Bergamot, Cardamom, Zitrische Notes, Coriander, Juniper (Gin Note)
Ginger, Magnolia, Jasmine, Osmanthus, Lily, Iris, Violet
Benzoin, Benzoin, Cistus (Labdanum), Vetiver, Cedar, Musk
Serge Lutens – Collection Noire – Baptême du Feu
New perfumes by the great Serge Lutens are always an event in the world of fragrance. His notes for the fragrance are often oblique and mysterious, leaving to us, the consumers, the business of interpreting the connection between the perfumer’s intentions and the notes our nose actually perceives. Only one thing is certain – a Serge Lutens fragrance is a cipher for some larger meaning, and it is always fun to try and discern what this might actually be. This is all Serge Lutens says about his latest fragrance, translated loosely from the original French: “My emotions are as fluid as wax that flows into a mold. Like wax, emotion solidifies into the very thing that drew me here, this heart of gingerbread.” Only gradually is the importance of this short essay revealed. Apparently, this scent represents a journey Serge takes back in time to a happy moment in his own childhood, specifically to a funfair. This particular funfair would appear only for a few days of the year in his northern French town, but it acted as a magnet for people from all over the region.
What a fascinating world that funfair must have opened up for a little boy! The exciting and perhaps unfamiliar scent of freshly squeezed oranges mixed with exotic spices might have rushed to his young nose. The taste of delicious gingerbread on his tongue and the sight of the wild rides! But there is also a dark side. The same crowds that produce a sense of bustling excitement can also pulse through narrow streets like an angry river and sweep up a little boy into chaos and violence. Crowds can turn in a matter of seconds and dash all wonder and happiness to the ground. The smell of gunpowder can spark suddenly through the air, its metallic, bitter dust signaling a sudden turn towards danger and violence. Baptême du Feu is therefore a mixture of all the possible scents of a funfair at night – the mingling of exotic, hot ginger notes with the stinging metal burn of gunpowder and violence. A threatening, unsettling premise, no? But one that excites and tantalizes all the same. Baptême du Feu was developed in close collaboration with the perfumer Christopher Sheldrake. Of course, this is not the first Lutens-Sheldrake collaboration, as fans will most surely know! This most fruitful of collaborations has given birth, over the past 16 years, to marvels such as Féminité du Bois, Borneo 1834, and Fumerie Turque.
Orange peel, ginger, cinnamon, osmanthus, castoreum, and woody notes.