Serge Lutens L’Incendiaire ~ fragrance review

Serge Lutens L'Incendiaire brand visual

“The fire is not within the perfume but within me. I want to ignite the smoldering embers of the perfume world, to put the fire back in perfume!” — Serge Lutens, on his fragrance L’Incendiaire1, the first release in his “luxury” Section d’Or collection

Many creative directors wax rhapsodic (and incoherently) about their perfume lines and themselves. Just this week Roja Dove claimed he introduced OUD to the niche fragrance world in 2011…over a decade after he was beat to the punch by many others (niche, and non-niche). I smiled when I read this bit of hyperbole on the Serge Lutens webpage: “Section d’Or is infinite. Serge Lutens takes infinity to a new level.” Only Lutens can bottle, nay, expand infinity! Read his “writings” if you don’t believe me — read too much, and you’ll want to head beyond infinity yourself for some brain-rest…

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Serge Lutens La Religieuse ~ perfume review

Serge Lutens La Religieuse brand graphic

Deliver us from Good!
Jasmine petals are as white as snow.
Black is my religion.1

I will say this for Serge Lutens, he continues to tempt me. And if you find elaborate but cryptic back story appealing, he is obviously your man.2 But it’s been some time since I’ve parted with my money for a new Serge Lutens fragrance, and my piggy bank is safe from La Religieuse.

La Religieuse, if you have been paying attention, is billed as the brand’s latest take on jasmine, following A La Nuit (“This jasmine has only one thought in its head: paint the town white!”) and Sarrasins (“I took white jasmine and contrived to make it as black as a panther, as black as night, which is embodied in this fragrance.”).3 The name has obvious religious connotations, but also calls up the pastry, shown just below in a (likewise enticing) violet version from Ladurée. Add to this the few notes mentioned in the press besides jasmine — musk, civet and incense — and yes, you could say I was interested…

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5 perfumes: gourmand oddities

Sausages

Way back in 2008, Erin wrote a post called 5 Perfumes for: Gourmand Deniers. Her selection emphasized gourmands for people who are wary of gourmands; in her words, gourmands “that camouflage their intentions”. Like Erin, I don’t think of myself as a huge fan of sweet, dessert-based gourmands, although as time goes on I find more and more exceptions to the rule. Today, however, I’m thinking about an entirely different kind of gourmand. Here are five fragrances that smell like food without calling to mind the conventional offerings on a dessert tray.

Lush The Voice of Reason: If Dinner by Bobo were still on the market (and if it is, do comment), it would surely take top honors in any list of gourmand oddities, but as a reasonably meaty substitute I offer The Voice of Reason, which I described in my review as “rather alarmingly meaty”…

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Top 10 Winter Fragrances 2015

winter is going away

While I am almost impervious to cold, I hate the inconvenience of winter. Imagine the shock-and-awe factor of a blizzard before the urban industrial era. People must have looked out into the eerie silence of a storm, a thick, blank curtain of white dampening even the wind’s whistle, and prayed to their higher being for safety and survival.1 Now, I get a snow alert on my phone and think: “Blast! If this causes me fifteen minutes of delay on the commute, I’m going to lose it!” I know, #ModernWorldProblems. In fact, after an ice storm that darkened Toronto into the new year for 2014, we’ve been lucky enough to avoid most of the chaos this winter. My condolences to Buffalo, Chicago, Boston and those on the East coast in Canada and the US.

The upside to darkness and inclement weather is the time I have inside to prepare an assault on two high peaks: the book pile and Mount Sample. Generally, I wear whatever fragrance I feel like at any time of year, but almost all perfumes conjure a particular season for me and the ones that evoke winter probably get less of my air time than most, merely for practical reasons. (Who will wear Guerlain Attrape-Coeur on a warm day in May? Not I.) My personal strategy for combating winter, then, is to dig out those under-loved warming, rich and sweet scents. But I do empathize with those who use the opposite approach, the denial method…

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