Reviews of Gris Clair by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Find out more about Gris Clair by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    RUDOLFO512's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    02 October, 2014

    Zosia's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    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.

    16 September, 2014

    ClaireV's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    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.

    17 July, 2014

    Zgb's avatar

    Croatia Croatia

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    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.

    15 June, 2014

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    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!

    15 June, 2014

    Jus's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    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

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    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.

    6/10

    19 February, 2014 (Last Edited: 16 April, 2014)

    Marais's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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
    Cons:

    12 August, 2013

    michailG's avatar



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    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's avatar



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    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

    vintage*red's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    18 March, 2013

    's avatar



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    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.

    29 October, 2012

    farang's avatar

    Thailand Thailand

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    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.

    22 September, 2012 (Last Edited: 26 September, 2012)

    giuspa's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    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.

    08 September, 2012

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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.

    08 September, 2012

    Ratfink's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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.

    24 June, 2012 (Last Edited: 23 July, 2012)

    surge's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    16 April, 2012

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    24 March, 2012 (Last Edited: 21st December, 2012)

    autumngleeman's avatar

    United States United States

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    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?

    03 February, 2012 (Last Edited: 04 February, 2012)

    dollars&scents's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    25 January, 2012

    almasinti's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    19 December, 2011

    scentpacking's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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: 05 September, 2011)

    Francop's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Cool, bracing, uplifting and incredibly long lasting lavender scent...

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

    Big thumbs up...!!!

    18 June, 2011

    GalaBrand's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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!

    15 June, 2011

    Fipple's avatar



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    Just recieved this fragrance this morning!...As with most things that arent superficial,it takes a while to appreciate all the depths a fragrance has..All ive been doing for the last hour is "sniffing" away at this lucious fragrance..Small sniffs,long drawn in inhalations and at no time does this scent fail to overwhelm me.
    I have no need to oversell a scent or poetically wax lyrical about what this evokes in my mind,but this is the most brightests freshest glorious scent i personally have ever come across(this might disclose where i am on my journey of scents to the more experienced users here!)I would be shocked if anyone would dislike this masterpiece unless you obsessively compare it to everything under the sun or either hate lavender!
    Each and everything has a place,and this surely stands up there for uniqueness freshness with class and refinement...I would gladly pay double for this without hesitation.
    Im not sure why so many advocate its uses for winter months..For me it strikes perfectly for those lovely summer months when freshness and unique cutting scents are needed to lift the heat of the day...I personally am in love!...=)

    03 June, 2011

    Oproust's avatar

    United States United States

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    In general, I am not a fan of lavender fragrances. However, with Gris Clair I throw my previous aversions aside. The lavender/smoky/amber core of this fragrance is stunning. The amber and smoky accord tame the lavender enough to make this a pleasure to wear. It far surpasses Caron pour un Homme which my nose rejects immediately and my brain does likewise. When I first wore Gris Clair, I wasn't overwhelmed, in fact, I wasn't all that impressed. I set it aside for three years, even tried to sell the bottle. I'm sure glad I didn't. This is a masculine, elegant, sophisticated fragrance. My nose has changed over time and after years of sniffing, I can now appreciate fragrances I quickly gave up on in the past. You've got to give this one a try (or two). Gris Clair is quickly moving up my list of favorites. I suspect it will stay there awhile.

    04 May, 2011

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    I have to wonder if I'm smelling the same Gris Clair that all of the reviewers before me have smelled.

    From my decant, as soon as I spray the fragrance on I'm greeted with a little bit of cakey lavender, a big Cinnabon-like note, and then the worst part.....an undescribable "burnt fat" note that just hangs there and makes the whole thing unpleasant. It smells like sugary sweet burnt fat or something, like a botched crème brûlée. It smells like a wet t-shirt being burnt under an iron, or ham fat or something. It sounds weird but it's easier to smell it than describe it. This sticks around for the entire life of the fragrance on me, which is a long time. Sorry guys, but Gris Clair is not for me.

    15 January, 2011

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gris Clair is an interesting take on lavender—it’s heavy, a bit dark, unique, but cool at the same time. I’m not usually a fan of strong lavender fragrances, but I have actually given serious consideration to this one. I like that it’s not sweet; I love that it’s quite aromatic; I love its darkness. I question that it doesn’t seem to go anywhere—it just sits there being interestingly linear. The drydown is definitely a Lutens creation; it is rich, unique, Oriental, and it has almost impossible longevity. In spite of the excellent drydown, and even though I would rank it as my favorite lavender fragrance, I am still considering if I like Gris Clair enough to buy a bottle. It is an intriguing, beautiful fragrance that deserves a thumbs up. This could be a great fragrance for a lavender fan who might appreciate a completely different take on this interesting note. It's one of the few lavender fragrances I would seriously consider buying.

    Originally submitted 24 May 2007

    11th December, 2010

    NevilleM's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    In the shop on a test strip it smelt great to me both initially and after 30 minutes. So I took a sample home to try.

    As soon as I applied it I was met by a cloying sweetness like an old fashioned sweetshop full of open boxes of turkish delight in sugar. This continued for less than an hour then thankfully faded almost completely away.
    I had an even worse experience with FMs Iris Poudre - they share Iris/Tonka Bean so one of or the combination of really hates my skin.

    21st August, 2010

    pfefferzwerg's avatar



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    smartly hidden lavender,
    you don´t get the lavender immediately at the very first trying,
    nicely balanced woody and fougère composition after dry-down,
    not too sweet and long lasting during the day,
    one of my all-time-favourites

    25 July, 2010

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