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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Serge Lutens La Vierge de Fer: the Iron Maiden Referencing New Fragrance

She walks on through the night
Her circumstances slight
Are only helping her to fail
And though she feels she's right
She tries with all her might
And makes the deepest peril pale
Oh, but she is unreal
Oh, but she doesn't feel
Oh, but she is unreal

She chooses who to love
And then unlike a dove
She takes the laughter from their smile
She wears a velvet glove
Her friends may find it rough
It is a gauntlet all the while

via laparousiedejesus

Could Serge Lutens have been listening to the 1970 Iron Maiden song by Barclay James Harvest (one of my long favorites[1]) and thinking of his own mother, who entrusted his keeping to the hands of relatives as a small child? We'll never know.

What we do know is that this hard-as-nails recollection is mixed: the fragrance pays tribute to Serge's own mother, poignant, since the anthropomorphic torture device know to us from the Inquisition days and the heavy metal band replicates the iconography of Mary, mother of Jesus. Aside from any notions (and involuntary misunderstandings) of grandeur, the concept of tending to fragility, to past traumas for the semi-abandonded Serge (much like a device of torture would reference), is at art's core and thus drives creation. And his fixation with 19th century romanticism (De Profundis or Vitriol d'Oeillet) and its darker side (Douce Amere), all the way through to German Expressionism (La Fille de Berlin) continues...

Vierge de Fer, the latest perfume to adorn the sumptuous Lutens line means Iron Maiden (also referenced as "Virgin of Nuremberg") and recalls the Inquisition dungeons we have come to associate with heavy metal bands, gothic tales and heavy SM tones.



The fragrance focuses on lily (a flower highlighted in Lutens's Un Lys previously) with a mineral, hard and cold aspect, that recalls the hardness of iron, and incense. According to Lutens himself: "The lily in Vierge de Fer is more glorious than in Un Lys. That one was fresher, more lily-like actually. It played on the whiteness of lily. This one [Vierge de Fer] plays on the heady aspect. It's a lily whose pollen hasn't been dusted off, it has kept its stamens and anthers. This is a lily which affronts, once again."[2]

Vierge de Fer has just been presented and will be widely available in September at Les Salons du Palais Royal in the beautiful bell jars of 75ml eau de parfum concentration and on the official Lutens e-boutique.

[1] For some reason or other, I first loved it as a teenager. Must have been the glorious bass line, as I loved following songs with strong bass lines.
[2]quote via Nicoals Olczyk translated from the French

15 comments:

  1. this one is very intriguing to me..."dark" lily + incense, mmmmm.

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  2. It will be interesting (though to be honest I was not impressed by la fille de berlin. but it was clearly a range filler). Rather than being clean and cold, lily has a dirty salami note (as per Luca Turin) - so it will be interesting to see whether that's out of the picture or not. In addition, lily + fresh was done superbly by Lys Mediterranee (lily and marine), yielding a happy, carefree impression, which seems the opposite as the effect here.

    cacio

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  3. Ellen21:50

    I absolutely love Un Lys, so I am really looking forward to seeing what this is like. I wonder where I might find a sample?

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  4. Oooh, sounds dangerous! :)

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  5. NFS,

    he does know how to entice, doesn't he?
    Do bear in mind that I have elaborated more than he let on, though! ;-)

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  6. Dearest Shrine
    What a wicked thought!
    But surely Serge's lady is a virgin, whereas one suspects the Iron Maiden in question is anything but!!
    What a lovely thought of a corrupted lily though.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

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  7. M,

    each release by SL is interesting in its way. I wasn't crazy about some previous ones, though Fille was a good rose in my books. I think the darkness is conveyed through concept more than smell itself.

    Lily has a spicy and somewhat briny feel. Lys Med captures it perfectly ( my fav lily by far). Not exactly salami, wouldn't go that far... and less dirty than lilac, for instance (did he say "dirty salami"? To be fair I don't think he mentioned dirty) :)

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  8. ellen,

    people catching promos are splitting :)

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  9. Ines,

    hope you're very well!!

    Yup, it does. But what is dangerous frag anyway? ;)

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  10. dear Perfumed dandy,

    hello and what a great surprise to see you again!

    This whole mix of ideas (the Virgin Mary, the Iron Maiden, the mother of the artist etc) gives me a sort of Madonna-whore complex shade. Which is intriguing in its own way, a cherchez la femme way...

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  11. I wish I could say I'm enjoying summer, while I'm actually swamped with work. :)
    But that will pass too.

    I'd say a dangerous fragrance is the one that makes people feel wary of you - and this one sounds like it might install a fragrant armour around the wearear.
    I think I will probably love it.

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  12. I wish I could say I'm enjoying summer, while I'm actually swamped with work. :)
    But that will pass too.

    I'd say a dangerous fragrance is the one that makes people feel wary of you - and this one sounds like it might install a fragrant armour around the wearear.
    I think I will probably love it.

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  13. Helg, I do believe it had me at "lily"! And of course, that iron...;) Can't wait to try! Thank you! :)

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  14. Ines,

    sorry about that :-(

    A fragrant armour around the wearer sounds very very nice indeed!

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  15. S,

    thank you for saying so and for taking the time to read the news.
    A metal lily, a velvet first within the gauntlet? The imagery is enticing indeed.

    ReplyDelete

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