"Serge Lutens’ new fragrance, Nuit de Cellophane, will be launched in January 2009… Nothing is known as of yet about its composition – according to rumors, it could be based on the osmanthus blossom, whose apricot-suede facets are almost already a perfume in themselves. Is cellophane an allusion to transparence (which isn’t the predominant characteristic of lutensian compositions), or to the source of the material, wood (cellophane is manufactured with cellulose, the main constituent of wood)?" Thus muses Denyse Beaulieu who had the scoop.
What an intriguing and out there name, don't you agree? Cellophane is not exactly what one associates with fragrance, unless we're thinking of the outer packaging of course! Its allusion to the tactile is at odds with the olfactory, yet the protection of the cloak of the night being compared to a cellophane wrap that doesn't let anything out or anything in is poetic in its own terms. Cellophane was discovered by Dr Jacques Edwin Brandenberger, when the idea for a clear and protective packaging layer came to him in 1900, sourcing it via regenerated cellulose. Its low permeability to air, oils, grease, and bacteria is perhaps the reason why it evokes images of clinical austerity to our mind and why it's supremely fit for packaging food. Which poses another interesting question: Will Lutens use the concept to introduce an innovative gourmand that will juxtapose elements of woodiness to elements of culinary notes? Or will he eschew our preconceptions altogether to give a glimpse of osmanthus flowers through the diaphanous crispness of a protective -and rather fetishy- florist's crisp wrap?
Judging by his recent excellent releases, El Attarine and Serge Noire, the anticipation is high. This one looks to be an export fragrance too, judging by the time frame. We're only one month away from finding out for ourselves!
EDIT TO ADD on 12/11: Preliminary whiffs confirm it is indeed osmanthus-based, rather mainstream for a Lutens fragrance, beautiful and fresh. We will return with a full review as soon as sufficient quantity ends on our lap.
EDIT TO ADD on 2/11: Read my full review of Nuit de Cellophane clicking this link.
Thanks to my friend Denyse (Grain de musc) for the news.
Pic by Tim Walker for a Vogue shoot, courtesy of telegraph.co.uk.