August 13, 2010

Perfume: Serge Lutens Five O'Clock Au Gingembre

Hopefully I am not on the verge of developping a new addiction for expensive fragrances, but after having acquired my first Lutens, I came back for more (and asked to receive the second one as a birthday gift!)

Five O'Clock au Gingembre first seduced me with its name: there's something I can't resist in the idea of an old school 5 o'clock tea in a warm, cozy and leathery 19th century salon. Then there's ginger which is a bit spicy when it's fresh but deliciously sugary in its candy form. And the first taste of this Lutens frangrance didn't disappoint me at all.

At first, you get the gourmand notes. It's heavy, it's sugary, but it's complex - nothing to do with the sweet scents teenage girls like. This one is realistic: there's tea, and there's bergamot.

Quickly, the heart notes show up, and there's a smokey woodiness all over the place. The ginger appears but it's not alone, it comes along with cinnamon and on me, there's a cedar note that makes it quite masculine.

Then you get the notes that would typically linger around a cup of tea: honey, cocoa, a bit of ripe plum. But there's some pepper there, too, so it's not sickening at all like gourmand fragrances can be sometimes.

As I said, on me, the woody and smokey notes stand out more than the rest. It makes the scent a bit masculine (men could definitely wear this, in my opinion), but the light sugar touch keeps me coming back for more because I find it's quite unique, and very different from what women around me are generally wearing. A bit of a statement, I guess.

However I was quickly tempted by a little experiment, that turned out better than I would have hoped: I layered Un Bois Vanille on top of Five O'Clock. I was totally wowed by the result: the vanilla in Un Bois Vanille and the Pepper in Five O'Clock combined together are just the perfect marriage. They let each other exist and stand out in a perfectly balanced combination where none takes the lead, and yet you can distinct them and the complexity of the mix makes it wonderfully addictive.

Five O'Clock Au Gingembre, with its spiced tea and sweet gingerbread, is a beautiful scent. I would never have thought I'd love a woody/spicy oriental, but I really do. It has some mystery to it, and yet it's comforting and cosy, and in my book that qualifies as sexy and very feminine, though as I said I think it's a fragrance that can work for both genders.

See? I can talk perfume language well when they are inspiring enough :)


  1. It's funny you would write about Serge Lutens scents now... When I knew nothing about them a month ago. I was on vacation in Brussels last month and I visited this little boutique on Avenue Louise called 'Senteurs d'ailleurs' and I was torn between Five O'Clock au Gingembre et Nuit de Cellophane, which I bought in the end...

  2. You're becoming an alchemist! :)

  3. @ Cé: haha, I don't think so

    @ Fabs: that means I might need to try Nuit de Cellophane next then!

    @Reyna: thanks :)

  4. I've got Muscs de Koublai Khan. I can smell it just by thinking about it!

  5. I'm so completly addicted to perfume. I need to try this. Sounds amazing.

  6. I think I need this in my life. Especially after my recent gingery purchases.

    I admire the brand and fragrances but i must say i find it near impossible to take the time to sniff through them and find the one for me. I like them and can see that they are nice but so far nothing has screamed 'buy me' I had one disaster and its a pity because im so sure i could find something really great.


I love getting comments, thanks for sharing your thoughts!