Sunday, February 02, 2014

Serge Lutens- La Vierge de Fer

“And deep down, as itchy as a hair shirt on the skin. In fact, a sublime torture!”      --Serge Lutens, from the marketing blurb of La Vierge de Fer

I can save you reading the whole thing and just say that I don't like  La Vierge de Fer very much. I tried. I really really tried. Started with a small sample, then bought a larger decant so I could spray and live with it for a while, which wasn't the most pleasurable experience ever. But I had to. It's a Serge Lutens perfume. A Serge Lutens perfume in a bell jar (formerly non-export). It must be good. It must be special. Right? Right? RIGHT?

The husband had two things to say about  La Vierge de Fer: 1) he'd never have guessed this was a Serge Lutens perfume, and 2) it seems to belong in the Hermessence line. That's the whole story in a nutshell.

La Vierge de Fer is a pretty perfume. It's a faithful and lifelike representation of the most luminous white lily.  It's so straightforward and  3D that I immediately smelled my wedding bouquet and could almost touch the creamy petals after all these years. But there's nothing else there, which is not what I'd expect from an exclusive Lutens. The perfume is airy and cold because of that metallic infusion-- the Fer part of the perfume, but that's it, and I have to say that for minimlaistic interpretations, space between the notes or whatever we have Jean-Claude Ellena.

Speaking of which. I'm not a fan of Ellena's Hermessence Vanille Galante, mostly because it's a lily perfume and not a vanilla. Ellena's lily note becomes increasingly fruity on my skin every time I wear it. Similarly, La Vierge de Fer turns into a banana-melon smoothie, especially when my skin gets warm:  in the car, when working out, under a heavy comforter. The result is the same, and that's the part I find difficult. Yes, basically, I end up with a light but incredibly long-lasting fruity-floral perfume that doesn't suit me at all. And frankly, I don't think it suits Serge Lutens, either.

Serge Lutens- La Vierge de Fer ($310, 75ml bell jar) is available from Barneys and

Image: Leo Yiu, Stackable Vase, 2012, via Trendland.


  1. I love many JCE scents--and so a JCE-like perfume isn't automatically a negative to me--but I agree that we don't need one from SL. And anything reminiscent of Vanille Galante? Shudder. (But then, I hate lily perfumes.)

  2. I know I ordered a sample of this. I know I tried it. And I know I don't remember it. But I also know that after sampling I didn't bother to order a bottle or even a decant or another sample. You could write this lack of memory off due to the fact that for someone who is not a blogger or in any way connected with the perfume industry I sample an absurdly large number of perfumes, but I actually have a really good memory for all of them. I think it's more that I really adore Serge and if I was seriously disappointed in this perfume, I may have let some selective amnesia happen. Still, SLs are perfumes that I do believe in trying and retrying, so I'm going to have to either find my sample or order another one, but after reading your review, I'm not wildly hopeful (and there are a number of SLs I've never managed to bond with).
    And just wanted to say how impressed I am with your husband's comments on this. I've had my DH sample SLs countless times (skin chemistry testing), he's smelled them on me beyond countless times and I've even sent him on several occasions to the Palais Royal to pick bottles up for me when he's gone to Paris, but he still would never, ever be able to differentiate an SL from a Britney Spears, much less an Hermessence scent.

  3. I have the same problem with FM Lys Mediterranee - it smells great to me at first but the aquatic notes take over and become unbearable. nozknoz


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget