Monday, August 17, 2009

Serge Lutens Fleurs de Citronnier

Fleurs de Citronnier is probably the biggest sleeper in Serge Lutens export line. It's often getting passed over in favor of its sultry sibling, Fleurs d'Oranger, which hogs the stage with bold white flowers and spices. It's really a shame, because Fleurs de Citronnier has a lot to offer, especially if you like the more delicate aspect of citrus flowers.

Not that Fleurs de Citronner is all that shy and innocent. It's not, but this perfume doesn't hit you on the head with sex appeal. Instead, the fragrance sneaks up on you and reveals its complexity slowly, especially when dabbed and not sprayed (lately I'm all about dabbing Lutens. It can make a very big difference). Dabing tones down the floral sharpness of the top notes.

It took me a while before I learned to isolate the tuberose note among the neroli and lemon flowers, because it's so well-behaved and cooperates with all the other facets of the perfume. The white blossoms here are honeyed in the best Lutensic way possible, radiating softness. This combination could have easily turned heavy and cloying, but not here. Somehow it's transparent enough to be wearable in every weather and on every occasion.

The base is beautifully musky, like an uplifted Clair de Musc. You can still smell the orange and lemon blossoms many hours into wearing the scent (wonderful staying power, can easily be detected 24 hours later and remains on my pillow), but the sillage plays within acceptable social codes of personal space. It's the kind of perfume I'd wear for a first date. It wouldn't send out the wrong message, but would still make him want to get closer.

Fleurs de Citronnier ($120, 1.69 oz) is available from all the usual suspects: the top tier department stores, Aedes, Blue Mercury, Scent Bar and Beauty Habit (I bought mine from the latter). Most of them also sell online or by phone.

Art: Paperwhites & Meyer Lemons by Jeanie Chadwick


  1. Oh, I do love this one! I can't think of another scent that showcases the lemon blossom instead of the fruit, and it's just perfectly balanced.

  2. I just couldn't do this one...beautiful opening, but that sticking your head in a bucket of Tide. I'd be thrilled to smell it on someone else, but I couldn't live with that musk for the 8 days it lasts!

  3. I love the way this sounds. Especially with those musk notes, Dane! Off to find some....

  4. D., you're right- I don't think I've ever come across another lemon blossom perfume. I wonder why. It's such a beautiful scent.

  5. Dane, the drydown really lasts forever and a day, that much I can give you. But I adore the Musks in Papa Serge's perfumes. Do you also have issues with CdM and Bois et Muscs?

  6. Jane, it should be fairly easy to find some FdC, and if you like Clair de Musc I'm pretty sure you'll love this one.


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