Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Serge Lutens Interview: Regarding Santal Majuscule, the latest perfume

"Why, for what possible reason, still unknown to him, did he raise his eyes every day to stare at the skylight? What was it that attracted his eye to a trembling branch outside? How, through this image in the window pane, did his double take shape and come to life? Why did Mr. Vantienen have to bark out, “Lutens!” and yank him from his reverie?
―Lutens! Stand up!
The Moon could do nothing for him now.
―Why, oh why, all the capital letters, for no reason at all, at the start of, and I quote: Gold, Wolf, Fire, Tower, Flower...and so on!
He was commenting on a piece of writing yesterday, where the pupil, here and there according to his fancy, had added large capital letters, like an illuminated manuscript from the Middle Ages. Silence filled the room. Mr. Vantienen insisted:
―I asked you a question. Now, answer me!
The boy counted the dots...
It is through experience that we—all of us—understand that mirrors reflect a reversed image. What we don’t always understand is that images can shape what we see in the mirror."

click to enlarge
This is just part of the interview that the maestro Serge Lutens has given me concerning his latest fragrant release, Santal Majuscule. In it he explains how the materials do not necessarily denote the character of the fragrance, how the composition finally took flight, his childhood memories and his associating of literature and the fine art of perfuming one's self. Please follow this link to Fragrantica to read the whole thing. 


  1. many thanks
    wonderful interview

  2. irina,

    you're welcome. His little tale is most charming! (Was he learning German or Latin there? I mentioned German because of the capitals for each noun. But it could be Middle-Age Latin prayer books where some words are capitalized to "start" a fresh paragraph ~though this takes some imagination as no student is given an actual medieval textbook to study in class)

  3. MariaA09:06

    I read it wonderful story so lovely he shared it with you I find him to be very inspiring, have been keeping an eye on him since Shiseido! Waiting for the new scent too!!

  4. Maria,

    thank you darling!

    Yup, these little cryptic stories are so lovely and I feel like I have got a glimpse into his childhood.
    I hope his next release -after Une Voix Noire I mean in September- is as interesting as the very name ~which I'm keeping mum on for now ;-)

  5. brie11:51

    Excellent interview! Scents have such an uncanny way of evoking such strong memories. It is thrilling to see a perfumer capture a moment in time through fragrance. And I love the notes-sandalwood (one of my favorite e.o.) cocoa and rose!

    Speaking of sandalwood, the Pereja I purchased thanks to your great article when blended with New Caledonia Sandalwood e.o. makes a great summer perfume!

  6. Thanks Brie!

    And wow, who would have thought the Pereja would be such a versatile thing! :-)


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