L`Orpheline by Christopher Sheldrake + Serge Lutens 2014

Hey All,

Am I too late to the party? Just received a decant from the lovely Ruth (thanks buddy) and can’t wait to wear it a few times. Why don’t you join my on a first experience journey? It will be fun.

L`Orpheline by Christopher Sheldrake + Serge Lutens 2014

L`orpheline Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Musk, incense

I have read quite a bit about Serge Lutens L’Orpheline already. It may interfere with my first impressions because I think they may already be coloured.

So I find a jagged, pristine, metallic opening from Serge Lutens L’Orpheline. It’s weird and uncomfortable and though I don’t have it on hand reminds me a little of Lainne de Verre, like the idea of crawling along fibreglass insulation. Underneath though is a very pretty something. Some lovely alluring floral that keeps me glued to my hand trying to find it. Then I get this hilarious gust of coconut, no one else has been writing about it so I’m thinking my nose probably invented it, but to me it’s there clear as day.

L`orpheline Serge Lutens winter metal Antranias PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Then everything tilts and I am in cool incense laden air, slightly fetid and dank and earthy and metallic. Then I am reminded of Balmain’s Amber Gris, which smells little like ambergris to me but has a feeling of perhaps what a 100 year old nugget of exploded whale internal secretions might smell like if they were flowers. Then woods, both cold on the woodpile and smoking from the fire, suddenly there is a warmth to L’Orpheline that is not hot but merely lack of cold. Then I get a balmy woods and flesh fragrance that fades slowly to gone, but I can’t tel;l when exactly it left. (Ha Ha Ha!! This fragrant monologue reads NOTHING like anyone else’s experience, I am a perfume DUFFER! Ha Ha Ha! I don’t care, this is how my nose smelled this fragrance on first wearing on my skin)

Timid. L’Orpheline is timid. Interesting, arresting, challenging and fun but all on a very small scale. Like a wallflower awaiting a moment to shine that never really comes.

L`orpheline Serge Lutens Wallflower N_Rockwell Bev Sykes FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Of all the freaky Serge Lutens masterpieces I think L’Orpheline the most wearable. It’s not big enough to torment you with its constantly changing story. A bit like riding a horse through trees in high summer and the dappled effects of the light searing one second and the cool of shade the next, the uncomfortable way your eyes need to adjust again and again. Yet L’Orpheline does it so quietly, and in such a muted fashion that it becomes beautiful background noise and you can still concentrate on your life but should you wish to come back and really smell what’s happening you will find it changed markedly from your last sniff.

Please don’t take my word for it, try L’Orpheline by Serge Lutens yourself.

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Perfume Posse
Serge Lutens has €99/50ml
Everywhere else will get Serge Lutens L’Orpheline in September
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/ml

Have you yet tried this hot/cold frightened child of a fragrance? What did you think?
Portia xx



16 thoughts on “L`Orpheline by Christopher Sheldrake + Serge Lutens 2014

  1. Hi Honey. Have not tried this yet but looking forward to it when I do. And then I will need at least 10 wearings to form an opinion. Dripping in Iris Silver Mist today. Sooooooooooo gorgeous. Gotta love Serge. xxxx


    • Hey there Sandra,
      I can’t think of a better kick to be on that a Serge Lutens one.
      Have you be re-trying his catalogue or wearing your favourites?
      YAY! You get to meet Varun tomorrow. Have fun sweetheart, I know you will.
      Portia xx


  2. Nope, haven’t tried it yet (and this is the first review I’m reading). I’m always curious to try new Lutens’ perfumes but since most of them I just like and do not love, I’m not in a hurry: I’ll try it when I get a chance.


    • The further away I am from wearing it the less I am impressed Undina. I think I need to go back and revisit L`Orpheline in a larger decant so I can go to town with it. Always such a pleasure to see you here at APJ.
      Portia xx


  3. I have read on a french blog that the next one, called “L’Incendiaire”, will cost at least 450 € for a 50 ml. bottle (it will be part of a new “hyperniche” collection…) !


    • WOW! That is expensive.
      Fingers crossed that the information is incorrect, but I am not surprised to read that Serge Lutens and Shiseido feel the need to do an uber expensive line.
      Portia xx


  4. Wow, that is very bad news about L’Incendiare. 😦

    Regarding L’Orpheline, I got a chance to sniff it yesterday. On me it had a barbershoppy fougere opening, then some light incense, aldehydes and musk. It was a pretty tame thing and not terribly exciting. I have a small decant though, and plan to give it a couple of full wearings before I decide what I think.


    • Oh My, you only wore it ONCE and you wrote that incredible piece? WOW! You write like I dream Neil, like I dream I could write. Beautiful.
      Portia xx


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