Second chance Monday: Beautiful Bas de Soie, cool but never cold (and giveaway winners)

bas de soie When I first fell down the rabbit hole, I used to salivate, anxiously awaiting the next release from Serge Lutens. But after a few scents that failed to wow me (L’Eau, L’Eau Froide, etc.), and with so many new releases coming out elsewhere and new houses debuting in recent years, I let it slip off my radar somewhat. I figured I’d get around to the latest when I got around to it, or it just happened to fall into my lap. Sometime in that period I tried a Serge that did make me prick up my ears a little, however: Bas de Soie.

I got a sample of it when it first broke, and although very interesting, I thought it too cold for my taste and dismissed it.

But somewhere along the way, something changed. I had these odd little cravings for a scent that I couldn’t put my finger on. They gnawed at me and made my stomach (and nose) growl with the wanting of it. Oh, for the love of Pete, what is it? Well, I poked through practically every sample that I own, and of course, nearly at the last, I found it. And that something turned out to be none other than Bas de Soie.
bas de soie 2

What once was a bit off-putting for me at first try, became a hungered-for, must-have scent. I came to see its icy-cool, not-quite aloof aura as delightful. Kind of like that girl in high school or college you thought was stuck up, but turns out she’s just very reserved, and maybe a little shy. And once you got to know her, you found her quiet elegance rather refreshing. Speaking of refreshing, I’ve found this scent to be great in the spring, naturally, but also a nice antidote to muggy summer weather.

Bas de Soie’s blend of iris, hyacinth, galbanum and musk exudes chic, classy sophistication to my nose and I always feel well-heeled when wearing it, even if I’m in jeans and a gauze top (Chanel Cristalle also falls into this camp for me). I now have a mini of the Serge, several sample sprays and am seriously considering a FB or at least a hefty decant.

Have you given second thoughts lately to a fragrance that you’d previously written off? Or do you have any scents that you find yourself absolutely craving?

Ooops — before I forget — the winners of the Oscar de la Renta Granada samples are

Maggiecat and Caroline

You know the drill: Just click on the Drop Us a Note at the top of the blog link with “Ann draw” in the subject line, remind us what you’ve won and send us your address. I’ll shoot you an e-mail to let you know that I got it. But please be patient, as I will likely be in and out of town over the next few weeks.

  • Kath says:

    I will try spraying(I’m working on a new order to send to Surrender to Chance right now),thanks so much!

  • kath says:

    I’ve used the last drops of my sample of Passage d’Enfier,and want more,that scent goes straight to my heart.But it fades in an hour,even w/moisturizer,etc.I am very new to perfume and am wondering if there are any others I can layer to come close to that tingling scent?

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Kath — so glad you stopped by! I wish I could help you find another scent that’s similar, but can’t think of anything. But on the PdE, have you tried spraying it? If you can, get a larger spray sample and see if a good spritz or two won’t help the scent last longer. And remember, even when you can’t detect it anymore (your nose gets accustomed to it, I think), others can still smell your wonderful scent.

  • I love Bas de Soie! It was one of the first SLs I tried. Like others here, I had a hard time with Arabie. The day I tried it, I kept getting whiffs of it as I was out shopping. I thought for a little while that I was smelling the Indian restaurant down the street but then realized the smell was coming from me. I felt like I had spilled chicken tikka on myself. I haven’t tried it again since. Maybe I’ll revisit again someday.

    As for ones I have come around on, Seville a L’Aube is one. I felt like it was too sweet when I originally tried it, but I was inspired to try it again after sniffing Fragonard Fleur d’Oranger in Anthropologie. Something about the honey-ish note in it made me think of Seville a L’Aube and made me want to revisit it. So I found the teeny little bit of sample I had left and sure enough, it was working for me way more than I remembered. So I recently got a small decant from STC and wore it yesterday.

    • Ann says:

      Jennifer, very happy to see another BdS fan. And your story about Arabie is too funny! Maybe just a dab on a super-cold day it will work a little better for you. Glad you’re enjoying the Seville. I liked it as well, but also found it a bit too sweet, so I’m thinking I need to re-try it again.

  • Suzanne says:

    Ann, your personification of Bas de Soie is so charming. The Serge Lutens fragrance I did the biggest turnaround with was Arabie. I thought it smelled like mulled wine and a Christmas candle at first – it just so overwhemed me. And then, like you, I found myself craving it little by little, until a little was a full bottle. 😀

    Btw, honey, there is a love letter coming in your way later today. As soon as I can pick myself off the floor and find adequate words. <3 <3 <3

    • Ann says:

      Wow, that was fast! USPS really must have outdone themselves, but sorry it’s a little early for the big day. I love how your love affair with Arabie unfolded: “craving it little by little, until a little was a full bottle.” Priceless!

  • Tiara says:

    I breezed right through my Bas de Soie decant. Loved it from the beginning but not sure why I haven’t bought more. So many full bottles to work through already along with a gazillion decants maybe? There have been oodles of scents I dismissed right off the bat but have tried later only to wonder, “What the heck was I thinking?” I have learned to hang on to most for a second or third try before passing along. I’ve also learned not to pass only too quickly!

    • Ann says:

      I hear you, Tiara! So many wonderful things to love and wear that it’s hard to get around to everything, but it’s a nice problem to have. I agree with you; giving things a second or third try is wise. I need to do more of that myself. Thanks!

  • rosarita313 says:

    Hi Ann! I love Bas de Soie and got a decant of it; hesitated at first because of so many comparisons on blogs to Chanel 19, which I love & have worn for decades. I didn’t think I’d need them both, but to my nose they’re quite different. It was my go to this last spring, I should get it out and try it now. As for new takes on other scents, I was doing really well revisiting samples for a while, then I just got tired of sampling, but – I know I still don’t care for Elie Saab or Cartier Baiser Vole. Now it’s time for my favorite spicy dark scents, so the search for white florals is on hold.

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, dear! Those are two lovely scents and think both have a place at the fragrance table. Lucky you to have temps cool enough to pull out the darker beauties — we are still pretty warm here. Enjoy!

      • rosarita says:

        Nah, it’s hot here too, record breaking, in fact. I’m just housebound at the moment, so I’m wearing whatever I’m in the mood for and going solely by the calender. 🙂

  • eldarwen22 says:

    Arabie was kind of difficult for me. It was a spice rack with a medicinal element to it then it grew on me. No 22 was another one. I think that it was the incense and the aldehyde combo that got to me because I wasn’t used to smelling those things together.

    • Ann says:

      Hi! I can definitely see how those would grow on you. I myself have not long ago come around to the charms of No. 22 with its incense and aldehydes — I love that it’s different, too!

  • patriciaC says:

    Hi Anne
    I tryed and thought Petite Cheri was a stupid childish fragrance when i first sniffed. On a hot day this summer i re-tryed it, i was looking for somthing that wouldn’t make me feel suffocated, and thought it’s not half bad. Now i kinda like it, but my sample is gone. Who would have thunk it! FBW? i would if i could, can’t afford it. Lesson learned.

    • Ann says:

      Patricia, glad to hear you found love on the second try. The AG would be nice in summer. Unless a scent makes me queasy or feel icky, I do like to give it another try a bit later, just to see. On the Petite Cherie, what about getting a nice decant of it and enjoying that? But do think about keeping it in the fridge; I’ve heard that it can go off fairly quickly. Many of my scents like that always go down into the vegetable crisper drawers, much to DH’s dismay 🙂

  • Dina C. says:

    I love Bas de Soie, too. The icy hyacinth, galbanum and iris combo is lovely to me. I’m not a fan of the SLs that are all about stewed fruits and hot spices; they’re a bit too much for me. But this one, and Clair de Musc, are great.

    • Ann says:

      Amen, Dina — its icy blend cuts through our muggy humidity so crisply. I like a few of the heavier Serges in the fall and winter but do get tired of the stewed fruit business, too. Must dig around and re-try the Clair de Musc, as I remember liking it when I first tried it. Thanks!

    • rosarita313 says:

      I’m with you Dina. The heavy hitters should work great for me, on paper, but I much prefer the lighter side of Serge.

  • Belle says:

    Say, how does it compare with Un Lys? Ugh, after that post about Baiser Vole, I’m dreaming about trying lily scents…

    • Ann says:

      Belle, I haven’t worn Un Lys in a while, but if memory serves, the BdS is a little crisper and leans more heavily onto the iris and hyacinth side of the fence. But you couldn’t go wrong with either — they’re both lovely, as is the Baiser Vole. Do try the Tom Ford Shanghai Lily, too — I kind of like its slightly warmer nature for fall.

  • Lisa D says:

    Ann, I also dismissed the Bas de Soie very early on, and haven’t returned to it. I remember thinking it was unexpectedly, um, classic and formal – very un-Serge. Now you’ve got me wondering if I should dig out my sample!

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Lisa! Do give the BdS another go. It does have a little formal feel to it, but its cool, crispness cuts the heat so nicely (at least on me) that I really enjoy it, even in jeans or shorts. BTW, tried any new teas lately that you like?

      • Lisa D says:

        I have placed a moratorium on buying new teas, until I get through some of the teas I already have! (If only I could demonstrate the same sensibility about perfume….).

  • Caroline says:

    oh yay, did I win the draw? Will send a message, thanks! Bas de Soie is one of my favorite Serges, and it’s been a perfect, cool & crisp accompaniment to summer’s humid days. I’ll be curious to see how it does in the fall. Looking forward to trying the new SL lily scent too…

    • Ann says:

      Congrats, Caroline, you won! Glad you like the BdS, too. After reading several reviews, I am getting a little excited to try the new Serge as well, as I’m a lily lover, for the most part.

  • Rina says:

    For some reason, the SLs just don’t do it for me. What I do crave, and miss like a lover if I forget to spritz before heading out the door is my beloved Le Labo A44. I WILL possess a FB some day (yes, I know…don’t confuse me with facts!). For now, I keep the metal traveler in my purse and a STC decant at home…Argh, the things we do for fragrance!

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Rina! Not sure which Le Labo that is — by any chance might that be the Paris city exclusive, Vanille 44? If so, I love-love-love that one, too. And they’re selling FBs right now on Luckyscent. But alas, I had to choose between that and a new starter for my car, and – sigh – you know which one won out. But take heart, as you say, one day we will have bottles!

      • Rina says:

        No, it’s the d/c Aldehyde44 from Dallas 🙁

        • Ann says:

          Oh, that one’s lovely as well! I would love a bottle of that one too. What a crying shame that it’s gone. When the Dallas Barney’s went under, methinks Le Labo could have either let it become available at all the other city exclusive stores, or in a REALLY generous move, let it become part of the general line. Are you listening, LL folks? We would be a very happy bunch of campers out here in Perfumeland!

  • Fiberliza says:

    This is my signature fragrance…always genteel and reserved, but edgy at the same time! Thanks for your review!