Serge Lutens has NEVER let me down, I am a huge fan of his fragrances. La Fille de Berlin is a delicious rose, pepper fragrance that I enjoy very much. The first spray is a bouquet of soft roses. The dry down is mixed spices and I can smell the rose in the back. The rose is not overpowering at all, which makes it suitable for men as well. It lasts a long time on my skin. I would wear it in cool weather at night. Beautiful!
A splendid Otto rose is at the heart of this composition. It is not dark but is is rich and intensive -no lightweight - albeit on the brighter side. It's main accompaniment is initially a slightly sharp acidic compinent, that is soon replaced a peppery spice note, a touch of darkness that blends in very well with the rose. At times other floral notes appear transiently, and towards the end green rose-stem undertones appear, but the rose always reigns supreme. Good quality ingredients are blended very well without losing structure; this is important as otherwise it might become a very monochromatic scent.
The whose concept is not particularly original but well executed. The performance is very good, with moderate sillage, excellent projection and over seven hours of longevity on my skin. Great for late spring and early summer. 3.75/5
Sort of interesting - it reminds me of a perfume that would have smelled classy in the 50s, cheap in the 80's, and like a weird throwback today.
It's got those 80's pump-hairspray aldehydes that really haven't aged well over a decent rose, lightly dewy and green, but with a rather cheap-smelling strawberry buzzing along on top with that hairspray smell. Given time, it gets lightly powdery, and later ends up on a nice but subtle sandalwood and patchouli base. Unfortunately, that regrettable strawberry never really goes away, and that hairspray note ends up as a sort of hot office printer smell that hovers way past its welcome.
I have a soft spot for new perfumes that toy with classic recipes, so La Fille De Berlin gets a neutral vote instead of a thumbs down, but I don't have much interest in wearing this more.
Genre: Floral Oriental
La Fille de Berlin is a rose-centered composition, and with two outstanding rose fragrances in his portfolio already, one might wonder what Serge Lutens needed with a third. Sa Majesté la Rose is a bright, photorealistic portrait of a damask rose, and Rose de Nuit is a sultry rose chypre that reflects classics like Beautiful and Knowing through a modernist mirror. La Fille de Berlin occupies a comfortable middle ground between the two. It is both sweeter and more complex than Sa Majesté la Rose, yet more buoyant and lighthearted – more diurnal, if you will – than Rose de Nuit.
La Fille de Berlin’s plummy top notes introduce an intensely fruity, liqueur-like rose accord of admirable depth and richness. The rose is supported by patchouli, mellow woods, and amber, with discernable accents of incense and black pepper. The juxtaposition of rose, pepper, and incense has an antecedents in Caron’s lovely Parfum Sacré, while the rose itself is reminiscent in its plush texture of Guerlain’s Nahéma. La Fille de Berlin is a less weighty composition than either of these predecessors, yet it need not blush at the comparison. (Pink as it is in its bottle!) It is a cheerful, yet elegant, fragrance, and its rare combination of liveliness and poise make it a fine candidate for everyday wear.
The Serge Lutens line is known for the heavy and the heady. Apart from the nouvelle orientals, Féminité du Bois, Bois de Violette, and the others in the Bois series, there are two styles that capture a large portion of the line. Perfumes like Ambre Sultan, Cuir Mauresque, and Chergui fall into a range of amber, wood and resins that makes them dense and dark. They are unavoidable, and blanketing.
The other side of the Lutens coin is the heady, expansive perfumes. This category has two parts. First, the ultrasonics. These are like angels, mostly above our range of perception, but with their feet dangling just enough that we can sense them. La Myrrh, Iris Silver Mist, and Sa Majesté la Rose are three ultrasonics. Three stylistically different perfumes, one shared acoustical range. Part two are the ferocious florals. Tubereuse Criminelle, Fleur d'Oranger, A la Nuit: the flower as sociopath. They'd just as soon kill you as go fishing. I'm a sucker for these.
So how to categorize La Fille de Berlin? If the extremity of the above genres is your sole gauge, then La Fille fails. But if you want a companion, a perfume you can confide in, La Fille is just the thing. It is beautiful and easy to wear, but striking nonetheless. The top and heart notes, all rose and spice, reminds me of the succulence of fresh strawberries with a bit of balsamic vinegar. Two tastes, both complex but instantly recognizable; one fresh, one aged. Each is the perfect enhancements to the other.
These complementary pairings, whether the balsamic berries, or the pepper-spiced rose, suggest impossibly perfect combinations like youth with wisdom make for a perfume that would be ideal to wear every day. The paragon every-day perfume will not spring from focus group and should not be a set of least common denominators. It should be the best of both worlds, and la Fille de Berlin is.
Many perfumes in the Lutens line smack of the special occasion. Going to a show, looking to get laid, visiting a special place. Berlin stands apart from these one-off perfumes, but isn't without precedent. Gris Clair, Bas de Soie, Daim Blond. These are stylish beauties that could be worn every day. Noticeable and exceptionally composed, but more likely to accentuate the attractiveness of the wearer than to stand out as a Gorgeous Perfume.
La Fille de Berlin is a stellar example an ideal everyday fragrance. It is flattering, suggests confidence and intelligence, and indicates an appreciation of classical beauty.
Sign me up.