Friday, October 26, 2007

Serge Lutens- Rousse

The truth is that I have been wearing Rousse ever since I got my bottle, throughout the summer. It did well in the heat and didn't bloom too crazily. I hope. But I couldn't wait to try the spicy cinnamon heat in its natural habitat of gray days, cold nights, crunchy leaves and fall colors.

You know how it is: The weather cools down, trench coats and cashmere are pulled out of their storage and you start thinking about baking cookies and wearing spicy perfumes. Rousse sort of combines them all, except that his cinnamon and spice aren't really the stuff gingerbread is made of, but more of a spiced wine and mulled cider.

The opening notes are full of cinnamon, soon to be joined by rich fruit. The mandarin note is sweet, but not cloying and it doesn't make the scent into the juice on the bottom of a fruit cup. It's familiar and comforting, but it blends well into the spices and woods and keeps them from becoming too dark. Rousse's heart is playful and uplifting: Clove? Carnation? Something sparkly is going on there, making me think of red vitrage windows catching the light.

The base is beautiful and well-blended. The various notes come together perfectly into a sweet, woody-ambery base. On my skin the cinnamon and mouthwatering spice never go away. On my husband it was much more dry. He found the amber to be a bit too much for him, but I beg to differ. He should probably give it another try in the cooler weather. If he can pry the bottle from my hand, that is.

First image is the official ad for Rousse. Beautiful but doesn't match my idea of this scent.
The second picture is of an artwork made of real cinnamon, by Bulgarian artist Vasco Tsenev.

Rousse and the other Serge Lutens scents of his export line are available from Aedes, Barneys and all the other usual suspects, now also including Luckyscent, which is great news for those of you on the West Coast.


  1. I'm with you on this one [no surprise, I'm sure].
    A real treat in the cool weather.
    And I'll wager it layers well with others, such as Arabie, or Santal Blanc, and definitely with Chypre Rouge- it cuts the sweetness.
    Toasty !

  2. Love my cinnamon!! I also like Rousse a lot (and enjoyed your description), just not sure if I need a whole bottle. *scratches head*

  3. Chaya'le- No surprise at all. I'm going to play with layering it this week. When I can make myself not wear Cuir Ottoman and Ambre Russe, that is.

    Helg- I know what you mean. I wouldn't have objected to smaller bottles of Serge. But, I'm a bit obsessive about this line and have a need to own many of the bottles. It's probably for the best, because between my husband and me, they are being used frequently and liberally.

  4. It took me a while to love Rousse, but I am a convert-- as a matter of fact, it's a cool grey day here and I am wearing it!

  5. Tom- I'm sure it works perfectly for a California Dreaming day. I was wearing New Haarlem today in an attempt to perk up. It almost worked. Switched to Bandit later in the evening, and it definitely did the job.


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