Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Lion Sleeps Tonight- Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental

My Serge Lutens habit is not exactly a secret, and the shelf space the bottles take in my perfume cabinet is steadily growing. The other day I was taking stock and checked to see which one is most likely to need restocking first. The answer is Vetiver Oriental. Not very surprising, considering the bottle is heavily shared with the Blond, and we both have a serious thing for vetiver.

Vetiver is often described as green, earthy, dirty, dark and bitter. But in this case it's also rich and chocolatey, a note one would not necessarily expect to find in such a rooty, balsamic scent. It emerges from behind the green, making it at once sweet and mysterious, just as you'd hope to find in an oriental perfume, but still very unusual. It adds to the lush feeling you get from the woods and the mosses, and blends well with both the dark and the creamy notes.

What I'm getting is a feeling of a dark jungle, exotic and wild. As it unfolds it beauty, you also sense the danger that lurks just behind, tempting you to go in deeper. So I spray a little more, to get more of that green and wait for another wave of chocolate and magic to emerge. Maybe that's how the green liquid in the bottle is disappearing so fast.

Vetiver Oriental is part of the Palais Royal exclusive collection, but it's available worldwide for a limited time. I bought my bottle from Aedes in NYC (my personal preference whenever possible, because the store is privately owned, not part of a chain and is local for me), but you can also get it from all the usual suspects: Barneys, Bergdorf, Neiman's, or if you're lucky to be in Los Angeles, at Scent Bar (also by phone and email, but not sold online). The Perfumed Court, unlike all the others mentioned above, has samples.


  1. Love your review, it's such a wonderful, different scent: an orientalised vetiver, if there ever was one. (and I generally like vetivers)

  2. Fragrant greetings to you and here is a totally unfragrant link to the "lion sleeps tonight". I love it (and I like the vetiver oriental):

  3. can you believe that I never tried this? I stopped on the way home at ScentBar and sprayed. Must. Own. Now.

  4. E.- I agree, it's wonderful in its originality. I love vetiver in many forms, but I can sort of see why some women feel it can be too masculine. But VO is wonderfully unisex.

  5. Andy- Thank you for the link. I love it!
    I'm so glad to know you're also a VO fan. I feel like I'm in great company. (And, of course, I'm curious about your vetiver :) )

  6. Tom- I really can't believe it. But, of course you must own now (or just move in with me, I'm so used to sharing this bottle).
    Your scent twin/enabler


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