Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Gris Clair by Serge Lutens

Total Reviews: 12
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
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
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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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
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
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
Tried this today it opened like Givenchy Pi with a touch of menthol then starts to smell really hot, overall I think it is a winter fragrance
19th January, 2010
Sorry, but... Seriously? I get grape soda and really not too much else. An hour or 2 into the drydown it smells better, but still. At these prices you want to be blown away right away without having to wait for a drydown. To me this is expensive grape soda for your skin. I'd have to be smacking bubble gum to wear this...
11th July, 2009
Grey lavender, delicate smoky amber” (Lutens product information)
The range of opinions on this is most interesting. Those who like it, like it a lot. I’ll put my cards on the table: I love dry aromatic lavender and I don’t like amber. This scent has very little lavender and it has a particular style of amber. And yet, it is so well made that I cheerfully give it a neutral.
As I said, to my nose the lavender is MIA. Almost immediately I got a creamy, buttery amber note, with a bit of a salty tang. For a while this aspect dominates. It is somewhat unusual, and not unpleasant. It reminds me of a smoky cream cheese. The amber is translucent or “claire” and it is not cloying. In dry-down the amber becomes more conventional.
04th December, 2008 (last edited: 23rd December, 2012)
Extremely different from most Lutens scents, Gris Clair is somewhat brutal, quite one- dimensional and very masculine. It definitely breaks the mold regarding what we´ve come to expect from this house. Neither ambigous or an oriental-candied fruit-honeyed-sweetness-meltdown, Gris Clair is a modern, sharp and quite dark take on lavender.

The lavender has a clear metallic edge to it that is very special - reminds me a bit of the small spice sachets that grandma had lying around drawers with linen.

But it´s also easy to argue that Gris Clair in fact is a stronge move toward the mainstream. It´s miles less original than most Lutens fragrances, and elements of it are extremely reminiscent of widely available stuff like Lanvin L´Homme or Rocabar from Hermès. Perhaps this is the route many niche houses will be taking? At least Fredric Malle´s Outrageous and many of the latest L'Artisans seem to indicate such a development.

To conclude, Gris Clair is a cool (literallly)and macho spiced juice with some serious bite. Mellow and subtle it is not, but an accesible lavender that'll work great in a professional business enviroment assuming it is applied with moderation. A nice fragrance on it´s own but only okay granted it´s maker and niche status.
26th December, 2007
I can not say this any better than MikeD. This is like genuine dried lavender crushed in a mortar and pestle. It is very similar to Encens et Lavande but somehow feels "cooler". It has a lighter feel than the Encens et Lavande that I find more wearable for myself. I will have to be in the right mood for it however.
21st April, 2006