Fragrance X
First in Fragrance
My Photo
Location: New York, NY
© Copyright 2005-2011 Perfume-Smellin' Things
All rights reserved
Custom Search

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Perfume Review: Serge Lutens Cedre and Bois Oriental

Cèdre, another new scent from Serge Lutens, this time from the export line, is a tribute to his favorite tree, cedar. Cedar is the note on which Lutens based most of his Les Eaux Boisées from the non-export line (Bois Oriental, Bois et Fruits, Bois et Musc, Bois de Violette). The description on Senteurs d'Ailleurs site, which, I assume, quotes Serge Lutens himself, portraits Cèdre as a “wildcat” that “glides along, cautious and rhythmic with supple, velvety steps of steel. The forest watches… A heavy, restless silence, a tense moment, similar to those preceding the jury’s verdict to condemn the accused, guilty or even innocent… The embrace of life, the grip of death…once decided, it will bring peace. Time holds its breath…A rich, woody, animalistic, soft fragrance… harmonizes in full splendor with arrogant tuberose. A strong musk blended with amber, cloves and cinnamon adds the final touch to the regalia. An irrevocable verdict for this essential, profoundly original fragrance…"

Official perfume descriptions are notoriously prone to exaggeration and over-dramatization. Having said that, the description of Cèdre is one of the most over the top marketing endeavours I have ever read. Cèdre of that description is practically nothing like Cèdre on my skin. On my skin, it is very pleasant. There, I just used the word Lutens would probably absolutely hate in relation to his perfumes. Yet that’s what it is. Sweet-ish woods, lovely almost imperceptible tuberose, a tiny dash of cinnamon. Every note is understated, muted, almost demure. Rich and animalistic? Absolutely not. Soft? Definitely. Also, I must say, rather unremarkable. Cèdre is one of those neutral, elegant, “politically correct” scents that are appropriate anywhere, anytime. Désolé, Monsieur Lutens, I know you would have hated every single word of this review.

I must say I am a little surprised that Lutens deemed necessary to create yet another (and lesser) cedar-based scent, when he already has the wonderful Bois Oriental in his Exclusives collection, and all he had to do was to release it in the export line. Bois Oriental is an incredible edible wood. Emphasis on incredible. It is not an animalistic “wildcat” scent either, but to me, this is pretty much a definitive cedar fragrance, soft, almost creamy, slightly sweet, a little spicy bois, to which I compare all the others. Cèdre definitely pales and loses in comparison. If I haven’t tried Bois Oriental, Cèdre would have been “full bottle worthy” for me, but I have and I would much rather buy Bois Oriental. It would be harder to get, but hey, when did that stop us?

Cèdre retails at Aedes, $120.00 for 50ml; Bois Oriental can be found on, 100 Euros for 75ml.
*Photo of Cèdre is from Photo of Bois Oriental is from Salons Shiseido website.



Blogger carmencanada said...

Marina, Victoria, I'm with both of you on Cèdre : interesting and very pleasant, but much more proper than other cedar SL's. What I actually love about SL/Sheldrake creations is their asymetries: the way some ingredients are exacerbated by each other in a "take me on my terms" way -- the almost burning opening note of Bornéo, the infamous menthol of Tubéreuse. I like their olfactory density, not their properness. So, no Cèdre. Considering Miel de Bois, though !

4:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Vikochka, I actually liked Cedre quite a bit, it is just that not long after sampling it I happened to try Bois Oriental and it was so much better. If I have't known about Bois O., I would have probably had a bottle of Cedre in my possession right now :-)

9:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear C, you used such a good word to describe the most unique of SL's creations, asymetry.

I must finally try the infamous Miel de Bois!

9:51 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I have not paid proper attention to Cedre & must do so soon. My quick reaction was that the top notes were lovely, and after that it was too basic -- you are right, far from a wildcat -- and more sweet amber than either cedar or tuberose.

1:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

R, you are so right...indeed the impression in the drydown was that of a light sweet amber...the name "Cedre" was more or less deceiving.

1:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Urban Chick said...

i don't have anything near the linguistic and descriptive abilities when it comes to perfume but cedre was one of my early sniffs (i am a recent perfumista after reading all these blogs!) and i must say, i love it!

i had bought a la nuit and now bitterly regret not going for cedre instead

hey ho

now i have a policy of only buying scents that truly rock my world or else i am going to be declared bankrupt sometime soon!

3:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Hi there (love you blog and lurk regularly :-))!
For me the thing with buying what only rocks my world is that there is no guarantee that what rocks today won't be uninteresting or worse, repulsive tomorrow. It has happened so many times. *sigh*

3:40 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a second. Im so confused. I think the official description is shockingly accurate! I find the dry down so animalistic that it's basically like feces on my skin. Very very fecal. I also find the opening incredibly sharp and unpleasant, and the mIddle note of tuberose extremely hot and sweet. None of your review sounds like the same perfume I'm smelling right now! Very strange how this stuff can be so different on different skins. I would dare wear this in public.

4:16 AM EDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home