I’m beginning to wonder if Lutens and Sheldrake are running out of ideas. Their last few releases strike me as retreads of territory that they’ve long since explored: Sarrasins a subdued re-working of Tubéreuse Criminelle’s shocking camphor and white flower accord, this time done with jasmine rather than tuberose; Louve another Rahät Loukoum with the volume dialed down by a half; and El Attarine a more demure Arabie with a rose bow on top. Now comes Nuit de Cellophane, which is a fruity floral. And how original is that?
If the piercingly sweet, chemical fruit note that opens Nuit de Cellophane is meant to be novel or arresting, it’s an hilarious miscalculation, since every vulgar, juvenile fruity floral scent since roughly 1990 has opened with the same thoroughly nasty flourish. I suppose ironic humor has as much a place in the art of perfumery as in any other, but Nuit de Cellophane is a one-liner that goes nowhere special after its pratfall entrance. The remainder of its act is an apricot syrup and polite white flower accord that fades into a bland, powdery-sweet woody oriental drydown. As Lutens fragrances go this one is not all that potent, and I can’t even detect it on my skin two hours after a moderate application. Why, I wonder, did they bother?
Shortly after this came out, I went perfume sniffing for lunch break in downtown Vienna with a working colleague. We ended up with a sample of Nuit de Cellophane somehow. Back at the office, we both spritzed it on our wrists and nearly choked so offensive and loud it was. We had a good laugh and opened the windows, when she had the idea to keep the sample (I would have trashed it.) and use it as a 'weapon' when appropriate. I remember weeks later she had a meeting with a much hated superior and she later told me that she had spritzed all that was left (the majority) in the sample atomizer prior to the meeting and her 'poor victim' coughed and obviously felt uncomfortable the whole time. She was a real lady in appearance and gesture - she could do such a thing! :-)
This had such a ‘just picked’ opening (fresh cut stems, dewy flowers, slightly tart fruit) that I had to try it on my skin – where it quickly turned into a heap of white flowers put through a blender. From springlike frolic to laboured tread. Still, the quality is there, even if the march ends abruptly after 3 or 4 hours.
A most Beautiful sweet white floral scent; perfect for a hot summer evening when you feel like walking outdoors or sip white tea and eat dark chocolate.
Am discovering how incredible the SLutens line is ...
Big thumbs up...!!!
Nuit de Cellophane smells rather nice - fruity, tea-like osmanthus, done a little more softly and transparently than most osmanthus soliflores I've smelled. Not groundbreaking, but I can see spritzing this on in the heat and enjoying it. I'd give it a neutral rating, all in all, if it weren't for the very disappointing longevity and sillage after the first hour or so.
I'd recommend anyone who likes this style of fragrance but wants something a little more sophisticated to check out Nicolai's Odalique ( ideally vintage, but even the modern stuff is superior to this ). If you want a nicer osmanthus in a related vein, I recommend Parfum d'Empire's Osmanthus Interdite or Ormonde Jayne's Osmanthus, both sunny, fruity fragrances a lot like this but with superior longevity and sillage.