Cuir Mauresque by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 1996

.

Val the Cookie Queen

.

Hey APJ!

Cuir Mauresque is an odd creature. I have a bell jar of the stuff and have worn it a lot. Which should indicate that I like it.
Although it always smells the same when I sniff it in the bottle, it is an absolute risk putting it on as I have no idea as to whether
I am going to enjoy the experience or not. Hours of pleasure or hours of pain?

Cuir Mauresque by Serge Lutens 1996

Cuir Mauresque by Christopher Sheldrake

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Amber, incense, cinnamon, cedar, jasmine, civet, nutmeg, cumin, musk, mandarin peel, orange blossom, sweet spices

Like a number of Lutens, it is a casserole of components. Perhaps the order of these materials are forever swirling in the bottle?

Like most of us I have perfumes that I have to be in the mood for, and perfumes that only I might only want to wear once a year. That
would include Vero Profumo`s Onda EdP and a recently acquired vintage Mitsouko. But I enjoy both of them and know what I am going to get when I wear them.

Cuir Mauresque on a good day is sumptuous and warm. Spicy, golden, a supple leather. Stylish, rich and fragrant, comforting, balsamic, seductive, and classy. It opens with a floral burst of jasmine and orange blossom, resting on top of the darker and more spicy ingredients. I love this version all day and all night! It is agreeable and slouchy, relaxed and comfortable.

PDI

However Cuir Mauresque on a bad day is a whole different kettle of fish. We are talking an artificial fruity shoe polish opening, or perhaps furniture polish, powdery and cloying, old wet leather, and an underlying feeling that you´ve spilled a bottle of cough syrup over yourself. The kind that sticks to everything. Perhaps a dab of floor polish? It remains sickly sweet and very waxy. There is a a continuous leather note, running through the whole composition, but it´s the recently deceased cow vibe. Hmmmmm.

Nevertheless, I wouldn´t want to be without Cuir Mauresque. I love it.

Val XX

Further reading: WMSSL and Scented Hound
Surrender To Chance has samples from $3.50/0.5ml has

WTF? I wonder what causes this extreme difference in what I experience. Any of you know what I mean?

Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

Bountiful Bussis
CQ

Sycomore EdT by Jacques Polge + Christopher Sheldrake for CHANEL 2008

.

Post by Robert Herrmann

.

Hi there fragrant friends,

Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.

God how I LOVE Autumn.

The gorgeous sunny days in the high 50’s to 60’s, the cool nights that require the extra blanket, all of it just speaks directly to my heart. But especially the light, whose tone and quality manifests as sheer, dreamy, and soft as velvet; the sun lower in the sky beaming through the trees in the woods behind our house. The geese are on a flyway now, heading somewhere, but they stop and gather to feed and sleep in the pasture to the south, providing hours of wonderful albeit noisy viewing. The last of the apples are almost ready to be picked from our tree, just waiting to be stewed for sauce with a buttload of spices and fresh ginger before I ladle them into the steaming hot glass ball-jars for the winter months. Yup, love it.

One of my most perfect scents for the Fall, and always in my top 10 of all time would have to be Sycomore EdT. It is to me simply autumn in a bottle.

Sycomore EdT by CHANEL 2008

Sycomore EdT by Jacques Polge + Christopher Sheldrake

sycomore-edt-by-chanel-fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Vetiver, sandalwood, aldehydes, tobacco, violet, spicy notes, pink pepper, juniper, cypress

One of my all-time favorite vetivers, this is a jus that always takes me on a journey to the heart of a forest, late afternoon or early evening just as it’s starting to get cold. The leaves and soil underneath my feet releasing the heat of the day in a perfect, loamy scent. The last glimpses of sunlight throwing brass and copper colored beams through the branches, like light in nature’s own cathedral, providing solace and beauty and an almost holy silence.

chanel-sycomore-chanel-autumn_colour-wikicommonsWikiCommons

I can smell the smoke from the wood-stove in our house combined with the rich forest smells. I inhale deeply, the cold air providing a slightly bitter and piney aroma that mixes with the scent of the last flowering bushes of the season. It always makes me smile like a crazy man, creating that white, hazy and unmistakeable fog that turns me back towards home, promising warmth and security unlike anything else.

All of this and more is what Sycomore gives me, and I always re-apply with abandon trying to hang on to that perfect introspective vision in the changing of the seasons.

Yup. Autumn. Damn near perfect.

chanel-sycomore-chanel-autumn-forest-path-pdiPDI

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and What Men Should Smell Like
CHANEL now has sycamore EdP! Go spritz it at a CHANEL store.

What are some of the scents that remind you of a changing season?

Robert XoX

Bas de Soie by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2010

.

Post by Portia

.

Hiya Fumies,

For some reason I have always overlooked todays fragrance. Not sure why. Nothing about it has ever jumped out at me but I’d also never read the notes list. Having fallen truly, madly and deeply in love with Apollo Hyacinth by Eric Buterbaugh Florals it suddenly seemed necessary to try another hyacinth fragrance and Serge Lutens often creates the benchmark, so it was to his that I gravitated.

Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens 2010

Bas de Soie by Christopher Sheldrake

Bas de Soie Serge Lutens FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Iris, galbanum, hyacinth, spices, musk

One year when we were kids my Mum splurged on a packet of Hyacinth bulbs. We were great gardeners, Mum & I, and spent whole weekends together creating and recreating the garden. Sydney is a funny climate and most bulbs get one year of fabulous and then rot in the ground. Anyway, this year the Hyacinths came up and were a beautiful blue, Mum was thrilled. Bas de Soie reminds me of the feeling that Mum & I had really achieved something to have these beautiful flowers to show for our efforts.

Bas de Soie reminds me of that spring. It’s alive, fresh, hopefull springlike green opening is so like the sap of freshly cut hyacinths. It has that glorious galbanum which smells both incredibly cool and aloof while also giving me a smooth, resinous, shiny and reflective smell. I am explaining it very badly but hopefully you understand.

bas-de-soie-serge-lutens hyacinth PixabayPixabay

Iris is green and only lightly powdery. Actually it’s like the cool spring morning air blowing through the lovely green and grey leaves of the iris, that makes the flowers shiver of their impossibly long stems. Then the startling cascade of colour, a positive riot of purples, yellows, oranges and pinks.

About 30 minutes in and then Bas de Soie changes. It warms through slightly, while still being green and light as air, maybe the spices and musk but it feels woody and earthy.

Now you will be fragrant, people will smell you, but there is little chance of your fragrance ever skunking anyone if you’re wearing Bas de Soie. It’s a very pretty floral. Maybe if CHANEL No 19 is a bit too severe then the friendliness of Bas de Soie could quite well be a better fit for you.

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Megan In St. Maxime
LuckyScent has $135/50ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/0.5ml

Do you have a hyacinth fragrance you love? Maybe something that smells so fresh and new?
Portia xx

Datura Noir by Serge Lutens: LIVE Video Sniff

.

Post by Portia

.

Hello My Lovelies,

This was a Blind Buy! Yes, I know, that’s the way to penury but I was pretty sure I would adore it. So you guys get to come along for my initial Opening Ceremony and sniff!

Datura Noir by Serge Lutens 2001

Datura Noir by Christopher Sheldrake

 

Datura Noir Serge Lutens FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica Gives these featured accords:
Coconut, tuberose, tonka bean, almond, lemon blossom, mandarin orange, musk, chinese osmanthus, heliotrope, myrrh, vanilla, apricot

It’s always fun with Scotty on the lanai and as usual we blunder through a fragrant masterpiece missing all nuance and generally behaving like a bull in a china shop.

Sarrasins by Christopher Sheldrake + Serge Lutens 2007

.

Post by Liam

.

Sarrasins: A severe perfume.

There are a lot of noir scents on the market. Or better put, there are a lot of noir flankers on the market. Tom Ford’s Noir, Chanel’s Coco Noir, and Van Cleef and Arpels’ Cologne Noire to name a few fumes.

The word noir, whether it’s used to mod a title or used as a title on its own really fascinates me.

On one hand, noir and nuit go hand-in-hand and evoke feelings of a cool and steely midnight in winter. On another, noir seems to be a term impetuously placed on labels as it suggests a darkened fragrance that is largely more severe.

Unfortunately, this is not the usual case. Coco Noir is described as a ‘nocturnal baroque scent’ … with grapefruit?! No no no. That’s not noir. That’s a flirtatious teen girl late at night.

Sarrasins by Serge Lutens 2007

Sarrasins by Christopher Sheldrake + Serge Lutens

Sarrasins Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Blossoms
Heart: Carnation, jasmine
Base: Musk

Sarrasins is noir. True noir. Sarrasins wraps me in its beauty and then strangles me gently. A metallic note opens floating ephemerally at the top of the overdosing of rich moreish jasmine. I suspect a drop of aldehydes lifts the fragrance and adds some initial space in the beginning, as the narcotic flower begins to bloom on the skin. This effect, a floral dipped in a touch of something artificial, reminds me of Serge Luten’s masterful Tuberuse Criminelle where a scene plays out on the skin as a murder occurs in a room full of tuberose flowers. This almost bloody accord is further tweaked with something undeniably clean – a Luten’s style musk note; camphoraceous and cool.

From here, the jasmine reveals itself emerging like a spike from the skin. It poses danger but never cuts as it is placated with its innate white floral creaminess. Thus its sweet and indolic moments are to be expected and these are spiced with a carnation note that recalls many early vintage scents I have smelled before. Despite the linear nature of the scent, the jasmine note pulls itself down into darker regions. It sways between dead and alive like flowers limply wilting and wrinkling like old leather.

Serge Lutens Palais Royal

‘Warm’ is best used to describe this stage, underscored with a majestic leatheriness and animalics as the jasmine showcases its green facet – here we find resolution between two clashes that learn to exist together in harmony. The sweetness now comes off as fruity and herbal, yet it appears to forever colour itself nostalgically purple and melancholically grey with its impossibly dusty undertones.

So, a noir scent like Sarrasins recalls something tender, tragic and emotionally palpable. Longing but not obtainable. It’s everything you expect from the Serge Lutens’ aesthetic and the noir labelling, a style of fragrance possessed only by truly the most exhaled scents. Anyway, evil is not a bad descriptor at all…

Sarrasins Serge Lutens Moon UnSplash PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

In terms of longevity and sillage, Sarrasins trails me like a spectre. Close, intimate, and radiating energy and a cold stately mood. Moderate.

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Smelly Thoughts
Serge Lutens can be purchased at Serge Lutens online or in most larger department stores
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/.5ml

So! What do you think a true noir perfume is?

-Liam (turning 18 soon – how should I spoil myself?)

La Religieuse by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2015

.

Post by Madeleine

.

Hi APJ,

Jasmine is such an important scent for me. Like gardenia, jasmine is the scent of my childhood summers in Sydney. Jasmine blossomed all around the neighbourhood and in our backyard. It was the scent of swimming in our pool on a long, sweaty December night; it was the scent of walking the dogs in the early summer evening when the humid air would gently caress the white petals and fill the pale sky with their intoxicating perfume; it was the scent of carefree and happy, languid days.

And yet, when it comes to perfume, jasmine is a really difficult note for me. The indolic nature of the flower tends to overwhelm on my skin, turning the scent from something that should be magnificently beautiful to something that more resembles, say, cat’s pee. Jasmine can often go so wrong on me, sour, sharp and just generally dreadful. I’ve tried so many in an effort to capture that wonderful scent of my childhood, often to no avail.

La Religieuse by Serge Lutens 2015

La Religieuse by Christopher Sheldrake

La Religieuse Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Jasmine, musk, civet and incense

Therefore, it was with a mix of trepidation and excitement that I tested the latest release from Serge Lutens, La Religieuse, some weeks ago. I’d read that it was a softer jasmine than the houses other offerings: A La Nuit and Sarassins, but would it be a mess on my skin or would it be that gorgeous soft jasmine that I really wanted?

I can happily say its the latter. La Religieuse is one of the only new releases lately that has gone straight on my full bottle to buy list, it is that beautiful and perfect to me.

La Religieuse Serge Lutens  Jasmine fence Allan Henderson FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

I find the notes list quite misleading because the scent for me is a light, green and sweet jasmine. La Religieuse opens up sharp and slightly indolic but with a beautiful verdancy that keeps my nose to my wrist. The overall effect is of being enveloped into masses of jasmine bushes awaiting to bloom – you get the green, lush smell of the leaves and just a promise of scent from the delicate white unopened tendrils.

The jasmine then comes to the fore and it’s quite fruity and playful, underscored by the almondy powder scent of mimosa. It’s this slight marzipan-sweet vibe that I find unusual and beautiful and such an interesting twist and contrast to the green to white floral vibe. It’s a fairly linear scent, somewhat quiet and yet resolute and yet joyful at the same time.

La Religieuse may not please those who like big, thick indolic jasmines, but it’s just a perfect scent for me that has just felt completely right every time I’ve worn it. It’s also a good choice for any occasion, light enough for the office, elegant enough for a little black dress and comforting enough for those days when one just wants a sense of solitude and peace.

La Religieuse Serge Lutens  Mars & Venus WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Further reading: Persolaise and Perfume Posse
Luckyscent has $150/50ml
Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $4.50/0.5ml

Have you tried La Religieuse? What did you think? What are your favourite jasmines? What perfumes remind you of your childhood?

With much love till next time!
M xx

Vitriol d’œillet by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2011

.

Post by Ainslie Walker

.

Portia gifted me recently with a bottle of Serge Lutens’ Vitriol d’oeillet. I cherished the bottle and violet coloured juice, only giving it a good airing yesterday. It was perfect for a late afternoon BBQ in autumn. Powdery, airy and floral it felt beautiful and delicate to wear.

Vitriol d’œillet by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2011

Vitriol d’œillet Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Nutmeg, clove, pink pepper, pepper, paprika, carnation, wallflower, lily, ylang-ylang

Initially waxy and slightly creamy, carnation and some sweet nutmeg. I expected it to be a clove spice bomb, but its pretty and floral on me. It is like smelling a bouquet of carnations in a vase, without any fresh or green notes. It’s also reminiscent in parts of a good powdery pot pouri, however not grannyish or dated. The ‘clovieness’ that people complain about on me is rounded out and far from medicinal.

An hour in, after a little soapiness something deeper is revealed: ylang ylang! An essential oil I used to wear a lot as a teenager, but I seem to rarely see now in the perfumes I wear. I really enjoy it in this fragrance. Chilli and pink peppercorns bring a sparkly element in for me. The chilli is not as strong as the chilli infusion in Arquiste’s ‘Anima Dulcis’ but the sharp lash of its tongue is most certainly present.

From Serge Lutens: “What is it, Doctor Jekyll?” Listen, my child, and I will tell you everything. Take a carnation and a sufficient quantity of Cayenne pepper. Firmly drive it into the very center, using the “nails” of a clove. Before committing the final act of violence, let wallflower throw in a few punches.

Vitriol d’œillet Serge Lutens Carnation_flower WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

So what exactly is wallflower (botanical name: Erysimum)? It’s a little yellow / orange flower from the mustard side of the brassicaceae (cabbage) family. Known as the ‘fragrant kings of the cabbage family’ they don’t sound glamorous to me! Found commonly in public parks and gardens as they are easy to grow. Originally from rocky parts of Syria, Turkey and Greece. They flower through spring and summer bringing a scent that is sweet and heady, somewhere between carnation and sweet peas.

In perfumery wallflower is a fantasy note, a unicorn of sorts. Thus ‘wallflower’ is usually made from a combination of salicylates, geranium oil and acetate, para cresyl acetate, eugenol, carnaline rhodia and nerol. Interestingly many of these ingredients are used when making carnation and sweet pea too – it’s all in the ratios for these flowers with similar chemical makeup.

Vitriol d’œillet Serge Lutens Wallflower GeographPhoto Stolen Geograph

To train your nose to pick Wallflower, first smell some at your local nursery and then try the following:

1991- Dior’s Dune mixes wallflower in the floral heart with jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, lily, wallflower, lichen. Accentuated with bergamot, mandarin, palisander, aldehyde, peony and broom in the top notes. Base notes include vanilla, patchouli, benzoin, sandalwood, amber, oakmoss, and musk.
2014 – Fendi’s Furiosa contains top notes of Calabrian bergamot, wallflower at the heart and amber in the base.
2000- L’Artisan’s Oeilet Sauvage is a honeyed carnation made of pink pepper, rose, carnation, ylang-ylang, lily, wallflower, morning glory, resin and vanilla.

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Black Narcissus
FragranceNet has $110/50ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/.5ml

Do you have wallflower growing in your garden? Can you pick it in a fragrance?
Ainslie Walker XX