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.
Quite an ingenious lavender scent.
I have to admit I don't know where to start, what to write except - lavender, lavender, oh refined lavender. Incense is also dominant, with a touch of woody notes, but lavender smell is zealously dominant. It emits to me a field of lavender near the forest, on a high mountain top, bombarded by the sun rays, bees buzzing about and ravaging the rich lavender fields. The smell is quite sharp, which is enjoyable to me, as few fragrances are able to provide sharpness and not only a sweet one, but refined one as well.
Albeit the fact it is not my cup of tea, this scent, I pretty much enjoy it. It's the occasion and attire that bothers me in this story. One cannot be properly attired every day, not every day there is a special occasion and not every day is a perfect, sunny spring day.
However if one simply wants to feel special, if someone wants to smell a bright sunny day on the mountain range lavender field, if someones goal is to radiate this way to others, then this is a perfect fragrance for that.
Oh joy! A lavender scent that doesn't turn into stuffy-old-man soap! I love fresh lavender in the garden, but tend to steer away from lavender scents. Unless they have strong animalic components - like Jicky or Ungaro II - they become oppressively soapy on my skin. Not Gris Clair.
My experience is that almost every time Sheldrake and Lutens break out of their obsessive sweet oriental groove, they strike gold: Sa Majeste la Rose, Chene, Un Lys, Tubereuse Criminelle, and now Gris Clair. The element of success in this scent, I believe, is balance. The lavender is palpably real and three-dimensional, but not overwhelming. Instead, it's perfectly offset by smooth woods and soft spices, enlivened by a mild camphoraceous note, and rounded out by just the merest dab of sweetness in the base. It's not sensuous in the manner of most Serge Lutens scents, but rather quite reserved and formal.
Gris Clair is a scent that I would turn too when I'm dressing well in warm weather and want to project sophistication, poise, and confidence. Better than average lasting power and adequate, yet controlled sillage and projection add to its charms. Bravo!