I've been reading a lot about the Serge Lutens house on this site for a long time and was wondering how they are in comparison to some of the other houses, such as, Amouage, Profumum Roma, Clive Christian, Creed, etc. I sampled Arabie and Five O'Clock Au Gingembre but just didn't get what the hype was about. It wasn't necessarily bad, but sort of smelled very "old" and sappy resinous. What am I missing? Are the ingredients and materials of the same quality as the others mentioned?
I love the house for it makes lots of POWERHOUSES!
The Cold Haze of Boredom
Only have smelled one Lutens (a violet scent), it certainly was delicious.
Quality is difficult to define, but no matter what the criteria (ingredients, longevity, complexity), SL is on par if not superior to all the houses you mention. After that, of course, it is a matter of taste. SL tend to be rich, orientalizing, saturated, with typical notes of cedary woods, candied fruit, and spices. 5 o'clock is one of the lightest. Typical ones would be Ambre Sultan (spicy amber) and Feminite de bois (sweet woods).
No harm if they're not your cup of tea; I personally don't get the hype around Clive Christian or Creed. They just don't do it for me. Many Lutens fragrances have a particular style, and maybe it's just not your thing.
SL is right there on top with other grt niche houses...Chergui / Ambre Sultan / MKK / Borneo 1834 / Cuir Mauresque etc are some of my fav's from their house.
It's definitely my favorite house, since their frags really are what I really search: they're complex, tell histories, are strong and always present an outstanding quality. I own 20 SLs (and waiting for more 5 to arrive) and all of them are top in my wardrobe.
I have never fallen in love with anything from the Serge Lutens line myself.
It is what it is- I cant say I have ever compared them to other houses because when it comes down to it, you either like them or you don't. In terms of quality and ingredients, they're definitely up there and have carved out their own 'niche'. Rarely have I come across a non- fan, complaining of the quality, price, brand aesthetic or craftsmanship. It usually comes down to personal taste or lack of affinity with the brand style.
I don't think they are deserving of being stacked against top niche brands. I mean, they are one of the top niche brands.
I'm an avid Lutens fan, yet I don't care for Arabie, nor am I particularly drawn to 5 O'Clock Gingembre either. But I can appreciate them for what they are and understand why others may love them.
Luckily there are 50+ other scents in the line that I can knock myself out with.
One of favourite houses of all time, probably second (behind Dior). They're fragrances are rich, complex, sophisticated and invigorating. They are usually really thick and full of spices, dried fruits etc as mentioned above and can be linear if they want or incredibly complex. They're fragrances are a representation of how a scent can be an art, it depicts an image, very few houses, let alone scents can do that. They are above the houses named in the original post, maybe tied with Amouage. Fantastic house.
Serge Lutens was my intro into the niche world and it blew the door to rich new fragrance experience wide open. But if you don't enjoy orientals in general then this house is probably not for you.
I'm looking forward to exploring this house. The one experiene I've had was with La Myrrhe and it was terrible, a scrubber.
The SL line is one of my favorites, but you have to be prepared for what the line brings to you. The ones that stand out to me don't tend to be "nice" they're bold, loud, and speak they're mind.
A lot of people know them for their syrupy scents, which there are quite a few. The line is quite large and diverse, so you have to take into consideration what you're looking for in it. To me, there are a handful of them that are absolutely top notch, but at the same time there are one's that don't strike me as anything special.
As with any line this big, you'll most likely find some that are hits or misses. I personally don't like Arabie or 5 o'clock, but there are at least 12 that I love, and 6 or so that I couldn't be without.
Serge Lutens introduced me to the world of niche fragrances and was once a force to be reckoned with. Nowadays, this house is very much a has-been surviving on past glories.
The quality is excellent, but I don't care for their fragrances enough to buy one.
Some day's you're the statue and some days you're the pigeon.
I think he's right up there, even if the syrupy house signature isn't always for me.
IMO, Serge Lutens is already in the top 10 Niche brands.
Most SL are Oriental that are syrupy like Arabie or Spicy like Ambre Sultan.
It is an acquire taste, SL is not for everyone. Whenever you smell their scents, you can feel that they really use the best quality ingredients and really well blended.
***My favourite from my collection***
-------- Amouage: Tribute Attar, Jubilation XXV, GoldMan
------ Serge Lutens: Chêne, Tubéreuse Criminell, Ambre Sultan
-------- Les Exclusifs de Chanel: Sycamore, Coromandel
------ Tom Ford Private Blend: Noir de Noir, Tobacco Vanille
------- Hermès: Terre D'Hermès Parfum, Ambre Narguilé
------ EDP Frederic Malle: Carnal Flower
-------- Neela Vermire Creations: Trayee
------ Parfum MDCI: Invasion Barbare
SL is one of my favourite niche lines. I love many of their scents.
For the most part, the scents are long lasting and have great sillage.
"No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
I have yet to purchase any of their fragrances, but there is no denying their quality and I think its far higher than the Creeds and Profumums of the world.
Current Top Favorites:
1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
4) Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie
6) Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie
I have asked Roja this same question,
He told me that SL ingredients are cheaper than
those in Xerjoff for examples,
But who cares?
There are some magical SL offerings
Vetiver oriental is just too good.
I find that Serge Lutens and Parfumerie Generale rate rather high on my list of niche brands.