L’Incendiaire by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2014

.

Post by Tina G

.

Lying in the palm of my hand; a small vial of dark-golden intriguing mystery. There are few reviews, and fewer notes lists for me to get a pre-conceived impression of what I may experience on opening, so the next step is obvious – there is a little bubble of liquid here that simply needs to be on some skin.

L’Incendiaire by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2014

L`incendiaire Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

A moderate swipe of L’Incendiaire releases a resinous incense with dry wooden undertones. It is loud, silage has a massive kick initially but there is also something elusive about the scent that soon makes me want a few more swipes, so I do. This brings the woods to the foreground, and the incense/resin/wood combination is not dissimilar to those I’ve come across in other fragrances. This changes in the first half hour though…

L`incendiaire Serge Lutens Mednyanszky, Laszlo Autumn Field at Twilight Quick Fix FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

From this initial dry opening, things start to get darker. I’ve stepped out of an autumnal field onto a path which heads into the dark forest. There is a damp sweetness. I can smell thick heavy treacle and the over-ripeness of slightly decayed wind-fallen plumbs. The oudh note gives a hint of animals out of sight in the undergrowth. The wood notes are wet, like fallen logs covered in leaves. The fragrance has a physical coolness through a menthol note which gets stronger during the first hour, which becomes a cold sensitive spot on my arm like the heat is being extracted from my skin.

L`incendiaire Serge Lutens Gumpy_Forest DieAndBeholdMyWrath DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

After the first hour, the mentholated sensation spreads into an overall greenness. There is also a smoky note like clean fresh cigarette ash. Strangely, the damp wood smell feels like it has dried out – the decaying wood from the forest floor has found the sun once more and the rotting has been abated temporarily.

Longevity for this parfum is good, 8+ hours, although it does become stale after that time on my skin. The silage is interesting – I mentioned above that my first swipe was followed up with a few more as I found L’Incendiaire elusive, but it is more than that – it is fragmented. It sits neatly on the skin, but it doesn’t project so much as ‘waft’, dancing around, influenced by movement and breezes. Testing L’Incendiaire I found it consistently has three stages but the amount of application can race them through. Larger applications brings the oudh into play in the first 10 minutes. I quite enjoyed a slower story though, so even if the silage twists and turns in its playfulness, I’d recommend the less is more approach.

L`incendiaire Serge Lutens Russell Patterson Where there's smoke there's fire 1925 TrialsAndErrors FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Further reading: Perfume Posse and Colognoisseur
Barney’s New York has $600/50ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $8/.25ml

Will you be trying L`Incendiaire by Serge Lutens?

Tina G

21 thoughts on “L’Incendiaire by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2014

  1. Happy New Yeat TinaG!
    I got a couple of mls of this last week.
    Horrible springs to mind. Twice on the skin, was two times too many. Not to say I didn’t enjoy your take on it though. :). Bussis.

    Like

  2. Great writing Tina.

    I tried this very briefly on paper in Harrods back in October. I thought it was a very smooth, oudy leather but nowhere near special enough for the exceptionally large price-tag.

    Happy New Year!

    Like

    • Hi Tara, and thank you. Glad you’ve had a chance to sniff. I did enjoy testing this one, ran my sample dry (1ml did go a long way). The dry down & changes were interesting and worth sharing in case someone else wanted to test & may love it – but it didn’t quite reach that category for me.

      Hope you’ve had a lovely start to the New Year!

      xx Tina

      Like

  3. Hey there TinaG,
    I have been thinking about this $500 bottle of fragrance. I would have loved Serge Lutens to charge me $150-200/10ml in a beautiful spritz that you could buy $110 refills for. It would have sold out in an instant.
    Just a thought.
    Portia xx

    Like

    • Hey Portia,

      I guess it really depends on who their target market is. Smaller bottles would make it more accessible for sure and perhaps if they do want to run a full line of parfum it should be considered. The pricing is reasonably comparitive for a parfum. Its mainly the size of the bottle which gives it the hefty price tag – same pricing in a smaller bottle wouldn’t have that gasp factor.

      But – dab bottle only, never EVER spritz this one!! as part of my testing I popped a decant sprayer into the sample tube – kind of forgetting that it IS parfum strength… so it was a highly stupid move on my part. The menthol note went nuclear and blew my nose out really badly, it took me 4 hours before it stopped hurting and I could bear to smell anything even environmental again.

      Anyway, just say’n…. 😉

      xx Tina

      Like

  4. Unfortunately, that is way too spendy for me and I would imagine most perfumistas, but then it probably is aimed at only the select few. Considering the great perfumes that are around for a third-half the price, and the plummeting AUD against the USD, this one will just have to pass me by.

    Like

    • Hi Donelle,

      Serge Lutens is one of my favourite lines, and one of the reasons I chose to write this one up was to give people who were interested an idea of what it was like, because it is in that ‘inaccessible’ field. So, yea, shame really, hey?

      Tina xx

      Like

      • Thanks for the great review Tina and if it wasn’t for your article I would have remained ignorant. Like you Serge Lutens is one of my all time favorite houses and also my first “niche” house. So anything they do is going to intrigue me, just so relieved that I don’t need to worry or that I could be missing out. For similar reasons I keep feeling uneasy about trying a sample at home of Irisss by Xerjoff, what would I do if I fell hard for it. I guess one can say it was an experience, and it doesn’t have to be repeated. 🙂

        Like

  5. Too rich for my blood. It doesn’t sound interesting enough to justify the cost either. If some fell into my lap I’d try it but I won’t be actively seeking out a sample.

    Like

    • Hi Poodle – sounds like quite a few people feel the same way about this one. I’m too curious though, had to seek it out and give it a run through! Glad I did, but that’s enough for me now.

      xx Tina

      Like

  6. Very interesting review TinaG, I am intrigued by this earthy incense trend at the House of Lutens.

    But the comments above have struck fear into my soul. Good Lord! Had I not already sworn solemn vows of poverty, this fragrance would do the job!

    I shall pass on this one, and await the release of La Religieuse later this month from Lutens. Sounds made for me, no?

    Bless,
    Sister Mary

    Like

    • Hello Sister, all things incense do pique the curiosity! 😉 La Religieuse – what a perfect name, does sound like it’s made for you! Will watch for that one also, sounds like it may have touches of jasmine and ylang ylang – interesting. My head’s starting to spin with the frequency of the releases, I have to say. Even for those of us with barely satiable curiosities for fragrances, it’s getting hard to keep up.

      Tina xx

      Like

  7. This definitely sounds interesting, though I can’t pretend that interesting is a good thing in this case. 🙂 At least I don’t have to worry about falling in love with something so expensive! Thanks for the insightful review Tina!

    Like

    • Hi Sun Mi, and thank you! I’m glad you liked the review, it was an interesting one to try – for me definitely a good interesting although many have a few hiccups with either the fragrance or the price tag. 🙂 Thanks for your comments and happy new year!

      Tina xx

      Like

    • Hi Ruth – and thank you. Hee hee – would be devastating to fall in love with – would need to reassess how much you enjoyed eating every day compared to smelling fantastic. 😉

      xx Tina

      Like

  8. Absolutely wonderful review, Tina!

    I am so fond of camphor and menthol notes in fragrance, I mist give this one a go! Thank you for sharing your wonderful impressions, 🙂

    Like

  9. Hi Tina G,
    Thank you for this great review! You’ve made it possible for me to understand and appreciate this fragrance without making a purchase. Admittedly everyone has a little bit different take on scents but this time I am more than satisfied with your impressions of L’Incendiaire. Your post is all I need!
    Azar xx

    Like

    • Hi Azar and thank you – Sharing my impressions to allow others to make some more informed decisions, based on their own preferences of course, was actually one of the reasons I chose to write this one up. Glad it helped! 🙂

      Happy New Year!

      Tina xx

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s