Serge Lutens Chêne (2004)

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  1. odysseusm
    Time for a discussion of the only SL scent that I own -- Chêne.
    Nice notes --
    Top: Sap notes, Cedar Crystals, Black Thyme
    Heart: Silver Birch, Rum, Beeswax, Oak
    Base: "Undergrowth" note, Tonka

    It has been a while since I've checked in with this scent. I remember it as being powerful but not as sweet as is the usual SL style.

    My original BN review:

    I see why there are so many favorable reviews for Chene. It truly is a wood-lover’s dream come true. The birch and cedar are dry and aromatic, very accurate and completely satisfying. This is an exceptionally well-designed scent. The rich elements (tonka, rum, beeswax) support and enhance the wood, rather than compete with it. I’m usually wary of vanilla, but those notes from the tonka bean are just right in this case. The dry-down develops lovely herbaceous notes and is very complex and subtle, with a distinctive beauty. The thyme is very mellow, not at all like salad dressing. This has great staying power. If you like wood, seek this one out... you won’t be disappointed. The wood, earth and herbs evoke a mood of contemplative contentment.

    Well, something to look forward to tomorrow!
  2. odysseusm
    Might as well toss in the comments of Monsieur Lutens himself.

    "The French Revolution not only cut off the king's head, but cut down the emblematic oak... by inference, the king of trees.
    The oak is a tree of many connotations: wooden barrels full of rum, stately homes and hardwood floors worn by the tread of aristocratic feet.
    Tannin is used to create its aroma. Like oak sap, tannin is at the heart of this fragrance." ~SL
  3. odysseusm
    Here is one Serge Lutens scent I can whole-heartedly endorse! It is a superbly woody scent and a Conehead delight!
    Think of CdG Hinoki but with a bit more richness and roundness and you've got the idea.
    It starts lean, resinous, terpene and dry, just like Hinoki. The wood notes which develop have astonishing texture, conveying impressions of bark, wood grain, twigs, roots. The whole megillah. The rum and beeswax gently soften the rather formidable notes but never overwhelm them. Powerful and rich, yet not particularly sweet. And in the SL line, really not sweet at all. A gem, wears well. Definitely a cool weather scent due to its power. Apply lightly and you'll be rewarded. Good longevity.
    My BN rating is 5/5 and I don't give that lightly.
  4. MonkeyBars
    This one is chokingly dense to my nose, couldn't do it!
  5. odysseusm
    Denseness is part of the SL style, I admit that. I find Chêne to be less dense than many. Do you like CdG's Hinoki? I do see a similarity between them.
  6. awayalonealong
    SL Chene wins high marks from me as well. No fruit, no sweet. Just wood. Serious wood. And yes, I mean serious. Of all the woods I've smelled and used, Chene is the deepest, the least compromising (if you will). Here's a few other frags whose power or starkness I find appealing. If you'll forgive the metaphor, I think of wearing these frags as a falconer holds--and is held by--the magnificent bird. To wit: Xerjoff Homme, Vintage Agonist Infidels, vintage Hermes Eau d'Hermes, vintage MPG Parfum d'Habit, vintage SMN Peau d'Espagne EdC. (Hmmmm...wonder why all but one is vintage.)
  7. La Flâneuse
    La Flâneuse
    Hi Guys!

    I've joined your group, and what do you know! A discussion on the fragrances from one of my favourite houses. Perfect

    I love Chene, it's a glorious wood, with just enough sweetness from the sap and rum to stop it being too dry and 'sneezy' I think it's a good entry for those who are put off by the spice/fruit combo (which I love)
    I find it perfectly unisex, and it's a great wood scent for women who may be hesitant to delve into what is often perceived as being a 'masculine' genre
  8. odysseusm
    Welcome to the group, La Flâneuse! Glad to have you with us. You've caught my on a Serge Lutens cycle! Because he does so many orientals, there are many incense or wood scents to comment on. Cheers, ody.
  9. odysseusm
    time to revisit this scent, in light of an oak-related question. Does this convey the nutty, woody oak note? Tune in tomorrow to find out.
  10. Scent Detective
    Scent Detective
    Okay Ody. Your reviews on Chene got me curious, so I broke out my sample. I only wore this once last year, and my initial reaction wasn't good. I was expecting something much different than what I smelled and was not fond of Chene upon first sniff. It initially smelled sour to me, and that's what held on in my memory, so to be fair I decided to wear it again today. What I discovered was that I hadn't given it a fair shake. It is a much better fragrance than I remembered and I needed to experience it again, so thanks for breaking out a new review on Chene. I'll let you give your review first, and then I'll give my impressions from today after you've posted...
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