Serge Lutens Fourreau Noir – perfume review, a hot mess.
Hey, there – I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, for those of you who swing that way. I got my husband back safe and sound, and I’m still sleeping off the turkey, in addition to getting a fair amount of reading done. Including your comments on the Thanksgiving post – I was a little verklempt reading some of them. I’m kind of awed that such interesting, intelligent people even read this blog, but then again – that’s perfume (and not entirely the awe-inspiring writing of yours truly). Perfume folks are cool.
Today’s review was going to be of Serge Lutens Fourreau Noir I finally got around to smelling, but I’ve decided to broaden the topic a bit. You see, I hadn’t rushed to smell it because a) it’s lavender, and b) the reviews I saw weren’t exactly stellar.
Notes for Serge Lutens Fourreau Noir are tonka bean, lavender, musk, smoky notes – as Patty says: *rolls eyes* Let´s assume his next scent will be released with the explanation: “Made of some stuff that smells.” It definitely smells like immortelle to me as well.
Our own Lee said: … Serge Lutens Fourreau Noir for all its masculine posturing, is a sad little scent, a front of machismo hiding a well of tears… It´s the 80s writ large. All front up front: the male fougere smells of lavender, coumarin, and synthetics such as dihydromyrcenol to give the thrusting metallic edge, the purr of the engine. All sadness beneath: smoky melancholy, myrrh, quietude.
Patty said: Think of it like this, it´s the Sonic Drive-in where Encens Et Lavande, Chergui and Fumerie Turque all show up, their brakes go out simultaneously, and they all wind up in an incredibly interesting jumble on the menu, something like: “Lavender Pancake Syrup with Hookah.”
But here’s the thing: I’m kind of loving this train-wreck of a scent. I think much of my advantage stems from the fact that I’m not a guy and have never dated guys who wear much cologne, and so I don’t have endless personal memories of choking on some nasty sharp 80s fougere, the man-whore equivalent of, say, Giorgio or Poison. Instead, the lavender and metallic-freshness-plus-Comet-cleanser smell prompts a whole different and kind of novel scent-tableau for me. It’s the virtual-reality version of standing at a stainless steel kitchen sink, steel wool in hand, with the hot water blasting into a skillet squirted with lavender dish soap, and the faint remnants of some kind of dessert (pancakes? almond cookies?) hanging in the air.
I can’t stop smelling Serge Lutens Fourreau Noir. I don’t want to own it, and I don’t want to wear it, but as an aroma it’s fascinating. I had no idea that one day Serge Lutens would be able to capture the bouquet of wan despair as I stand at my kitchen sink over a giant pile of dirty dishes after some major extended-family meal, wondering why in hell I ever thought kids were a good idea, and if I should just throw a bunch of crap into an overnight bag and split. (Once I switched to orange-scented dish soap I got a whole new, cheerful perspective.) Now, though, thanks to Serge Lutens Fourreau Noir I can experience that feeling any time I want (even when I’m out on the town!) not just at eleven at night when I’ve had one too many glasses of prosecco. The drydown after the first hour or two is actually quite pretty, a very light lavender at that point fading to reveal a combination of immortelle and almond cookie with a resin/incense undertone. If that were the whole scent I’d be contemplating a decant, it’s very soothing in a second-skin kind of way.
This thing is a hot mess. But I’m giving it two thumbs up just for engaging weirdness, like one of those outfits on Project Runway that are utter FAIL but sorta mesmerizing at the same time. More than one of my hot-mess fragrances eventually became something I like (hello, Miel de Bois!) and even when they don’t, at least they’re interesting. At this juncture, I can’t see waiting through the top notes of Serge Lutens Fourreau Noir for that tasty drydown, but I could very well change my mind.
So today I invite you to name something from your own head-scratcher list: a fragrance that you think is (possibly) an utter failure as a scent, at least for you, but one you keep around a sample or decant of, just because you like to smell it. (Note: this is slightly different than a sadly misunderstood scent that you adore, even though everyone else hates it.) Or: name a scent that you initially loathed that you’ve come around to, and why your feelings changed.
You can buy a Serge Lutens Fourreau Noir sample at Surender to Chance