samedi 18 juillet 2009

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles: Pine Potion



What fragrance to wear now the pandemic is on us?

I’d say Serge Lutens’ newest export line addition, Fille en Aiguilles, would neatly do the trick. Not that the aiguilles (“needles”) in the name reference hypodermic syringes, nor sewing needles, nor even stiletto heels – talons aiguilles – for that matter. No, those needles are the ones that strew forest floors.

Filles en Aiguilles’ gale-force cool-hot sillage of pine essence is powerful enough to clear sinuses and leave an aftertaste down the throat… This medicinal facet is compounded by the pungent, camphorous burn of vetiver: the essence is served up raw, un-brightened by the usual hesperidic notes, not unlike its treatment in Isabelle Doyen’s Turtle Vétiver for LesNez. A scorched, gun-powdery incense darkens the green, gem-like radiance of the resinous blend. The combustible fumes last several hours before exhaling softer fir balsam facets, with a hint of Lutens’ trademark candied fruit sweetening the uncharacteristic -- for him -- rawness of the terpenic notes. In fact, if this were presented by a smaller indie outfit, no one would bat a lash.

Fille en Aiguilles is a simple and strangely comforting blend, evocative of throat lozenges, turpentine and pine forests. With its salubrious aura, it almost feels more like an antiseptic potion than a perfume, harking back to the use of strong aromatic materials to ward off the foul miasma thought to carry disease in the pre-Pasteur era. Perhaps that’s just what Dr. Serge ordered against the evil bugs that may, or may not engulf us come autumn.

A bit of magical thinking never hurts and magic is pretty much what the alchemist of the Palais Royal does best.


Image: Madeline von Foerster, Angel.


28 commentaires:

  1. A pine potion by dr. Lutens? just what I need after being stuck in the house as I'm down with the flu!

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  2. Diable Rouge, perhaps we all need a spritz of this to cure/ward off evil... It certainly has a powerful sillage.

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  3. En lisant votre excellent blog, je me demandais pourquoi vous ne parliez pas de Dyptique. Trop colognes et pas assez parfums ?

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  4. Frédérique... plutôt trop de trucs à sentir et pas assez de peau. Il y a des marques entières comme ça qui me passent sous le nez: ce n'est pas par stratégie délibérée ou par dédain, croyez-moi! J'espère réparer cette négligence un de ces jours...

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  5. oh my, Denyse. This sounds very me, I must say.... Perhaps worth an unsniffed purchase, even. I love the medicinal and the strange...

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  6. Jarvis, yes I think you might love it, but as it's an export, buying unsniffed isn't a necessity -- it'll probably be on your side of the pond pretty soon.

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  7. But I want instant gratification! :-)

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  8. Jarvis, I do know someone who's already getting Rose de Nuit for someone... So...

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  9. LOL, yes. I am counting my blessings.

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  10. Speaking of stiletto heels, I love the cover of your book. Those heels, arched feet...

    The fragrance sounds fascinating!

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  11. Yes, Jarvis. That's right, Jarvis! ;-)

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  12. Victoria, the cover of the French edition is adapted from John Willie's magazine covers in the 50s. I like it way better than the cover of the English edition -- all the women in the publishing team hated it but the US sales reps insisted...

    The Lutens is interesting, rough in the same way as Serge Noire but still a lot more brutal than you'd expect from Lutens. I suspect the more balsamic facets come out better on certain skins: on me, it pretty much sat there being pine-y.

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  13. Oh, shit! I love pine so much that I buy this outrageously expensive and impossible to get bath oil from Japan because of its incredible pine scent. The salon where I have my hair cut uses a conditioner that is scented with balsam and pine and my eyeballs roll back into my head when they wash my hair. I'm not even that crazy about the place or the cut -- I just go there for the conditioner.

    I guess this means I'm gonna have to move to France.

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  14. Hmmm, brutal jasmine in Sarrasins and now brutal pine? This is getting interesting. I've been leaning toward the softer (Claire de Musc, La Myrrhe) the animalic (MKK of course) and a bit toward the roughed up (Sarrasins) for the summer months. Can't wait to try this one.

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  15. Oh, wait...did you say *export line*? Never mind...

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  16. Popcarts, well, this is definitely pine (and fir balsam, as far as I can tell), so there's a good chance you'll love it.

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  17. Melissa, I didn't get the feeling Sarrasins was very rough... if anything, it was certainly tamer than A la Nuit.
    FeA is definitely more rustic, though.

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  18. Popcarts -- you can still come to France, though.

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  19. Hello Denyse!

    This is surely the scent of of my childhood-warm pine forests and resins. You detected that balsamic note as well-this baby is comin' home with me!

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  20. Denyse

    I don't find Sarrasins to be highly indolic, but the leathery notes give it a rather rough edge for me. You're right. Completely different from A la Nuit, which is jasmine on steroids to my nose.

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  21. I'll admit I love the piney note in Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet. For some reason, I associate it with summers in the high Sierra.

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  22. Louise, I'm so glad you found a new perfume love that's so evocative for you! bisous!

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  23. Melissa, what I love in Sarrasins is that tiny moment when the animalic notes(castoreum, civet) pop out, but it's so short-lived... Still, if you find that rough you'll find FeA positively thuggish.

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  24. Christopher, say High Sierra and I'm out there with Bogart... This is less classic than the lovely Blenheim Bouquet, though.

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  25. Denyse

    I'm probably reacting to the castoreum in Sarrasins. But I never said that I don't like it!

    And really, I've met a few thugs who I like. This will be the first of the pine variety.

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  26. Melissa: waylaid in the woods by a Lutens! I can just see the headlines.

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  27. Oh, this sounds so interesting! I was uninterested in another stewed fruits, and this sounds like the old Serge up to his sorcery...

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  28. March, the stewed fruit are well in the background. It's pretty interesting, give it a whirl... The least it'll do is unclog your respiratory tract.

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