Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin

36142If you’ve ever seen the 2007 movie “Hairspray” you’ll remember the scene where Edna Turnblad goes to fetch her daughter from “Motormouth” Maybelle’s record shop, only to be drawn in to a dance number by the delicious snacks being offered. The number is called “Big, Blonde and Beautiful” and has the line (sung by the divine Queen Latifah) “I offer big love with no apologies”.

I know that Uncle Serge meant this to represent something completely different, but in my mind this is the scent that Maybelle would love. It starts with a BIG rose. A HUGE rose. A rose that’s been done by Jeff Koons: overscaled, shiny and somewhat cartoonish. While that rose never really dies completely, the scent as it wears becomes far more complex and interesting- I’m not the first to find in it an almost mirror image of the divine Muscs Kublai Kahn: In MKK the musk is dialed up to 12 while the roses are a whisper. In FdB it’s the other way around, but the dry downs share DNA.

I’ve been wearing the sample I asked for at Barneys for the last few days and am on the fence on this one. It’s really gorgeous and I’m thisclose to buying, but in a period of (ahem) personal austerity I think I’ll have to put this one on the back burner and use up what I have. You however should run to Barneys and  test it as soon as you can.

$120 for 50ML at the usual suspects. As I mentioned I asked for and received my sample from Barneys. Image stolen from Luckyscent.

  • dremybluz says:

    Got my bottle in the mail yesterday and it’s fantastic. At least it has some staying power. I prefer this to his Majestic Rose since this is spicier.

    • Kasia says:

      I bought it today. I used to wear Sa Majeste la Rose. but at some point it got to sweet for me.La Fille is darker and richer than Sa Majeste. And there is something very retro about it.

  • Joanna says:

    I feel like a cartoon character while reading this, complete with huge eyes and hearts with exclamation marks!!! around my head. Can’t wait to try.

  • Sherri says:

    You know you are a good writer when someone who a) hates rose and b) hates SL…or wait I guess it’s SL who hates me…he tried to kill me w/ Vitriol d’Oiellet, y’know) now wants to try this, albeit an itty bitty dab.

  • Dina C. says:

    I’m going to be thinking of this as The Rose that Ate Berlin from now on. 🙂 If I ever run across it, I’ll approach cautiously. Thanks for sharing a fun review.

  • shaney says:

    OK, well based on that description, what I need to try is MKK, not berlin!

  • 50_Roses says:

    I don’t object to the color, but I am wondering if you noticed whether it tends to stain? That aside, I do want to try this.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    Is it me or Serge Lutens loves to make every perfume some kind of strange color. Even though I don’t like most of his scents, the color of his perfumes keep my interest and hope that I will love something of his besides Sarrasins, Arabie, and Cherugui.

  • Ann says:

    Hi, Tom! With most new SLs, I’m nearly turning somersaults to try them, but I’m a little hesitant on this one. Not a huge rose fan here, and when I do like them, I like ’em dirtied up a bit with incense or patchouli or something else (think Lyric, Portrait of a Lady, etc.). However, if a dab sample falls into my lap, I will try it. Thanks!

  • It’s ‘La fille’. French is a gender specific language. Please change, it is just not in sync with the quality of this blog.

  • masha7 says:

    How does it compare to Malle’s Une Rose? That’s the biggest, most over-the-top-but-wonderful rose I’ve smelled. And is it anything like ELd’O’s Rossy de Palma? I love that one.

    • E.Lime says:

      I can’t speak for Une Rose, but to me, it smells much warmer, muskier, and less metallic than Rossy de Palma (which I also love). It also doesn’t have the kind of chocolate note I get from Rossy. And I would be completely happy owning both!

    • Tom says:

      Un Rose to me is more like a day in the garden. This is almost cartoonish rose, but in a great way.

  • Amer says:

    What’s with the color? Bottled blood of Berlin Maidens sounds more appropriate AND interesting