Perfume Directory

BaptÍme du Feu (2016)
by Serge Lutens

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BaptÍme du Feu information

Year of Launch2016
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 26 votes)

People and companies

HouseSerge Lutens
PerfumerChristopher Sheldrake
Parent CompanyShiseido

About BaptÍme du Feu

BaptÍme du Feu is a shared / unisex perfume by Serge Lutens. The scent was launched in 2016 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Christopher Sheldrake

Reviews of BaptÍme du Feu

I am slightly fascinated by this scent. It's unusual. To my nose, this opens with autumnal dried fruit that immediately calls to mind Lutens's Arabie. It settles to something in the same family but rather different. To test, I sprayed Arabie on my other arm -- it's sweeter and more "potpourri"-ish.

Except for mandarine, I am unfamiliar with the notes in this perfume. It's maybe because of this that the individual notes are indistinguishable to my nose. But after reading about them here, I think I'm primarily getting the gingerbread -- but the way it's done is quite unusual. Maybe it's the "gunpowder" (whatever chemical compounds that actually is) that gives this its unique character?

Worth a sniff, at least.
22nd May, 2018
I have no idea what this is about when I smell it. It's smoky, powdery, sweet, spicy, woody, floral. It's everything at once. A gorgeous pot pourri. I love it. Longevity is good but sillage is average.
28th April, 2017
I was underwhelmed by this scent. I think it could have been much more interesting. The "scorched mandarin peel" and gunpowder should have produced a smokey, mineral note like fireworks. Not really any of that. Gingerbread + osmanthus should be a tea-and-cake chord... barely that. No animalic notes that I can see, nor any wood.
The main element is the osmanthus: a green-white floral, a bit like jasmine with a peach note in the background. Oddly metallic. A slight toasted note lurked in the far edges.
Different and unusual -- sort of. But not all that intriguing.
13th November, 2016
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom
These type of fragrances I find hard to describe.

Dark red juice containing facets of boiled fruit sweets, cinnamon, ginger all enveloped in a cold, icy dryness.

You can never accuse Serge Lutens of being bland.

I think I love it.
08th November, 2016
Itís the final moments before the band appears on stage. Iím right at the front and I can feel the tension in the air as the crowd pulsates restlessly behind me. Weíve all been waiting too long and now it feels like something is about to happen. I taste metal in my mouth. The air crackles with the peppery smell of dry ice. Through it all, I can smell the aftershave of the man next to me and I wonder if heís wearing Insensť, because itís sharp but also floral. I donít know whether I feel threatened or excited.

This is what BaptÍme du Feu smells like to me.

Technically, my nose tells me itís a curl of orange peel smoking on a Bunsen burner, overlaid with a dry, grey haze of gunpowder. But the atmosphere the perfume creates is more than the sum of its parts. Thereís a dry, throat-catching quality to the pepper and ginger that feels like it might burn your lungs if you inhale too deeply. There is both ash and metal floating in this strange mixture, like the aftermath of an industrial accident.

The gunpowder calls to mind bonfires, fairgrounds, and dark clubs vibrating with sexual promise and danger. Itís a gun or a round of fireworks freshly discharged, and the tense moment right after when people donít know how to react.

In a way, Bapteme du Feu reminds me a bit of 540 Baccarat Rouge, if only in its strange, sweet-peppery supersonic radiance that is actually very hard to define in words. 540 Baccarat Rouge is supposed to smell like crushed rubies, and successful or not (I say not), it does manage to put across something of that very abstract idea.

Bapteme du Feu is similarly abstract. Whether it succeeds or not depends less on its technical construction and more on the feeling it is able to summon up inside of each individual wearer. Itís a half of a perfume, then, just lying there waiting to be picked up and made into something whole by you supplying the other half of the equation: your imagination. In me, it conjures up a memory of a club or the excitement I felt when standing in the center of a press of bodies, dry ice flowing around me. This vision is half me, half the perfume.

Unfortunately, the atmosphere captured so vividly in the topnotes does not hold together for very long. The fragrance starts to fade out into a very sweet, almost candied note, exposing a standard chemical exoskeleton, the usual base Iíd expect from a designer perfume, not a niche one (although Iím getting used to that too).

On the upside, itís nowhere near the level of Iso E Super or Ambroxan pain I suffer in stuff like Sauvage or even Lutensí own LíOrpheline. Itís comfortably worked in, whatever it is. I just think that itís too plain a material Ė this radiance-giving molecule Ė to carry a perfume like this all the way.

Iím not sure that Bapteme du Feu is quite the return to form that people were hoping for from Oncle Serge, but itís as strange and as atmospheric as some of his earlier work such as Mandarin Mandarine and La Myrrhe. Running counter to what many people expect from a Lutens, it has no syrupy, dried-fruit sweetness at all. It is as bone dry as Chene or Gris Clair, with a side of burnt orange peel. Despite the ginger note, there is no relation to 5 Oí Clock Au Gingembre beyond a sharp, citrusy aftershave-like nuance I pick up in both.

I recommend at least a sample to see if your imagination provides the spark that lights this particular tube of gunpowder. I think itís an interesting, slightly challenging perfume that doesnít go out of its way to be sweet or playful or even particularly pleasing. And in the face of so many dull and commercially pretty fragrances out there, this makes Bapteme du Feu a Good Thing indeed.
28th October, 2016
I'm really enjoying my sample, but unfortunately I don't get longevity at all....Pretty much gone by lunch time. I definitely get the burnt orange and the gingerbread and LOVE it! Will enjoy this over the holidays for sure!
20th October, 2016

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