One Thousand Scents

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Saint Serge

Since I am mired in a terrible Serge Lutens phase--it's all I want to wear these days--I was tremendously interested in this interview with him on Osmoz, and naturally I figured you would be, too.

I think he's a genius. Even when he misfires, you can see that he's trying new things, that his mind simply does not work the same as that of other perfumers. He's the Picasso of scent. And although I am of course willing to cut him all sorts of slack, I can't say I'm too thrilled about the direction his new scent has taken. It's called L'Eau Serge Lutens, and he describes it as

more like an eau de cleanliness. Refined, nuanced... It’s like stepping out of the bath. Like putting on a freshly ironed shirt, or slipping into a bed with clean sheets…

Well, the thing is, I can get clean scents anywhere. They're all over the place. You can't avoid them. If I wanted to smell as if I'd just stepped out of the bath, I'd step out of the bath. If I wanted to smell like a freshly-donned iron shirt, I'd put on a freshly ironed shirt. I want to smell interesting. I want to smell like something I couldn't ordinarily come up with on my own. That's the job of the perfumer.

I'll still try it, of course. But I can't say I'm not disappointed in the idea. After all these things years of making mesmerizingly strange and fascinating scents, has he finally jumped on the worst, most boring bandwagon in the entire history of perfumery? I don't even want to think about it.

Tomorrow: I review an older Lutens. One I love, as it turns out.

(P.S. Here's an earlier interview with Lutens from the same site.)

(P.P.S. There actually is a Saint Serge, which is the French version of Sergius, but then there's a saint for just about every Western name you can come up with. Gerard? Yeah, there's one of those. Laurence? Yep. Matilda, Anastasia, Rupert, Demetrius? Oh, yes.)


  • Interesting articles on Lutens -- so very French-sounding! Both in the content and the way they were translated. Looking forward to your review -- I have tried Feminité du Bois and love it, but he has so many others I can't even think about it. Just got a sampler of Hermès perfumes from the Perfumed Court and am making my way through those -- that's enough for now!

    By Blogger Isabelle, at 3:01 PM  

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