Perfume Review Serge Lutens Serge Noire
Serge Lutens is one of my favorite houses and one that has given me several scents that I don't ever wish to be without, and to which I find myself always returning. Even ones that I find to be a personal miss I can at least appreciate; I think this is why I think of some of the recent releases as the equivalent of a slump period: his "malaise era". Not that I didn't enjoy and even buy some of them, but really, could Louve and Rousse not seem like a rest period after Muscs Koublai Khan and Chene?
Serge Noire is the latest export release, and despite my personal promise to myself that I would not get all crazy about a new Serge I did get a sample from the Perfumed Court when it was available.
On me it opens with an incensey accord that also has a bare touch of rubber and I swear a touch of anise before the bark-y cinnamon drops in to play. Yes, there are hints of the last few Serges in there and that's both a good and bad thing: good in that this one seems to coalesce everything that the other ones were trying to say, bad if like me you bought the last ones. I don't get any of the menthol in here that others have reported, at least in the beginning. As a matter of fact this seems to be the least of his line to do an opening fireworks kind of thing (the one that he's usually famous for), even with the openings delicious earthy heat. This one it seems is all about the drydown.
And what a drydown: there's something a little melancholy about it, something contemplative. It seemed to fade in and out on me, like listening to the radio at night at the shore: something from a ballroom in New York and the signal gains and loses strength as the clouds pass over the brightly starred sky. Or perhaps from the dance under the big tent as you steal away to the beach for a walk along the shore. You can see the Bioluminescence in the surf, almost as bright as the stars in the sky, stars that you never see in the city The air is warm with the smell of woods and the remnants of bonfires, but still has a trace of a chill (finally, the menthol) reminding you that summer is nearly over and another year has gone by. There you stroll, your shoes in one hand, perhaps a drink in the other, your toes in the cool coarse sand, the warm hint of patch seems like a reminder of reckless, feckless youth.
Was I blown away by it? It's certainly the best new Serge in a while. If it hadn't been preceded by what seems to be three drafts, I'd be thrilled. Will I buy? Of course, it's brilliant, it's epic, it's a tone poem. It's Charles Ryder remembering his love for Sebastian and Julia. It's stunning. But I still feel I should get a rebate for buying Rousse and Louve...
Available at Aedes, $140.00 for 1.69oz.