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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Creature of the Night: Une Voix Noire by Serge Lutens

By Tom

I guess I've gotten older and a little more jaded in that I no longer feel the need to jump through hoops to get the latest thing from the house of Lutens. It's not that my respect for them has waned- even the ones that I was rather indifferent to or actually hated I could see where others would love. It's more like my love for the house has matured. I don't need to pry and press, I'll discover whatever it has to show me when I can.

Une Voix Noire has been out almost a year now and I just got around sampling it from Surrender to Chance. It opens with a distinct sweetness, like flavored tobacco joined quickly by green tinged white flowers and I am not the only one to get a hint of strawberry jam. This is a quieter version of one of those Lutens opening. The opening is pretty rather than assaultive, unlike some of his others, even ones that I really like.

Une Voix Noire was inspired by Billie Holiday, the jazz singer who was famous as Lady Day, and whose turbulent life made me think this was going to be a more turbulent scent. But other than the gardenia being just a little overripe, as if in a bouquet sent from a great love that you just can't quite yet discard. There are the Lutens signatures of stewed fruit and woods along with a memory of smoke, like a black velvet dress worn in a smoky club. Lasting power is excellent- I can smell it on my skin the next morning.

Like that black velvet dress, this is something I wouldn't wear. My days at smoky jazz clubs ended in the last century (as I believe did most smoky jazz clubs..)I love that it exists and love my decant. I can also think of three people who would happily rock a bell jar of this.You might be one. 

If you've tried it, let us know what you think about it. Or if you have a favorite Gardenia scent, let us know what it is.

$300 for the famous 75ML bell jar at the Lutens website. My decant came from Surrender to Chance.

Image: Wikipedia Commons



Blogger theperfumeddandy said...

Dear Smellin'
You know, I actually get jam and smoke in a lot of Lutens, after a powdery cedar they are signature accords that I associate (positively on the whole) with the house.
Any scent associated with Billie was always bound to attract, out of curiosity if nothing else, but your exquisite line about a gardenia 'as if in a bouquet sent from a great love that you just can't quite yet discard' now has me wanting to seek this one out.
Many thanks
Yours ever
The Perfumed Dany

4:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with the Dandy, excellent line. I think you would smell terrific in it Tom, was it fun even though you don't want a full bottle?
Portia x

9:03 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Jam and smoke seems to be a theme in a lot of Lutens.

Thanks for the compliment; I love your blog!

11:47 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'd love a full bottle; I'd likely never wear all of it. If I win Powerball I'll have a perfume room that's climate controlled and about the size of that place we went to in Ventura County on the LA Scentsation tour. Complete with food truck and hunky cook, who will feed me peeled grapes wearing nothing but a loincloth..

11:51 PM EDT  

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