Sunday, November 6, 2011

Comparing the 3 lavenders of Serge Lutens

First time I tried Serge Lutens Forreau Noir (click link for full review) I fell in love with it and since then, every time I've wore it, it just gets better. The intro kicks me in the stomach, in a good way. It's cool, has just the right amount of masculinity I feel comfortable wearing in a perfume and it's dirty as some random guy flashing himself to you in the subway during rush hour (yes, that did happen to me recently). I've also recently started to pick out a Swedish candy named Lakrisal in there. If I'll ever allow mysef a bell jar, this one is at the very top of my list!

But Uncle Serge does have other scents with lavender as well, there are Encens et Lavande and Gris Clair. Be sure, they are all worth trying and are very far from what comes to mind when thinking of the lavender potpourries found in grannys closet.

Encens et Lavande approaches the lavender from a very different angle than FN. Where FN is full of sweet gourmand notes as vanilla and caramel EetL is not. If I'm going to summarize EetL in three adjectives, it's dry, green and savoury. Fragrantica only lists 2 notes in EetL,  incense and lavender. The incense is a massively green and herby one. To me, it's magical and ever changing, its building blocks seem to be rearranging themselves constantly. What I one second interpretes as incense smells like sage, oregano and juniper the next.
Gris Clair I strongly associate with a February morning. You wake up, the air is crisp, clean and has that wintery dryness about itself. When looking out the window you see frozen fields, touched by frost, stretching out in all directions.

My first try was while wearing a bikini on the beach on my Cretan holiday a few weeks back. In that setting, GC was wrong. But, back in Sweden, I've been wearing it a lot. It is rather similar to Forreau Noir, in fact I view it as a weekday version of FN. The smoke and gourmand notes of FN are all gone, the vanilla is less prominent while the dryness of the lavender is the same. In order to get an even more strict and formal feel, GC has had some iris added to the blend.

I've worn GC for work every day this week and I'm finding it to be an amazing work scent. It's strict with a proffessional feel to it. That initial hint of masculinity feels appropriate, maybe because the role I have at work is one that is normally very male dominated. I know, my intro says I'm a sommelier. I am, as I do have a sommerlier degree but that's not where the money comes from. I am ... now brace yourself...I'll just mention this once and then never talk about it on this blog again...ok, now...I'm a Java programmer. And GC is perfect for that.

For more reviews, see:
The Non-Blonde: Fourreau Noir, Gris Clair,
From Top To Bottom: Encense et Lavande

Notes according to Fragrantica:
Forreau Noir: lavender, tonka, almond, musk
Encense et Lavande: incense and lavender
Gris Clair: lavender, iris, tonka, amber and wood



  1. Java, really? Interesting. Well, we all have to make living, nobody will hold it against you ;) (said a DB developer)

    I haven't tried any of these three but I will one day since I like lavender and do not have bad/outdated associations related to it since it wasn't common in the country where I grew up.

    Thank you for bringing them to my attention.

    ~ Undina ~

  2. Another computer professional! What do you know :) And, just curious, where are you from originally?

    I find these 3 Lutens (along with the "Boises") the most easy to wear and accessible of all of the Lutenses and I'm suprised they get so little attention in the blogosphere. They are highly recommended!

  3. I love the last sentence of your review. :) Lavender somehow seems appropriate for a very buttoned-up IT environment (this is what I picture in my head).

  4. Yes, lavender as well as iris really mirror that logical analytic archetypical IT working persona (and then Im not counting those fat guys with beards).