European Trip 2012 – Day 1 (Paris)

A great day in Paris.

Started at Serge Lutens – smelled and got samples of two new ones- Santal Majuscule and Une voix noire (hard to choose which one I like better). Stopped by The Nose – a really cool store with a great concept. Picked up Marc Buxton Black Angel and smelled everything there. I lucked into meeting one of the owners, who gave me a tour of downstairs.

Fragrance Reviews

Serge Lutens Douce Amere Fragrance Review

* Douce Amere kicks off with licorice and a boozy note, like an orange liqueur.  Although these are sweet notes, they aren’t candied or cloyingly sweet.

* The top notes project loudly for at least an hour on my skin.  Be sure to test how they last on your skin before wearing in close quarters.

* The licorice note stays present throughout the development and acts as a haze over the cinnamon, spice, and dark cocoa that come through (as the booze wears off).

* Douce Amere means bittersweet in English which is an apt description of the scent.  Most of the notes are sweet confections but are balanced in such a way that it reads mature rather than childlike.

* The base comes across differently when I wear it.  The licorice cloud is always there, sometimes I get caramel and sandalwood while other times I get resin and vanilla.

Summary:  Douce Amere could be called an oriental gourmand, yet with all the foody notes, I don’t consider it edible. There is a real seductive, mature vibe to it.  At no point is it overly sweet, which it could easily become.   This is definitely a night fragrance and not for the office.  The base notes last on me until I shower it off. Originally, Douce Amere was part of the export collection for Serge Lutens and available everywhere.  Though it was pulled from the export line and is only available through the Paris store, I often see bottles left at Serge Lutens counters in other stores. If you like Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin and want a more mature take on licorice, this would be a great one to try.

Fragrance Reviews

Serge Lutens Cuir Mauresque Fragrance Review

* Cuir Mauresque kicks off with a big punch of rubber and leather mixed with sweet resins.  No, it really does smell good.

* Serge Lutens is a french fragrance line known for their strong and powerful oriental fragrances.   Although the bottles are identical, each one is wildly different.

* The top notes take the back seat as amber, cinnamon, and incense sweeten things up.

* When I first got into fragrance,  Fille en Aguilles was brand new and my first exposure.  I sniffed it in a store and thought- pine needles, big deal.  About a year later, I stopped and sampled just about every scent in the line and starting kicking myself at how much I loved so many of their scents.

* Musk and sweet leather are the main parts of the base, though there is a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg in there as well.  The base lasts a long time, even through a shower.

Summary:  Cuir Mauresque is the equivalent to a WTF track.  When I hear a track and say to myself, WTF was that — this was the reaction I had to the first sniff Cuir Mauresque.  It’s strong, dark, and evil in a sexy way- so it’s easy to see why I’ve gone through almost a full bottle of it already.  Not office friendly, though if you put it on the evening – when you wake up in the morning the sweet leather base notes will still be there (and make you very nice to snuggle up to).

Serge Lutens  Cuir Mauresque is available from Luckyscent, Aedes,  and Barneys New York.