Tag Archives: Serge Lutens A La Nuit

Avon Perceive Dew: Zing!

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The original Avon Perceive fragrance was created by none other than Christopher Sheldrake, who has created no less than 43 fragrances for Serge Lutens, including the legendary Chergui and my personal favourite, A La Nuit. Serge Lutens fragrances usually retail at around £80 a bottle. Perceive is currently around £11, making it the cheapest Christopher Sheldrake fragrance in the world. Do bear in mind though, that he was not handling the same calibre of ingredients when he parachuted into Avon as he does when he works for Serge.

 Perceive Dew was, after all that build up, NOT created by Christopher Sheldrake. However, it’s still pretty good.

The first time I smelled it, I immediately got Melon, which is a note I detest in fragrances. However, as always I gave it a second chance and a third. On the third go, just as I was about to list it on eBay, I had an About-Turn when I noticed some delicious Lemony Citrus notes that talked me in from the ledge. Suddenly I was interested again.

Top notes are Lemon, Freesia and Melon. If I can studiously ignore the wishy washy fake Melon note and concentrate on the sharp Lemon, then Perceive Dew and I will get along fine. Middle notes are Marine notes, Apricots and Honeysuckle. I definitely got all of those notes, but it wasn’t unpleasant.

From my first dismissive, and even snobby opinion of “another cheap fruity floral, it must be sent to the eBay Dungeon”, I now take a different view. For a start, the Marine notes are refreshing and pleasant, rather than aquatic and ozonic like The Body Shop Oceanus, which I can’t bear. The Honeysuckle and Apricot add a sweetness for sure, but because of the tart and zingy lemon, this doesn’t quite fall into the candy floss toothache variety of popular scents.

I will emphasise that I didn’t like the Melon note in this, and it is clear that the budget was not spent on expensive ingredients. However, as a refreshing spritz on a hot day, this is hard to beat at the price. I bought my EDP for £6.99 from my smiley, lovely Avon lady. It will be amazing kept in the fridge on a summer’s day.

Serge Lutens Sarrasins: Jasmine In Her Sunday Best

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I feel almost under qualified to describe this Jasmine, Jasmine, Jasmine Musky floral.  Its dark purple juice immediately conjured up bluebells, my favourite flowers. Curiously, this fragrance has no bluebells. The bluebells may have been a fond olfactory childhood memory triggered by Sarrasins. The first ever perfume I bought myself as  fifteen year old girl in 1985 (I am now 33 *cough*) was a Boots scent called Bluebell. It was a small, angular bottle with a little screw top and was pure Bluebells and Petals. However, having been reminded of it so strongly with Sarrasins, I am wondering now if there was a lot of Jasmine in my jar of Bluebells or if I have been muddling up these smells all this time.

I tried Sarrasins blind, but if you’d told me before trying it that it would be strong Jasmine from the off, lasting a whole day and ending with a smudge of Honey  I would have turned it down. I’m so glad I didn’t.

This is very similar to A La Nuit, which I tried recently in the Poitiers branch of Sephora. I don’t have it to hand, but it gave me a similar “Bluebell/Jasmine” rush and I remember thinking how un-Serge it was, having tried Borneo 1834, Chergui, Louve and Ambre Sultan. I guess there’s a whole side of Serge I don’t know about yet. What an exciting prospect! Like finding out your favourite author also writes spy novels.

So I guess you could say that Sarrasins showed me a Jasmine I can get on board with. There’s none of that downstairs-loo-in-a vicarage vibe that Jasmine often gives me. This is fresh as the flower itself, with maybe a dewdrop on it to add a touch of poetry. Its clean, to the point of being almost metallic (it has a little in common with my much loved and late Gucci Envy), and its staying power is tenacious, bordering on permanent. I can’t shake the idea that there is Hyacinth in there, and I know there is a frisson of spicy Carnation. The drydown goes very slightly White Musk and Honey on me, but the flowers stay put. It’s like being a sent a floral arrangement that just won’t go off and stays fresh for months.

 Sarrasins  is a floral that sticks around, almost unchanging, with a not quite medicinal, not quite Anise undercurrent.

I adore Sarrasins, and it may well nudge Borneo 1834 off the winner pedestal in the “My Favourite Serge Lutens Award” category that takes place on my dressing table when I have a quiet moment.