Fleurs de Citronnier was launched in 2004 by Serge Lutens, who founded his eponymous line in Paris in 1992. The fragrance was created by perfumer Chris Sheldrake, and has notes of lemon tree blossoms and petitgrain, neroli, honey, tuberose, nutmeg, styrax, iris and musk.
Serge Lutens, alone among niche perfume houses, never disappoints me. It is not that I love all of the perfumes in the line (there are several that I cannot stand); nor is it because he is known for creating such eminently wearable fragrances (even some of my favorites, like Miel de Bois, can hardly be characterized as wearable). Rather, it is because the fragrances are almost without exception intriguing. They tend to evoke the kind of love-it-or-hate-it emotional responses that indicate a perfume worth trying. If he has ever created something absolutely dull, I don’t know what it is, although perhaps we’ll see some opinions to the contrary in the comments.
Fleurs de Citronnier, along with Clair de Musc, strikes me as relatively high on the wearability scale for this line. The opening is slap-on-the-face sharp, with soapy neroli over a hint of citrus, but it softens nicely as it dries down to a honeyed, well-blended floral with prominent musky undertones. The iris smooths the florals down to a satiny finish, and the nutmeg, while too subdued to call attention to itself, gives Fleurs de Citronnier just a touch of the spicy exoticism that this house is known for.
It is not really a summer fragrance, or at least, it isn’t the kind of sparkling, effervescent citrus floral that immediately calls to mind hot weather. I like it best on a cooler evening in early spring, when the warmth of the musk feels cozy and hushed; on a humid day in late summer, the combination of honey and musk can be oppressive.
Serge Lutens Fleurs de Citronnier is an Eau de Parfum, and is sold in 50 ml bottles for around $92. For buying information, see the listing for Serge Lutens under Perfume Houses.