Everything has a scent. Even cold has a certain smell, and Serge Lutens has captured it in his latest fragrance, Eau Froide.
Serge Lutens (born 14 March 1942, in Lille, France) is a French photographer, filmmaker, hair stylist, perfume art-director and fashion designer. Serge Lutens is an interesting, multi-talented, think-out-of-the box, creative soul. He began working at the young age of 14 for a hair salon in fragrance, and started experimenting with makeup and photography, becoming a noted Vogue photographer. From there he was commissioned to create a makeup line for Dior, and then in 1980 (skipping over more details of this talented man’s bio), he was hired to develop Shiseido’s product image, creating a fragrance called “Nobre Noir” in 1982. Skipping over a few more creative years, Lutens launched his own brand “Parfums-Beaute Serge Lutens” in 2000. Since then, he’s created quite a few fragrances that are unique, exciting, and luxurious.
This new fragrance, L’eau Froide by Serge Lutens, Les Salons Du Palais Royal, Sheseido, spans the sexes with a fragrance both men and women can wear. “Froid,” in French, means “cold,” and “L’eau” means “water” so the actual fragrance is “cold water.” The fragrance has a mint note that makes it feel almost physically refreshing, like cold water. The scent is light and crisp, ideal for warmer weather.
It is super-chic and cool, and utterly luxe, but will L’eau Froid warm your heart?
This isn’t a generic scent. You’ll expect something unusual, and you’ll get it! The fragrance starts out feeling a bit sterile, almost like a well scrubbed room, but it is also light. You might think it’s a bit like clean laundry left to air dry on a clothesline, in the chilly, Winter air. Soon after the first whiff, then the florals and mint shine through, and then like snow, the scent diffuses and eventually, leaves your skin. When this columnist picked up the tall, icy, clear glass bottle and spritzed L’ea Froide I imagined taking a walk on a cold Winter morning after a heavy snow has just fallen. You can just smell the crisp air rising up from the ground, mingled with the earth that has been covered by the snow, light and sparkling under street lamps, as the sun rises.
The fragrance may last longer on some skin types than others. but if your L’Eau Froid leaves you too soon, carry a touch-up vial. This will not just re-intensity the fragrance, it’s a really refreshing pick-me-up when the mercury, rises.
Although it smells light, it actually has four different musks which only become apparent after a bit of time has passed and the fragrance has melded with your ski. Four different musks mix with notes including a citrus accord and lemon (you can smell these nearly instantly), plus a bit of frankincense, along with those musks. When read the fragrance notes it brought to mind an old pop song: Incense and Peppermints by the Strawberry Alarm Clock.
Interestingly, while the scent seems to evoke cold air and water, L’eau Froid, according to the press literature, had an inspiration rooted to the earth. The inspiration was in the aroma of desert incense trees that grew in the ancient kingdom of Sabea. According to Serge: “Within the Sayhad desert, along the ancient kingdom of Sabea, grow a handful of incense trees which can survive with almost no water. The thick nourishing sap that they produce has a surprisingly fresh scent. It is not a burnt, religious kind of incense, but one that is fresh and purified with musks that diffuse on the skin.” The scent is light and refreshing, with a hint of mint, but the four different musks and incense-y qualities become apparent after a bit of time has passed, and the fragrance has nested on your skin a while. Said Serge: “I wanted to create my own collection of Eau, a real Eau de perfume: a long lasting freshness which last for hours, the first Eau was more ‘starched’ the new one is more polar, neutral, colder …”
Adding to the “chill” is a bottle of clear glass in a slim, rectangular column, the nearly clear juice being obscured from view only by a long, thin, white label with L’eau Froide displayed in a typeface that looks almost like a sci-fi alien writing, done in bold black. Brushed silver metal tops the spray diffuser. This is not a girly flacon, but rather, one gets the impression that it holds something important and potent. When you pick it up, you expect something unique and modern, and you get it!
The fragrance is sold in Serge Lutens’ export range. The export line fragrances are available from Aedes, Beautyhabit, Luckyscent, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and from some Neiman Marcus locations. A bottle of L’eau Froid will cost you $150.00 For additional information, visit www.barneys.com or if you’re reading this in Europe, you can purchase it at Sergelutens.com.
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