Friday, April 11, 2008

Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido Serge Lutens Daim Blond

The opening is all about the Serge Lutens medicinal sharpness combined with a dazzling Chypre-like "opulence" (a favorite Jan Moran word--Jan Moran being the lovely perfumer / author of my useful and feel-good "perfume bibles", Fabulous Fragrances I and II). Serge Lutens Daim Blond, the most expensive of the line and undoubtedly their star perfume, features simultaneously sharp and mellow suede notes that morph into a handsome fruity-woodsy-Gourmand. It comes across as Caron Tabac Blond or Jean Patou 1000's young and sweet kin. Low-pitched, boozy and decadently fruity (I get apricots and some sharp, cool, bitter herbs, like a hookah pipe mix), it reminds me of Thierry Mugler Angel or a Bond--maybe New Haarlem, Chinatown or So New York--a somewhat linear "sweet, dry woods", with a dewy fruit note giving it liveliness and grace, like a tender cheek-to-cheek moment with a loved one. It's also not unlike Chypre Rouge with the bittersweet quality of Douce Amere. This is exciting stuff. However, this one's going to be a bumpy ride as the ending takes an unpredictable turn.

There's the phase of the luxurious sexy skin scent, of an apricot liquor-chocolate sandalwood mingled with country dirt road and luxury car suede. It seems contemporary and easy-to-wear although dramatic, even a bit sweet and perfumy for every day but then--wait--is this a Floral? I smell Creed Tubereuse Indiana or Fleurissimo just waiting to be discovered. The dry down turns progressively tart, sharp and astringent as compared to the gourmand beginning. I'm not sure I love this stage, and I'm also now thinking it's like a cross between Chopard Casmir and Gucci II, but no, it is a powdery, spicy floral coming on. It's like L'Artisan Orchidee Blanche, Rich Hippie Rock Star, or Caron Farnesiana with their bright and colorful flowery dry downs. In the end, Daim Blond turns thickly powdery, quieted down like a soapy cassie scent but with spiky sharp herbaceous notes more prominent than ever. I wish it didn't pull back at the end when I really want it to warm up and intensify, but that's my own desire and I shouldn't ask it to be what it's not. Top notes of hawthorn and cardamom. Middle notes of iris, apricot stone and pallida. Base notes of musk, heliotrope and leather

I wonder if by "pallida" they mean Tradescantia pallida (aka spiderwort or Wandering Jew) or Echinacea pallida, the Pale Purple Cone-flower.