On my skin, Serge Lutens scents last a very long time: usually around nine hours. The exception was Muscs Koublai Khan, which I detested and couldn’t get rid of. It’s the perfume Rule of Sod. Love it? It won’t last. Hate it? It won’t wash off.
Serge Lutens Gris Clair falls somewhere in the middle for me. It’s long lasting but I neither hate nor love it. Weirdly, it smells a little like hot starched linen on me: as if I have over-ironed a garment (chance would be a fine thing- ask my husband!). It also smells very masculine, and if I may use a colour here, it smells silver.
Serge Lutens Gris Clair was created by the genius that is Christopher Sheldrake. I don’t love everything he makes, but everything he makes is quite brilliant, objectively speaking if not subjectively. Woodsy lavender with a hint of resin, this is an unusual combo and I can think of few scents with which to compare it.
The notes include Iris, tonka bean, woods, lavender, incense, and amber. What I admire about it is the fact that without the lavender, this would be a superb, if not unique, incense-y oriental. However, the lavender jars and almost puts my teeth on edge, but I don’t regard this as a bad thing. How would we have discovered that olives and Martini go so well together if someone hadn’t dared to try it?
So what we have in Gris Clair is a warm, spicy scent whose cosy edges are blown away. Lavender is a cold scent. Amber is warm. Sheldrake has wrapped a woolly blanket around the hard edges of a skyscraper. It’s hot and cold. It’s different. It’s audacious. But it’s not for me.