Before I actually review a few things I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for my absence. Life happens as they say and an emergency never schedules an appointment. Having said that, thank you Patty, Lee and March for your unending kindness and patience. I must say I love Patty dearly and I feel like I let everyone down a bit. I can not apologize enough.
OK, on to the reviews. I know the title of this post is a bit “Etat”ish, but I was called G-wood(last name Garwood) way too much during High School. Childish I know. What can I say?
There is a magical forrest somewhere, I just know it. Perhaps it exists only in my dreams, my imagination, which is aided constantly by such Masters as Shakespeare and the infamous Romantics. It manifests when I close my eyes. Thanks to Serge Lutens (and Chris the Magnificent) I can smell it now too.
Chene. Say it out loud. It just oozes elegance. Not the same in Germanic English, huh? Oak. Ok, I digress. Notes are: oak-bark tannin, cedarwood crystals, birch, immortelle flowers, wood saps, Tonka bean, rum absolute, black thyme, and beeswax. No wonder it took me so long to fall in love with, or even find this beauty…tuberose is not listed. OK, I admit it, I adore Tuberose in all its glory and a day without it is, well, one not worth smelling…for me…but I digress again. (I do that, sorry).
I spray on Chene and imagine Ophelia (think Millais, Tate Britain) floating so morbidly yet beautifully next to a tall oak. Perhaps her loss of identity hasn’t so much pushed her over the edge (pun intended) as the intoxicating scents surrounding her soon to be watery grave. It’s a thought. I never imagined how beautiful and complex a scent based on oak could be. This is a scent built upon layers of rich accords, touched by melancholia. I could fall in love with Chris Sheldrake thanks to this magnificent juice.
There’s chene, that’s for remembrance.
Santal de Mysore is another beautiful story. Desdemona’s wedding sheets smell of this powdery, yes I’ll say it, sexy wood. I know Othello could have worn this too, but I imagine the scent lingering on the bed, their marriage pre-Iago and blissful. This is a woodsy scent for happy days, with a hint of darkness undercutting the romance. Notes of Mysore Sandalwood, cumin, spices, styrax, balsam, caramelized Siamese benzoin. The scent of sweaty skin is pronounced on me, which I believe is thanks to cumin, though it is understated enough here, in case you fear the reformulated Femme de Rochas. As the scent lingers, the resins sweep in and begin to smother the santal, though not in a fit of jealous rage.
These two Lutens woods are beautiful on either a man or woman. I chose to visualize two famous albeit fictitious women only because I love them as I do the scents. Both of these are Paris exclusives worth seeking out.
I planned on reviewing Mayotte (a luscious Ylang/Tuberose from Guerlain). I am running out of space (and probably your patience), so another time….it’s beautiful, I promise. (The perfume more so than my review no doubt!).