01 August 2012

Perfume Review: La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens

Serge Lutens owns my heart.   I have two bottles from the export range, and one from the non-export range.  Most of the scents I have tried I love - sometimes for their actual scent, and other times for their gorgeous complexity.  I have absolutely hated a few, but good art always evokes extreme reactions, and perhaps - being an artist myself - this is why I am drawn to this house.

La Myrrhe is a pretty old scent, and was launched in 1995.  It is - judging from the name - supposed to be about myrrh, but I am not very familiar with the scent of this note, so shall judge with my limited perfume knowledge.  The notes named (but never judge a SL scent by its named notes!) are mandarin, myrrh, lotus, bitter almond, sandalwood, honey, jasmine, amber, musk, various spices and pimento.

 For this review, I dabbed a normal amount (so not too much) from my little sample vial on my wrists and inner elbows.  I recently tried to get a few of the non-export range in samples from the Perfumed Court so that I could at least enjoy these scents - even if I cannot own them.  

This fragrance opens with a soapy note, very very soapy.  Like, to the point where you feel *clean*.  I catch myself impatiently waiting for some Sergian notes.  I am currently in a very gourmand phase, and this is not very gourmand or dessert-like on my skin.  Can we say "disappointment"?

Suddenly a thick syrup note pops through, as if to say "fooled ya!" 
- "Yesssss," says the pig in my nose, "FOOD!"

I can smell a woody scent in the background, as though the bitterness of PURE incense resin is present.  I do not know what real myrrh smells like, and presume it isn't sticky sweet as some myrrh/incense scents like to make it, so this feels real.  This woody note disappears as fast as it came, and like many other SL scents I have tried, this one seems to be a chameleon.  The notes come back and disappear again, like some mysterious nimble bellydancers who simultaneously work as ninjas.

It has a note of garbage bag on my wrist, which I'm not loving, but when I smell the inside of my elbow (where scents bloom, in my opinion), I smell a cologne-like masculine coolness that I like.  I realise now that this "soapy" quality I initially sensed is brought on by a white flower I do not recognise.  It could be jasmine (according to note list), as this is a note I am not familiar with (I know - how is it possible?).

There is a greenness to this that is slightly bitter, but I think this is a scent that, on me, is dominated by a floral.  It seems pretty linear for the first half hour, but then some anise-like scent comes through.  According to this review, this scent is very true to myrrh, but since I know nothing about it I cannot say what I think of this matter.

After a bit, the sandalwood and spices come through, and I feel myself nodding and smiling with recognition.  Hello Uncle Serge!  The usual gourmand aspect is different, but still exists - I can sense a slight burned overly flavoured vanilla pudding.  Yum!

I will have to say that I like this one quite a bit, and could see my see myself wearing it.  It would be my first white-floral dominated scent (even though that aspect is less strong during the drydown).  I read here that it is recommended to dab this one, and not spray.  I do agree that this could be too heady and just "too much" if over-applied, and due to its "coolness" could definitely see - and love - this on a guy.

To conclude, this is a scent that has a coolness to it that reminds me of white flowers with dew drops on them on a crisp summer morning after a storm.  I like the slightly bitter medicinal anise-like note in the background, but perhaps that is because I like very bitter dark chocolate too.  Besides, bitterness is good for you. ;)

Note: The more time passed, the more I caught myself inhaling deeply when my arm was close to my nose. Warning: This scent - like a lot of Serge Lutens fragrances - grows on you!  The more hours that pass, the creamier this one gets.  I cannot comment on sillage as I really did use a few drops.  Obviously, due to dabbing the sillage would be lower than if spraying.

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