I LOVE this perfume! If there were a two thumbs up option on here I would be using it right now! :D
"Gris Clair" by Serge Lutens is a fairly simple blend of amber, wood notes, incense, tonka beans, lavender and iris, and is also a fairly linear fragrance, so how it smells when you spray it on is pretty much how it stays smelling the entire day. It really doesn't need anything else added to it at all though! This is one case where relative simplicity actually works better than if they had tried to make it into something more complicated. I actually almost want to go as far as saying that "Gris Clair" is simply perfection in a bottle! It is exactly how a great, classy and expensive perfume should smell! And, like some other Serge Lutens fragrances I've reviewed, "Gris Clair" definitely does seem high class and as if it's a cut above the rest! It smells like the perfect fragrance to pair with a really expensive, designer LBD, high heels, diamond jewelry and expensive furs. (For a woman.) Or, for men, it would go well with a really expensive suit, since this fragrance is actually unisex. That said, I feel like I could buy this perfume and just wear it all the time, just because I absolutely adore the way it smells. I mentioned expensive furs, and I feel I have to add that when I smell "Gris Clair", it makes me feel as though I am wrapped in a warm perfumed cloud that somehow seems soft and fuzzy (as well as luxe and expensive) like being wrapped in rich velvet or furs. It is simply one of the most perfect perfumes I have ever found! If you have never tried "Gris Clair" I highly and most sincerely recommend that you get a sample of it. I really don't think you'll be disappointed. There isn't much to not like.
It starts off strongly with lavender and quickly the dry wood appears with the tonka and powdery iris. The dry wood is dominant and has a slightly Terre D’Hermes quality to it but more spicy/amber and the wood scent is much like opening a wood drawer. I like it and it definitely deserves to be in the lavender pantheon. Its main character is to be like candy-blue lavender with wood and incense. The lavender really hangs in there despite the boldness of the other notes. The sillage and longevity are great and towards the dry down the incense is nicely sweet and balanced. This would be perfect for the winter. If you want more wood plus incense and less vanilla than this would be your choice over Caron pour un Homme and vice versa if you love vanilla. This is very well done.
Gris Clair is a beautiful blast of Lavender. The initial spray is lavender and incense. In the dry down I can still smell the lavender but in a very soft way. It also leans towards woody notes. I can wear this in the daytime, in the heat and feel comfortable with it.
Thanks so much ClaireV for your Gris comments. Your mention of "old electric bar heaters" suddenly brought back a childhood memory of using an old iron on my brothers' cotton shirts. That "hot iron" smell is the elusive element in this haunting creation. It is beautifully blended though and a joy to wear.
Gris Clair is one of those unusual scents in the Serge Lutens that is free of the ‘dried fruits and syrup’ signature that haunts the line. In fact, it is so sparse and crystalline that one would be forgiven for checking the bottle twice just to be sure.
It opens up on a pungent, aromatic note of lavender buds that have been crushed underfoot on a rocky hillside in the Mediterranean hillside. No echoes of grandma here, no visions of lavender stalks pressed between the sheets of a notebook in an English gentlewoman’s home – this is true lavender returned to its origins as a tough customer built to survive droughts and thunderstorms. And boy, does Lutens add a thunderstorm. In the later stages of this perfume, a smoky, ashy incense accord takes over, and together with an undercurrent of sweet tonka beans, the effect is one of an electrical storm hitting that Mediterranean hillside and setting the lavender bushes on fire.
If anyone is missing the smell of old electric bar heaters or you simply like the smell of burning electrical cords, then this one is for you. It is odd as hell, but utterly stunning on a summer day when the sky threatens to burst and relieve the tension simmering in the air.