Serge Lutens’ Magic Perfume
Referring to the title of this post, I was already a believer in the power of Serge Lutens’ creations, and no this new scent that was presented to a small group of Paris bloggers, is not in actuality “magic”…but… it could be, almost. It has incredible powers of transformation, and sparks vibrant images of my imagination.
The boutique at Palais Royal where we were invited after hours, is a place I have indulgently and luxuriously become opulently used to, although it never ceases to onvoke awe and appreciation in me and heighten my creative senses. It is such an intriguing place. Soulaimane, who hosts these soirées, is the ever gracious and elegant host as well as a passionate believer (or converter) in the scents of the magician Lutens. He offers us champagne refreshments and little cakelettes to make us feel at ease and welcomed. And then he launches into in-depth explanations of all the scents that come about in conversation, as they are on display atop the table in front of us. He allows the conversation to ease its way around the different perfumes and olfactive opinions that are invoked by each of us present. And once we have been gently cradled into the atmosphere and universe of Serge Lutens perfumes, then he comes about with his explanation of the origins of the new creation.
The new creation is in fact a third installment of the “eau” (water) collection that Mr Lutens began in 2010 with “Eau”, a far cry from his usual roundness or spiceiness, oriental and voluptuous perfumes. “Eau” is fresh, clean and blends into the skin to create a scent of softness and cleanliness. After that creation, came “Eau Froide” which is a response to “Eau” with a wakes-you-up spark to it with a pepperminty smell at first that then slides into a calmer version of what you smell at first. It did hold onto its DNA quite a long while on my skin after testing it.
And then, “Laine de Verre”…the new perfume. The name itself reminds me of those metal woolen sponges used to seriously scrape dirty pots when doing some mad kitchen cleaning after a giant over cooked over stuffed feast. At first whiff, it was like a slap in the face. A pristine kitchen, slap in the face. My comment was, “well, it seems Mr Lutens wants to deep-clean out his life!” (My second thought which I kept to myself was, “who on earth would want to smell like detergent?!?“). There was even a hint of “blood” in the smell. Or was that just my nostrils smarting from the slicing scent of whatever made the perfume’s notes de tête so sharp and intense?
We allowed the perfume time to settle on our skin, and talked amongst ourselves about our favorite Lutens perfumes, what they made us feel and how they evolved on our skin. Then we smelled our wrists again after about 10 or 1 minutes. The “detergent” scent had drastically changed, although there did linger a bit of that Spring cleaning frenzy. But the perfume had quite softened on my skin and that of my fellow bloggers’ (Luxsure, The Parisian Eye, Les Marcelles, Cedric in the City, The Other Art of Living). Conversation continued to flow as did the champagne, and another 30 minutes later we remembered to smell our wrists again… Now… what I smelled on my skin had absolutely NOTHING to do with the initial slap in the face. I smelled of what I can only characterize as “baby” and “cashmere”. I smelled like a soft clean infant just bathed and wrapped in the softest cotton; I smelled of plush cashmere brushing the skin; I smelled of the softness and comfort of fresh sheets and pillows; I smelled of the quiet happiness found in a well made bed, or the feeling of sinking into that plush lambswool armchair on display at Hermès on the Faubourg Saint Honoré, or the delight after a long hot bath, and then stepping out into the fresh chill of the air and then dawning a plush white bathrobe… How else can I describe the feeling of comfort that came out of this perfume…? I smelled of softness, comfort and baby smiles.