Five O`Clock Au Gingembre by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2008




Hi there Fumie Family,

Five O`Clock Au Gingembre has long been my favourite Serge Lutens. When originally testing the range it was the one that stood head and shoulders above the rest for regular wearability. Having recently finished a bottle, opening my new one was full of excitement. Recently it’s been bandied about that Five O`Clock Au Gingembre is on the chopping block so true to form I’ve been wearing it so much more often.

Five O`Clock Au Gingembre by Serge Lutens 2008

Five O`Clock Au Gingembre by Christopher Sheldrake


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Tea, bergamot
Heart: Ginger, cinnamon, woodsy notes
Base: Cacao, honey, amber, patchouli, pepper

My new bottle is different. Not hugely, “OMG, how could they gut my beautiful baby?” different but it feels less intense through the heart. The opening of spiced, champagne fizzy tea cut through with citrus is still eye rollingly beautiful, yet even this seems just a little flatter and less vivacious.

The heart of Five O`Clock Au Gingembre is still an intricate weaving of ginger, wood, tea and honey. Actually it smells more like sweet honeyed tobacco with that slight dry ache in my throat that tea gives me. It does not seem to have former iterations oomph here in the heart though, as if the scent needs to take a little break to ready it for its now much longer dry down life.


I spritzed myself yesterday lunch time and still I can smell the soft last vestiges of honey. amber and patchouli. They have harmonised with my person and smell beautiful. I think it may be my top that has held the scent but it is very, very nice.

Five O`Clock Au Gingembre is a very easy wear Serge Lutens. I know for many perfumistas that is not a selling point but I really love to walk through my day smelling beautiful and not excessively weird or grim. Sure, there are times when I choose to be a frag freak but mostly I just want to smell good. A lovely light filled, spicy, interesting, unisex scent that lasts all day? Yes please.

Further reading: Perfume Posse and Bois de Jasmin
Available at LuckyScent, Mecca Cosmetica and at discounters.
Surrender To Chance has samples from $6/ml

What are your favourite easy wear Serge Lutens?
Portia xx


30 comments on “Five O`Clock Au Gingembre by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2008

  1. Jaybee says:

    I adore Gingembre! Will be sad if it disappears. 🙁

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Yeah JayBee,
      Me too. It wouldn’t be going if sales were good though. I notice some of the discounters have sold out already.
      Portia xx

  2. Neva says:

    I think it was one of the first perfumes from the SL line that I have tried and it reminded me slightly of Feminite du Bois, only in the drydown there was incense. I liked it a lot.
    So sorry to hear that the newer version is not the same. In the end all perfumes will smell flat because the ingredients that were giving them depth will be banned :-/

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Yeah Neva,
      The banning has definitely taken a toll on the industry. Fingers crossed for brighter days.
      Portia xx

  3. Tara says:

    I really should have grabbed a bottle of this, Portia. I always liked it but you make it sound so good!
    I love the easy to wear Lutens and La Fille de Berlin is my favourite of those.
    Tara recently posted…Read Any Good Books Lately?My Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey tara,
      I like La Fille de Berlin too but somehow it’s not yet arrived in my collection as a FB.
      One day it probably will.
      Portia x

  4. AnnieA says:

    Bas de Soie is my favourite everyday SL.

  5. rosarita313 says:

    Aw, Gingembre is one of my favorite Serge’s and I agree with AnnieA about Bas de Soie. In cold weather, Ambre Sultan is an easy to wear SL.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi Rosarita313,
      Ambre Sultan is a perfect cool weather SL. I haven’t grabbed mine out yet this winter, time to remedy that.
      Portia xx

  6. Tiffanie says:

    So far none of the SLs I’ve worn have worked on me, they go off very badly on my skin or just disappear. I like A la Nuit but I can only smell it for a few minutes.

    Five o’ Clock Au Gingembre sounds delicious, and I love the mashed up Franglish name. One more for the must-try list. Thank you, Portia.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi Tiffanie,
      Lumens seems to have a few very specific bases that he builds upon but Five o’ Clock Au Gingembre doesn’t really fit them. Maybe a little stewed fruit and musk but otherwise I find it quite different, it may be the one.
      Portia xxx

  7. Fazal says:

    It is ridiculous how quickly reformulations occur now. When my favorite fragrance is being discontinued or becoming harder to find, I wear it less not more 🙂

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Yeah, I think you do it right but I get lonely for it and want to have it on me Fazal. It may not be a big reformulation, maybe one of the notes is less prominent?
      Portia xx

  8. fanny says:

    I own quite some Lutens, but not one of them is really easy… OK, maybe Five O’Clock au Gingembre (it’s a bit sharp though), Féminité du Bois and Ambre Sultan…

    Some, that I have sold again, were though: Daim Blond and Clair de Musc. I loved them but they were too short-lived on me and too weak.

    I guess the best easy going for me -I have only tested them- would be L’orpheline and Fumerie Turque.


    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi Fanny,
      Interesting that you find Five o’ Clock Au Gingembre sharp. My skin throws no sharpness at all.
      Anyone who says our bodies don’t change the scent is barmy.
      Portia xx

  9. shiva-woman says:

    You hit on my favorite of all-time: SL. I have almost everything, and there are few scents I do not love or at least like. Five-o’clock is very easy to wear, and Chergui and Araby were my intros to the line. Araby initially was “too-too” for me, and I waited a year. I swear it really did act like a wine, and just became this softly spiced and boozy-prune affair. Chene was next, and it was all downhill into my pocketbook from there. Jexu de peau is also very accessible for the first time “user.” My absolute favorite is Fourreau Noir (which I’m pretty sure is unchanged after several re-buys) and I adore the Bois lines. New Lutens have pleased me less, but I quite like Orpheline on my SO. The latest I got, Bapteme’ did probably the least for me, and was a bit too potpourri with citrus peels. I also had to gift the L’eau de Paille to my SO where it is nice–but not fantastic. His more exclusive range, the “Section d’or” I was really unimpressed with; I was in Paris, took a sniff all around, and was not only surprised by how high the line was in price yet relatively low in depth, originality, and interest for me.
    On the reformulation aspect. Chergui definitely smells different to me, more floral, less smoke and tobacco. A few others have moderate variations, but some of these are minute batch differences. Also, as far as I know, Gingembre is not going anywhere. What I have heard is that there will be some rebranding, repackaging, and moving inventory. I believe some bottles will go up. Some may not be for export, though they may be more accessible in shops other than Barney’s and I don’t mean on Fragrancenet. This “may” signify reformulations. I’m not sure how much an artist like SL would want his creations transmogrified.
    Finally, I am planning on getting my hands onto the weirdly named Dent de lait. It actually sounds intriguing. But Gingembre–love it. I like it in the winter, but even in summer in California heat it wears well!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Ahhh Shiva-Woman,
      A Lutensian to the core.
      What a love affair you have with this house. Me too. LOVE it. Even his worst is better than most of the other big houses.
      Portia xx

  10. Rebecca H. says:

    I find De Profundis surprisingly wearable. At first I disliked it—there’s something unsettling and dissonant about it, the quiet, damp florals against the sweetish incense—but it’s found a place in my perfume wardrobe. I wear it when I feel bitchy, when I’m prickly and don’t want to paper over my discontent with false cheer. But no one else will really notice, because it’s pretty gentle and intimate. Haunting. Works well.

    Iris Silver Mist was love at first sniff, but it feels like a special occasion perfume. The only others I’ve sampled are Tubereuse Criminelle and Borneo 1834. Haven’t made up my mind about them yet. Better in winter, I think. I just bought a vapo of De Profundis and will be getting samples of Bas de Soie, Fille en Aiguilles, Cedre and Five O’Clock with it! 5OG definitely seemed like the most wearable SL I sniffed at Scent Bar this week, so I’m looking forward to playing with that.

    I’ve heard De Profundis already suffered reformulation, but the vapo I sprayed on at Scent Bar smelled the same as my sample vial, so I felt okay pulling the trigger. I’m usually very sensitive to laundry musks and dislike them, but I didn’t notice anything. Another case of it’s fine if you never smelled the original?

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi there RebeccaH.
      How exciting to be able to wander into Scent Bar. I’m well jell.
      De Profundis is lovely. I have a 10ml decant but it rarely gets pulled out for wear. There’s always something that pips it at the post. I’ll get it out this week though, it’s extra lovely in the cool.
      Portia xx

      • Rebecca H. says:

        Hi Portia. Last week was my first time there! As a newer perfumista, I have a residual shopping mall fear of pushy SAs. Happily the experience wasn’t anything like that. There may be consequences for my pocketbook though—I went in to sniff Heeley’s Menthe Fraiche, and walked out hankering after his L’Amandiere instead. Which is more expensive, of course.

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        Welcome to the fund sapping rabbit hole RebeccaH,
        We all know your pain.
        Portia xx

  11. elizabethc says:

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the vanilla. So, so beautiful. It was my introduction to lutens.

  12. Nemo says:

    I adore Gingembre 🙂 It is one of my few full bottles, and my second SL full bottle (the first was Chergui). I agree that it is wonderful and so easy to wear in all sorts of moods and weather, I don’t know why it doesn’t get more love in the perfume blogosphere. Thanks for the lovely review!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Nemo,
      Great to see you.
      I wonder if Five o’ Clock Au Gingembre suffers for it’s geniality. Everyone wants weird.
      Portia xx

  13. Undina says:

    I’m not a huge SL fan – but only because proportionally I like less perfumes in the line than I don’t. FOsG was one of perfumes that I found to be very nice and pleasant but not FB-full-price worth for me. Now I’m considering a bottle in the old format before it is hidden in the non-export line: I won’t buy it in a bell jar format because I do not think it’s a bell-jar-worthy scent.
    Undina recently posted…Almost Newcomb’s ParadoxMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Undina,
      It’s also interesting how affordable SL seems now when compared to other brands. I have a feeling this reshuffle will also have a huge price jump.
      Portia xx

  14. James Swan says:

    5OG is one of my comfort scents. I wear it like I would an old favorite sweater. Another favorite is Gris Clar. I love the way it wafts lovely bits at me throughout the day. Both of these scents last a full six to eight hours on my skin.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey James,
      Yeah, very comfortable scents. Perfect Go-to wear.
      I love you’re getting full length wear from them too.
      Portia xx

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