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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    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

    25th July, 2010

    MysteryBuff40's avatar

    United States United States

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    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's avatar

    United States United States

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    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)

    greeneyes's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    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's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    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

    Agent Betty's avatar



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    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

    Miss Denise's avatar



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    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

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    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

    gistmei5's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    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

    LittleMissWrite's avatar

    England England

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    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

    evinick's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Definitely not the kind of lavender I expected to smell. Smoky, almost completely sun dried grey summer lavender, along with a really nice quality amber note create an interesting, yet linear blend. Unlike most SL creations, this one doesn’t evolve much on my skin, however the more you smell it the more familiar and comforting it becomes. A truly inspired formal winter scent, everyone should at least try.

    05th October, 2009

    JonB's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dense AND Fresh? Two terms not usually used together. A very approachable Lutens.

    27th September, 2009

    MFJ's avatar



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    Gris Clair opens with a cooling lavender accord presented in typical syrupy fashion. It then works its way into an ambient smoky vanilla + wood base. Simple, pleasurable and extremely well-suited for warmer weathers.

    02nd August, 2009 (Last Edited: 17th April, 2010)

    Bananaman's avatar

    United States United States

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    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

    Horatio's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    A refined lavender with an elegant smoke, bringing to mind Sobranie Black Russian cigarettes.
    It acts extremely well as a tonic against the arid heat and torpor of high noon in the height of Summer.
    Surprisingly for an SL scent, it is not too syrupy.

    05th May, 2009

    Caltha's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    I'm not a big fan of lavender scents, but I'll make an exception for Gris Clair, which I find vastly superior to the unpleasant Encens et Lavande. If EeL smells like cold, acrid ashes, GC radiates a dry heat like the scent of fire, if fire had a scent in itself, without any notes of burning wood or smoke. It feels smoky - it doesn't smell smoky. Perhaps steamy is a better word than smoky, steamy like a sauna. I guess this is the amber since I perceive many amber fragrances as hot and dry in a similar way (some are more syrupy).
    The lavender is, to my nose, clearly detectable throughout, but it's a dry, warm, almost woody lavender with a citrusy freshness to it, not your green/herbal or sweet/floral variety. I think I only appreciate lavender like this, when its dry/woody aspects are emphasised in warm, musky fragrances like my beloved Jicky and now Gris Clair. I don't like it when it's paired with aggressively aromatic notes like mint or geranium in cool, green and supposedly "fresh" (more like stale and musty, to my nose) colognes, and I certainly don't like it when it's more feminine à la granny.
    As much as I enjoy the hot atmosphere of Gris Clair I have one complaint: I find the basenotes unnecessarily sweet. I think the tonka is to blame.

    05th May, 2009

    andylama's avatar

    United States United States

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    Basic character profile: lavender tobacco

    Potency: atomic bomb (compare to Knize Ten)

    Uniqueness: not quite like anything else. Weird in a good way. As reviewed earlier, the lavender never takes on a soapy or geriatric aspect.

    Purchase-worthiness: if you are a collector, this is one of those 'buy, even if you don't wear' fragrances.

    Personal info: I like it, I bought it...but I don't anticipate wearing it terribly often...probably because of the (nuclear) strength alone.

    03rd May, 2009

    beau_mode_arome's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I was fortunate enough to be given a bottle of this for my birthday last year.

    When I originally tested it, I found the cold & ashy note most appealing, but I find tha for some reason my nose picks this up far less these days. I mostly get lavender and amber, which I like, but I wish I got the ash- smoky note a bit more.

    Like all Lutens, this does not lack longevity and I can easily get 14-plus hours of wear on my skin. I would recommend one applies with a light hand.

    13th March, 2009

    PigeonMurderer's avatar

    Finland Finland

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    Great. Not most likely full bottle worthy to me after all, but it is still yet another fine blend from Sheldrake.

    Top notes are very medicinal, bitter and slightly menthol-y. It smells like some obscure drug.
    Like in some other lavender prominent fragrances too, this can come off quite plastic smelling during the duration. Personally, I love this smell.

    Quite bizarre mixture of cool airy notes combined together with dark and a bit of a smoky undertones. It quite smooth but complex and it lasts a very long time. In colours this smells definitely very grey, probably more so than any other fragrance.

    This fine crispy and melancholic creation is obviously one of the most masculine fragrance of all Lutens`s.
    I recommend this to anyone, but mainly perhaps for those men who’s been fed up with fragrances like Le Male or Caron Pour un Homme. In Gris Clair you just might find the lavender scent of your life.

    03rd February, 2009

    moltening's avatar

    Thailand Thailand

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    My favorite lavender scent. I prefer this over SL's own Encens et Lavande. This is very charismatic and unique.

    Ashy and dry lavender. Lasts long and leaves a very pleasant trail. Perfect for the well-dressed sophisticated.

    02nd January, 2009

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    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)

    Hilaire's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    I really wanted to like this frag because it's a Serge Lutens and because it's supposed to be a defining Lavender. However i really couldn't stand it. The astringent and vegetal nature of Lavender has been removed and replaced by something mutant and acrid which puts me in mind of something my granny uses to clean her sink. The dry down physically made me feel unwell deu to its weird chemical pungency which reminded me of cheap amber perfumes of the 1980's.

    This horrid fragrance gave me a rash ( really it did, no exagerration ) and i couldn't wash it off no matter how hard i tried.

    Big thumbs down.

    22nd October, 2008

    Lian's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    The lavander in here is a real lavander and not the blast of many lavander scented products that give you a headache after 5 minutes, this is wild lavander the warm kind you smell when you put your nose into a lavander bush; it's dark, it's earthy, it's green and woody. It's an acquired taste though, it's a masculine scent..no doubt about it. But it's not a modern masculine scent that smells like every other lavander based male scent, there are similarities but there is too much going on in Gris Clair to say you can get the same stuff in any drugstore (not in iceland anyway). It's somewhat fresh (read: not aquatic and no Kouros either) but I'm also reminded of leather and ash in Gris Clair.

    It's good, but not something that will have instant mass apeal, it's too deep and solid to be picked up I think, too strange and untamed. And not untamed as in a wild animal, but untamed as a purple field filled with heather.

    13th October, 2008

    tessera's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mostly sage and lavender on me. Very much a men's cologne, very clean and crisp. Great for a man with simplistic and classical tastes who doesn't want to wear the leather-heavy traditionals.

    12th October, 2008

    cpk's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Some scents are just too big to fit in a bottle. This one is. It is like opening one of those children's books where an intire 3D scenery pops up. It pure lavender at first whif, not the extract but the real thing from the bush, crushed between fingers. And then something strange happens. I cannot single out any other note. It all comes together in a -linear indeed- but so compact smell that I at least cannot break down to its componants. Someone has already said something about being in a kitchen with a hot cup of tea in a winter morning. To me the esthetic and emotional impact of Gris Clair is the smell that comes from good quality cotton or linen that is being ironed, no fabric softener applied. I know the lavender is there. I know other notes are there, but there is just no way to analyze this fragrance. It's take it or live it. It takes you back to a place where you're sitting in a cold afternoon, the sun has just set but the lights are not yet on, there's the warm fuzzy feeling of your mom being around, but still you are so distant from all this. Comfort and melancholy at the same time. I couldn't imagine wearing it on a hot day. I couldn't imagine it being widely popular on a mass market base. But then maybe it's just me and a private emotional chord it had striken.

    11th September, 2008

    Eros.Error's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Lavender plants have been blooming in my garden and they have been trippling it's territory every year. Gris Clair smells like crushed dry lavender without the green edge. Cool, crisp, ashy and metallic, quite realistic comparing to the real lavender with a little toned down on the sharpness I would say. Doesn't seem to have developed much on the skin. Great longevity, moderate sillage.

    03rd September, 2008

    Midnight_lulu's avatar

    United States United States

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    As autumn begins its final transition into winter---leaves fall from trees, leaving silvery structures tracing smoky skies, before grayness is dusted over with magical powder---a reflective quiet falls over the land. Bugs have passed and birds prepare for cold, plants go into dormancy. Subtle rains cover the land before air becomes cold enough to mold raindrops into crystalline trinkets. During these days of stillness suspended, it becomes impossible to ignore the inner mind, while moving through the isolating--yet strangely comforting--calmness of November, in places that boast distinct seasonal phases."Gris Clair" captures such a time in all its transitional, ancient-seeming glory; it's like a wet, smoky air that's been purified by a cool breeze. It's haunting, beautiful but not disturbing; sometimes, it seems like a celebration of an alcohol note (like "L 'antimatiere") without the cutting harshness of that burst, but after an initial (and disconcertingly masculine, only to quickly dry down into something more universal) blast of dry lavender, it morphs into a clear, comforting sweetness that reminds one of walking through a historical "living" museum as outdoor bonfires are put out by a soft rain. It's an idealized scent of stories like "Braveheart" and "Robin Hood", where the quiet, magical dankness of Anglo-Saxon land, marries with spiritual sensuality and intellectual beauty in representing lost stories and eras. Mind you, the smokiness of "Gris Clair" is not a dirty, working residue---it's a clean, pulsing haziness, cozy like a wooly wrap but fresh enough to wear year-round. Lavender, to me, is the scent of wisdom and meditation; it can be sensual, but only under the most euphorically passionate, transcendental terms. "Gris Clair" is a surprisingly unexpected scent; it's dry, majestic, yet sweet and cozy. It has a rare character all its own and glorifies one of the most unpopular and misunderstood seasonal transitions of the year. I think this might be a quick buy for those who are sick of the boring status quo of department store releases. Come on, marketing groups and buying public; every fragrance doesn't have to smell like a Malibu beachhouse or international bouquet. There can be beauty and contentment in quiet solitude.

    12th July, 2008

    heythatslife's avatar

    South Korea South Korea

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    My favorite winter scent (though it works just as well in warmer weather).

    This one is an enigma to me - cool and warm at the same time, crisp and mellow, refreshing and comforting. It reminds me of looking out of the window from the kitchen on a bright winter morning, with a cup of tea in my hands. The mineralic-woody-oriental base is just gold. Perfect sillage & longevity.

    31st May, 2008 (Last Edited: 17th December, 2012)

    hirch_duckfinder's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    In my opinion a really good example of what not to do with lavender. It is not featured in a natural way nor integrated in a complex way. Instead the scent strikes me as over produced, sacharin sweetened, de-medicinalised. All the purple roundness is removed leaving a monochrome two dimensional flatland.

    I get no pathos with this, it is too technical and has no flow. It would make a good flavouring for a travel sweet in a tin. It lacks in depth of conception and execution to me.

    19th April, 2008

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