Well, I feel like a heretic saying this but I REALLY like L'Eau Froide. I didn't think I would as I love Serge for his deep, weird perfumes but...
It's really intriguing me. He seems to be going for the peppered water effect that Ellena has made his own but this one stays clean whereas Angeliques sous La Pluie, Voyage d'Hermes both turn into a hyper dense green smell on me that's almost like meat.
This one stays fresh, and stays a long time. Occasionally it veers into a straightforward light incense but most of the time it treads the line of frankincense as a lemony resin. Wearing it during the day is indeed a bit like having the scent of water rise up every so often, but the scent of water over stone on a summer's day - which is one of my favourite smells.
I do think there is real artistry here - to sustain the effect for so long and not fall into one thing or another. Also, to tone down the citrus and emphasise the mineral effects of an eau. A freshness that is quite different to the usual citrus or green eau's.
So, who knew, Serge makes an Eau that intrigues. And really is refreshing on hot days for a long time.
Just gorgeous. I went out looking for a green scent and boy did i get it!
The top is, as everyone says, green and bitter. There is also quite a lot of Neroli which softens it, cleans it up a bit with a soapy edge and gives the sense of water underneath.
In fact, that's what I love about it - the sense of being in a dank grove, green reeds and dark water running underneath - fecund - yet also clean.
It gets drier into the heart before deepening and sending up gorgeous whiifs of that dank/clean green smell with just a hint of something solar behind it.
and....Mousse de Saxe!! which i fell in love with after smelling the Parfum version of Nuit de Noel. It's so good to smell it being used here in a very contemporary way - more streamlined than Caron.
Sexy, intriguing and distinctive. For a man beloved of nymphs and satyrs who wanders in secluded groves.
Hmmm. To tell the story of my reaction to Molecule 01 I need to tell you about Terre d'Hermes. I used to love that scent - any man wearing it was instantly very attractive. Then i reached a point where - for no reason I can discern - it started nauseating me. I still don't know what caused the switch but one day it just started boring me and making feel slightly queasy.
So, as someone has already pointed out - Terre d'Hermes carries a huge dose of ISO Super E - the sole constituent of Molecule 01. And this is my problem. It smells like a very flat version of TDH - which was already smelling flat to me anyway.
It does mix with the skin and it is very tenacious. Whenever I smell it though it just reminds me of a lot of very generic male scents you'd smell in a night out in a club - kind of like CK One did two years after its release.
If you're not used to smelling it in other perfumes then i can imagine it has a certain allure. To my nose though it's just flat, one-dimensional and if it's sexy it's only in a sledgehammer kind of way - which has never really done that much for me!
The first time I smelt Mitsouko I was so excited. I'd read Luca Turin going on about it and was expecting some sort of divine revelation.
I went into a department store and smelt some on a smelling strip. My first reaction was - Wax Crayons?
However, I'd been told that you needed to try this on your skin and keep going back to it (I've also learnt that the first time I smell something complex my brain defaults to a smell it already knows).
So I kept on trying but it still wasn't opening up for me. Then on the seventh(!) try, I'd sprayed it on and had gone into another shop (I still remember it vividly). Suddenly it opened up around me. It felt like I was at the centre of a 3D scent mandala whose constituents were constantly shifting and revolving around me. I was totally lost in the enchantment of it.
Ah Mitsouko, what are you? Hyper-synthetic peach layered with rich florals, or bright citrus with deep dank moss? Sometimes you feel like a misty morning, others like a bright clean summer's day, or musty dark green undergrowth in the rain, or a candy violet treat, or......... Whatever you are smelling like though you really hit the sweet spot in my brain and smell just darn GOOD!
Mitsouko's genius, I believe, lies (like the language of Shakespeare) in indeterminacy. By remaining complex and open, generations of people are able to project their own interpretations into its structure. True Art.
It wasn't quite divine but I definitely got my revelation!
Hmmm, if this scent smells like a man's groin who's been riding on horseback then he's also rolled around in a lot of good clean dirt and bathed in rosewater. If you ever meet a man whose groin smells like this then I say - don't have him scrubbed and send him directly to my tent!!
I love this. Honeyed skin, softened by rose, with the burr of musk. It's also a really beautiful incense scent.
Love at first sniff. It reminds me of lying in bed just after your lover has got up, and smelling his warm presence lingering on white sheets. Comforting, drowsy, at peace with the world.
Well, as is famously known, this one comes on with lavender screeching. I quite like that though, a refreshing invigorating clear the head kind of experience. Then the accord starts to develop and what seemed like a single story becomes more of a love duet.
This fragrance is all about the relationship between lavender and vanilla. And that vanilla is gorgeous. At first, it's just a tease - a hint of sweetness. Then it becomes rounder and acquires a nutty character. At this point it can baffle the senses, seeming to reach a place where you can't tell if what you're smelling is lavender or vanilla - then it settles down into one or the other before resuming its strange hypnotic dance again.
A lot's written about the lavender. I feel the real beauty of Pour Un Homme is the vanilla. It reminds me a lot of the anilla in Shalimar. However, where Shalimar gives a dirty, slightly skanky version of vanilla (brightened by citrus), PUH gives us a fresh herbaceous version of vanilla. Yep, I don't know how they did it but to give vanilla a fresh, clean, herbal edge is the real triumph of this fragrance.
It's also a really masculine fragrance - evoking strength, delicacy, warmth and clear vision.
A great fragrance for Spring - when the new growth is really getting under way.
It took me a while to get this. At first, I could barely detect anything and what i could seemed very weak. I was misled I think by their marketing that likens it to a Cashmere sweater.
Then, one day, it suddenly came together in my nose (and brain).
A very dry wood and rose accord - one of the driest I have ever come across. There's a transparency to this scent that i really love. It's almost like a luminous sheath around you. Yet it's dry and woody at the same time.
This for me is the smell of the Forest of Arden from Shakespeare. Spring is giving way to Summer and shepherd's are falling in love amidst the dappled sunlight coming down through full leaved trees.
Beautiful, refined and romantic.
I LOVE this juice. From the second it comes giddily swirling out of the bottle i am completely enraptured.
Wearing Hypnotic Poison is like being dangled over a huge vat of thick, honey drenched cream. Just as you're about to be plunged into the screaming richness of it all though, up comes a bitter aspect to pull you back. The construction is so beautifully balanced, you are constantly held at that point - staring death by sweet creaminess in the face but always just being saved.
Exhilirating, narcotic, dangerous, seductive. Grown up yet incredibly giggly. Like having a gorgeous stranger come up to you with a glint in their eye that says "Let's be naughty".
Then all is rounded off with an extraordinary creamy wood finish that brings you back to earth with sophistication and sensuality.
One of the best exercises in dynamic tension I have ever come across. Hypnotic Poison has led me to fall in love with Annick Menardo. Anyone whose imagination can produce this beauty is quite a being!