tea served in a fine hotel: Earl Grey and shortbread cookies with crystallised ginger, with a base of cacao and patchouli as if the finely dressed matron at the next table had ordered some hot Valrhona.
It's also perhaps one of the most accessible Lutens fragrances in a long while. It does none of the antics of some of his other scents (which I love, mind you), there's no contrapuntal blast of gasoline or menthol or whatever, it's just reassuringly plush without being twee or pretentious. It smells like what I imaging tea at the Crillon must be like: luxurious in that French way of giving you just enough of something really perfect to sate. I actually surprised myself by liking it more and more with each wearing; this quickly went from "meh" to "gimme".
I assume that it will be $120 when it hits Barneys, Aedes and ScentBar (the latter by phone only).
Five O'Clock Tea by Mary Cassatt is from allposters.com.