Monday, October 06, 2008

Serge Lutens- Daim Blond

I've always had the strongest aversion to fruit notes in perfume. I still do, to an extent. Let's face it: Most fruity fragrances smell either cloyingly punchy or horribly cheap. Or both. And I have the skin chemistry to bring out the worst in these scents and make them last forever.

Daim Blond, a 2004 Serge Lutens creation from the export line, has one of the boldest fruit notes I can think of in high-end perfumery. Apricot. Or apricot jam. It's not your grandma's confiture, though. There's a spicy cardamon note in it, like those fancy sophisticated apricot preserve you'd buy at an exquisitely decorated deli, where you can also buy chocolate with sea salt and chili pepper and mango-papaya balsamic vinegar. That was my way of saying that the apricot in Daim Blond smells good and unlike anything you'd find at those atrocious Yankee Candle stores.

But Daim Blond isn't really a fruity perfume. The story here is the suede note. Serge Lutens might have wanted to evoke a whitish suede, but as far as I'm concerned it could have been a caramel, amber or tobacco colored suede just as well. It's soft, buttery and sensual no matter what color it takes, and because of the rich fruity note, it actually feels to me a bit darker.

Now, Daim Blond usually works better on my husband and he's the one who owns the bottle. His skin tones down the sweetness and brings out more of the spice and suede, making it quite masculine and elegant. On me, it can sometimes be too much, depending on the day and weather (I absolutely can't wear it on warm, sunny days). Sometimes the opening is a bit medicinal and bitter, other times there's a weird cherry thing going on (blame it on the heliotrope) that intensifies the fruity aspect to the point I'm not happy wearing it. But on my lucky days I get a craving, knowing that it would be right. On those days, Daim Blond is all about skin and sensuality and has an addictive quality. While the strong sillage fades after a couple of hours, the drydown is nearly eternal. It's one of those perfumes that make me sniff my wrist a hundred times a day, just so I can admire myself. Utterly indulgent and very satisfying, even if it only happens a handful of times each year.

Notes: hawthorn, Ceylon cardamom, iris, apricot kernel, musk, heliotrope and leather.

Daim Blond is available from all the usual suspects who sell Serge Lutens perfumes offline and online: Aedes (NYC, my preferred Serge source), Scent Bar (L.A.),, Barneys, Bergdorf and several others. In the UK you can find it at Selfridge's, and if you're lucky enough to live in Paris, you don't need me to tell you that even Sephora carries Serge Lutens.

Art: Timeless Moment by Michael Flohr, Vinings Gallery
Daim Blond ad:


  1. Once again you prove we are twins- I have the same reaction. I love this one irrationally, even though I know that I will get cherry cough syrup for the opening 6/10ths of the time and one spritz too many will make me smell like something that should be served at tea. Ahhh, but on a cold day (or what passes for them in Los Angeles) in the right concentration you get the most divine suede with hints of sweetness and hints of darkness. I feel far more chic than my usual uniform of chinos and polo shirt should afford and yes I will stick my nose down my shirt every chance I get...

  2. I have been reading your blog faithfully for awhile now, and I am always so intrigued and excited to see a perfume post. I know nothing about perfume and fragrances, so I am always impressed by your knowledge on the subject.

    Anyways, I was hoping you could do a perfume post for beginners, like how to chose a perfume, what perfumes are the most coveted, and describe the different types of perfume.

  3. I also do have a soft spot for Daim Blond,ever since i tried it on my visit to Paris.80Euro was too much for me, but i still regret not buying it.It is on my to buy FB list ...


  4. Kasley - just in case The Non-Blonde is too busy to put something out there you might want to check out Now Smell This. I check NST and The Non-Blonde every AM!

    General info:

    100 Fragrances Every Perfumista Should Try:

    And if you want to talk about perfumes you can email me. I love introducing fresh meat to the world of perfume!

  5. We have the same antipathies, but the opposite assuaging through Lutens: you go for Daim, I go for Arabie (but I suspect we don't wear those too often either).
    I wonder what you thought on Douce Amere (oh and I should probably mail you, forgot to follow up)

  6. Tom, I'm not surprised. Actually meant to ask you about Daim Blond, but once again, I can just sniff myself and know...

  7. Kasley, thank you very much! I've meant to write a post or two about fragrances for beginners, and you've just given me more motivation to do so.

  8. Lidia, this is definitely worth a full bottle, especially if it works for you as well as it can. On the right skin it's nothing short of glorious.

  9. Gretchen, thanks for pointing out to these links. They are definitely fundemental reading for everyone who wants to get more serious about perfume.

  10. Helg, I love Douce Amere. It works beautifully on my skin. I suspect that my aversion to Arabie is not because of the perfume itself, but because it's so evocative of places I have no desire to revisit.

  11. Fell in love with Daim Blond while visiting Barcelona. Tried it on at Sephora and kept smelling my wrist the whole evening. Today just had to go and get it. Price was 88 euro. The scent is haunting - hard to define in character. Basically it is the smell of sun-warmed skin but only better on me. Slightly spicy and sweet; don't get much of the leather but it does not matter. Cannot wait to wear it tomorrow..


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