Serge Lutens L’Eau Serge Lutens ~ fragrance review

L'Eau Serge Lutens

You know, when I presented ‘L’Eau Serge Lutens’ to my staff. I felt like Saint-Just informing the aristocracy that they were about to lose their privileges. But I assure you, it’s not cologne. I hate cologne. Nor is it truly perfume. It’s more like an eau de cleanliness. Refined, nuanced... It’s like stepping out of the bath. Like putting on a freshly ironed shirt, or slipping into a bed with clean sheets…1

That's Serge Lutens, talking about his new anti-perfume, L'Eau Serge Lutens. I don't know if his staff actually wept and tore their hair out, but there were some anguished reactions from his fans: Serge does clean? Has hell finally frozen over? Sorry guys. L'Eau Serge Lutens is reportedly meant to attract a wider audience — especially in the lucrative Asian market — than the rest of the Serge Lutens line, and not surprisingly, Shiseido is planning to distribute it rather widely.

Of course, we all need a break from perfume now and again, right? But for myself, I don't hate cologne at all, in fact, I adore cologne. If I don't want to wear something heavy, a nice cologne will suit me fine, and if I don't even feel like that, a little dab of Egyptian musk will work just as well. And more often than you'd expect, I wear no fragrance at all — I've been blogging about perfume long enough that it's restful to smell nothing for a change. What I most emphatically don't want to smell like is anything functional. I do wonder if smelling like a freshly ironed shirt or clean sheets is more attractive to someone who doesn't do their own wash or ironing? I pour some Tide most every day, so there's no magic for me there, and I bathe every day too, so ditto on that score: that's just not why I spend money on perfume.

Still, I had some vague hope that L'Eau Serge Lutens would be some utterly new twist on clean, and that I'd find some magic there after all. Nope. It's really nicely done, yes. It's clean, but only slightly soapy, and doesn't have the harshness that can make some soapy-clean scents hard to tolerate for any length of time. It smells more refined and elegant than Tide, but I'll be honest: if I opened a new box of Tide and this is what it smelled like, I wouldn't run back to the supermarket for 5 more boxes. It just isn't that exciting a smell. I wore it next to a handful of other sort-of-like things, including Hermès Eau de Gentiane Blanche and my old stand-by, Thierry Mugler Cologne, and I didn't like it nearly as well as any of them.

Still, if you're after clean, L'Eau Serge Lutens is worth a shot. It smells pale and sparkly and lemony for a few minutes, then it smells pale and flat and musky, with a faintly herbal-floral cast (the notes: aldehydes, citrus, magnolia, white mint, clary sage, ozonic notes, musk). It lasts for a very long time, and it doesn't change much after the top notes fade. Serge Lutens said he wanted it to "reconstruct the marvelous odor of ironing", and that's as good a description as any. He also said that "these ruptures are at a given moment absolutely necessary if I don’t want to collapse, fall — if you will — in a cliché of myself and finish dying of boredom", and to that, I say do whatever you need to do, just keep 'em coming.2

L’Eau Serge Lutens is $150 for 100 ml Eau de Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Serge Lutens under Perfume Houses.

 

1. From Serge Lutens at Osmoz.

2. This quote, and the quote in the prior sentence, are via L'Eau Serge Lutens: The Creator and His Antiperfume at Women's Wear Daily, 2/19/2010.

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140 Comments

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  1. 2scents says:

    I will skip this one and change my sheets this evening instead. Yawn. I love cologne. My favorite right now is Chanel’s Eau de Cologne.

    • boojum says:

      Ditto…all that.

    • Robin says:

      I was very surprised to hear him say he hated cologne. He is an unusual man. His own Fleurs de Citronnier, while much heavier than your typical cologne, always struck me as a sort of twist on the theme.

  2. boojum says:

    R, would you compare this to any of the Francis Kurkdjian line? I had a similar ho-hum, nice laundry smell reaction to the 3 I tried. While I could smell them, that is; they were short-lived on me, too, which is pretty rare.

    • Robin says:

      Someone told me they thought it was similar to the Aqua Universalis, and I meant to try them together but forgot. Going on memory, I’d say it’s likely, but that the SL is maybe more white musky, less citrusy than the FK.

      The SL is really not short lived though!

      • boojum says:

        Thanks! Your description sounded a bit like AU…but of course, the citrus is what I like best.

      • I’ve done the side-by-side test and the Aqua Universalis comes off sweeter and more orange-blossomy than the Eau Serge Lutens, but I’ve found the orange blossom/musk raw material that Francis K. uses in his whole line (and his JPG compositions), and it’s a molecule sold for detergents by the lab.
        If I were swimming in money I’d use the FK detergent, but as it is… the cheaper synthetic stuff will have to do.

        • boojum says:

          Likewise. As a splurge, I’ll sometimes grab Mrs. Meyer’s, though… but I mostly use it for sheets/towels.

  3. scentsappeal says:

    $150 to smell like clean laundry
    *insert bewildered look here*

    • Robin says:

      Here’s a fun comparison: Clean Shower Fresh is $1.15 per ml. L’Eau Serge Lutens is $1.50. So, it isn’t so outrageously expensive as it could be. I have not tried the Clean, but based on what else I’ve tried from the line, I’d probably rather shell out the extra for the Serge.

      • scentsappeal says:

        To smell like clean laundry I’ll shell out the $22.99 for a ginormous box of Tide that will keep me smelling that way for 150+ loads. LOL

  4. Joe says:

    Robin: I **hate** this fragrance.

    It’s exactly the kind of cheap-smelling ozonic musk that made me want to scrub it off when I first tried it. Subsequent sniffs of the atomizer didn’t seem **quite as bad** as my initial reaction, but there is no “there” there. This emperor has no clothes. Magnolia, mint, and clary sage? Yeah, right…

    Funny you mention Gentiane Blanche, which is very different, but much more my idea of “light, fresh, clean” (though woody/rooty), and I kept thinking how much more I love that than this. I’d rather bathe in 4711 than wear two spritzes of this.

    Anyway, I hope they make a lot of money. All I know is that if this was in a Paris Hilton or Sean John bottle, it might still make buckets of money, but from an entirely different audience of people.

    • Joe says:

      I feel the need to add: for anyone who doesn’t know, I tend to be an unabashed Lutens lover, and not just of his more out-there, powerhouse, and polarizing scents.

    • Robin says:

      I was worried it would be way more heavily ozonic than it is. I don’t know what to say — these kinds of scents often annoy me. The SL didn’t. I didn’t like it, but it didn’t annoy me.

      I did, however, like the Hermes better this time around, esp. in comparison to the SL.

  5. Abyss says:

    It sounds a little like those Clean perfumes and I was never a fan of them. I’m another person bemused at the idea of paying fine fragrance prices to smell of fabric conditioner and iron steam *shrugs*

    • Robin says:

      It is considerably better done than any of the Clean line that I have tried. I’m not sure you could make this sort of thing in any way that I’d love it, that’s all.

  6. platinum14 says:

    So Serge is affraid of “dying of boredom” and needs to smell “the marvelous odor of ironing”… I have baskets full of shirts, sheets, pillowcase, tablecloth, etc that I could send him. (I’d pay him for that)

    • mals86 says:

      I thought that was funny too. I’d bet the ranch Uncle Serge doesn’t iron his own shirts.

      I like to iron, actually, but if I’m wearing scent I want it to smell like scent. (Said the aldehydes fan.)

    • Robin says:

      :-)

  7. March says:

    I have no further comment about the actual scent; instead:

    1) doesn’t that bottle look suspiciously like that Shiseido thing? Eudermine?

    2) Hearing Serge Lutens say “I hate cologne” makes me a little less thrilled about my Serges. How could a perfumer broad-brush like that? It’s like something a Hollywood B-list starlet would say, announcing the release of her new fruity-floral.

    • Joe says:

      I’d love to have one of those red Eudermine bottles, though I’ve never smelled it. This one is completely square though, and I don’t think Eudermine is?? I love this bottle too, and I’d proudly display it… empty.

      • Joe says:

        Er, sorry… didn’t realize Eudermine is a sort of lotion. And I’ll shut up now. :D

      • March says:

        No, I thought Eudermine was a scent? Like a toner? Perhaps I’m wrong. Cologne-y thing? I bet Serge hates it. ;-)

        Anyhoo, that pic up there on the right, looks like Eudermine except in clear. And don’t shut up. I started to respond to something you said on the Konvict post and then stifled myself.

        • Robin says:

          Kevin included it in his best of 2007:

          http://www.nstperfume.com/2007/12/28/perfume-the-best-of-2007/

          It’s a “revitalizing essence” and it does smell good, but it’s supposed to be a skin treatment/toner.

          • Joe says:

            Ha! I’m curious, but I love how Kevin writes, “… it smells great… but only for a minute”! Still, the bottle is beautiful. (btw, I think the Eau bottle has a perfectly square footprint, but Eudermine’s footprint is more like the traditional thin rectangular SL bottles).

    • Hee, hee! Yes, well, he’s no stranger to the big prounouncement, you know. It’s just that he’s usually a little more French about it so it doesn’t register quite the same way. My most recent favorite is is claim that when he reformulates a fragrance it is still “original” because, um, he’s the one who reformulated it. King Lutens Decrees! All Hail the King!

      And I do, mostly. Hail him.

    • Robin says:

      Gosh, I thought it was that bottle, just not in red, but I didn’t go to look to be sure. I’ve always wanted that stuff just for the bottle, but won’t buy it because it’s silicone-based.

    • Robin says:

      Oh, and on #2, you know. Whatever. SL is always making these sorts of pronouncements and I’m with Sweetlife on this one, let him say what he wants, I don’t care. I have never forced myself to do a desert island top 10, but if I did, he’d take a disproportionate number of the slots, so just based on that I’ll forgive a good deal.

      • ceelouise says:

        Oh, but I’d love to know what your desert island top ten would be, Robin! As for the Lutens, all is forgiven, yes, any man that did Iris Silver Mist and Sarrasins…the beauty!… (And lately I’ve been liking my sample of Aqua Universalis – almost gone.)

        • ceelouise says:

          Oh, but I won’t buy Aqua Universalis – not worth the money.

        • Robin says:

          LOL — I’d love to know too! But would have to include at the very least Iris Silver Mist and Tubereuse Criminelle.

          • ceelouise says:

            My husband looooved Tubereuse Criminelle.

    • Zazie says:

      Well SL has always expressed his controversial relationship with perfumes, stating many times he wears it at most once a year. And I read of many other noses stating they never wear perfumes, nor were particularly enthralled by them. Michelangelo despised painting as an art, you know? ;)

      • Most perfumers don’t wear perfume, that’s a fact, unless they’re testing out their own stuff. It interferes with their work, obviously, but apart from that, they say they get enough olfactory satisfaction from composing.
        Serge saying he hated cologne I interpret as meaning he hated the classic stuff men around him doused themselves with. I can imagine the budding aesthete shuddering… He is on record as saying that when he goes out, he douses himself in Cuir Mauresque.

        • nozknoz says:

          I can totally understand that, but it makes me wonder how they manage to design perfumes that smell good to the rest of us – maybe that explains some of the truly bizarre things they sometimes come up with. Of course, we don’t demand that artists only produce “pretty” paintings, but we want to smell “good”…. not like a painting by Bacon or Freud LOL!

    • Rictor07 says:

      Maybe he should team up with Christopher Brosius?

  8. Absolute Scentualist says:

    Agreed, March. That’s like saying one hates chocolates but creates confectionery with such passion and skill that it would seem to be the complete opposite. Hearing a celeb say they either can’t or don’t wear perfume and then trot out a new perfume they’ve just put their name on isn’t exactly encouraging.

    I have and like Clean, and I have and love Clair de Musc, which feels enough like Serge does clean that I can’t imagine needing to own this. And really, given the description, I don’t feel particularly moved to go out of my way to try it.

    I expected Francis Kurkdjian’s frags to smell sexy in a clean sort of way given his fragrance history, but this is still hard to take. I mean it is a logical step if Serge wants to rebel against his body of work, so in that I suppose I can see it as the ultimate rebellion and stepping out to explore the unknown. But it isn’t unknown to anyone who keeps tabs on even a fraction of the new fragrance releases.

    • Robin says:

      Well, he didn’t say he hated perfume, just cologne!

  9. SmokeyToes says:

    I smelled this a couple of weeks back and wasn’t in love. I love SL, but sometimes when I need a break-I wear a light lotion or Egyptian Musk (one of my long time faves!).
    I love Hermes Gentiane Blanche or 4711, both smell clean to me. I think “clean” is different for everyone, no?
    My grandmother used to have rosemary hedges, and would dry the linens laid over them. They could come in smelling of sunshine and rosemary. A very pleasant childhood memory for me….

    • Robin says:

      That does sound like a wonderful smell!

    • bookgirl says:

      Sounds heavenly!

    • Chanterais says:

      Oh god, what a gorgeous memory! I must try that rosemary laundry trick one sunny day. We’ve got more rosemary bushes than we know what to do with (you can only roast so much lamb), so using them as sheet-drying racks’ll help them earn their keep around here.

    • RusticDove says:

      Oh Smokey – that’s a beautiful memory to have!

    • SmokeyToes says:

      Now if I could just find a fabric softener that smelled like that. Perfect!

      • ajuarez says:

        I would love some of those fresh fabric softener too smokeytoes!

  10. Minnie says:

    I don’t mind soapy, but I don’t like “clean” soapy if that makes any sense. I guess I like aldehydic soapy? I’m thinking of your review of Prada for men and how you described that as smelling like some really expensive French soap, and I like that idea. I can’t, however, even tolerate “clean” smells in things that are supposed to smell “clean.” I prefer scent-free laundry detergent, for example. What this article makes me think, however, is that I would like to try a traditional cologne scent. Any suggestions?

    • Zazie says:

      May I suggest a non traditional cologne? It’s one of the best I know: SMN acqua di melograno.
      Or you could try Sycomore, by Chanel, if you like vetiver… I qualify it as cologne, but we all know I’m a mess and put fragrances in the wrong families ;)!

      • Joe says:

        OK, that’s it… the second time in 24 hours I’ve heard even MORE raves about Melograno (and they’ve been accruing in my brain for months). I need to get me some.

        • boojum says:

          LOL I said that yesterday. Guess we should both get samples and compare notes (and probably split a bottle).

          • Hey kids–I’ve got a bottle of Melograno that’s languishing unloved in my cupboard and I’d be happy to send you samples and if you love them we can chat further… ;-)

            You can reach me on Perfume of Life under sweetlife, and on MUA as ahtx. Cheers!

          • boojum says:

            Ohhhh fantastic… I’ll zip you a note when I get home. :) Thanks!

          • Joe says:

            Well, well! Ask, and the universe provides. Thanks, A. I just sent you a note.

          • Rappleyea says:

            Boo – if you hate it, you know where you can send the sample! ;-)

    • boojum says:

      I’d go with Chanel Eau de Cologne, or the supposed original (and extraordinarily inexpensive), No. 4711.

    • Tama says:

      The above and the Thierry Mugler Cologne.
      But 4711 is kind of hard to beat.
      The Chanel deserves a bit more inspection from me – I was wowed from the strip but didn’t put it on.
      I have a sample of this one but have been waiting for less gloom to try it out.

      • boojum says:

        I’ve still never even SEEN the TM to try it, though it’s on “the list”.

        • Tama says:

          It’s usually in the men’s department unless you have savvy SAs. My Nordstrom has it.

          • boojum says:

            I always check both…nothing.

  11. Zazie says:

    There is a poignant interview of SL here:
    http://parfums-tendances-inspirations.com/

    I was not the target consumer to begin with: I don’t wear clean scents and colognes anymore, not even wallpaper or casual scents… So I have never felt the need to spray some Eau SL during my perfume-focused lunchbreak sprees. Pfff, that interview touched me, I don’t know why…. :(

    • Robin says:

      Thanks for the link!

    • Jill says:

      Thanks for the article!

  12. Jill says:

    Even though I eventually try almost all SL’s stuff, this is just not me, I’m not the target customer here either. “Clean” isn’t my thing in perfume. And I do wonder why he hates cologne?!

    • CynthiaW says:

      Maybe because there are a lot of bad ones? Or at least ones that all smell the same?

      I don’t generally like clean scents, but I have a few for when I don’t want to wear anything heavy. I’d still like to give this one a whirl just to say that I’ve sniffed it.

      • Jill says:

        Yeah, I gather from the article Zazie posted the link to above that cologne has cheap and cliched associations for him.

    • Robin says:

      Not my thing either.

  13. ajuarez says:

    I’m sampling some of SL’s and am truly “shocked”

    • boojum says:

      I’m *so* disappointed that I never got that angle. I just got sweet gooey mess, nothing shocking or unusual at all. :(

    • Robin says:

      Shocked at what?

      • ajuarez says:

        Shocked at the SL’s compared to this new one.

        • Robin says:

          Oh, gotcha. Well, this is in a very different style, that is for sure.

  14. bookgirl says:

    I just got the new SL in my Luckyscent sample pack and I wasn’t impressed (what I was impressed with is Nasomatto’s Absinthe and Silver Musk. Yum). I don’t even object to clean smells–Yosh’s Sottile striks me as a very soapy rose and I adore it–but this doesn’t move me at all. Oh, well.

    • Robin says:

      Didn’t move me either.

  15. sashabla says:

    Robin,
    Which Egyptian musk do you like? I used to love Jovan’s but that was years ago. Doesn’t smell quite the same now.
    thanks,

    • sayitisntso says:

      Maybe my memory is failing me but I seem to recall Robin being a fan of the EM by Bodytime and Attar Bazaar. Wish I could remember exactly where and when I read that!

    • Robin says:

      Yep, I use the Body Time. One of the things I love about it is that it induces olfactory fatigue very quickly…so I don’t smell it all the time, just every so often. It does last all day on me.

      • nozknoz says:

        That’s such an interesting reason to like a perfume, Robin!

  16. I guess I will be the only one….I DON’T *hate* it. I’m glad I was able to host a split though. Doubt I would have paid full price for it.

    • Joe says:

      I’m glad you hosted a split too, because I was dying to smell it… don’t think I’m ungrateful just because I don’t like it. HA! I’ve already swapped away a little bit… :D

    • Robin says:

      Oh, but I don’t hate it either! I just don’t care much about it.

  17. Adding this: the Eau does NOT go over well at the Lutens boutique in Paris, I was told by the SAs.
    I myself don’t find it unpleasant but I’m like you, Robin: if I don’t feel like wearing perfume, I don’t wear it. Or I’ll spritz on Chanel eau de cologne, which I could bathe in.

    • Robin says:

      I didn’t find it unpleasant either. Can well believe it doesn’t sell at the Lutens boutique, but I would image the real test is whether they can sell bucketloads of it in Japan, which I gather was more the point.

  18. odonata9 says:

    While I’m not interested in trying this at all, after reading your review of Thierry Mugler Cologne, I am dying to get some of that!

    • Robin says:

      I love that stuff. That’s my “your skin but better” scent.

  19. Jared says:

    As I just watched the new Lady Gaga video for Telephone last night (it’s shocking, be careful), I am suddenly struck by this notion. In this “clean” direction perfume is headed in with the Eau here and others, Lady Gaga strikes me as a big ol’ bottle of Poison. How interesting that some of pop culture is moving in the direction of the 80s once more, the era of the powerhouses. If Gaga is Poison, I wonder what the pop culture counterpart to L’Eau would be?

    • boojum says:

      Air Supply? :D

    • Rappleyea says:

      The Carpenters.

    • Robin says:

      I do know who she is because she rates an article at Go Fug Yourself every so often, but other than that don’t know much about her. So in other words I don’t really know what you’re talking about!

    • ajuarez says:

      Love that girl. I wish she was touring in Texas, I would not miss her show. Love Poison…will wear it tonight.

  20. k-scott says:

    There is something appealing to me about a scent that strives to recreate the odor of ironing (a task I deplore, but I do like the smell of it). Perhaps I will have to try this one after all.

    • Robin says:

      Wasn’t Narciso Rodriguez Essence also supposed to smell like ironing? So if this one doesn’t work, there’s another possibility.

      • k-scott says:

        Ooooh and I love the NR Essence swirly metallic bottle, and it will be way easier for me to try that at a dep store here in lovely central Florida than to get a hold of the Serge to try, AND it would probably save me some cash-ola too if I did like that kind of thing. Thanks Robin! She single-handedly swoops in and solves life’s little perfume dilemmas… She oughta be a super hero ;)

  21. annemarie says:

    As far as the clean thing goes, I wear perfume as part of a routine of clean anyway – shower, clean hair, clean clothes etc. Perfume – any – is part of that. (I never re-apply during the day; doesn’t feel right). So I feel no great need for clean perfumes per se. The are all ‘clean’ to me, in a sense.

    I also think that some things are pleasurable *because* they are short lived. The freshly ironed shirt feeling, which is indeed very nice, only lasts a few minutes generally. And that’s fine. I wouldn’t pay $150 to prolong that all day!

    • Robin says:

      I know it is just a function of constantly “testing” instead of wearing, but I’m one of the few people who prefers that perfume not last all day. 3-4 hours is plenty for me!

      • boojum says:

        I’d like 8 or so, to last through the work day… but then I want it *completely* gone. Rarely happens though, most things last all day and then some.

  22. ajuarez says:

    OK, sneaking to comment when I should be working, yes I tried the new Lutens and was not impressed by it, however I love the other scents; Tubereuse Criminelle, I really love; Muscs Kaublai Klan and Fille en Aiguilles; found shocking and when I don’t feel like wearing parfum I usually have a few scented soaps, and scented shower bathing Products., or just a spritz of Chanel Beige on my long black hair…would like to try the Chanel Cologne though.

    • Robin says:

      Tubereuse Criminelle is so wonderful…for that alone, I don’t care what else he makes.

  23. MilaK says:

    I’ve become interested in perfume only recently and am not familiar with the SL line yet. How ironic is it that this is the first of his fragrances that I get to try… I received it today as a sample with another package, good thing that I read this review too so my expectations were not too high

    • Robin says:

      Oh, hope you will get to try others!

  24. Rappleyea says:

    Thanks for taking another one for the team, Robin. :-)

  25. Bela says:

    I’ll stick with one of his masterpieces: Tubéreuse Criminelle. I have no desire to use a non-perfume. I don’t wear perfume in a routine manner every day. Most days I don’t wear any.

    I can easily believe perfumers don’t wear perfume. When I worked at Penhaligon’s and for over a year after I left there, I couldn’t bear to use anything scented.

    • Robin says:

      Oh, I can easily believe it too!

  26. Aparatchick says:

    “I do wonder if smelling like a freshly ironed shirt or clean sheets is more attractive to someone who doesn’t do their own wash or ironing?” Thank you, Robin. That made me laugh.

    I tried this recently as one of the Luckyscent sample bag offerings. It really wasn’t anything I’d ever wear. I like my scents to say something other than whatever it is this says.

    • Robin says:

      My thoughts exactly.

  27. Pinkachu says:

    Reading all this clean laundry copy, I keep thinking of Outrageous, which actually accomplishes that fresh-ironed steam thing thanks to the *bitter* apple note that accompanies it.

    If only someone could make a true hissy-steam-clean scent instead of the “clean” we associate with of all the floral musks in our Tides and soaps. Something sparely ozonic — that I’d buy.

    • boojum says:

      Doesn’t CdG or someone make a dryclean-type scent? Might be worth looking into (and sorry I don’t remember specifics).

    • Robin says:

      Yes…Outrageous was a huge disappoint to me because although it’s very well done, it’s the only thing Sophia Grojsman has done for Frederic Malle. Really wish he’d have her do a more sophisticated perfume for the line.

  28. Furriner says:

    Coincidentally, a sample of this came in the mail today.

    I’m not nuts about it. It does remind me of my grandmother at the mangle.

    • Robin says:

      LOL at “my grandmother at the mangle”!

  29. megank4 says:

    I received a free sample of this.
    Not really my thing either.
    Rather a non-descript non-scent.
    Much prefer my Datura Noir.

    • Robin says:

      Datura Noir is a great scent. Among many at SL…

  30. mitsouko says:

    Nasomatto Silver Musk – citrus blast and then quiet quiet musk – clean . I wonder if this is the same, hell, it probably is. I will sample out of curiosity but if I want the iron clean smell, I ‘ll go iron some sheets.

  31. mitsouko says:

    Darn it my gravatar doesn’t work ….

    • Robin says:

      I am seeing your gravatar! You might just need to clear your cache.

  32. nozknoz says:

    Generally I wear one of my vetivers or TDC Osmanthus when I want light and clean. I guess clean = natural but not animalic to me, rather than soap musk or calone. I ODed on citrus back when I wore AG Eau d’Hadrien so I tend not to be drawn to scents with citrus. I’ve noticed that Chanel tends to smooth out scents with citrus, which is one of the things that turns me away from Chanel. I realize it is beautifully done, just not what I love.

    • Robin says:

      Gosh, I think of that as something inherent to all perfumes, not just Chanel — citrus is nearly the universal top note.

  33. The scarry thing about this – it smells like ironing. I DO believe this, since Nuits des Cellophanes smelled LIKE cellophane, a smell my brain can reproduce immediately, must have been something shocking when I was a kid…
    But who wants to smell ironing? Honestly, I know exactly that falt, and bald, somehow watery, somehow hot, somehow linen scent and I do not want it.
    I want scarry stuff, but not “household” scarry – I mean stuff that reminds me of cleaning, cooking and so on. That is too scarry.

    I will skip that, will try Amazone de Hermès instead once again.

  34. Robin says:

    Interesting, NdC did not smell like cellophane to me at all!

    • Oh, the smell was quite in the top-note, right after the first notes, a kind of sweetness that nearly made this sound, that cellophan makes. Right around the peach ;-)
      This is because I have a certain synesthesia ans relate smell to sounds and taste to colurs (which is not as uncommon as it sounds).

      I grew up in socialist Romania, where carnation flowers where standard flowers, and if it was a bigger occasion you got them in cellophane. My mom loved flowers (and regards them still as luxury), but at that time it happened maybe twice a year that she got some. When, they were packed in cellophane.

  35. Pimpinett says:

    I can’t help thinking that if you’re really after clean and the wonderful smell of ironing, you’re probably better off with Odeur 53 anyway. At least that one is interesting as well as clean, and that dust-on-a-lightbulb note is similar to the smell of a hot iron.

  36. HDS1963 says:

    If I want to smell clean, I wash.

    I start the day every day like that, so I’ve just saved myself $150.00.

    If I want to smell clean and smell like I’m wearing a cologne I wear Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Farina classic which is an original cologne formulation. Smells fresh and clean and lasts five minutes.

    What I have found though is that that last longer if you spray it onto freshly ironed clothes. It has the desired effect.

    Sorry Serge, won’t be buying this one.

    • Robin says:

      Of course, he probably doesn’t much care if his fans buy it…it’s reaching people that weren’t his fans that’s important, no doubt.

  37. princessofPA says:

    Got a free sample. It’s something I would spray on after a shower to go to bed. It’s “nice” No big deal. I sure as hell would not spend $150 for it!!!

    • Robin says:

      It’s a lot of money for what it is, agree.

  38. 50_Roses says:

    I haven’t actually smelled this yet, but from the comments and description, I cannot imagine spending $150 for it either. If I want an anti-perfume, I will stick with a light Eau de Cologne (I for one, do NOT hate cologne), such as 4711. It smells great and I can get a 200 mL bottle for about $30.

    Actually, the idea of “anti-perfume” reminded me of a product I found for sale in the late 80’s from Max Factor called “invisible makeup”. It was supposed to make your skin look better without looking as if you were actually wearing makeup. It claimed to contain ingredients which scattered UV and blue wavelengths, reducing the effect of blemishes and wrinkles, but had very little actual pigment.

    • Robin says:

      That sounds about right, except the MF, I’m sure, was much cheaper!

  39. Bruno says:

    I don’t know if it is because of translation, but i read a similar interview in a french magazine and SL says that it is not an “eau de cologne” because he hates eau de cologne. But he doesn’t say that he hates cologne. In french we never use the word “cologne”. We only use Eau de Cologne to talk about…Eau de Cologne. In french, eau de toilette = Cologne in English, but not Eau de Cologne. I remember he said that he didn’t like Eau de Cologne because of it bitterness and because it is not a confortable fragrance.

    • Robin says:

      Just using the term above, cologne, to talk about your classic Eau de Cologne. The term here is used in the US with very little specificity, sometimes it is used to refer to classic Eau de Cologne, sometimes to refer to a concentration, and sometimes generically to refer to almost any men’s fragrance.

    • Bela says:

      Only just read this. I am SO glad you wrote this, Bruno. I’ve been trying to explain all the place that we French never use to word ‘cologne’ (with a small ‘c’) to mean a men’s scent – only Eau de Cologne to mean, as you say, proper Eau de Cologne. Thank you for confirming what I said.

  40. loves says:

    i loved my other SL scents in colder climates but in the humid tropics this is about the only SL i can bear to wear. the rest give me horrible headaches.

    • Robin says:

      Glad you found one that works!

  41. promiseevans says:

    I love it… Bathe everyday… I totally just laughed out loud on a conference call for work, so I’m busted for obviously not paying attention. Robin, you sound just like my boyfriend. He was standing in Ulta with me one day and happened across the “Clean” line of fragrances (he already suffers from totally NOT understanding my love of perfumes)… and he turns to me as if I’d just asked him to bake 100 muffins saying, “I don’t get it… ‘Clean this, Clean that, Clean Cotton, Clean Shower, blah blah blah’ why can’t people just take a freakin’ bath if you want to smell clean! You can get a bar of Dove at the grocer’s for like $1!”

    • Robin says:

      LOL…I agree 100% w/ your boyfriend! Stick with the Dove ;-)

  42. CasualObserver says:

    I adore Cedre. That and many of Lutens’ other scents trigger memories of travel throughout the middle east during my youth in the 1980s. L’eau reminds me of my young adulthood and balmy winters in Florida: citrus pollen and jasmine scents wafting through open windows after gentle rains; breezy, humid, chilly afternoons by the surf punctuated briefly by rays of warming sun. The pastel beaches of Florida are about as far as you can get from arid, spicy, oily scents of Baalbek or Dubai, but that is life. Yin and yang. Comfort and contrasts which often swap places as time advances. That is why I think Serge is right on the money with L’eau. In comparison to comparisons of detergent, L’eau is the solvent that reinvigorates the nose to appreciate the rest of Lutens fragrances..

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