The opening of Chene is remarkable, even memorable in my opinion. It's a surprisingly vibrant, realistic woody accord, the woodiest of them all, with a lot of nuances; fresh, sweet, radiant, balsamic, much spicy and with a nice green-herbal accord which increases the "green-balsamic-aromatic" factor - a "culinary" type of herbal notes as in some other Lutens' scents (here is thyme). The wood accord is different from pretty much any other I've ever smelled so far: it's really, really aromatic and rich, on the cedar-oak side with a hint of warm sweetness provided by sandalwood. Overall it has a peculiar sort of lively and vibrant freshness, like the invigorating smell of a freshly cut trunk of wood. So no smoky, dark, dry or "aged" woods, just real pure wood. A subtle pollen-resinous breeze (almost caramelised, with rooty and sweet nuances of licorice and honey - I guess this is all due to immortelle) completes the "landscape" of coniferous woods. Pretty much it, I think I smell only a couple of other slight notes that enhance different facets of the woody accord – green notes on one side, spices on the other (cardamom, but to me also juniper and a light cloves note). A really simple scent yet complex and cleverly composed, fascinating and powerful, evocative and sharp, incredibly natural yet incredibly "clean" somehow. And totally refined. Perhaps its martial linearity can turn into monotone staticity, but its "basic" and organic coziness is pure class and charme.
It has honestly taken me a long time to fall for Chêne. I usually like wood scents, but Chêne has a weird sweetness and not-so-subtle funk that never really spoke to me until recently. Perhaps I just needed to wear it on a particularly nice day, but now I’m enjoying it.
So what does it smell like? Oak, mostly. There’s a standard oak note in niche perfumes (especially the Duchoufour L’Artisans) that’s almost exaggeratedly dry and very dusty – this isn’t that. Instead, it’s more like moist tree bark. There are undertones of maple syrup, moss, and fresh earth, with a fairly strong leathery sweaty note in there as well. There’s a hard-to-place red sweetness (maybe berries or cedar) that hints at red wine, though Chêne smells to me more like a grove of trees than a winery.
This boozy woody fragrance is one you have to try. Reminds me a lot of Gucci Pour Homme I. Wood and tree sap mixed with a cognac drink is what I get from this. Sounds strange, but that's what I get.8.5/10
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"analogy" is like when you're just getting on a new car and smelled the leather holstery blended with the fine oak panel board and oak steering wheel with cup of whiskey held in an oak cup board and this oak appropriated is the finest set up in this new high class luxurious car...wow beautiful...
21st June, 2014 (last edited: 24th June, 2014)
Chêne is dry, woody, mossy, and just a bit astringent: a real walk in the forest. No extra syrup either, just the natural sweetness of cured oak logs, plus lots of herbs and lots of booze. The oak note in Chêne is beyond real, its hallucinogenic. Repeated wear leaves me feeling that Chêne is the appalling Miel de Bois done right. Which is to say, without the overwhelming dried urine note that rendered that otherwise interesting fragrance unwearable.
Long-lasting, with moderate sillage and a beautiful mossy/woody/tonka bean drydown. It smells "serious," but it makes me happy.
I get the smell of oak with a beautiful rum accord and a birch note making the scent lighter and more aromatic at the start.
Then the wood and sweetness merge to give you a sweet smoky woody scent. It's done just right in that it does not get too sweet. I love woody fragrances and this is really evocative.
Misnamed as there is as much cedar as oak here but it is very good anyway. Not amongst the more outlandish of the Lutens collection but a bit of complexity is added by some dry spice notes and a lovely waxy base. Suits a reflective mood. Good longevity from 5 sprays.
P.S. it's not in the database at the time of writing but for the woodiest tree scent in the forest try the remarkable Siskiyou Cedar Cologne by Juniper Ridge.
This scent is one of the most uplifting, alluring and refreshing ones from the SL House; themed around woody mossy notes.
It took me about 5 wearings to understand it fully; have now established a strong connection with the meaning and the soul of the scent. I wear it mostly on spring/autumn/summer days during the day time to refresh me and remind me of how powerful nature really is...
If you enjoy the fougere and woody genres, give Chene a try; you might fall in love too and make it an essential piece in your wardobe/travel box set, like I do.
Good longevity and sillage !
Thumbs up !!!
Chene by Serge Lutens - One is initially treated to an enveloping aura of freshly planed lumber, at once astringent, somewhat akin to the sour spitup of a baby, and yet, faintly sweet. A fruity booziness of rum as well as a syrupy immortelle, with its herbaceous, sweet hay aspect, swirl about redolent of an oozed sap. Transitioning to the awaiting middle, a rich, smoky cedar rises to usurp the opening wood, while oakmoss imparts its foresty, green bitterness, which is pleasantly offset by delightsome honey. Splashes of lemony thyme flitter about. Segueing to the enriching base, a robust birch bestows its root beer commingling with wintergreen aroma. Beeswax supplies its cured tobacco and sweet hay aspects. And, tonka bean offers its rich spiciness and smokiness. The intermingling of these scents creates a pleasing drydown. This high-quality composition has average projection and very good longevity. This somewhat rustic fragrance definitely leans to the masculine side.
The fragrance has an woody opening chord mixed with notes of rum, giving a semi sweet tone to the fragrance, which in my opinion, is fantastic!
After a few hours, rum aroma gives way to a more resinous scent followed by oak which persists to the end. It lasted 12 hours on my skin.
Chene is Luten's hidden gem. While it haven't reached the poularity of other masterpieces of the house such us Muscs Koublai Kahn, Ambre Sultan or Iris Silver Mist, it would surely deserve an higher status as one of the most wearable and balanced fragrances among the Sheldrake's compositions for the Palais Royal.
Chene opens moderately sweet (considering is from Lutens), slightly honeyed (beeswax) and oakwood driven. A boozy vibe is immediately detectable but it's perfectly blended to never be overwhelming. Cedarwood and oakmoss take over in the middle phase and in the drydown adding a sharp edge that's quite unusual among the Lutens yet the fragrance mantains an incredible balance and wearability. With its dark, deep, green and mossy allure, Chene perfectly conjures the image of a forest in the fall and became one of my favourite composition from this house. Highly recommended.
17th July, 2011 (last edited: 05th August, 2011)
A beautiful and unexpectedly perfect rendition of the scent of fresh-milled oak wood. That's not a scent I ordinarily would have coveted, but once I sniffed this beautiful and unusual masterpiece I was immediately hooked, as in "Where have you been all my life?!?" Sampled via the encouragement of Basenoters, who were right yet again. It is easily one of the best of the Lutens line. A clever masterpiece. Sold as unisex, but it seems way more on the masculine side to me. So glad I shelled out the cash for this one. It's one of my best buys in a long time.
Wow. I got a sample of this and when I tried it, I thought, "oak? I can't actually remember smelling a piece of oak, but this does not smell woody to me at all. is it me?" I struggled with this for awhile, knowing that I have pretty poor "sniffing" skills and was probably just missing something. Then one day - it was October - I went for a walk in my neighborhood. As I walked along, smelling the Autumn air and shuffling my feet through piles of leaves along the curb, it suddenly hit me. This smells incredibly much like a damp, earthy, oak forest, with leaves covering the ground and acorns strewn about. Magnificently evocative and like nothing I have ever smelled. I am not so sure others will appreciate the smell on me, but I would wear this one just for myself. Long lasting and high quality stuff.
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Had Chene been the first fragrance I sampled during a recent Lutens smelling binge, I probably would have been struck by how amazingly woodsy it smells. However, I made the mistake of smelling Fille en Aiguilles first which, to put it mildly, reeks of rich, sweet pine needles. In comparison, Chene is pleasant and woodsy, but somewhat tame.
That said, in comparison to other woody masculines I've smelled recently, this is far more interesting, with deep mossy notes evident from the start. It is fairly linear, with the bitterness of the herbs mimicking moss until you properly get to the drydown. The heart is pleasantly woody (mostly cedarwood) but underpinned by the ever-present moss. I never would have guessed that there were rum or honey notes, but after an hour or two I can start to imagine them as I smell my wrists.
I'm not sure I like this well enough to buy a bottle, but it's certainly worth a sniff.
A deep herbal, smokey, amber, incense, woods, and lots of cedar. What more could a man ask for?
This is a review of Chene dabbed rather than sprayed. On me, Chene does not unfold according to the published fragrance pyramid. Instead, I immediately get a lot of rum and oak and just a touch of smoke. Chene is sweetest/booziest for me in the first 30 seconds after application, and it's one of my all-time favorite openings. Then the sweetness disappears entirely, and I get lots and lots of hot, dry, smoky oak, with the smoke giving off just a hint of scorch. Chene is utterly fabulous in this stage. Yes, Chene is more overtly masculine than many SL scents, but I feel very comfortable wearing Chene. It wears close to the skin, but once you've been drawn in, it reaches out and grabs you, demanding to be not simply sniffed but inhaled. It's just wonderful. After about 3-4 hours, I start getting the thyme and immortelle which, in combination, seem to smooth out the slightly scorched oak, and the smoke retreats to a smolder. And there it remains for a good 2 more hours. Like most SL scents, I suspect the longevity will be significant when sprayed, given that it lasts a good 5-6 hours dabbed on me. Wonderful stuff. I can't wait to wear it in the autumn.
I really like it. Oak, woods and tonka. Not as "thick" as most Lutens stuff but this is very wearable without going overboard (like with Ambre Sultan). Feels very formal however wearing the sample I had to my casual-dress office it didn't seem out of place.
I just bought Chene a couple weeks ago. I love it! I do tree work and I can tell you, that is an accurate depiction of oak. I've never smelled Chypre Rouge, but by reading the reviews, I'd gather Chene is no where near as sweet. I actually fine Chene very dry; with a rustic charm all it's own. It holds no glamour, or romantic connotations of exotic, spice filled fantasies of far away places or warm nights in guilded luxury. I find Chene to be more of a realist.
An incredibly realistic oak scent, with a touch of sweetness and a bit smoke. The only thing I dislike is for a short period I get a somewhat earthy tone that detracts from the oak effect. Long lasting and rather intense. I struggle with Chene: I love smelling it, but is it how I want to smell? I don’t think I will buy a bottle currently, but I certainly like it enough to give it a thumbs up.
Marvelous salty old dog of a wood scent from Serge Lutens. Works very well with other SL's, beefing them up, putting hair on their chests...Daim Blonde, Borneo, etc!
One of the best non lutesque scent, a really pleasure to smell until you became intoxicated with oak. I like to sniff it on my forearm than to wear, it's somethig like a frenzy that you can't stop, Am I a Chene addict? The good thing is the exceptional longevity next to the skin, similar to knize ten, black aoud or ambre sultan on my skin. A really niche masterpiece.
28th October, 2008 (last edited: 28th November, 2008)
My husband does woodworking as a hobby, and this Chene is true to the fragrance of oak! Smells like oak boards being cut, sanded, etc. Original, authentic and attention getting. Nicely done!
Sharp and green and smoky. An unforgettable fragrance for a man or a woman. Mysterious, in that your neighbor will definitely not own a similar scent, and people will want to figure out what you're wearing.
I couldn't decide between Fumerie Turque and Chene for a few months, because they're both nice. Fumerie Turque is a safer choice for women, but Chene is a bit more interesting.
I'll leave the eloquent descriptions of this fragrance to the other reviewers, many of whom have already done a great job describing this little gem.
All you really need to know is that this smells exactly like the inside of an oak dresser drawer. Not everyone's idea of perfume, but it's captured beautifully and I do love it!
I see why there are so many favorable reviews for Chene. It truly is a wood-lover’s dream come true. The birch and cedar are dry and aromatic, very accurate and completely satisfying. This is an exceptionally well-designed scent. The rich elements (tonka, rum, beeswax) support and enhance the wood, rather than compete with it. I’m usually wary of vanilla, but those notes from the tonka bean are just right here. The dry-down develops lovely herbaceous notes and is very complex and subtle, with a distinctive beauty. The thyme is very mellow, not at all like salad dressing. (I’m thinking of the thyme in Baïme, which in my opinion detracts from the other elements.) This has great staying power. If you like wood, seek this one out... you won’t be disappointed. The wood, earth and herbs evoke a mood of contemplative contentment.
Chêne is quite a beautiful and unique scent: Oak and smoke are primary and then there are all those almost subconscious bits and pieces of the olfactory experience floating in the ether of the smoky wood: sap, wild herbs, beeswax, cedar leaves, undergrowth. The result is near surreal. The solid woody base and all of the disparate miscellaneous elements create a natural-within-meditative-experience; especially for the person who loves woods and brilliant creativity. Chêne is resinous and rich, smoky and sweet. It is easy to wear, and linear through most of its life. It has stellar lasting ability, and is as lush a wood accord as can be wished. For the wood lover, this is one dream of an experience.
Oak, oak, oak, and more oak. Perfect, crystal, clear and consistent. I know there is more than just oak, but that is all I care about in this scent and all I want to smell in it. It is perfect.
Some scents are paintings and can be best described by terms such as Impressionist, Fauvist, Baroque and the like. Chene is a photograph, and while one can sometimes identify a painter by his brushstrokes, the photographer has stayed very much out of the picture here. An oak forest, the colours nearly bleached by sunlight. The word perfume comes with so many associations that just don’t apply to this olfactory document. Although it seems that most of its fans here are men, I can not meaningfully say that Chene is either masculine or feminine. It really doesn’t make that sort of concession to humanity. It is, simply and perfectly, what it is. I find this to be a very grounding and comfortable scent to wear. Woodsy, natural and SL’s signature cedar note is well reined in here. It is warm and very nicely dry. I don’t think it would need to be restricted to any particular season.
Chene starts off very woodsy and green that reminds me of the wonderful opening of Diptyque's L'Eua Trois. But it evolves quickly to a sweet warm undercurrent supporting the thyme sap that warms the room like a hunting lodge fire crackling with hard woods. As the fragrance progresses the piny scent goes away and a sweet waxy very light wood fragrance dominates. A very soothing and comforting scent of freshly cut oak logs - refreshing. This very light oak stays for the duration softening as it wears down and getting slightly sweeter. Very pure and clean.
Chene is excellent by itself, and layers well (sillage and longevity being similar) with CdG Avignon.