Friday, July 15, 2016

Serge Lutens A La Nuit: fragrance review and musings

Dedicated to the night and voluptuous, feminine women everywhere, A la Nuit by Serge Lutens is probably the most life-like rendition of night-blooming jasmine in all of perfumery. The narcotic, star-petalled flower hypnotizes all who come into contact with it on a warm summer's evening, when the air is filled with promise of romance and sensual abandon. Heady, sweet, laced with honeyed and resinous notes that weave their own web of seduction, A la Nuit employs several different varieties of jasmine: Moroccan, Egyptian and Indian. Surrendering yourself to its temptation is akin to reaching erotic zenith...

Jasmine is plentiful in southern Europe and northern Africa from where Lutens was inspired; lush, narcotic, dense with clotted cream at night-time, making the heart ache with its sweetness, fresh and bubble-gum worthy with green dewiness in the mornings. But while we, perfume lovers, like to mock and taunt each other about the fecal reminiscent particulars in it, specifically the combination of moth-balls indole and peachy-creamy lactones, plus many other wonderful and weird chemical additions that talk to our sensitive human hormones, hearing it being invoked by your beloved in an intimate setting can turn into unsettling quickly. How stimulating is the invocation of #2 in the bedroom? Not particularly for most, I'd wager. Let this be a lesson to test this glorious specimen of true jasmine first, before plunging headlong into it.

Created in 2000. Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental 
Perfumer: Chris Sheldrake 
Fragrance Notes A La Nuit by Serge Lutens: jasmine, grenadine, beeswax, musk and benzoin. 


  1. Back when I started exploring perfumes, I so wanted to love it. I tried and tried only to see that on my skin it behaves like a synth mess. I get a very faint jasmine, with undertones of a big white musk cloud that as a whole lasts just a couple of hours and feels like a mess. I guess it's me! Until I found Lust from Lush, and layered it with Cuir from Mona, and Musc Tonkin. Now I get the animal, the filth, and the ecstasy!

  2. I discovered A La Nuit early in my perfume journey and loved it. I'm sure in part that I could easily find it here in the US, unlike my ultimate jasmine love, Sarrasins. Sarrasins is just so danged expensive here in the US, fora bottle of Sarrasins (from Barney's), I could also drop the same amount on an Amouage. So A La Nuit doesn't get worn all that often.

  3. Miss Heliotrope02:20

    Another fan of Sarrasins - La Nuit is lovely, but for me is not quite as interesting as the former. Here in Melbourne, despite it being an imported, growing over everthing "weed," vine jasmine comes out mid-late winter & turns much of my morning walk into an incredibly decadently scented promenade. I pick some (from other people's gardens!) whenever I can.

  4. Anonymous09:28

    So are you saying that you get a bit of #2? Because if that is so I missed it.
    Which is making me wonder if I simply don't smell things that others pick up on, and am slightly worried that perfumes I like may inadvertently cause offence. So many reviews of Absolue pour le soir spoke of potentially offensive notes, and I mostly got honey, hay and roses. Hmmm


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