Monday, June 29, 2009

Fille en Aiguilles & Fourreau Noir: First Images & Associations of the upcoming Lutens fragrances

The new fragrances of Serge Lutens, which we had announced on this article a while ago, will soon debut (Fille en Aiguilles comes out on July 1st!) and the speculation on what they entail is high: The Lutensian cosmos always produces something of an enigma, a riddle that necessitates multiple solutions like a geometry problem that can be approached in different ways, still all of them resulting in the concentrated essence of a new look to our world.

For Fourreau Noir Lutens takes a sartotial point of departure to narrate a tale of mystery.
"Two white hands emerge against the light, moving so slowly that they redefine the shadows, making them look darker. The contours of the body, illuminated by a gleam of light seeping through an open door, offer contrast. She moves forward, trampling the stairs beneath her feet, her smile broadens. With all the virtue of vice, this tight black dress had such a fluid shape that I could revel in its language..." Serge's fascination with the juxtaposition between black and white is infamous. Serge Noire was also alluding to it with its smoky trail and controversial press-release and the Japonesque fascination with the painted white skin is something which haunts the creative imagination of Lutens for long.

The limited edition bell jar (a special presentation of the Paris exclusive regular bell jars for collectors) is positively kittenish; perhaps the most playful flacon to ever come out of Les Salons du Palais Royal with its cat sketch seen from the back, gazing at the stars suspended in the lightly rosey-purplish juice.
The mysterious juice takes another incensy trail, the one left over by the more ecclesiastical and spicier Serge Noire, which took the hardened path to cloth, the one of utilitarian dress, while Forreau Noir denotes more luxury with its silky body-conscious aura. The lavender is diminuated, in order to let hay/tonka bean and incense do their thing, so we should expect a more feminine and less traditional composition than the typical masculine fougère.

For Fille en Aiguilles, Serge is playing with us: "Under a sunshade, the reckless cicada begins to sing. What a silly thing. A truly fatal hymn! Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick.
Telling us what makes Paris tick..."
I do notice however that the French text utilises the phrase Une fille à aiguilles en quelque sorte (a girl on needles of some kind) which could imply either simply stiletto points, or her disquetitude of being "on needles". Of course the pine resin which is the obvious association of the pine resin in the notes is not to be missed. While at the same time the press release ends with "Le dernier cri de Paris", which translates as "the latest vogue". Is it because it picks up a trend that hasn't been noticed up till now or does it hope to introduce a trend in itself? Deciphering the riddle posed is never conclusive. After the conventionally pretty Nuit de Cellophane, shall we expect a flamboyant firerwork like the sublime El Attarine? I fervently hope for the latter result, at any rate!

You can read notes and preliminary assumptions based on them on this article.
For the time being, the only full reviews online are those by Elisabeth de Feydeau in French on this link.
We will return soon with our own, starting with Fille en Aiguilles!

Click on pics to enlarge!

Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Serge Lutens scents & news, Upcoming releases


  1. I want the jar because of the cat. Has there ever been a cute Serge Lutens?

  2. It's definitely very playful! :-)You'd have to order one of the LEs to someone going to Paris before they run out. ;-)

  3. Somebody is not playing fair. I shall wait to hear your thoughts after sniffing Fourreau Noir, but I am already being sucked in by lavender set back to allow hay/tonka room to roam, and the phrase "silky body consciousness."

    Purple juice is unusual, of course, so perhaps that is why I am prompted to automatically wonder about the possible relation between the very high brow Lutens here and the very "accessible" Yves Rocher Iris Noir...but both use tonka, no? One note does not a cousin make, of course, even if they are the same color.

    Nonetheless, I am already reviewing who I know will be in Paris this summer...and figuring out how I can hire myself out to send them on a mission for a bell jar, should it seem necessary...

  4. I'm really not sure how I feel about the pine needles. As with all notes, it can go in many interesting directions. The fragrances I love with a "pine" feeling are Yatagan and Zagorsk, so it is difficult to imagine a feminine type of pine. I think we had a comment chat once about the resinous quality of Retsina which is quite nice. I'm not sure I always enjoy pine in a fragrance though; we will see. I'm always curious about SL launches, but I'm probably more curious about Fourreau.

    I must say that Serge Noire has grown on me quite a bit, which is surprising, as the opening notes are SO difficult, and if I may say, repulsive!

  5. S,

    interesting thoughts!
    The YR effort was not bad, which says something (something bad for all those higher end brands producing inferior stuff...)
    I love tonka myself.

    But wait: Fourreau Noir will be available September 1st onwards ~and I will probably get some myself, so do mail me around the middle of September ;-)

  6. Joe,

    yeah, I recall the retsina conversation!! It's close to turpentine, which is shall we say an acquired taste. But it has its own charm.
    I think pine resin (which is indeed what this looks like it will feature) should be interesting, although probably more masculine (a wonderful irony because of the name!)

    I loved Serge Noire, it's so serene, although it does take some getting used to the opening I guess, especially for non hard-core incense-maniacs. :/

  7. I've only smelled these on paper, but I'm afraid that Fourreau Noir has turned out to be Lutens' only scrubber for me, not because the notes are unusual but because I recognized them only too well: the strip stank up the notebook I'd slipped it in with a combination I particularly loathe, lavender + dihydromyrcenol. To me, this is definitely a masculine fougère oriental in the lines of YSL La Nuit de l'Homme.
    That's not saying that it's bad per se, just that... good God. Another masculine fougère is not what the world needed.

    De Filles en Aiguilles I'm reserving judgment on. Definitely the "aiguilles" part not only refers to stilettos (in French "talons aiguilles", needle heels), but to pine needles.

    Am I the only one to think that the LE bottle of Fourreau Noir is a bit "Petite-Robe-Noire-ish"? I have a serious cat fetish, but... Cute? C'mon, Serge.

    Color me grumpy...

  8. D: I have to concur and say that the kitty cat -- while somewhat charming -- is a far, far cry from the amazingly elegant arabesques of the El Attarine bell jar.

  9. oh i don't like cutsey stuff but that bottle is lurvely!

    I wasn't mad on Nuit de celophane, I see that it's pretty but it doesn't seem very Serge to me!

    excited about trying these of course... excited about everything SL!

  10. On the list of ingredients that are deal breakers for me, lavender is No. 1 or 2, so yay for not coveting Fourreau Noir!

    However, Fille en Aiguilles sounds woooonderful. Pine needles sounds so great to me.

    And yes Denyse, that bottle is every shade of wrong. Why Serge, why?

  11. I too am with Denyse about the Hallmark bottle, I thought that it was a sly joke created by you at first . Has Shiseido swayed Serge with some kind of marketing gambit?

    Meanwhile, I'm very curious about the Lavender Fougere AND the Pine, can't wait until you and Denyse sniff these on skin! My BF has been wearing Lavande et Incense lately, and I'm on a bit of a lavender loving kick, it's hard to use in an original way, no?

  12. D,

    I am waiting for you to smell them on skin! That's when some of those bloom. I'm not exactly a great believer in the screechy aromatic fougere either, but I am staking out hope based on Elisabeth's review. Of course, preliminaries are just that and we'll see.
    FEA sounds quite interesting too, and yes, the pine needles part was included in my initial reportage about them. I can't really make out how this will play out, but will have the chance to experience it soon ;-)

    As to the LE flacon: isn't it completely out of character for Serge?? It looks like a very expensive Stila bottle, if you're familiar with those. But it's kinda playful, I think he's joking with us (I fully expect the scent to be a sledgehammer, not a kitten!) At any rate, I will reserve judgment till I see it with my own eyes.

  13. K,

    I think SL is doing their own thing and they're playing with us, knowing full well that we are so entranced by this game. (because, aren't we? This discussion alone proves it)

    I thought NDC was rather conventional for a SL, nowhere near as weird as expected, but it's a pretty scent to be sure. He has brought the fruity floral to its apogeiosis; nothing can be added to the genre anymore.

  14. Wendy, darling!
    Thanks for stopping by! How are you? Oh I wouldn't do that, mess with the bottle without telling you that I did myself!! (like I had done with Cristalle Eau Verte)
    I will post impressions soon on FeA, so stay tuned.

    I'm not crazy about lavender either, but if you want to see it in an alternative and very wearable way, do check Vero Profumo's Kiki (I wear this to bed) and Tauer's Reverie au Jardin if you haven't already! ;-)

  15. Billy,

    hello and thanks for commenting!

    Like I said to Wendy just above, lavender isn't my cup of tea most of the time, but I do let the occasional exception (we wouldn't be perfumistas if not, I guess, eh?) I can't say that I will lay down the cash without smelling it and studying it first, so FN can way.

    As to the bottle, I think it's pretty clear he's joking, even so delicately ironic. I said it above, it's worth mentioning again: Perhaps the scent will be the total opposite of the LE packaging to offer a sense of scathing irony (it seems to be an idée fixe with Serge!) Wouldn't that be great?? (here's hoping of course)Pretty girly girls getting the shock of their lives!

    The FeA stuff is interesting in its own way, so hopefully there will be more soon ;-)

  16. Hi El, what a reception, thanks! I guess you noticed I've been away again, nowhere too far ; )

    Gosh I hope the contents of that bottle will be ironic as you imagine, what fun!

    A Taste of Heaven is a wonderful twist on Lavender, which has really gotten me into it! I must retry the Veros soon!


  17. Wendy,

    sorry for the late reply, just saw this rummaging through the comments.
    Hope your time has been well spent (what am I saying, I am sure it is!)
    If you need a little of the Vero Kiki to try out, do let me know ;-)

    Hugs to you!


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