Friday, December 21, 2007

Serge Lutens Midwinter part 1: Bois et Fruits

'Tis the season for fruitcake.

Many Serge Lutens perfumes have a wintery appeal with their deep, dark notes. I chose to start with Bois et Fruits because of the holidays and the traditional dried fruit dishes. Serge Lutens simply describes this scent as "Candied Cedar", capturing both the gourmand aspect as well as the dry wood that's not just in the base, but layers throughout the perfume's skin-life.

There's always a duality: Even the opening notes aren't just boozey apricots and plums. There's a whiff of what anti-wood people call "eww, pencil shavings" and cedar lovers call "oooohhh, pencil shavings!". It keeps the candied treat from being too sweet and going the bad yummy way.

The scent develops in waves, not exactly like the traditional note pyramid. It feels like the fruit and cedar chase each other to the finish line, each getting deeper (the fruits become dates and figs, sweeter than the tangy apricots) and mellower over time, so the fragrance stays perfectly balanced and calm yet very satisfying, because the end result is creamy, warm and enveloping the wearer in a safe and cozy veil.

While the scent is perfect in this weather and for holiday events, it isn't very festive and doesn't sparkle. I have a feeling (based on wearing Bois et Fruits while working out) that it will bloom and intensify in hot weather, yet will remain very wearable. The sillage is minimal when it's cold and the lasting power moderate, especially in Serge standards: about 4 hours.

Bois et Fruits is one of the two exclusive Lutens (the other one is Un Bois Sepia) that have recently appeared at Bergdorf Goodman. Until last month they were only available from Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido in Paris which doesn't ship outside the EU. While still not sold online, tehy can be purchased from Bergdorf by phone.

Image of the Egyptian market in Istanbul, Turkey from Turkey Travel Planner.

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