The peppers are immediately evident, giving the scent the sharp, pungent aroma of oud. It's very dry. I am assuming the "woods" is the oud.
It takes a while for the floral notes of carnation and iris to surface, but they are immediately done in by the strong clove and nutmeg blanket.
Since carnation and clove are identical in scent, differing by strength and intensity, the carnation note being light, green, spicy and fresh, and the clove being powerful and dark, there is no contest when you put them side by side. The clove always overpowers the carnation.
An interesting experiment gone wrong, in my estimation. The balance is all wrong. None of the delicate notes are allowed to be buoyed up by the denser ones. Instead they are submerged and smothered.
One of the oddest scents I have ever experienced and a total failure.
A cool, intense violet; hints of powder and blueberry (a cool colored berry). Sweet. Even though it's cool there's a vanilla note in there. Little old lady wearing powder and violet perfume. Very interesting fragrance - there's something that almost itches the nose (the pepper?), slightly off-putting but unusual and fascinating. Dries down to soft, spicy powder - it warms up a touch but still on the cool side. Long lasting but in about 2 hours fades until only detectable on being very close to the wrist.
A mild thumbs up. Nothing problematic here. A light, wispy scent. Rather pleasant, and certainly nothing like the odd name suggests. Indeed, a better name would be "Rose en argent" -- (rose in silver) -- for that is what the scent suggests. The iris and carnation notes blend to create a light rose note. The scent is dry and airy. Peppery spices are subdued but keep things dry. There are light and breezy hints of wood, and an airy note which sometimes suggests mint and other times freshly-cut paper. This light style is unusual for traditional Serge Lutens, perhaps part of the nouvelle vague of that house.
I have a feeling this one gets overlooked because of the ho-hum reviews and lack of punch, which is understandable. There's nothing "vitrol" about it...it's fairly tame in comparison with other spice-bombs. Also, carnation is tricky...many of us have associations with outdated perfumes, or even soapy-smelling cosmetic products.
Alas, Vitriol d'Oeillet is still a beautiful, dry, spiced-floral, relying heavily on ylang and rose to conjure the image of a proper carnation. I happen to find it very wearable and elegant, minimal in its details (a good thing), and a good candidate for any guys out there looking to dip their toes in the land of florals.
ps - irrelevant, but the colour of the juice is so perfectly matched to the scent, it's uncanny...
If, like me, the name “Vitriol d’Oeillet” had you dreaming of a transgressive floral successor to the brilliant Tubéreuse Criminelle, dream on. This isn’t all that vitriolic, and it’s not even much of an oeillet. In all fairness, I’m not sure how you’d do a convincing carnation soliflore with the current restrictions on eugenol. (The distinctively medicinal aromachemical common to cloves and carnation reconstructions.)
What Lutens delivers is not so much an angry carnation as a spicy-woody rose. That’s not a bad thing in itself; in fact it puts Vitriol d’Oeillet in the august company of Caron’s brilliant Parfum Sacré, Amouage Lyric Man/Woman, Czech & Speake’s No. 88, and Frédéric Malle’s Noir Epices. Vitriol d’Oeillet shares with most of these its notes of clove and black pepper, but its profile seems somehow less distinctive than any of them. It has neither the reckless intensity of Noir Epices, the exotic opulence of Parfum Sacré, nor the oudh and incense fueled mystery of the Amouage or Czech & Speake.
For a perfume house that made its reputation on bold, supersaturated compositions, Vitriol d’Oeillet smells oddly subdued. Indeed, the recent series of conventional – even apologetic – compositions, from Nuit de Cellophane and Bas de Soie to L’Eau Serge Lutens, leaves me wondering what’s become of the outfit that gave us Muscs Koublaï Khän, Ambre Sultan, Tubéreuse Criminelle, and La Myrrhe? This scent is pleasant and competent, but hardly likely to inspire passion, much less controversy. Meanwhile, for a convincing carnation soliflore, vitriolic or not, I’d aim for Comme des Garçons’ Series 2 Red: Carnation.