L’Eau Serge Lutens, which definitely featured an aquatic note, but here, there’s just a drop. Call off that post-trauma support group.
For all its beauty, incense is a bitch of a material, with mineral and old-coin facets that can veer on blood or butcher’s stall. Ripped out of the oriental formulas in which it is most commonly featured, it is rather cold than warm, a quality Serge Lutens had already highlighted in the austere Encens et Lavande.
Though towards the drydown, L’Eau Froide takes on the slight mineral tinge of certain spring waters, throughout the development the stress is more on the adjective than the noun. The citrus-y, peppery and terpenic (as in pine and turpentine) facets of incense are boosted by mint and woody-aromatic notes likely to feature laurel and vetiver – the sinus-clearing effect is not unlike sucking a eucalyptus or pine-sap candy.
L’Eau Froide a little unrelenting in colder months – this may be an “eau”, but watered-down it’s not – so it’ll be interesting come summertime to see whether Serge Lutens has done his bit to fight global warming.
L’Eau Froide will be on sale as of February at the Palais-Royal, then world-wide in March. I’ll be happy to share my advance sample in a draw: just drop a comment telling me what you consider to be the coldest perfume in your collection.
Image: Lightning Fields by Hirochi Sugimoto