Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau: new fragrance

Serge Lutens is as prolific as ever and this coming March 1st another fragrance will join his olfactory seraglio in the oblong export bottles: Jeux de Peau (Zø de POH) aka Skin Games, a fragrance for both genders which reportedly smells like buttered toast! (And might even include a wheat extract we're told).
The eccentric idea of a novel gourmand (I recall the last major launch with grains notes was Simply by Clinique, although there were others) wants Serge Lutens seeking to recreate the odor of the buttered toast he enjoyed so much as a little boy! The unusual, "oriental-charred-wood scent", invites guesses as with all Lutens fragrances, while Serge himself professes in his usual controversial way, ‘Eat, for this is my body’. The Christian symbolism aside, Serge does invite personal mementos entering his fragrances which makes them all the more intriguing.
The formula like a nurturing and appetising breakfast of tartines and butter exhibits pronounced sandalwood/milky notes at the top, progressing into a "toast accord" with a few sweeter and floral facets next (reminiscent of rosewood), alongside sweeter and spicier ones such as a mix of licorice and coconut. The finish is built around a fruity touch (between apricot and osmanthus).
"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. To recreate this harmony, Lutens and his perfumer have assembled dozens of essences, but also wheat and barley.

NB>I have updated with a full review of Jeux de Peau on this page.

Edit to Add:
The upcoming (export) fragrance by Lutens for summer 2011 will be called Vitriol d'Oeillet (Vitriolic Carnation) and naturally will be a carnation composition (as "oeillet" means carnation in French). The moniker Vitriol alludes to some brilliantly wicked take as the one in Tubéreuse Criminelle (Please perfume gods, make it so! Not to mention I have prayed for a carnation-spiked the Lutens way for a long time...)

Addition April 1st: The next Paris exclusive is De Profundis, coming out on September 1st inspired by Baudelaire's poems and death. De Profundis by Serge Lutens includes gladioli, chrysanthemums and dahlias in a green, almost aldehyde-like and darkly delicate fragrance, encompassing a chamomile withered peony effect.

Thanks to reader Uella who set me on the track of trademarked names to find this before any official news broke!

pics & notes via osmoz


  1. Anonymous20:15

    How exiting to hear about this new release.
    I love wheat notes, Simply was a favorite, as is Bois Farine and I wish the wheat note in the lovely En Passant was more pronounced. Can you recommend any other fragrances with that note?
    I cannot wait for your full review of the new Serge!

  2. uh-oh...this sounds really original and great...and no plum . The birth of a lemming !

  3. Gosh, this sounds wonderful. What a day-brightener of a post, thanks!

  4. Anonymous00:53

    sounds tasty. will definitely want to try this one. now if he would just make one with my favorite chocolate toast as inspiration - toasted white bread, butter, and nestle's quick slathered onto it until it melts into the butter. amazingly good. nothing better for breakfast or afternoon snack.


  5. I'm glad Lutens keeps exploring unconventional and truly innovative ideas - Frederic Malle's new launch, Portrait of a Lady, is just another (beautiful) rose...so boring!
    Looks like the next Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido exclusive will be Vitriol d'Oeillet (carnation vitriol).

  6. This one sounds interesting!

  7. Anonymous08:31

    This sounds really interesting actually. I can always depend on Lutens to come with something worthy of a purchase.

    Question though, the article says "Lutens and his perfumer" .. it seems kind of .. mysterious? Does Christopher Sheldrake's move to Chanel mean he is no longer working with Lutens? If not, do we know who this new perfumer is? He has some big shoes to fill for sure.

  8. Linda11:15

    This is most intriguiging - rather remininscent of Proust and his madeleines? Serge Lutens is always interesting and I would love to collect those elegant bottles.
    As a lover of 5o'clock au Gingembre, I'd love to sniff this!
    Thank you very much,

  9. Olfactoria,

    I think he's a most interesting artist even if I don't always fall madly in love with everything (L'Eau I'm talking to you!)

    Other fragrances which you might enjoy:

    *Lan Ael (this is very popular, has a cereals note, gourmand with a twist)
    *True Star by Hilfiger (not as bad as it appears, although much more mainstream)
    *Cedre Sandrague

  10. Carole,

    no plum is certainly a new take ;-)
    Much as I love Boxeuses, it does remind one of previous efforts. Same with a couple of bois scents. Then again, there is the school of thought that thinks "stick to your guns".

    I like the idea of an intimate "bread" note, this reminds me of human skin (some human skins, at least), plus Lutens is always about some ulterior idea behind everything. Not too literal.

  11. March,

    how are you honey? Having a good November?

    You're welcome, the upcoming exclusive sounds like something to entice our spice-loving heart, too! ;-)

  12. Minette,

    mercy, think of my expanding thighs! :O

    I think he isn't too literal in what he does on the whole. Which is good! ;-)

  13. Uella,

    who can argue with that? Certainly not me!
    It's good to be jolted out of the comfort zone from time to time, provided there is some artistic integrity behind it and not just shock-value intent (or cynicism, but more on that on a later post/review) ;-)

    I'm glad you debuted the info on the exclusive Vitriol d'Oeillet here (thanks!) and ticked you have began to search the trademarks. Pretty accurate too!

  14. M,

    it does, doesn't it? Especially since it refers to a bread-like skin accord!

  15. Anon,

    I meant Sheldrake, no need to be alarmed :-)
    He's still allowed by Chanel to work with Lutens on their projects, it's not an exclusive project (although it doesn't really allow much time for other work, I bet)

  16. Linda,

    as a collector of these bottles, it's a hobby with repurcussions, LOL! (endless rows of bottles, digging into the pocketbook etc)

    It's certainly a novel idea and the skin-like hint (I believe the bread note is reminiscent of human skin) is very much simpatico to my thoughts. Gingembre is a "different" gourmand as well (although not super exciting to me personally, but no matter). So hope you enjoy the new release!

  17. Anonymous13:21

    thank you for the recommenations!

  18. Anonymous14:01

    Hmm. Hmm... you know, buttered toast sounds really good about now.
    (Too bad I'm at work.) Not sure about it as a fragrance, but I AM sure it will be interesting.

    The carnation scent has me absolutely salivating, though - I love, love, love carnations.

  19. I love the smell of toast. Sometimes I make toast just so my apartment will smell like toast. Will have to sniff this.

  20. I just blogged about how much I crave a baked-bread chypre, and Serge could hear my deepest wishes! Bless him! Thanks for this exciting news, Elena!

  21. Oh, why did you have to tell me this? I love the sound of Jeux de Peau, because it sounds like the kind of thing that Lutens does so well, and I love a gourmand and also buttered toast: but a Lutens carnation? I am MAD about carnation scents and obviously I will have to own this somehow, but if it's a Paris exclusive, how will I get it?

  22. This really brightened my day! My hopes are high for Jeux de Peau and I will make sure not to miss the review :)

  23. People who read French can find a short article about Jeux de Peau (which is being officially launched this Tuesday) and Serge Lutens here:

    For 'Recontre' read 'Rencontre', of course.

  24. Oh, this sounds just delightful - I love buttered toast! I can't wait to try it. So glad it's going to be in the Export line.

  25. Oh my...I have been WAITING for a Lutens carnation FOREVER! Seriously, I think I posted about this a few years ago on POL. My only problem is that oeillet fragrances tend to overdose on clove, which is not the aspect of carnations that I love the best. I wish someone would do a "fresh" take on the carnation that smells like the actual flower--some stems, plus a little spice.

  26. Olfactoria,

    you're welcome!

  27. Muse,

    yeah, I'm sure it will be interesting as well. Preferably the skin-scent-like-bread idea.

    Now, how can one interesting idea remain just that...well, that has happened before (see the caviar accord in Womanity by Mugler, review coming up)

  28. SS,

    beats the hell out of expensive room sprays and candles only mimicking the effect, eh?

  29. Aimee,

    the powers that be must be attuned to your wishes! Sounds like a plan to me!! :-)
    (and I do have some chanelling ideas to propose, hush hush)

  30. C,

    I'm just playing with you!
    No, seriously, news this good has to be shared.
    They sound great, I agree.

    For some reason last year I was saying publicly how carnations have become obsolete in the industry and how Caron made their fortune on them and how it was maybe a time for a revamping a la mode (with the French meaning, not the culinary one, LOL) and lo and behold, a Lutens carnation. I seriously wish this starts a trickling down effect through the entire niche section!!

    As to sampling, we'll fix something for you ;-)

  31. Thanks Lys and thanks for stopping by!

  32. Bela,
    thanks for providing the link.

    I believe it's the very article from which I got the quote. It's a more general article on Lutens, but a good one.

  33. Flora,

    it does sound like the emphasis of the 'schock' factor is reversed, isn't it? Unless the Vitriol d'Oeillet proves to be vitriolic (please, make it so!), carnations are more "established" than buttered toast in perfumery. LOL!

  34. Billy,

    I know!!! I have been praying for the same thing. I believe we both said so on the same thread. ;-)

    Clove-y carnations are a bit retro, I'll grant you, even though I like that aspect as well as the fresher one. Vitriol d'Oeillet on the other hand suggests sulfurous notes (vitriol is sulfuric acid) such as grapefruit (there's your freshness!) OR garlic/sweaty/skank notes (sweat does contain sulfurous matter and skank is composed of two thiols which are sulfur-containing compounds). Or perhaps a "metal" ambience should be evoked, like oeillets in a metal chest, since vitriol is used to erode metals. (I'm having wild visions of a bouquet of carnations, intense with their spicy heat, hiding inside a metal chest and the metal is drilled to exude the combined smell.... call me crazy, I don't mind)


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