Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit
As a lover of animalic rose chypres, I had high hopes for this; I was already fantasizing about it becoming my mysterious and elegant signature scent, how I would pretend it was Nombre Noir. While it is beautiful, it is simply too quiet to be worth its $300 price tag. Perhaps if I could purchase it in Paris where Lutens bell jars are about $150 I would spring for it, but the import cost is obscene.
The reputed strangeness of Rose de Nuit is dependent on the wearer never having smelled an 80s rose chypre. If you are familiar with Montana, Coriandre, La Perla, La Nuit, Magie Noire, Paloma Picasso, Aromatics Elixir, Knowing, Aramis 900, even Agent Provocateur, Rose de Nuit will seem like a disappointingly quiet and short-lived version of those with an admittedly gorgeous silky texture and top-notch raw materials. If you are not, it will probably blow your mind as rose chypre accords did when I first smelled them. It is an exotic odor often termed "old lady" but framed with cool Lutens opulence and exclusivity that make it palatable and mysterious. It's like how someone who has never seen a truly out-there inscrutable art movie (Andrei Rublev, Persona, Melancholie der Engel) would have their minds blown by, say, It Follows. Rose chypres are shocking to modern noses because millennials, having grown up with no fragrance except the occasional calone or Iso E, simply can't comprehend someone choosing to smell like that.
Still, if I make my way to Paris, I may buy a bottle. The prospect of dumping it on copiously from a bell jar is appealing.