|De Profundis limited edition, Nov. 2011|
When I spoke to him for my book, Serge Lutens confided that he was now drawing inspiration from writers rather than raw materials or accords to find the themes of his fragrances. And his two next launches bear this out, with a nod to Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde and of course the fictional holy patron of perfumers, Huysmans’ aesthete Des Esseintes, including in their faintly sacrilegeous allusions to Catholicism...
Vitriol d’Oeillet is a fierce carnation that reminds us that "clove" and "nail" are the same word in French ("clou"), in the tough-powdery line of Bas de Soie, with hints of the lily which is really the carnation’s olfactory sister… Excerpt from the press release:
“After a moment of hesitation, the carnation – alias the clove pink – is what I am in every sense: this fragrance fraught with anger is my riposte. Its petals, laced with tiny teeth, hold out the solution: a burst of fragrant spikes.
Would it make you smile to know that the wallflower packs a real fragrant punch, that the pepper comes from Cayenne and that the scent of cloves lies deep within this composition?”
De Profundis takes its name from Oscar Wilde’s letter to Alfred Douglas written in prison as well as Baudelaire’s “De Profundis Clamavi” (“Out of the Depths Have I Cried). It is built around the funereal chrysanthemum and, fatally, incense. The potion itself takes on the emblematic colour of the Decadents -- and of ink, to drive home the literary point --, "the color violet (love restrained, mysterious and veiled; the canoness' color)", wrote Baudelaire, veering towards the ultraviolet which is the only light capable of illuminating black. Excerpt from the press text:
“What if the hearse were taking the deceased, surrounded by abundant flourish, to a final resting place in France, and leading altar boys, priest, undertaker, beadle and grave-diggers to some sort of celebration where they could indulge gleefully in vice? Now that would be divine!”
Vitriol d’Oeillet is part of the export line. It will be launched in July at the Palais-Royal, then worldwide in September.
De Profundis is part of the exclusive Palais-Royal line. It will be launched in October.
The limited edition bottles (including the one depicted above) will be available in November.
Both Louve and Serge Noire will also be edited in engraved bottles, the former with a Balinese puppet motif, the latter with a crucifix.
|Serge Noire limited edition Nov. 2011|
And finally, all of you in the throes of Tubéreuse Criminelle addiction will be able to give in: it is the next limited edition in the export line, as of November 2011.
I’ll be reviewing Vitriol d’Oeillet shortly – it’s already eating at my wrists…