Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau: fragrance review & draw

Horace had written* referring to his diet: "Me pascunt olivae, me cichorea, me malvae" ("As for me, olives, chicory, and mallows provide sustenance"). I don't know if I could supress my gluttony for "all the perfumes of Arabia" into a diet of only a few well-chosen ones, but Serge Lutens has a way into tempting me. Jeux de Peau, his newest (upcoming for the US) launch, is no exception. With vivid contrasts and a fascinating plot via Daedalean alleyways, it proves that the Master is still producing fragrances that can surprise and excite.

Jeux de Peau
(pronounced Zø de POH) aka Skin Games, a fragrance for both genders, was supposed to smell of buttered toast, recalling Serge's quick run to the boulangerie across the road to pick up a baguette: "It gets me back to the 'don't forget to pick up the bread on the way back from school!' At the boulangerie at the end of the road, its captivating odour and its blond and warm light, a golden moment..." says Serge. Well, naughty, naughty Uncle, this is not what one would expect! The mercurial Serge actually hints at the humanity of the fragrance when he provocatively says "Eat, for this is my body"; especially if we consider that some human skins do smell like bread, the "dough" impression being a Ph variance.

Not that that this cryptic game would be unusual for any fan; in fact the fascination with the newest Lutensian opus comes exactly by its surprising character, at once a part of the Lutens-Sheldrake canon and a little apart; it's new and at the same time familiar, like seeing the photographs of antecedants and trying to pinpoint what part of the genetic roll of dice resulted in similarities with one's own offspring.
Starting to break down the composition of Jeux de Peau much talk has been conducted about the "burnt" note of pyrazines [see this lexicon on perfume effects according to notes/ingredients for definition] but I remain sceptical: Jeux de Peau doesn't really smell burnt or heavily roasted; more milky-spicy-golden in the sandalwood goodness that was Santal Blanc. It has a pronounced celery-pepper opening note, much like Chypre Rouge did, a trait that will certainly prove controversial, coupled with delectable milky-buttery notes which almost melt with pleasure on skin. The celery effect ~celery seeds were a common element in Mediaeval French cooking~ lasts for only about 5 minutes seguing into the main course: the buttery accords, alongside a distinctive, very pleasant chicory note.
Chicory, a bitterish-spicy smell, is a profoundly clever "note", if I am correct in surmissing it was the centre of the Jeux de Peau creation all along: It was substituting coffee in WWII, which might account for some of the memories of Serge, but it also evokes beer because producers add some in their stouts to lend flavour. Beer is so close to bread in olfactory terms that it's enough to put some on a pot on the stove for your guests to be fooled into thinking you're baking your own bread! (Not that you'd resort to such tricks, or would you?) Plus chicory root is 20% inulin which is very similar to starch. So the bread connection is there all right!
Immortelle/helichrysum notes (caramelic maple & spicy fenugreek facets) are allied to the familiar candied-dried fruits (apricot mainly, simply lovely!) which perfumer Chris Sheldrake has been respinning in novel and delecious combinations for Lutens ever since the inauguration of the Palais Royal niche line in 1992. This complex stage in Jeux de Peau by Lutens is sustained for a long, long time; it reminds me of rich Byzantine mosaics; tiny tesserae of glazed material surfacing and receding according to the angle from which you're viewing it.

If you like the core accords of Féminité du Bois or Boxeuses, you will probably detect them easily in Jeux de Peau. But the two diverge in other ways: there's no familiar plum, not much cedar, nor leather (as in the case of Boxeuses), while we can see that wheat & barley are evoked throughout that warm "gourmand" woody. If Serge hadn't mentioned he was inspired from his forays to the baker's clutching the baguette for home, we wouldn't be so insistent on searching for toast; a whiff of Crusader's pain au four it is and delectably so I might add.

If you're wondering if Jeux de Peau would suit you, apart from the wise advice I can offer to always sample a Lutens any fragrance ~just in case~ I can suggest that if you're a lover of other intellectual oriental woodies such as Like This by Etat Libre d'Orange or Tea for Two by L'Artisan, you have high chances of liking this one very much as well. It's rather odd that Jeux de Peau launches in spring, when it's the sort of snuggly fragrance you'd want to put on while wrapped in a cashmere blanket watching nonchalantly the logs in the fireplace change colours from brown to vermillon to bright red to ashen, but Lutensian fans are not very season-specific anyway.

A sample of the upcoming Jeux de Peau will be given away to a reader. State in the comments what is your most fragrant memory from childhood not involving actual fine fragrance and I will pick a random winner. Draw is open till Friday midnight.

Jeux de Peau belonging to the export range of oblong bottles is out in France as we speak (79 euros for 50ml Eau de Parfum), but will launch internationally on March 1st. The Perfume Shoppe in Canada is already taking pre-orders.

*Odes 31, ver 15, ca 30 BC

An intelligent essay on the scent, in French, on Ambre Gris. Photograph in black & white Le Petit Parisien by Willie Ronis via Art is not Dead. Bottle pic via duftarchiv.de
Disclosure: Initial sample was kindly procured by my reader Emanuella. Another sample was later sent by Lutens as part of their mailout, so that is given away to the readers.


  1. When I was a kid, there was a Wonder Bread factory not too far from where we lived. Every afternoon as I walked home from school, I would pass it - the smell was amazing. The factory was sitting on prime real estate and was closed before I got out of high school - I hadn't thought about that factory in many years - thanks for making me remember!

  2. Burning maple leaves in the fall, with tomato soup & toasted cheese sandwiches for lunch. :)

  3. Aroma of Arabic coffee, and fresh cardamom - because it's a main ingredient of Arabic coffee- in the morning around the house, and before going to school. So energizing. Used to be a daily morning ritual by older folks in the house many years ago. The aroma would reach my bedroom and wake me up without resorting to alarm clocks..

  4. When I was a child I used to go camping with my parents and my brother some days in summer.
    We started with a big camping tent, with two "rooms", and I can't forget the smell of the canvas of the tent and the air beds. It was a rubbery smell.

    Later we bought a caravan and it smelt to silicone and conglomerate wood.

    Campings smelt to pine trees, swimming pools, barbecues...

    Really happy memories for me.

    I would love to be entered in the draw. Thank you!

  5. the first time I went to the seashore, I was about 4 and i distictly remember the smell of sea,always togheter with the beating of waves, late in the evening
    till today, this combination makes me happy
    I'd love to be enterd the draw
    thank you

  6. I was one of those children trying to make perfume out of flowers even as a very small child. I knew the perfume in the bottles I saw at stores (alas, my mother has never had a love of scent) smelled mostly of flowers to my young nose. So I tried putting rose petals, honeysuckle blossoms, sweet peas, any fragrant flower I could find in jam jars full of water. I was always disappointed a bit when it didn't work out as I had imagined.

  7. I loved the smell of my mother's coffee -- and her soups.

  8. As a child, I would wander the fallow fields surrounding our subdivision in the summertime. I can still recall perfectly the smell of sun-warmed clover and the taste of wild strawberries.

  9. Furniture polish. My mother was a SAHM who was just a teensy bit OCD about the cleaning, and I associate that furniture polish smell so strongly with her. To this day, I love phenolic, resin-y smells like that. I need to ask her what sort of polish she used...

  10. Vivid childhood smell memory: gasoline. Mom said "no!" I said "yes, but it smells so good."

  11. Anonymous15:17

    Actually one of my favourite childhood smells is of freshly baked bread. It starts with the memory of trudging home after school through the snow and into the back yard to see the kitchen windows fogged up and realizing that there would be that wonderful smell of freshly baked bread waiting. And even better the spicy goodness of the cinnamon buns made from that same bread dough. (I've never cared as much for ones made from sweet dough.) As my Mom worked full time outside the home the baking was intermittent and therefore even more appreciated.

    -- frrom Lindaloo

  12. Stephan15:59

    My mother in the kitchen cooking 'civet de boeuf' (marinated beef stew). In her cast iron cooking pot she heated some oil and wheat flour which slowly changed colour from white to yellow, to noisette, light brown till almost dark as chocolate, all the while giving off the changing smell of hot oil, wheat dow, bread, till almost burning. And that development was then stopped abruptly by pouring the red wine and vinegar marinade into the pot, which resulted in the kitchen being enveloped in a heavenly cloud of cooking vapour screaming 'civet' to my nose. I still love this kind of dish very much.

  13. Hey Elena, I will tell you, the smell of pine sap that would come off on my hands when I climbed trees as a kid will always be my strongest olfatory memory from childhood, I think. I'm intrigued by your review of Jeux de peau, and curious to try it!

  14. Eva S16:52

    Both me and my brother have strong memories of the scent of our grandparents house. I can't say if it was a pleasant scent or not but very distinct, sort of dusty. Imagine a house filled with leather sofas and antique furniture, odd antiquities, oriental carpets and modern art- and dust...Love your blog!
    Eva, north of Sweden(-30 Celsius today)

  15. I'm from Maryland and have always loved the smell smells of the Eastern Shore. My childhood scent memories are of beach, salt air, suntan lotion, freshly shampoo'd hair, and steamed crabs on the table for dinner!

  16. Well I have never tried Les Boxeuses although I am thinking of it when it will be possible.

    A scent that I remember from childhood is the smell of old paper in an open market every Sunday that still exists in Barcelona. There all kinds of old books, children comics from the 20s and so were sold there and still are. I can´t forget the scent of a comic magazine from Mexico by Novarro Editions, I don´t know if it still exists. but I associate it with a little comic i got about a princess that tells a man Bellaco! I can never forget this word along with that scent of old books. I was probably 7 years old.

    and by the way, bellaco is seldom used in Spanish now and it means villain, scoundrel,rogue.. I have no idea which one is the suitable.

    Smells and memories..

  17. I always remember the smell of roasted green chile peppers when we were going to have chile rellenos for dinner. It is still one of my favorite smells. Please enter me in the draw.

  18. Anonymous17:41

    Dear E,

    There are so many scents from childhood that it is difficult to pick one. I think it would have to be black currant in all its many facets. My grandmother grew it in our garden and so I played next to it, imbibing the weird, catty smell of its leaves and buds. She also made jellies and fortified wine from the fruit so I can still smell that perfect combination of sour, sweet and bitter. For that reason I adore Ribena as a warming drink in the cold winter. Would love a sample of any Lutens really.


  19. Sointu17:48

    The smell of clean and fresh bed linen when my mom had done a massive cleaning operation in our home.

  20. Lang,

    a most wonderful scented memory: the smell of bread coming out of the ovens in a Wonder Bread factory should be massive I presume! (Thanks for sharing).
    At least judging by passing outside a biscuit factory as a kid: the chocolate bits, the dried figs and the fudge were permeating many blocks within the radius!

  21. rosarita,

    sounds absolutely mouth-watering!
    (BTW, ave you tried Burning leaves by CB I hate Perfume?)

  22. Shahlab,

    ah...now you're talking!! I absolutely adore cardamom in coffee, an Arabic tradition that has entered many a café menu on my part of the world. It's a wonderful smell to wake up to!

  23. Isa,

    vivid memories and of materials that seem pedestrian, yet I know they hold their own special "pull". Isn't it interesting how when a smell is connected to happy memories it's automatically trigering a pleasant thought when we encounter it again?

  24. Irina,

    you're welcome and of course in!

    Your description is exactly what is lacking in the perfumery world: a plausible, realistic "sea" scent: no marine really comes close...
    I'd love to have this happy smell around to dab whenever I feel like it.

  25. Jill,

    how creative of you! You must have had tons of fun trying, as I know I did doing some comparable things (with not much success I'm afraid).
    I bet the flowers did leave a tiny bit of their scent though. Did you try with alcohol or oil/fat?

  26. Karin,

    mothers' cooking smells: the cosy and the comforting. I know what you mean.

  27. K,

    you're making me very much longing for spring!! What a lovely image you're painting with your words.
    I'm glad it's sunny and getting a bit warmer, because I want to bring on the flowers.

  28. SS,

    good one!! You DO need to ask her and come back here and let us know. ;-)
    I vividly recall a line in a lovely Aussie movie (The Sum of Us) which referenced lavender floor polish as a happy childhood memory: it was endearingly mentioned in it.

  29. Suzy,

    argh, I'm with your mom on this one, I'm afraid. But LOTS of people apparently love that smell so I bet it all has to do with some specific triggering.

  30. Lindaloo,

    oh gosh you're making all hungry now! Cinnamon buns sounds like just the thing to go with my linden tea.
    Wonderful image!

  31. Stephan,

    mothers and cooking associations is a very popular theme I see, but your description is so detailed as to render this photorealistic. I'm now eager to get the pot and pans and start making my own. Thank you!

  32. Aimee,

    pine sap is very special to me as well. I can see the attraction!
    I hope you win, it's an intriguing scent all right, very interesting and complex. A true Lutens!

  33. Eva,

    first of all, I'm sending you a little southern warmth. Brrrrr....!!!! You're cold up there! Hope it gets warmer soon.

    Secondly, I know what you mean. This resembles my grandparents' home quite accurately as well. That quiet and a bit nonchalant atmosphere lends itself well to some dusty smell. Don't you think?

    Thank you for the kind words on the site :-)

  34. *jen,

    absolutely beatific associations! What's not to like?

  35. VL,

    Boxeuses is a bit like Feminite du Bois with added leather, a very sensual true Lutensian scent. I think you'd like it!

    I adore your description of the comics and old books stall market in Barcelona. I recall in Madrid (and Toledo) there were small antiqueries with old books, which attracted our interest. But they were rather expensive.

    Bellaco, a new word for me. Thank you! I believe all English words apply to what you're thinking, assuming you do mean a character in a story that is the opposite of the hero. Rogue I believe is less intense than villain or scoundrel and has no truly evil nuances.

  36. dremybluz,

    sounds riveting! I must try those roasted. What has kept I can't possibly fathom.

    Of course you're in, good luck!

  37. Natalia,

    very interesting choice and wow, that wine must have been quite something. Yes, I can see the Ribena love. :D
    I hope you win!

  38. Sointu,

    thanks for stopping by!
    Cleaning does produce uplifting thoughts, doesn't it? Preferably when someone else does the bulk of it. :D
    Seriously though, fresh bed linen sounds positively dreamy.

  39. One of my grandfathers was an outdoorsman with a wealth of knowledge about American flora and fauna. He grew up in a poor Irish immigrant family with a lot of siblings, and I think they relied upon the woods to supplement their food stock. He knew which berries and mushrooms to pick and which to avoid, etc. Anyway, some of my favorite scent memories are of my walks with him in the forest. He taught me how to recognize sassafras, and we would dig up the roots and take them back to his house to boil for tea. It smells amazing - like rich, aromatic root beer. I think it's a banned substance in foods now, but it was a happy part of my childhood.

  40. I have a gluten intolerance so I can't decide if wearing the smell of bread would be good or bad! Only one way to find out ... one of my strongest smell memories from childhood is a scratch 'n' sniff book based on The Secret of NIMH. There was a sunflower scent that was especially mesmerizing!

  41. My most vivid "NON PERFUME" smell-memory as a child is my Grandparents garden. They had lavender, roses of various shades, carnations, violets and what seemed like absolutely masses of other flowers growing (I especially remember the fuschias flowing from hanging baskets!)
    In the heat of summer, I'd sit in the garden with an orange ice-lolly, and a caffeine free diet coke (Granddad was diabetic, but loved the taste) and enjoy the smell of lavender - it overpowered the whole garden and the bees seemed so interested in it. (The garden was more an explosion of colour than smell. She still loves yellow roses & Paris by YSL.)

  42. Amy,

    delightful scent education from the craddle! Kudos to your grandfather, what a way to share with a grandchild (fun too!). I admire that kind of person who knows such emperic stuff and has his/her way with teaching it to others too.
    Sassafras is banned?? Ouch, I didn't know that. I need to check here as well. I hope not.

  43. Elisa,

    ah...interesting dilemma! Can't predict which way it'll go. But I think you'll like it, unless you also happen to have a lactose intolerancy (it's quite milky-creamy)

    Will you hate me if I say I know absolutely nothing about the Secret of NIMH? *hangs head in shame* Is it Narnia style? I had to Google search the title, I admit.
    The scratch & sniff books should be mandatory school material: I find them excellent in introducing kids to the olfactory world.

  44. Nick,

    my god, it sounds like heaven. I absolutely love green places with lots of foliage and scented flowers (from what you say, there were quite a few fragrant plants!)
    Isn't fuschia riveting to look at?

  45. The fragrance of the large acacia tree on the hill behind my parent's house. I used to climb up there and sit under the tree when I wanted to be alone, to write in my journal or just daydream. No one could see me there, and when the tree was in bloom with those tiny, yellow pom poms, the fragrance was heady and intoxicating. Fleur de Cassie by FM brings that back to me.

  46. Oh, please enter me in the draw... After not clicking with the first few Lutens I sampled I am desperate to find one I can enjoy- and this one sounds intriguing!

    One of my most vivid scent memory is that of the first room I had strictly to myself. I was constantly painting, so the little space was crammed with the scents of pencil shavings, moist paper, turpentine, and linseed oil. I lived where electricity was unreliable, so it also often smelled of candles and singed hair. In the warmer weather I left the windows open to make sure the room was well ventilated, and the breeze of earthy air flowing in seemed to round up all the scents in the room with grace.
    Despite all the fuss about turpentine (and most painting materials) being unhealthy, the scent evokes countless good memories for me...

  47. aotearoa22:28

    I have two memories which I am very grateful to have perfumes to transport me back to. My Father was a country vet and I spent many happy hours trailing about milking sheds and the racehorse stables. Dzing! is for me the soft sweet smell of horse breath and hay. My Grandparents were amazing gardeners and CB Memory of Kindness is the only perfume to bring tears to my eyes - it is me helping in the garden picking tomatoes-beautiful.
    Love to be in the draw,thank you

  48. My most fragrant childhood memory would probably be cooking marinara sauce with basil from scratch with my Italian grandmother. mmmmm

    Thank you for entering me in the drawing.

  49. I grew up in South Florida and the street pavement would get foot burning hot especially in summer. After the rare downpours of rain, the oily tar smell would rise from the black top. To this day, on the very rare occasions I smell this incredible smell it transports me to when I was a little girl. I now live in the Pacific NW so the pavement never gets that hot so it is always when in another hot climate after rain that I sometimes get to smell this.

  50. It's my Mom's smell. I can imagine it even now, when my Mom is far away. No, I cannot describe it. It's really nice though :)

    On a side note, interesting, I liked Like This very much and I don't like Tea for Two. Back to square 1! :)

  51. My most vivid fragrant memory ever ties in with Uncle Serge's Jeux de Peau.
    I cherish the memory of carrying bread out of the grocery store in a brown paper bag. Remember those?
    The bread, generally white, combined with the smell of the brown bag caused me to swoon.
    Perhaps the bag captured and contained the scent of the yeasty bread. I don't know what it was, but at the time, I wished I could have curled up in that bag and hibernated.

  52. ElizabethC01:57

    Lilac bushes in the garden behind my bedroom. My entire room smelled of spring!

  53. The cinnamon toast and tea my mother would bring me when I was sick.

  54. Most fragrant memory... Oh, there are so many!
    My family has an apple orchard and extensive gardens and a small vineyard: every year we would make tons of cider, apple pies, and even wine. It was a fragrant childhood!

    Thanks so much for the review, I'm looking forward to sniffing this one!

  55. i traveled a lot when i was little, and i always loved the smell of hotels. like old, dusty musty wood covered up with freshly laundered blankets. it comforted me that all hotels smelled the same, like homes away from home!

  56. The smells that most remind me of childhood are probably woodsmoke and the way evergreen trees smell in the Winter. I grew up on a hippie commune out in the middle of the forest with no electricity or modern conveniences and the smell of the woodstove my mother used for heating and cooking always smelled wonderful. Some people hate the way their clothes smell after being in a smokey cabin, but to me it is heaven!

    Please include me in the sample draw, K

  57. DRTVRMoi11:45

    Nothing could possibly thrill me more than the aromas of my grandmother's meatballs. The bowls of raw veal, beef & pork; the freshly chopped parsley and the crackle from garlic being peeled...My grandparents were butchers and we were treated to many delights. Those simple mounds of fried heaven made the days stop.

  58. Anonymous13:06

    At the age of three and a half years, the warm milk and doughy smell of my infant brother's head; many years later, the sweet lover's compliment: mmm...you smell like bread.

  59. Grass....freshly cut grass in the summer, drying grass when it was hot and the way everything smelled after a sudden downpour on a hot day.

  60. My father kept brand new Bally loafers with cedar shoe trees in boxes under the bed. I would sneak into his room when he was at work to smell them.

  61. Anonymous22:26

    CCC: My grandmother's kitchen on Easter Eve. Best baked breads, sweets and red eggs.
    I wasn't allowed to touch anything before The Easter Mass ... and the liturgic service felt too long. :D

  62. Simone B08:50

    I remeber how surprised I was when, after short holiday trips, I would find my house smelling of ...something, smelling of home!
    An odour at once familiar and new, because I wouldn't notice it on a daily basis.

    I know everyone has experienced this kind of surprise/recognition - so my comment might sound stupid. But Still now, that I am so much older, and know a thing or two about smell, I am always to surprised at how you recognise the smell of "home" if you've been away long enough to miss it!
    And all the different homes - that smell all similar, yet all different!

  63. A favourite olfactory memory from childhood is the smell of new notebooks every September at the start of the school year. and the smell of new pencils and acrylic colours for painting. I have found the latter in "Sienne l' hiver".

  64. Elena - Yes, the smell coming from the Wonder Bread factory was consuming! Mind you, I don't thank they did the bread every day (they also did sweet things. They had a little shop where they sold seconds or day old and stocked things like Hostess cupcakes and snowballs - once in a while I'd stop in and buy some goodies. On their "bread baking days" could you smell it for blocks. It was, as you can imagine, very comforting. I've always been a carb-gal, but now I wonder if it's all due that factory!

  65. Anonymous03:47

    My favorite library book as a kid , and i must have checked it out half a dozen times, was a photo collection of eskimo and inuit art and masks and it smelled and funky because of the glossy print pages but the pictures were top notch.

    Chicory in the new Lutens? Sign me up please!

    __Nicole F.

  66. Anonymous03:48

    wow, typo ... should read "sour and funky". Also the book was pretty new, I remember.


  67. When I was a kid, my family lived next to what we called The Vacant Lot. And, in the spring, it would be overgrown with tall green grassy weeds. And, my absolute favorite thing to do was to lie on my back, hidden by the tall weeds, and watch the clouds and breathe in the scent of broken green stems. Lovely.

  68. Books, and books. Opening my old Enid Blyton books today that same sweet musty scent wafts out and has a way of pulling me into those gorgeous powdery illustrations. The far away tree, and the whole enchanted woods smells this way: a trio of mushrooms in the corner, with a fine blue-white star (a hint of magic) sparkling delicately underneath.

  69. Water pumped up from the well just outside my great aunt's back door. I was told it was "a treat" to go pump the water...because the adults thought it was work! Great Aunt Verna did have running water in the house but it smelled nothing like the well water. The well water was airy and fresh and green smelling. Haven't ever smelled anything so fresh ever again.

  70. Asali17:51

    Thank you for the great and tasty ;-) review and for letting so many perfume-fans sharing their childhood scent memories. I have been so curious about this one, and today, finally, my sample of JdP arrived. I adore the opening burnt smell, which is surprisingly pleasant, and the following celery together with what feels like all-things-nice-from-collective-childhood(milk-sugar-spice-vanilla)is a wonderful follow-up. After that I "unfortunately" only get the die-down of "Douce Amere", perhaps with a tiny bit of added butter. Now, I actually love DA, but had expected a heavier basenote to match the opening. I find it actually a quite light fragrance, compared to especially Chypre Rouge, which it has been likend to in quite a few reviews. All in all I like JdP a lot, perhaps I just wish it was a bit stronger with perhaps a bit more sillage, but then that might just be my skin, and the -10C outside! Will now go on to read your Sunny F. to beat the Winter Blues, which is what I'm in dire need of :-)

  71. Valentine03:03

    My favorite scent memory is probably the homemade playdough and papier mache glue scent of my preschool.

    Then there's also the scent of home cooking: mashed potatoes, fresh salmon, fried potatoes, honey cakes, and soups galore. Yum!

  72. I spent my youth in South Miami, FL and even now decades later, I can shut my eyes and imagine myself on Dixie Highway driving past Holsum bakery and looking forward to the moment I'd hit that wall of heavenly bread aroma. Blocks later you pass another company emanating fragrant clouds of Cuban coffee~~~ Oh Uncle Serge, if you've made anything that can match those scents I'll buy it by the gallon.

  73. This is shaping to be one of the most extraordinary posts on account of your succulent comments. Thank you each and every one of you for sharing!

    I absolutely ADORE acacias, the dark kind with the animalic scent. FdC is amazingly realistic, I agree!

  74. RH,

    I hope you find a Lutens to suit you: after all they're so many!

    Your room sounds like the perfect abode! I have to smell turpentine isn't that bad: the retsina wine here has a whiff of it because of the pine resin added.
    What makes me rather nauseous is oil at the car pump. The fumes seem overwhelming.

  75. Aotearoa,

    what wonderful memories!! They're very touching. And you're so lucky to have something to slip out of a drawer, sniff and get transported back to those times.

    You're in!

  76. S,

    ah, the joys of cooking from scratch! Can't beat them.

  77. Stelma,

    I know what you mean. The hotness makes for a very different experience. I was struck by just how torrent the rains are in Florida: we had been stuck on a bridge in Miami and the taxi driver was all cool about it, familiar with the downpour from hell while we were clutching each other's arm like mad! LOL

    But I have to say that some of the most beautiful landscapes I have seen on the screen are from the Pacific NW: hope to get there one day!

  78. Aka Warum,

    so touching! Yes, moms have their own special smell. It's the smell of tenderness and comfort.

    Ha, on the two scents! I don't really love Tf2 either but I like Like This. I think it has to do with a difference within the same family: but the family commonality is there all right, so you're not at square one, don't worry!! :-D

  79. Cheryl,

    I bet he knew something!
    You're not alone in noticing the smell of bread. I have to admit I hadn't thought of the bag in that way, so you got me thinking, you're probably 100% right!

  80. Elizabeth,

    ah, lilacs! An exquisite smell! HOw lucky to have them just outside your room.

  81. J,

    comforting smells play upon our very heartstrings, don't they?

  82. dee,

    sounds absolutely riveting!

    You're welcome, glad you liked it. I think you might like it!

  83. CC,

    strange but makes sense. I know many people find the smell of hotel rooms jarring and thus they try to alter it by bringing favourite candles, sprays etc.
    But if they're all the same, it does create some sense of continuity.

  84. K,

    you're included!

    The smells of a forest are luscious. (And the smoke of a woodfire is simply heavenly to me. So you're not alone). Must have been quite the adventure!

  85. DRTVRMoi,

    you're making hungry!! Love a good piece of meat fried or roasted. Lucky, lucky, lucky to know exactly what quality meat ends up on your table! (it's so easy to get tricked)

  86. Anon,

    lovely compliment! And such a tender memory. Thanks for sharing!

  87. Eva,

    grass has such a sweet, inviting smell, doesn't it? And the smell of the earth after the rain....aaaaah!

  88. Cecilia,

    this is how shoe aficionados start!!! :D

  89. Anon,

    yes, that endless waiting was nerve-wracking! But the delight at tasting the forbidden stuff later was immense. Must have been a glorious kitchen preparation.

  90. Simone,

    absolutely brilliant observation! You're so right!

  91. cpk,

    the smell of "new": wish we could encapsulate that and have it at the ready. Sienne is more earthy and olive-rich to me, with a note of stone, but I'm glad it evokes raw new pencils for you and paints. (acrylics have a funny smell, don't they?)

  92. Lang,

    now I need to find some place to blame MY carb-binges on! I don't have one at the ready and can't find any excuses.... :-(

    Must have been a glorious thing to have in the area. Much better than any other factory.

  93. Nicole,

    sounds like a wonderful book!

  94. sunnlitt,

    this is such a vivid memory for me as well. Can't do it nowadays except on vacation. *sigh*

  95. Merlin,

    the smell of books (old and new) is delectable, especially for book worms such as myself (and yourself, I presume).
    If there are children's illustrations there too it makes the experience all the more magical!

  96. weegee,

    makes an awful lot of sense!

  97. asali,

    yes, it's not a very powerful fragrance, it's medium-sillage, but good tenacity. I find they only resemble with CR in the opening, from then on they diverge paths. But having the same drydown as DA didn't dawn on me. I find DA more vanillic to be honest. To the rest we agree.
    I do think you need to test it in warmer weather (which is probably why Serge issued it in spring, as our winter is much milder than your -10C!)

  98. Valentine,

    preschool smells are among the best: they stick with you for life, appearing as they do when one is compiling their olfactory footprint so to speak.
    As to home cooking....ah, what can one add?

  99. Kathy,

    I could just die in a coffee cutting/roasting shop: meaning wanting to die there happy!!!

  100. and oh..bread is probably a reference for many so Serge knows what he's doing. I do wish he'd do a coffee scent next! (it seems to be missing from the line)

  101. Draw is now closed. Thanks everyone for your wonderful commentary!

  102. did you announce a winner for this draw? I couldn't find it...

  103. It has just been announced in today's post (on the bottom). It's another giveaway this time.

  104. For me a special childhood smell memory is a smell of sea with salt and sand warmed by sunshine and carried by sea breese in gentle waves

  105. I reread this review and the posts this morning and greatly enjoyed them all; like being treated to a mini-biography of all those who posted. I loved the smell of popcorn popping late at night when my parents shared a bowl after I was in bed; also leaves burning in our suburban yard before such activities were banned; and the chlorine in the swimming pool on the first day it opened after school let out. And, like others, the smell of the new books I got every Christmas. What a pleasure to relive our pasts via scent memories. Thanks! Now I want Jeaux de Peau even more.


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