Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Gris Clair by Serge Lutens

Total Reviews: 75
You know that boiled water has a smell?

Put an old rusty cast iron kettle full of water on stove, when the it begins to sizzle, open the lid, that rusty metallic, simultaneously hot and cold smell of boiled steam will hit you like a punch in your face.

This is what the opening of this perfume feel like.
08th January, 2018
Gris Clair has an interesting opening, and smells a little like the fumes coming off a skillet warming up on the stove, or the smoke from a candle, but it peters out into a grainy, unappealing scent in about an hour. It continues to fall apart and becomes borderline offensive and possibly headache inducing around the two-hour mark.
11th July, 2017
kjp Show all reviews
United States
just nice, perfectly fine.not enough for me. that being said i like very bold scent i thought this would be good for summer and it was.
but it left me feeling mousy.
24th July, 2016
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The initial burst of lavender here is quickly taken over by an acrid oud-like wood note with touches of amber and tonka to soften it.

To my nose, the lavender disappears almost immediately, leaving just the wood and amber/tonka for the dry down, which is linear on my skin.

It is incredibly dry and acrid, rather than steamy or hot as some reviewers have described it.

Another of the Lutens scents that relies on the unpleasant and sharp wood note that ruins all the fragrances it is used in, as it takes over and dominates.

Not for me, but for fans of this wood note, it is I suppose worth trying.
28th May, 2016
I LOVE this perfume! If there were a two thumbs up option on here I would be using it right now! :D
"Gris Clair" by Serge Lutens is a fairly simple blend of amber, wood notes, incense, tonka beans, lavender and iris, and is also a fairly linear fragrance, so how it smells when you spray it on is pretty much how it stays smelling the entire day. It really doesn't need anything else added to it at all though! This is one case where relative simplicity actually works better than if they had tried to make it into something more complicated. I actually almost want to go as far as saying that "Gris Clair" is simply perfection in a bottle! It is exactly how a great, classy and expensive perfume should smell! And, like some other Serge Lutens fragrances I've reviewed, "Gris Clair" definitely does seem high class and as if it's a cut above the rest! It smells like the perfect fragrance to pair with a really expensive, designer LBD, high heels, diamond jewelry and expensive furs. (For a woman.) Or, for men, it would go well with a really expensive suit, since this fragrance is actually unisex. That said, I feel like I could buy this perfume and just wear it all the time, just because I absolutely adore the way it smells. I mentioned expensive furs, and I feel I have to add that when I smell "Gris Clair", it makes me feel as though I am wrapped in a warm perfumed cloud that somehow seems soft and fuzzy (as well as luxe and expensive) like being wrapped in rich velvet or furs. It is simply one of the most perfect perfumes I have ever found! If you have never tried "Gris Clair" I highly and most sincerely recommend that you get a sample of it. I really don't think you'll be disappointed. There isn't much to not like.
22nd November, 2015
It starts off strongly with lavender and quickly the dry wood appears with the tonka and powdery iris. The dry wood is dominant and has a slightly Terre D’Hermes quality to it but more spicy/amber and the wood scent is much like opening a wood drawer. I like it and it definitely deserves to be in the lavender pantheon. Its main character is to be like candy-blue lavender with wood and incense. The lavender really hangs in there despite the boldness of the other notes. The sillage and longevity are great and towards the dry down the incense is nicely sweet and balanced. This would be perfect for the winter. If you want more wood plus incense and less vanilla than this would be your choice over Caron pour un Homme and vice versa if you love vanilla. This is very well done.
23rd November, 2014
Gris Clair is a beautiful blast of Lavender. The initial spray is lavender and incense. In the dry down I can still smell the lavender but in a very soft way. It also leans towards woody notes. I can wear this in the daytime, in the heat and feel comfortable with it.
02nd October, 2014
Thanks so much ClaireV for your Gris comments. Your mention of "old electric bar heaters" suddenly brought back a childhood memory of using an old iron on my brothers' cotton shirts. That "hot iron" smell is the elusive element in this haunting creation. It is beautifully blended though and a joy to wear.
16th September, 2014
Gris Clair is one of those unusual scents in the Serge Lutens that is free of the ‘dried fruits and syrup’ signature that haunts the line. In fact, it is so sparse and crystalline that one would be forgiven for checking the bottle twice just to be sure.

It opens up on a pungent, aromatic note of lavender buds that have been crushed underfoot on a rocky hillside in the Mediterranean hillside. No echoes of grandma here, no visions of lavender stalks pressed between the sheets of a notebook in an English gentlewoman’s home – this is true lavender returned to its origins as a tough customer built to survive droughts and thunderstorms. And boy, does Lutens add a thunderstorm. In the later stages of this perfume, a smoky, ashy incense accord takes over, and together with an undercurrent of sweet tonka beans, the effect is one of an electrical storm hitting that Mediterranean hillside and setting the lavender bushes on fire.

If anyone is missing the smell of old electric bar heaters or you simply like the smell of burning electrical cords, then this one is for you. It is odd as hell, but utterly stunning on a summer day when the sky threatens to burst and relieve the tension simmering in the air.
17th July, 2014
Quite an ingenious lavender scent.

I have to admit I don't know where to start, what to write except - lavender, lavender, oh refined lavender. Incense is also dominant, with a touch of woody notes, but lavender smell is zealously dominant. It emits to me a field of lavender near the forest, on a high mountain top, bombarded by the sun rays, bees buzzing about and ravaging the rich lavender fields. The smell is quite sharp, which is enjoyable to me, as few fragrances are able to provide sharpness and not only a sweet one, but refined one as well.

Albeit the fact it is not my cup of tea, this scent, I pretty much enjoy it. It's the occasion and attire that bothers me in this story. One cannot be properly attired every day, not every day there is a special occasion and not every day is a perfect, sunny spring day.
However if one simply wants to feel special, if someone wants to smell a bright sunny day on the mountain range lavender field, if someones goal is to radiate this way to others, then this is a perfect fragrance for that.
15th June, 2014
Oh joy! A lavender scent that doesn't turn into stuffy-old-man soap! I love fresh lavender in the garden, but tend to steer away from lavender scents. Unless they have strong animalic components - like Jicky or Ungaro II - they become oppressively soapy on my skin. Not Gris Clair.

My experience is that almost every time Sheldrake and Lutens break out of their obsessive sweet oriental groove, they strike gold: Sa Majeste la Rose, Chene, Un Lys, Tubereuse Criminelle, and now Gris Clair. The element of success in this scent, I believe, is balance. The lavender is palpably real and three-dimensional, but not overwhelming. Instead, it's perfectly offset by smooth woods and soft spices, enlivened by a mild camphoraceous note, and rounded out by just the merest dab of sweetness in the base. It's not sensuous in the manner of most Serge Lutens scents, but rather quite reserved and formal.

Gris Clair is a scent that I would turn too when I'm dressing well in warm weather and want to project sophistication, poise, and confidence. Better than average lasting power and adequate, yet controlled sillage and projection add to its charms. Bravo!
15th June, 2014
Lavender masterful. Incense, a little 'sweetness that blends with menthol notes. Perfect! Persistent and damn good. It might just take a bit of sweetness but it is the "sweetness" that kills. Perfect for a dress for a big day of work.
30th April, 2014
It's nice, but it's lavender. I mean plain, clean, pleasant, a bit plastic linalool. You can get the same job done by any supermarket scent. If you are into lavender there's plenty of better scents - Oxford & Cambridge by Czech & Speake for instance.

19th February, 2014 (last edited: 16th April, 2014)
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Marais Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Lascivious Lavender

I've yet to come across another lavender-centric scent so intense and long-lasting, this really is a marvel. Lavender is always dominant, sharp, fresh and pungent, like an extra strong mint on an frosty morning. But it's the incense bedfellow which breaks the ice, lending this lavender a volcanic, smouldering energy absent from simpler compositions.

It's not in the least challenging to wear, provided you are sensible on the trigger. I use a maximum of two sprays and it lasts all day and projects like a b*st*rd.

I prefer this to its more chaste stablemate, Encens et Lavande.

{Review based on bottle purchased in 2010}

Pros: A potent, long-lasting and satisfying fragrance partner

12th August, 2013
cris clair by an untrained nose

I actually bought a sample from lovely Naz at Vancouver's The Perfume Shoppe. Naz suggested to try it because I might liked it. Anyway, today I tried Gris Clair on my skin. As an untrained nose, I can say that GC is well made, resinous sweet, but not overly so, lasts for 4+hours when at that point its projection starts to compromise and then it turns into a very distinguishable close to the skin scent, but still not a skin scent. It is overly rather warm, spicy, woody, resinous (sorry for repeating myself), and in fact to my nose it is not the lavender that is prominent nor the amber. Gris Clair has for me a star-anise accord that I can't take out of my head. Star-anise is not listed as a note and I assume that since no other reviewer mentioned it, it simply isn't there. But for me all notes blend into this soft and somewhat sweet kind of aniseed. I have a strong association between aniseed and a particular alcoholic drink (ouzo) which I don't like. And unfortunately for me this association (this is why I think of GC as interestingly familiar) totally spoils it. GC is quite beautiful in an old fashion way but at the same time it is very wearable and unisex - men though might like it more - but in any case it is not for the office... if you like it keep it for weekends and special occasions. Some (like Aedes) categorize Gris Clair as a fougere... I am not sure, but if GC is a fougere, it is not a lighthearted one.

Pros: well made, interestingly familiar, enveloping, potent but not offensive
Cons: great projection that after 2-3 hours diminishes"

10th August, 2013
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
airy light

Very light fresh lavender, a bit of iris, a very light fresh whiff of scented air. On my skin there is no development, virtually no silage minimal projection and it is gone after about ninety minutes. Maybe in the morning before a wine tasting?

01st August, 2013
The first spray startled me. Instead of the soft scent of lavender from my garden, Gris Clair opens cold stone myrrhe with a menthol-medicinal lavender in the background. My first thought was "interesting, but not for me". Hours later, I started to notice a lovely sweet powdery herbal wood. I was in love and remain in love with this wonderful take on lavender and incense. A truly unique fragrance, even for a Lutens scent.
18th March, 2013
Great lavender opening but dries down to a sweet powder. Actually i feel disappointed with Gris Clair... i did expect more from a Lutens. It's more suitable for a woman in my opinion.
29th October, 2012
Love it! A dry lavender scent, not at all sweet or fresh. The lavender projects on a smokey background that gives the fragrance a certain elegance. It is long lasting and with good projection - but never overpowering. An understated and sophisticated scent, probably best suited for colder weather, but I can also wear it indoors here in the tropics.

22nd September, 2012 (last edited: 26th September, 2012)
Not bad, but not for me. I expected a lavender-based EdT, and it's true, you can distinguish lavender at first and even in the drydown. But at first it's mixed with other herbal notes (sage? Rosemary?) and a strong citrusy component; then the fresh notes are overwhelmed by sweetest notes (maybe amber and moss); the strange result is something like lemon candy, rather tiresome to my nose. To be used with sparingness, anyway. At the end of the bottle I was bored of it.
08th September, 2012
Gris Clair is composed of a minty, slate grey lavender and incense over a powerful amber base. It has a 'dry heat' feel and smells eerily like a combination of scorched dust, burning sugar and the inside of a dry cleaner's. It goes on for days if you'll permit it, but I've yet to decide whether this is a compliment or not: I can imagine this being a migraine trigger for some.
08th September, 2012
Ratfink Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Starts off wonderfully smoky and dry; a very masculine take on lavender. It soon softens and sweetens, however, and develops a slightly minty character. I want to love this but, sadly, as it dries down, it gets just a little too sweet for my tastes.
24th June, 2012 (last edited: 23rd July, 2012)
surge Show all reviews
United States
I love it; I find this to be quite similar to Tom Ford's Lavender Palm; but a little bit different.
The lavender in this is definitely more "medicinal" and bright \ menthol-like while Lavender Palm is more floral and darker. I also appreciate the Iris in Gris Clair.
The longevity and projection are quite well for a lavender scent; very nice stuff for spring \ summer.
16th April, 2012
drseid Show all reviews
United States
I'll go somewhat against the grain in saying that the clean lavender opening of Gris Clair is the best part of the scent, IMO. It is a refreshing menthol mixed with a nice natural lavender that led me to think for a moment that Gris Clair was a rare exception to my "no lavender scents" rule. Unfortunately the top notes disappear in seconds, and then a powdery iris note (another note I can't stand) appears in full force and mixes with the lavender making the scent near "scrubber" material for me. The iris continues to build even further as the scent develops, making it more and more powdery and less to my taste. Finally, amber adds a touch of sweetness to the iris/lavender combo to finish off the disappointing development. Sillage is average, and longevity is well above average.

This one started off with a lot of promise with its uncommonly appealing lavender rendition, but in the end the iris ruined it for me and made it a mild thumbs down overall. I could see iris fans enjoying this scent plenty though, so please do try it if iris and lavender are notes you enjoy. In my case they are two of my least favorite notes, so the odds of me liking Gris Clair were low to begin with. Oh well. 2 stars out of 5.
24th March, 2012 (last edited: 21st December, 2012)
Once again another heavy handed (i.e. unsubtle) over-sweet opening from Serge Lutens, surprise surprise. Don't scrub it though, as tempting as that idea might be. Bear with it though for an hour and a half and you'll be rewarded with... a drydown that smells exactly like the inside of your local dry-cleaners shop! yum, huh, all those sexy and mysterious dry cleaning solutions?
03rd February, 2012 (last edited: 04th February, 2012)
Gris Clair by Serge Lutens - Upon application, one is treated to a wave of fresh, clean lavender, with its somewhat camphoraceous and minty facets. This lovely herbal essence floats cloud-like to the waiting heart. Here, in the middle, standoffish iris commingles with the refreshing lavender, imparting its icy coolness. Whiffs of a campfire smokiness intrude to temper the cool melange with its dryness. This inviting mixture meanders to the awaiting base. The coldish brew intermingles with dry, woody notes as well as a restrained amber, with its hints of a musky and vanillic sweetness. An unworldly and ethereal incense showers the blend with its enticing and cryptic character. An alluring drydown ensues. This exhilarating composition is an all-season refuge, and has good projection and longevity.
25th January, 2012
I first tried this in summer and found that it started out clean and fresh, in a lavender sort of way, but became annoying after awhile. Applying in cooler weather, I liked it better - an opening of honey and tonka bean with crisp lavender. As it dries down, amber becomes lightly apparent, lending fullness and depth. Then there is an odd accord, sort of a pulpy wood/ wool sweater aspect. Don't care for this And there is noticeable incense, well in the background. I definitely think this is a cool weather lavender. Like most of the SL fragrances I have tried, I like it quite a bit, but not enough to own it.
19th December, 2011
i purchased a full bottle of this after recently sampling.didnt think id like to wear a lavender scent - i was wrong -this is excellent . tried creed royal scottish lavender a few weeks ago and felt it was too much like air freshener. this is different, smells like fresh lavender with a slight burnt smell. - ash like - an altogether top notch fragrance .lasts for hours. . Its the dogs dangly bits !
11th August, 2011 (last edited: 05th September, 2011)
Cool, bracing, uplifting and incredibly long lasting lavender scent...

An absolute olfactory delicacy regardless of time of day, month or season...

Big thumbs up...!!!
18th June, 2011
Crackling Lavender!

The early medicinal lavender note disappears quite quickly on me. Then its burning all the way (like dust getting hot on a rarely used heater) until finally some faint amberish ashes are all that is left. (This line can’t leave the amber alone can it?) For a fresher whiff of the Highlands, Lutens’ other take on lavender Encens et Lavande would be a better bet.
Gris Clair is sweet, smoky and interesting like a late Summer Scottish bonfire, but not that long lasting and not for me.

Could you wear it with a hangover? Probably not, it would remind you of last night’s burning ashtray!
15th June, 2011