May 19, 2010

Perfume: Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille

Fragrances and me, we don't always mix well.
Not because I can't find any scent that I like, but because a lot of them will just mess with my sensitive nose and make me want to go shower presto to get rid of the smell. Do not even mention citrus to me, orange and grapefruit will just make me feel sick - and these are common in perfumes!
Also, I'm very picky, I don't get all these modern fragrances that smell like nothing known on earth and don't trigger any memory; to me they're all just a bunch of chemical odors that I maybe might like on someone else but that I'm never drawn to for myself.

This being said, once in a while I will fall in love with a fragrance, but it's hardly ever a mainstream one (which often leads to them being discontinued and me being left sad and lonely). Last week-end, I was introduced to a range I didn't know: Serge Lutens.

There are quite a lot of Lutens fragrances, and their names all evoke real natural things that my olfactive memory can rely on. Smelling some of them, I was immediately impressed by the complexity and pureness of these fragrances.

And then I fell completely in love with one of their Eau de Parfums: Un Bois Vanille.
I'm not a perfume specialist, obviously, but I will try and describe it for you.

At first, I get bitterness, but a kind of sweet bitterness that reminds me of almonds. And at the same time there's vanilla and maybe coconut. The sweetness walks hand in hand with a cloud of smoke, it's rich and complex.
Very quickly, the sweetness takes advantage, caramel is all over the place. But not for long, as it gets more subtle than that - suddenly you're in a kitchen and Crème Brulée is cooking in the oven, maybe cooking a bit too much as there's still a bit of smoke floating around.
As hours go by, the sweetest notes fade away, and what remains is the vanilla, but still with a bitter touch - the smoke, again, and also licorice.

Un Bois Vanille may be sweet, it's nonetheless woody and sophisticated, it is a real woman's fragrance that has nothing to do with the sugar overdose you can smell on teenagers. It manages to be sweet, dark and smokey at the same time.
It lasts for a very long time on the skin, you don't need to use much and it will be with you all day.
I will definitely explore other Lutens perfumes and maybe get tempted by another bottle (too bad they are so pricey, 80€ in Europe, about 120 USD) as I already smelled another fragrance that I liked a lot and want to try.


  1. You already now that I love this brand. Maybe next you come to Paris we should go to the Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido where this brand is sold ^^

  2. @ Lambda: oooh I'd love that, we should arrange something when I'm on holiday!

  3. I have Muscs de Koublai Khan. Go on basenotes and see what THEY have to say about it! It allegedly (and only to some people) has some very intimate qualities. Ahem.
    It makes me swoon. Perfume Court is a great way to get small vials of the genuine article without having to fork out squillions for something you are not sure of.


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