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.
Female 1: 3.5/5, Impression: a little musky but clean and uplifting. Has a defining smell
Female 2: 3.5 /5, Impression: soapy, flowery, feminine aroma
Female 3: 0/5, Impression: Pompous. Does not suit you (which is me)
Male 1: 1/5, Impression: Too feminine and flowery
Male 2: 4/5, Impression: I like this one
Male 3: 3/5, Impression: a sweet but heavy floral scent
Projection: average +
Longevity: 10 h +
This is a mystery to me. There is definitely depth to it, but I’ve never understood this type of perfumes. It’s just like the Myrrh from the same creator. I love the house generally, but they do sometimes come up with these exceedingly abstract constructions. Luxurious soap and flower in an architectural excellence that does not speak to me. This is like a polished semi-precious stone ball on a dark velvet. Too round, somehow closed and detached. I usually prefer wilder, more angular and resonating fragrances.
This is slightly pompous, quietly proud aristocracy. And it’s really too feminine in my opinion.
Maybe if I could detect the peppers that are supposed to be there.
So, generally… respect but no attraction.
A peppery carnation with cloves is what I'm mainly picking up. What has been done to the carnation note, it can be really beautiful in a fragrance but here they have ruined it.
As time goes by other floral notes come into play making the main spicy peppery carnation smell like soapy bubblegum.
Thumbs down with this one.
Super harsh opening, pungent green notes, raw freshly-cut carnation flowers, a massive aldehydes feel, all in a trasparent, metallic, vibrant cloud, with a slightly sweet base. The carnation is powerful, vivid and biting, surrounded by spices (cloves and pepper) and a tasty, savoury bittersweet note of pimiento. The softer base of vanilla and ylang comes in shape and emerges as minutes pass, slowly turning the fragrance in a sweeter and almost slightly milky tanning cream-like scent (I recall Un bois vanille). The middle phase is basically a talcum-musky fairly pleasant and sweet take on the initial accord - meaning that it's still all there, just "emulsified" in a sweeter shape. The evolution is a bit odd and almost "sea-roving", it ranges from metallic to sweet than switching back to a dry green/floral, then ending back again to a musky sweet drydown, which eventually dries and settles in a discomforting floral/medicinal accord. And frankly I do not enjoy any of these passages in particular, it's like watching a movie with people yelling and moving in front of the screen – the movie is carnation and the rest is, well, all the rest that surrounds (or better say, covers) it here. Plus I don't get any "feeling" in particular - it's not refined, not pleasant, not "ironic", not evocative... not even shady or masculine or avant-garde. Not that it has to be some of these, it's just that it's more kind of a sequence of smells, none of which achieves any result in terms of identity. A bit too much, in a bit too much unclear concept. If you like carnation, you'd better go CdG's Carnation - an unbeatable quintessential tribute to this beautiful flower.
This aroma puzzled me each time (a couple) i tested it on skin. The first part of the evolution is almost intollerable to me as i detect a strong grassy/lymphatic feel as well as somebody should have been rubbing "crudely" some floral leaves and stems on your skin. The note of carnation is dominant with its typical lymphatic, earthy and sharp type of performance. The effect is surely floral but grassy, piquant and almost metallic (paradoxically almost plastic) at once. I detect a strong peppery note followed by a sweeter hint of cloves and by a mossy camphoraceous sort of general vibe. At this point thank God a milder and more approachable powdery floral/woody mildness starts to emerge from the base rounding the elements and pacificating grass and spices in to a more ordinary woody/floral base. In this phase the aroma is finally more tolerable, slightly humid and still camphor centered, a bit sinister and vaguely mouldy/mossy as an abandoned english garden. I appreciate this final part despite the perfume (or better this ambience) is too much oriented towards a botanical and natural sort of olfactory casting while i miss a bit structure, modernity, class and real sophistication. Not bad anyway.
27th December, 2013 (last edited: 09th January, 2015)