The weather here is perfect, at last. The days have been warm and sunny, but not too hot. The nights have been just cool enough that you need something long sleeved, and it is on spring nights such as these that I tend to reach for the headier white florals. Last night’s fragrance: A La Nuit, by Serge Lutens. Like most all the line, it was developed by perfumer Christopher Sheldrake, and the notes include jasmine (Egyptian, Indian, Moroccan), green shoots, cloves, white honey, benzoin and musk.
My testing notes from the first time I tried A La Nuit say quite simply: “your basic death by jasmine”, and that is entirely accurate, I think, for the top notes, which are as close to being buried alive in flower petals as anything else I can think of. If you don’t like jasmine, it will seem like an awfully long wait for it to calm, assuming you bother to wait at all — I should think a true jasmine hater would find A La Nuit a scrubber. If you adore jasmine, you might find it heavenly. I do love jasmine, but the top notes are SWEET and STRONG, and I find it nearly unbearable sprayed. A little dab here and there is plenty enough heaven for me.
A La Nuit does calm — and doesn’t really take all that long — and then it is even more heavenly: a sumptuous jasmine, ripe but no longer heady. There would seem to be other floral notes, but it is a true solifore: A La Nuit is all about jasmine, nothing else. A bit of green tempers the lushness and it is only lightly honeyed and spiced. The longer it is on skin, the more the lushness fades, and eventually, it nearly qualifies as fresh, but there is fresh and then there is fresh. A La Nuit isn’t at all clean, in fact, it is more than a bit indolic (several reviews mention dirty diapers, or even cat urine).
It is the prettiest jasmine I know, although it isn’t girly-pretty in the least. It is jasmine with attitude, and while I don’t tend to classify my fragrances as for day or evening wear, in this case the name suits. I find that it just doesn’t feel right during the day.
Serge Lutens appears to have raised his export line prices while I wasn’t paying attention. A 50 ml bottle of Eau de Parfum is $100; didn’t they used to be around $80? Will the dollar ever recover? For buying information, see the listing for Serge Lutens under Perfume Houses.
Tomorrow: more jasmine