Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Gris Clair by Serge Lutens

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
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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.
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
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
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
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)
Zebra 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
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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.
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
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!...=)
03rd June, 2011
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.
04th May, 2011

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
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
25th July, 2010
After multiple wearings I've changed my mind 180-degrees on Gris Clair and love it! This is a wonderfully bracing scent that will wake you up in the morning with the freshest lavender and smokey incense. Invigorating. Gris Clair has a dark, introspective side that would be at home among the gothic spires at Oxford, but it also evokes springtime (Easter?) and eternal youth.
12th July, 2010 (last edited: 02nd October, 2010)
JaimeB Show all reviews
United States
A lavender fragrance over an oriental base, but not exactly a fougère. This is a remarkable tenacious fragrance, and yet not overpowering. It does go on for hours, and the sillage is moderate, but far from being a skin scent. The pyramid has mysterious references to roots and pollens, dry notes, oriental notes, woody notes, all carefully sketchy and unspecified. Undeniable tonka bean and amber in the base, and lavender and iris in the heart. The rest is your guess. Rapturously engaging, irrefutably pleasant, carefully balanced and well-constructed. A pleasure to wear and a delight to the nose.
19th May, 2010 (last edited: 11th February, 2014)
I simply love this smell it's my all time favorite and one that gets lots of compliment either..
I do get a lot of lavender and wood and some smoke towards the end..Just last for days also.
So if you are tired of the too sweet too fruity(mellon)scents that are out there on the mainstream market you should really give this one a try.
Great in warmer and in cooler weather.
Can't imagine annymore that I turned it down the first time I tried it myself I loved it on a colleague of mine but on me I hated it at first..So that was one lesson learned never give up at the firts try..
18th May, 2010
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A lavender topped over woodsmoke -- thick, resinous and will last for days. A lavender creation I really love. I'll have to lie down now.
12th May, 2010
If you're tired of soapy sweet or wimped out lavender, you should give GRIS CLAIR a good wearing. After the unmistakable lavender opening, it gets resinuously dry and smoky, even perceptibly smouldering. To my nose it is more about dry woods and incense, with hints of lavender and amber, rather than the lavender-dominant composition some reviews may lead you to believe. A great offering from Serge Lutens nonetheless - it feels mature and sophisticated, if a little austere.
15th April, 2010
I'm sure I look like an idiot when I wear this, with my wrists pressed up against my face and a big dopey grin on my face. I can't help it. It's so darn fresh and warm and comforting. For me, it's the olfactory equivalent of that baking bread smell.

Big lavender, and sweet woodsy smoke.
07th April, 2010
I get aquatic, very masculine Grey Flannel notes when first applied, but fortunately the smoky woodsy lavender quickly kicks in as GC grows deeper, more elegant and creamy and complex. (I have to disagree w/those who say it's linear). If there was a smoky, aromatic lavender-infused single malt scotch, it might smell like this. An elegant, grey-violet scent with a faintest dab of animalic, (the citrus-amber?) that makes it a very grownup scent. I like that it's not overly sweet, but I do appreciate the touch of amber sweetness in the drydown - never cloying - that takes in into a more complex, sophisticated realm than the beloved and comfortable lavender sachet of memory. A thinking person's lavender-inspired scent. I think it might just be a masterpiece.
15th March, 2010
A robust and fantastic lavender based scent. Smells like real lavender, too. It is smoky which makes Gris Clair very unique as far as lavender scents go. Light and refreshing enough for the mild weather months. Could be a little desnse for some for the really warm weather months. Good sillage and longevity.
01st February, 2010
One of my earliest memories was of my gran giving me little lavender pillows to put inside drawers to keep my clothes smelling fresh. As a little girl, I loved the relaxing scent of it. As I got older, my elderly relatives kept buying me lavender scented soaps which were all vile. Soon, I began to hate the stuff. I recently overcame my hatred and tried Gris Clair. I fell in love with it immediately - I love the cool lavender opening and the smokiness. It reminds me of being in my parents' garden plucking fresh lavender in the summer, yet also makes me think of crisp winter's days, especially the smokiness of Bonfire Night. I find Gris Clair soothing in the way that most lavender-scented products are, yet this is a realistic portrayal of freshly crushed lavender. I love its coolness and the almost-metallic note. It is a slightly more masculine scent, but I adore wearing it and find it oddly comforting.
10th December, 2009