zztopp and I recently discussed these two fragrances here.
I had (have) fallen in love with Gris Clair by Serge Lutens, after initially reacting with bewilderment to GC's burning ash / warm electrical charred metal / hot clothes iron and lavender accord. The scent is much less jarring to my nose now, and the slight sweetness of it is counter balanced perfectly on my skin. I also enjoy the fact that GC totally 'works' in hot sticky weather and cooler indoor weather. Important for us in South Florida.
So...I finally got to try Encens et Lavande (thanks Scentologist). This non-export, incense/lavender fragrance also by Serge Lutens is much harder to get a hold of here in the States, but I thought I owed it to myself to see why the heck Mr. Lutens would release a 2nd lavender/incense combo (!?) Plus zztopp dared me to try it, and fall out of love with GC.
After having tested EeL three times, I don't like it. I appreciate the resinous incense notes, so realistic, simplistic and almost cooling (one is reminded of Incense Extreme by Tauer). I also appreciate a very well done, sharp lavender accord. Having grown lavender bushes along the sidewalk in my home, there are only a few instances in perfumery where the smell of a live lavender bush in the ground has been replicated so well (outside of aromatherapy pillow sprays). Caldey Island Lavender Water manages it, but this one's so simple (which is part of why I love it also) and transitions to a very prominent musk...whereas EeL brings in the incense, spices and amber.
But...no magic. It's just there. On my skin. Not really doing much.
Yeah, it's incense. And lavender. Got it. I'm still waiting for something to happen...
Encens et Lavande is not a bad fragrance. No, on the contrary I think it's very well done. Disappointing, though. I expected much more magic from this.
So, for now Gris Clair wins in my book. Which is great for my pocketbook since it's less expensive.
Which one does it for you?
PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather
havent got a chance to sniff Encens et Lavande but, Gris Clair?...boy!..i just cant be without it..
When i tested it the first time, it took me back to my college days to our Chemistry Lab...i thought it smelled like magnesium residue in it's top notes by midnotes i felt as if i was smellin hot steaming stone near a still active volcano(the incense in this one is myterious to say the least)...all this but i was still not repelled by it, somehow...the sillage is one of the best that i have encountered and is easily one of the best scents around. im living on samples of GC so far ..luckily, i have a bottle coming in by post anytime soon as with all SL's two sprays enuff for 24 hours on my skin...so, money well spent. GC is always welcome in my wardrobe.
Gris Clair is a winner in my book. Still my favorite lavender scent. It's very versatile and works well in both hot and cool weather. I'd be glad to share some to see how it does in India.
Gris Clair will tend to become "sticky" on my skin when the weather is very hot. Probably because it is slightly sweet??
As for EeL, I have only tried the wax sample and I do not like it. It has sour smell on my skin(probably because it is from wax sample). However, I still wish to try EeL liquid sample to confirm.
gris clair by a mile it's extraordinary I just can't get that excited about EeL
Very interesting...lots more GC fans here. I am going to hold onto my sample of EeL and when it's really cold next time I'm going to give it a full wearing. Maybe it'll reveal something that heretofore it hasn't.
After going through all the hassle of getting my hands on a bell jar of E&L, decanting off part of it, and then reselling the rest... it's not thrilling me much. It's a very pure incense/lavender, and that's about all that it is. I think my problem with it is I just don't want to smell like incense all day - but it's fine to wear just for an evening. Gris Clair, though, is magical. I don't really get incense from it at all; to me the lavender/tonka combination is dominant, and it really is gorgeous. I couldn't imagine ever being without Gris Clair, but I'm now toying with the idea of swapping some of the E&L.
It might be a good idea to try E&L when it's cold out. Your definition of "cold" in south Florida is certainly much different from mine here in Canada; I went to Disney World in August, and I absolutely cannot imagine anyone wearing E&L in such weather. But whatever the dead of winter is in Florida, I'd suggest trying it again then.
I happen to love Encens et Lavende of course. I read from a basenoter here a long time ago that Gris Clair smells like a damp cotton shirt that had a hot iron left on it. I agree. Gris Clair smells like a burnt, wet cotton shirt. I just couldn't get into it. Encens et Lavende is magic for me because I love the pure and clear lavender note that rides in tandem with the sage and incense. I love the purple cloud of majesty that surrounds me. I am still nursing my bell jar and can't wait until my next wearing. Great post Mike and thanks for sharing your thoughts!
It's so funny that what some don't care for, others are really into. That is why I love Gris Clair. To me it is like a trip to Ireland (stay with me on this...). I don't get cotton, I get wool. It is like walking through fields of lavender and heather while wearing a wool sweater. It is so evocative for that reason. GC is a masterful creation.
I only briefly tried Encens et Lavande and found it pleasant but wasn't wowed by it. I may have to reinvesigate it again in the future. As for Gris Clair, it took me ages to 'get it' and this only happened when I tried it during the warmer months. Personally, I can't see it working during the colder months due to the very associations many detractors (and former detractors) have made. The last great release by this house, IMHO.
Glad to see it's finally working for you, Mike!