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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Serge Lutens Nuit de Cellophane: fragrance review (and a draw!)

The breakdown of a new fragrance by Serge Lutens often resembles an exercise in Sibyllic prose deciphering. As announced a while ago, the newest Lutens oeuvre is built on a floral pattern and bears the surrealistic name Nuit de Cellophane (ie.Cellophane Night). Much fanfare had been consequently made on how the elusive, cryptic meaning of the text by Lutens would effectively line with the actual scent of the new creation. The nocturnal character of the little tale can only be brought to life through the realisation that those are night-blooming flowers, exuding their best under the veil of night. But the mysterious, the dangerous or the arcane have been eschewed for a luminous composition that is poised between the commercially celebrated and the expectedly orthodox. Canonical in the Lutens portfolio however Nuit de Cellophane is definitely not, in the sense that the sequestered feature of most of his visions is the inclusion of a bit of deliberate ugliness; jarring and mismatched yet generating subliminal beauty. To quote a commentator on Pascal Bruckner's comparable opus "the ability to induce a feeling of attraction, lust and temptation for things which would otherwise seem repulsive, outrageous or disgusting". Serge Lutens and his combatant "nose" Christ Sheldrake have successfully managed to make the bizarre (Serge Noire), the uncanny (Tubéreuse Criminelle, Mandarine Mandarin), the somputous (Vétiver Oriental, Muscs Koublaï Khan ) and the peculiar (Douce Amere, El Attarine, Cèdre) seem alluringly otherwordly like a savant figure in a world of duds and to entice us into not only being intellectually awed but actively clutched into their olfactory tentacles with no hope for escape. What is the truth for the rupture with this tradition of 45 scents so far, fortunately refreshed just last year by the introduction of not one, but two polarising scents under the spell of which I fell instantly?

It might have to do with the hermetically shrouded kind of collaboration that entails Chris Sheldrake's input in the range's compositions, as he has been weaned back at Chanel although allowed to continue to work for Lutens. It might also have to do with the opressively pessimistic climate shaping the market right now which bodes dark clouds that need a much sought after silver lining to give momentary ease of mind to the average consumer: Not impossible, but not very probable either as the scent has been the object of adjustments during the previous two years as per Lutens' own admission. It might even have to do with a retrogade desire of niche firms en masse to sneak up on the seasoned pefumephile who has been expecting a heavy artillery orientalised baba ghanoush spiced within an inch of its life and is instead served a mandarin and orange blossom cordial that quenches the common thirst a treat.
"The name evokes Paris before the war", intimated Serge Lutens. "It's almost an insult, a shock, a name that communicates the idea of pleasure but also of chic", he continued. With Nuit de Cellophane, Serge wanted to "enter the universe of nuances". This leaves me wondering whether he deems the previous fragrances in the canon as lacking of nuance, but I am leaving peripheral matters out in my eagerness to dwelve into the composition itself.

In Nuit de Cellophane Serge Lutens unfolds a fruity floral sympony of what seems like the tartness of mandarin, the lushness of champaca and some joyful jasmine, hiding its natural indolic glory in mock-demureness, extracted from the flower in a gust of "clean" volatility. A white rose note of great balance with shades of fruitiness is emerging amidst the other blossoms ~aerated, transparent, seen through the clear crisp "window" of cellophane. The scent of osmanthus is not realistically rendered in the apricoty-suede-like tonality it renders to other compositions like Osmanthus Intedite. (I am however holding out on the possibility of its blooming more convincingly in the hot weather ahead). The overall sensuality is subtle, hushed and too discreet in the form of creamy sandalwood and possibly a smidge of civet combined with "clean" synthesized musks. It took me a while to shake off the mind-proding disturbance of alarming familiarity with a commercial fruity floral I have known and it only dawned on me upon Octavian's likening it to Dior's J'adore L'Absolu (a beautifully crafted composition that is superior to the competent and pretty J'adore). My mind had veered into less sophisticated directions initially, despite Grain de Musc's enthusiastic rapture. I admit that like Beige by Chanel before it, it is pretty, will probably be one of the most wearable and popular in the Lutens line and not at all an bijou de plastique like feared going by the name alone. But is it really beautiful? The much needed soupçon of weird Lutensian ugliness is sorely missing I'm afraid...

Nuit de Cellophane by Serge Lutens is available in Eau de Parfum concentration in the standard oblong bottle of 50ml/1.7oz as part of the export line launching in March 2009 at the US (at the usual suspects carrying the Lutens portfolio). It's already available in Paris for 79 euros.

Two more fragrances by Serge Lutens will be announaced in the course of 2009.

One lucky reader will receive a sample of Nuit de Cellophane!

Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Serge Lutens Fragrance Reviews & News

Brigitte Bardot pic from Henri-Georges Clouzot's film "La Vérité" via mooninthegutter blog
Bottle pic via
velduftende.com

77 comments:

  1. Definately put me in the drawing. This one seems to be all over the place. Still I am way to excited to try it. But you seem to confirming scented salamanders position of it being more of a jasmine scent.

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  2. Of course you're in, sweetie!

    It's quite complicated: a popular smell (I think you'd pick apart the commonalities with several well-loved frags) yet multi-hued.
    Jasmine...not even that! Not really too jasmine-y like Sarrasins and much less so than A la Nuit (and no poopy notes here). It's hard to give a definitive "tone". I can't say I love it, I can't say I dislike it.

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  3. Helg, "enthusiastic rapture" might be overstating my feelings! ;-)
    But you know, it's quite possibly an effect of the current gloom and doom -- right now I'm in the mood for fragrances that quietly entice me rather than challenge me (maybe messieurs Lutens and Sheldrake are too)... Much as I loved Serge Noire at the outset, despite buying the full bottle I find I never wear it: somehow it seems a bit too disembodied... I'm turning more and more towards Beige, Eau Première, Vanille Galante and, should I acquire a full bottle soon, Nuit de Cellophane.
    Maybe it's more mainstream than we've come to expect of Lutens, but as far as mainstream goes, I'd rather give my money to the Palais Royal (or Chanel, or Hermès) than to the Guerlainicides over at LVMH...

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  4. I'd love a sample too!

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  5. Count me in the draw - sounds intriguing! PS did you get the links I sent you? I think I'm in your spam filter.

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  6. Hmmm...I pre-ordered this, then chickened out and canceled the order. I have a hard time grasping the concept of "commercial" from Lutens...especially when compared to J'Adore Absolu (which is a great perfume, but a little "common").

    Anyway, wonderful review E., as always. Looking forward to trying this...but not as a blind buy!

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  7. What a drag that it lacks the old Lutens weirdness, but it sounds intriguing anyway. Please toss my name into the hat!

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  8. Oh, please enter me in the drawing. I do hope to win! Houston is fixin' to blossom w/heat and I'd love to feel the osmanthus! And I have never tried this line before though I would love to. Need a little push! Thanks.

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  9. i.e.00:49

    I'd like to enter the drawing, too. It's been so long since I've last sniffed a Lutens.
    Thanks!

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  10. Hello, E. I'm finally re-testing this today, and must say that my opinion is divided. Today, it is very, very fruity and floral, with the mandarin note front and center, supported by rather lush jasmine and other white blossoms (osmanthus, surely? champaca? orange blossom? tuberose?). I do get indoles and something skanky (civet I suppose) underneath.

    At first, I was put off by the "prettiness" of the fruit and the white flowers. But as it has sat on the skin, it seems to become more concentrated and more intense. Perhaps this is where the trademark Lutens "ugliness" is coming in -- that it starts out with its "pretty white flower" thing, but then dials it up until the "pretty white flowers" become a bit monstrous?

    I still a bit confused by this fragrance, as you can tell. (No need to enter me in the drawing, obviously).

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  11. I am so completely intrigued by Jarvis' description that I am ready to buy this unsniffed! Ugly-pretty white flowers, fruit (apricot maybe) and a bit of skank? Count me in!

    Okay, back to my senses. The only unsniffed purchases will be decants, or so I keep promising myself. No need to enter me either, because I will be purchasing said decant from an unnamed enabler.

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  12. Please enter me in the draw!

    I genuinely love those SL "scary florals" (A la Nuit, Tubereuse Criminelle), but there are times (lots of times, actually) when I'm looking for something less demanding in a floral fragrance (La Chasse aux Papillons, OJ Osmanthus). Nuit de Cellophane sounds like a fragrance of perfect ease to me.

    If you've only seen Cries and Whispers and Persona, it might be hard to imagine that Ingmar Bergman also filmed The Magic Flute. And let's not forget that T.S. Eliot gave us Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, if I'm not mistaken, at the same time that he was working on his masterpiece, Four Quartets. So I wouldn't begrudge Lutens his lighter moments; I'm also not sure that this one means a great deal per se. I'd say, let's wait and see if it's part of a pattern.

    Thanks for the review! Great visual, as always.

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  13. Your use of language really brings scents to life for me. Thank you for the review and the chance to win a sample!

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  14. Hi Helg. Please put me in the draw too. This one has me really confused so it just might be a goodie!

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  15. Please put me in the draw. It sounds amazing, I am so curious about it.

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  16. stella p08:38

    It is difficult to resist reading your exercises "in Sibyllic prose deciphering", they are great, as is this particular one! :)
    Please enter me in the draw.
    Just to read about the mandarin & jasmine combination makes me want to try it - everything has its time..

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  17. Hi E, I would love to be entered in the draw, this one sounds like it should be tested first and I must therefore resist the urge just to order.

    I kind of love the name although it's odd but it doesn't sound like it relates to the fragrance at all. I quite like J'Adore and it's offshoots for a mainstream (I wore it in Barcelona which has happy memories for me), it's one I would tell someone who didn't want to go the niche route to try.

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  18. Intriguing! I've never tried any of his scents - they're not stocked in Adelaide as far as I can tell. Yes, please put me in the draw!

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  19. Dearest D,

    I can tell you're having a change of pace after the heavier numbers you have been so elegantly sporting for seasons past! I'm drawn to testing what finds you pleased at any case. :-)
    You definitely have a most valid point that there is a time and place for some light-heartedness in fragrance choice and that the mainstream offers of those brands are kinder than the -HAHAHA!!perfect!- Guerlainicides.

    Nevertheless it's rather elusive, to me at least, why Lutens intimated (as quoted in my review) a desire to expand into "a universe of nuances". As if this heralds a new epoch of subtle interplays of delicate rubato of classical melodies. Are we to expect more of that, then? I am only bringing this to the table for discussion. We will probably find out later on in the year ~when the exclusive Palais edition rolls around and the other one announced.

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  20. Karin,

    how could I refuse? You're in!

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  21. Anonymous10:10

    An intriguing review, dear E, thank you. I LOVE osmanthus and am much more open than I used to be to white flower scents so this does sound very enticing to me. Its apparant lack of edge also does not move me one way or the other, I have a sympathy for Carmencanada's attitude towards challenging right now. Something that is just beautiful is very soothing and uplifting. Maybe Nuits de Cellophane is our Joy (which I dug out the other day with much pleasure). Please can I be in the draw! donanicola

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  22. A,

    a new Lutens is always reason for sampling. Duly noted!

    PS. Let me go check to be sure, I had got some of them fine, only the last part I believe is missing.

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  23. Dear D,

    it's hard to know what to do, huh? I have been known to be confused as what to do myself :/
    I believe it's decant worthy for reference purposes (Naturally the sample draw is aimed at providing a glimpse to a lucky someone so that they don't buy unsniffed! And hope it's you).

    The convincing part of it being Lutens is what had me a little worried too. Upon testing it I was racking my brain to remember "where have I smelled this before, where, oh where" and several different tidbits were flooding my overwrought ~from so much strain to retain so many things, professional and otherwise~ memory.

    Thanks for your great compliment :-)

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  24. Marsi,

    I kinda feel this is going to be one of those things that will have people discussing it for months on end upon international release, some saying "bah, no big deal", some saying "wow, a Lutens I can actually wear!".
    Of course you're included!

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  25. N,

    I have a feeling that heat might provide the perfect foil for this to flex its potential, so Houston is a great contender for that sort of experiment.
    Best of luck!

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  26. i.e,

    Lutens scents are eminently sample-worthy, one has to smell even if they dismiss in the end, so you're most definitely in!

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  27. J sweetie,

    I can well understand what you're saying. It seems to perform at a hushed, painissimo level, doesn't it? (Beneath the louder elements there's a delicate sensuousness). I seem to detect a rose note that is making it petal-soft and a little fruity-winey more than anything. Actually I came to enjoy this aspect!
    And there is a little civet, but not as much as in Sarrasins (which we both love). It's quite intriguing in that it smells mainstream, but it's well-made. Now is it well-made enough to fork out 79 euros? I will have to count my euros I suppose and see what priorities I have ;-)

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  28. Honey M,

    a decant should be supremely wise to see how it performs. As it's an export, I think it's safe to assume it will be comparatively easily available.
    Ugly-pretty flowers, hmm, not so much to me, although perhaps my ugly-pretty radar is tuned to "high" set usually. There is a distinct fruity touch: I'd say mandarin-peachy more than apricot. Even white nectarine? (I seriously need my summer fruit fix, the only time in the year I actually consume fruit at any quantity)

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  29. CV,

    my dear you bring an absolutely succinct point to the discussion! Indeed there is a need for something "light" and perhaps even "humorous" to even the gloomiest or most "serious" author (and we can safely assume that Lutens and Sheldrake are authors).
    It would be interesting to see if it's part of a pattern and as I said above to Carmencanada, perhaps it migth herald a new phase (after the initial heavies, after the not so good bizarres and now some "pretties".) Let's see indeed!
    In the meantime, I am counting you in!

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  30. Dear Sue,

    awww, you flatter me! I hope you get to discover what it means to you personally.

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  31. My sweet M,

    if it has you confused it's an omen you need to try! Best of luck!

    (Hope things are getting better where you are? I have been thinking of you all this past week)

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  32. Rebella,

    you're included, it's fun to find out for one's self.

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  33. Dear S,

    you're absolutely spoiling me with your profuse compliments, I am only tenatively trying to see what greater minds than my own have been envisioning.
    Of course there's a time for everything and maybe this is the time for you to give it a go!

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  34. Sweet K,

    you're wise in wanting to try instead of ordering unsniffed. It's reminiscent of a well-crafted mainstream fragrance, so I suppose for someone who wants that it's a good choice. The L'absolu version of J'adore uses good quality essences I feel, it's quite excellent! Do try it, especially if you like J'adore original (subtle different with some tuberose thrown in?)

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  35. Audit,

    I believe this link (non affiliaed) might be of some help.
    For all other purposes, I have included you in this draw :-)

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  36. Darling Nicola,

    it's perfectly fine to want something easy. The times are all too painfully difficult for lots of folks and a little joy (or Joy! LOL) is much needed. You're in, of course!

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  37. Thank you for the in depth review! Please enter my name into the drawing.

    Dea

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  38. Anonymous14:37

    I was fortunate to preview this about a month ago. I find it 'a go to fragrance', and the fruity wine notes are downright pretty. yes, there are other SLS with more masterful compositions. Nuits de cellophanes lifts my spirits and that is what fragrance can do, without all the analysis, I feel lovely wearing it!!!

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  39. Hello, dear E!

    Unlike so many of my perfume friends, I am not a huge SL fan. I find that I admire his creations rather than wear them, although a few, like Daim Blond and ISM, are big exceptions.

    In any event, I am always wanting to test what's new out there, so please enter me in the drawing.

    Hugs!

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  40. Anonymous17:40

    I hope to be the lucky one in this drawing. Most interested to try this-
    Gretchen

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  41. Thanks for the review, I've been wondering about this one. Please enter me in the drawing, I would love the chance to sample it. Thanks!

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  42. Oh this one sounds wonderful please add me to the drawing.

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  43. Dea, thanks for stopping by; you're welcome and you're included!

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  44. Anon,

    it's very pretty and I can tell that it has an uplifting quality about it, making one experience it as optimistic. The fruity wine notes is what impressed me most myself: I swear there is some rose extract in there which goes very well with the fruits.
    Enjoy! It's not often that a scent can make us feel utterly at ease.

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  45. Dear R,

    hi there! How are you? :-))
    Of course it's good to be informed and try out the new, so naturally you're in the draw. I find Iris Silver Mist a truly magical fragrance, even though it's so temperamental and needs specific weather conditions to open up.

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  46. Gretchen,

    I figured lots of people were, hence the draw. Good luck!

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  47. Amanda,

    you're very welcome and best of luck to you!

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  48. Regina,

    it's so easy to wear I doubt anyone would hate it really. You're in!

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  49. perfumeshrine, when it comes to Serge Lutens always expect the unexpected. Putting his perfumery in just one category of the unconventional is I believe a mistake (to the exception of "texture", parfum bijou/identity vs "well-scented" style).
    Lutens has already given us the sexy Fleurs d 'Oranger, the romantic Sa Majeste la Rose, Clair de Musc and Louve.
    I don 't think Lutens calculates things this way, he 's free and probably just does whatever he wants at the moment (but I may be wrong, just how I perceive his work).

    Since you mention Serge Noire, after dissing it at first, I 've been wearing Serge Noire a lot lately, dabbed on the skin it 's pretty soft and safe, no loud sillage and I got my first "hot" compliment wearing Serge Noire from a man last night who kept smelling my perfume down my neck and my cleavage (he 's from Dubai but has lived in the US for 15 years).

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  50. Garde Rose,

    thank you for stopping by and commenting :-)
    I like the "arfum bijou idea" the one which is worn not as an accessory but as a personal insignia touch! I believe this is what would differentiate it from more mainstream approaches, something that leaves you to claim as your own.
    I personally adore Fleurs d'Oranger and don't find it mainstream really. It's quite individual and unique, even among the best orange blossom fragrances. Sa majeste is a very fruity rose and I can appreciate it intellectually, although not my cup of tea. But surely it's intensely rose-y the way few rose scents in the market are, although point taken on it being "tamer" in concept to some of the rest. To CdM and Louve I have nothing to object to, they're pretty, but Lutens and $$$-pretty? Hmm, I am thinking about it. Clair de Musc is everything I'd like a clean musk to perform, but of those there are lots on the market; I can;t justify the full bottle. On the other hand Muscs Kublai Khan is the cosiest thing imaginable, like lovemaking on a fur rug, very real, very intimate. I don't get any camel-driver associations, honestly. But I can see how it's challenging to the average consumer, so it bodes well with our perception of his being unexpected.

    I am sooo glad you liked Serge Noire in the end and that so did your date!! (hope you will get to like El Attarine too at some point, despite the spice associations). It's definitely a dabber! I couldn't imagine it being sprayed;it's intimate, has mystique and demands to be experienced like short-lived pleasures that have been denied for long, drop by drop...

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  51. perfumeshrine, me too I 'm very drawn to that parfum bijou notion, precious scents that reveal one 's identity or state of mind.

    I believe the Lutenses are all dabbers and that they were composed to be worn this way in the first place, after all Lutens claims perfume must be dabbed on the skin (his export line provides optional sprays more for convenience than Lutens 's own choice).

    I also changed my mind on El Attarine, no more skanky BO note that puts me off. It 's all mouthwatering apricot, spices and floral, one of the most beautiful Lutens.

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  52. E, Is it too late for the draw? This one sounds intriguing w/ its mix if jasmine and apricots!

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  53. I am really enjoying the various reviews and look forward to trying this (you can leave me out of the draw, thanks.) Yours is a little more tepid. I am glad to hear it's not another SL spicefest but your point about the signature strangeness (or lack thereof) is well taken.

    I am wondering, do you have a favorite Serge?

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  54. Thanks so much for that link!! I'll take a better look at it tonight but there are at least 5 Serge Lutens available!!

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  55. Garde Rose,

    if perfume isn't a wonderful way to reveal (or even hide) our inner thoughts, then I don't know what is! :-))
    Although I am usually a spritzer with other brands (except extrait), I can't bring myself to decant juice from my bell jars, they add so much to the whole experience. In fact I like the old-fashioned way: use a little silk handerchief to wipe the mouth after putting on some on skin. The silk hankerchiefs then scent my purse, which is too fabulous for words (OK, after that process I have the La Myrrhe purse, the Fleurs d'Oranger clutch, the Vetiver Oriental handbag,the Iris Silver Mist tote etc etc LOL!!!)
    If it's been officially said that the exports have the sprayer for convenience and not conviction it'd be quite interesting! (I did keep the spray attachement on Fleurs de Citronnier though, that one I think needs some projective mechanism)

    El Attarine is IMO magnificent, nothing sort of a complete revelation: it's liquid topaz, it's delectable! I had the daughter of someone (a teenager) pick it up without knowing anything about the brand etc and exclaim how utterly beautiful it is, dried apricots (I get dates too) and honey. You wouldn't think a teenager these days would appreciate that spicy mix and yet its beauty is transcedental I think. Mmmmm....quite sexy too! ;-)

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  56. Trish,

    of course it's not too late. I will leave the draw open till the end of the weekend.
    You're in! It's very wearable.

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  57. Dear March, thanks for commenting :-)

    Well, yes, I am tepid. It's pretty but nothing one wouldn't find on a commercial brand at a department store. Not that I scoff at department store fragrances (as we all know some are terrifically well-made even if we take them for granted), but it's a little jarring in the Lutensian portfolio. I can effortlessly picture it on a Miss Massachussets line-up, speaking of world peace and saving children from famine. Absolutely nothing wrong with that notion of course (and God knows those are admirable goals and I hope they get accomplished some day), but you know...

    My favourite! Hmm...I really, really cherish many in the line, it'd be hard to pinpoint just one above others. I adore the largely unsung La Myrrhe, ever since it came out and I plunged for it. A strange candied tone which is uplifted by volatility and balanced by a bitter undercurrent and it's nothing sort of magical. His most magnificent floral is IMO Tubereuse Criminelle, it's a love that runs deep for me. (I'm also quite taken with El Attarine, and Muscs Kublai Khan, as indicated above on why).

    But I love others a lot too (dabbing mostly): Arabie, Fleurs d'Oranger, Borneo, Un Lys, Fumerie Turque, Rose de Nuit, Sarrasins, Bois et musc, the sumptuous Iris Silver Mist.... I am a true blue SL fan, LOL!

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  58. I love the way you expressed the bizarreness of so many Lutens scents--"that much needed soupçon of weird Lutensian ugliness". It is needed, isn't it? Even when it doesn't work (I hate Louve so much!), or even when it's completely over the top (I'm one of those baffling people who loves Miel de Bois), you get the sense that these aren't your average commercial scents, that Lutens is trying something new.

    So of course I would love to try Nuit de Cellophane, so of course please put my name in the draw.

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  59. I love the way you expressed the bizarreness of so many Lutens scents--"that much needed soupçon of weird Lutensian ugliness". It is needed, isn't it? Even when it doesn't work (I hate Louve so much!), or even when it's completely over the top (I'm one of those baffling people who loves Miel de Bois), you get the sense that these aren't your average commercial scents, that Lutens is trying something new.

    So of course I would love to try Nuit de Cellophane, so of course please put my name in the draw.

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  60. Thank you! Indeed I have the feeling that even the truly weird (Chypre Rouge more than Miel de Bois, to me) are there because they're creatively experimenting.
    You're included of course! :-)

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  61. Hmmmm, this one sounds intriguing - please add me to the draw as well.

    Thanks heaps.

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  62. Thank you for pointing out Octavian`s post to me (I find it hard to keep up with all fragrance blogs these days!) I`ll have to test J'adore L'Absolu (its existence somehow escaped me until now) and Oriflame`s Lucia too (I usually ignore Oriflame perfumes - I can`t believe I found Lutens and Oriflame mentioned in the same paragraph)

    Please include me in the draw :)

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  63. Anonymous00:18

    Please include me in the draw--I'm always up for trying a Serge Lutens fragrance--especially since I haven't tried very many of his (I'm still a perfume newbie).
    And by the way, I really enjoy your blog--the beautiful way you write about perfume makes it such a treat to read!
    --Molly

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  64. Mark,

    you're very welcome, hope you win!

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  65. Hi B, thanks for stopping by! Glad to be of service!
    I thought he made a valid point, I thought the mention of J'adore L'absolu rang major bells in my head (It's a good fragrance btw, quite good and rich) and thought that mentioning Oriflame and Lutens in the same paragraph is funny on several levels especially because the fragrance of the former are made by the same noses who make some of the niche fragrances (ie.Marc Buxton for instance) at Givaudan. It's interesting to see just how much difference a concept and free reign accounts for creativity or not ;-)

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  66. Molly,

    thanks so much for your support, it means a lot to me.
    I would be most happy to include you and best of luck!

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  67. I would love to be entered in the drawing :) I can almost smell it now :))

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  68. Anonymous09:11

    I am ambivalent on Lutens these days, he's a true artist but what do you know, he's been all over the place and who knows what he likes to do next, but I can't bypass a chance to sample his newest. Enter me if not too late, then.
    Aline

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  69. Carolina10:03

    Hi there and thanks for a most wonderful blog! I have been reading voraciously for months on end and I have been amazed by the wealth of knowledge and erudition you display.

    Finally delurking to please ask a chance to sample this liquid fantasy. Hope I made it in the nick of time?
    I am very curious.

    Thank you!

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  70. Anonymous17:11

    Oh can I add myself in the draw?
    I guess it is too late.
    Lavinia

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  71. Carolina,

    thank you for your enthusiastic compliment and you're in! Good luck!

    Lavinia,

    I haven't announced the winner yet, so I'd be glad to include you. I presume I will announce it by the end of the week. (have to run them through random.org by hand)

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  72. "mentioning Oriflame and Lutens in the same paragraph is funny on several levels especially because the fragrance of the former are made by the same noses who make some of the niche fragrances (ie.Marc Buxton for instance) at Givaudan. It's interesting to see just how much difference a concept and free reign accounts for creativity or not ;-)"
    Indeed. That`s what I thought when I read that Sheldrake did Avon Perceive.
    I should pay more attention to Oriflame... They are easily available here and have good skincare. But all their perfumes I tried turned out to be more or less knockoffs (Volare-Tresor, Aromacalm-Un Jardin sur le Nil,ithink other people identified more of them, and some of them that I didn`t try are just suspiciously similar in packaging and marketing to certain department store perfumes), or uninteresting.
    I must try J`Adore Absolu! I don`t like J`Adore and it`s a symbol of all what`s wrong with Dior in my eyes. I wouldn`t expect a flanker of J`Adore to be good, but one never knows and it`s always a pleasant surprise to find a good scent where one expect something boring and predictable.

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  73. Thanks for the follow up!
    Indeed I have learned to judge with my nose first and my eyes second. If I can possibly manage to do a first sniff "blind" I try to! (mixing up samples and picking something without reading what it is works well for that).
    Oriflame fragrances are as you say, usually based on a twist on some already explored idea (which is to be expected as they're a skincare company first with scents as an afterthought). Not too exciting usually, but there are a couple which present their interest. (I like the latest feminine Embrace which revisits Insolence nuances). Another one which is very close to an established perfume ~and actually an improved on it!~ is Nomadic her which is close to Addict (a scent I don't particularly care for and which I'd first designate with everything wrong at Dior in my eyes, LOL). Haven't tried Aromacalm, but knowing UJSLN so well, I probably should, thanks!

    J'adore L'absolu (which is very, very pretty, do try it!) I wouldn't put in the category of flankers, much like those Harvest series Givenchy issues: they're actually designed to be superior to the original product and meant to provide a more upscale experience with costlier ingredients. The question is: doesn't this diminish the perception of the original product? And do they care? Or is it acting in a reverse way of "Let's up the prestige and whoever buys the original will be feeling like buying a segment off a pricey fashion brand through their 'Jeans' line"? (like the Armani or Versace fashion lines have, I mean)

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  74. Jamaise,

    I just saw that I didn't reply directly to your comment. Of course I have added you. Will be announcing results in the weekend.

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  75. Nuit de Cellophane is a magnificient fruity floral of osmanthus deliciously drenched in mandarin honeyed jasmine and preciously wrapped in cellophane. Alluring and sexy. Thank you, Serge Lutens!

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  76. GR,

    I can see you're under its spell. :-)
    It's a very pretty composition, I have worn it myself and predict I will wear it some more in the summer (so I am not pharisaic in this, honestly), yet I wonder where is the Pasolini/Genet/Bataille-loving maestro behind it. (?)

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  77. I was so prepared to dislike this fragrance...

    however ....it's very "SPRING"

    first words that came to mind ..
    "CHANEL CRISTALLE"

    CRISP CLEAN SPRING-CUT FLOWERS!!!
    with a hint of Swiss Alpine Air...
    go figure

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