Serge Lutens L’Eau Eau de Parfum

July 25, 2011

I’ve been interested in trying Serge Lutens L’Eau ever since I read about it on NathanBranch.com over a year ago. I’ve had it on my list to smell every time for ages, yet this fragrance always manages to slip my mind when I am at Barneys – there are simply way too many distractions. This past weekend I finally remembered. It’s been reviewed as the perfume for those who do not like perfume. I was instantly intrigued since I am one of those women who doesn’t really like perfume. Yet after reading so many mixed reviews I spritzed this with an open mind.

I sprayed it on my wrist and was pleased with the simple, clean and pure scent. At first it seemed a bit too simple, slightly unoriginal and very familiar to something else I’ve tried before. Still I liked the freshness and the beautiful bottle. I told the sales associate that I would think about it. It wasn’t until 3 hours later that I decided to go back and purchase it. Throughout the afternoon I kept sniffing my wrist. I was surprised by the longevity of the perfume, especially given the “lightness” of the scent. Also, after a few hours, I did not have a headache  which was a huge plus (I find many fragrances migraine-inducing). Also, as simple as this scent is, I personally found a bit more depth than “simple clean.” Hard for me to describe, but click on over to Nathan Branch’s review and it will make complete sense to you.
As I was looking at all the Serge Lutens bottles, smelling them one by one again, the sales associate recommended I also try the Nuit de Cellophane layered over L’Eau. The combination was interesting but a bit sharp for my taste. A bit too floral, but a sharp floral. She kindly made me a sample to take home which I will be trying out more in the upcoming weeks.

From the fragrance reviews I’ve written you can tell I gravitate towards the simple scents.  I’ve been getting regular use out of all the Jo Malone Tea Fragrances. This is my first Serge Lutens purchase which I know many say is not typical of his fragrances, but I love it. I’ve always been drawn to Un Bois Vanille, yet every time I’ve tried it I find it slightly too heavy for my taste. It smells so much better on my friends. My quest for the perfect vanilla continues. Most are simply too sweet and cloying for my nose. Un Bois Vanille comes so close to the perfect combination of notes for me … but not quite what I’ve been looking for.
Do you own any Serge Lutens? What are your recommendations?

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  • For a long time I couldn't find a fragrance that I'd like and that would not give me a migraine (so I feel your pain). I then fell in love with Un Bois Vanille, which I now own. But I have also fallen in love with Five O'Clock Au Gingembre, which is quite masculine on its own, but counterbalances Un Bois Vanille nicely. My daily perfume is 2 spritzes of each, they mix fabulously for me!

  • Anonymous

    I will try this the next time I'm at Barneys. I own Un Boise Vanille and Bois de Violette. I don't wear Un Bois Vanille often because it is a bit heavy, but Bois de Violette is one of my favorites. Have you tried L'artisan's Havana Vanille? It's a pretty good vanilla fragrance.

  • I have never heard of this, I'm going to have to give this a whiff! I love perfume but like simple scents as well.

  • I got a sample of this and loved it too. I'm not a big perfume gal either and lots of scents are too heavy for my taste. Too bad I can't afford to shell out the bucks for this.

  • Sounds lovely. I still need to venture out and test the Serge Lutens fragrances. I thought I was fancy just venturing into the By Killian fragrances. There's a whole world of fragrances I need to discover!

  • My first Serge Lutens was Chergui – I call it my blanket in a bottle, it's just so comforting and soft, a perfect scent for fall and winter. I haven't yet found a vanilla-based scent that wouldn't be overly sweet or cloying. I did however like the L'Occitane wax perfume in Vanilla because it had some floral notes as well so that it didn't get overpowering. I think they discontinued but finding a perfume in wax form might be a good idea.

  • I bought Nuit de Cellophane and desperately wanted to love it as it was the only Juicy pear noted fragrance I had come across. However on my skin it turned very and i do mean VERY floral and unfortunately in a grandmother sort of way. Pitty because its a brand I quite admire for being so different!!

  • You liked and bought L'eau!

    I thought it was smart of the Lutens brand to create this, as it successfully targets a consumer group they previously did not serve (such as yourself).

    I'm really happy that I was in some small way a part of the discovery process for you. And I agree — there are WAY too many distractions at Barney's.

  • Anonymous

    I love oriental and Serge Lutens is renown for his Orientals (but i'm sure it is not your cup of tea if you like simple scents)
    Chergui was my first SL perfume, it means hot wind in arabic. A wear it summer and winter, it is long lasting but stay close to the body. I like Clara description.
    3 weeks ago i purchase Jeux de peau, it is still an oriental but more gourmet, you have toast nuts (almond I think) vanilla, and a little of incense it is divine. I think my next SL will be FΓ©minitΓ© du bois or Ambre Sultan. I do like Five O'clock but the perfume just disappear on me. πŸ™ But really if you should try l'artisan parfumeur their perfumes or really light compare to SL.

  • On the hunt for your perfect vanilla, maybe you'd like to try Atelier Cologne Vanille InsensΓ©e, it is a wonderful perfume, light, but longwearing at the same time.

    I love your blog, you make the most beautiful photos, and we share the same taste. Thank you for all your hard work! πŸ™‚

  • Thank you for all your wonderful vanilla recommendations and thoughts on Serge Lutens. I'm making my list and although I do not need any more perfumes now I will definitely be trying all your recs!!!

  • Anonymous

    I loved your recommendations for the tea frangrances from Jo Malone. In the hopes that we share a similar 'nose' (lol) I have purchased a sample size of this perfume from ebay to try! I have no idea where Serge Lutens can be tested/purchased in Canada, as far as I know, Holt Renfrew doesn't carry this brand. We'll see!

  • Anonymous

    for Anonymous from Canada@ FYI in Montreal Ogilvy carry Serge Lutens perfume. So if you are in the area. πŸ˜€

  • I agree with you on the Un Bois Vanille being too sweet on the initial spritz. My preference lies more on woody oriental scents; like Feminite du Bois (wearing it right now). If you like the lighter scents like L'eau, then maybe you should give Un Lys a try (but I'm not sure if this is an EU exclusive bottle). It's full of lillies and smells lovely from top to base note.

  • I have Nuit De Cellophane and I love it! I've never tried layering it, but I wear it every day on its own.

  • I have been collecting Serge Lutens since 2008, when I got my bottle of Arabie as a gift. Like you, perfumes often give me migraines, but after approaching a greater range of different scents and getting over my initial impression of commercial perfumes, I realized that it as the sweet florals mainly that I couldn't stand. Since then, I've found several favourites in the oriental/chypre/woody categories. Filles de Aiguille, Vetiver Oriental and Musc de Kublai Khan are some of my favorite Serge Lutens.