quinta-feira, 13 de agosto de 2009

Perfume Review: Un Bois Vanille, Serge Lutens

Review part of the Fabulous Fragrant World of Serge Lutens by Cris Rosa Negra. Now available in English language. To read the Portuguese version, click on here.

Un Bois Vanille, Serge Lutens

It is impressing how in proportion I'm familiar with the fragrance world, it is evident that some creations are typical examples how satisfactory is the unpredictable. The unpredictability of knowing a perfume like Un Bois Vanille which provides another tone to the vanilla, a note that mostly is so banalized in the perfumery only would be differently accessible through the talent of an artist as Serge Lutens.

Above all, he is the agent of a new aesthetics for the global perfumery. The naturalness of the beautifulness for Serge Lutens is the beauty that involves a type of grace state, it is a form of composing fragrances equally or behyond an art vision, unconventionally. The fascinating revelation of Lutens(ian) scents developed technically by the nose Christopher Sheldrake through the master concepts is delightful for any nose.

This happens because both catalyse a new attitude of facing the fragrance as a masterpiece what can cause much dissonance between them and some "fast food style " fragrances released in the market. In Lutens, this last term doesn't exist, not only because his fragrances are niche ones but because they are truly genuine niche perfumes.

An aesthetics eye on his fragrant art takes me to the idea of an orchestra whose symphony is able to provoke emotions, sometimes dramatic, sometimes comic, etc. Staring his scented masterpiece is be emotional with the accords and the unexpected sensations that they cause. Serge Lutens is the conductor of these scents. The perfume notes are conducted, thus the olfactive symphony will be a new interpretation in each nuance. That is the development of Serge Lutens' fragrances, a new paradigm and hence after, other one. New aesthetics images that are developed by the strangeness, by the discovery of new senses, by the negation of a commonplace opinion about fragrances.

Considering this new possibility of seeing the perfume like an authentic art, the vanilla of Un Bois Vanille doesn't have the appeal of any other vanilla found in other fragrance. The mean in which the vanilla is developed acting with other notes doesn't allow a mass paradigm such commercial vanilic scents, because the beauty inserted in Un Bois de Vanille is not the beauty which convertes the woman in a sexy one, not a vanillic scent focused on aphrodisiac, carnal, sexual effect. Definitely, here the vanilla doesn't serve the woman on a delicious plate.

Hernán Cortés

Also a creation of Christopher Sheldrake, the perfume was released in 2003 and has notes of
Black vanilla absolute, licorice, sandalwood, coconut milk, beeswax, caramelized benzoin, bitter almond, Gaiac wood and tonka bean. What gives the typical Lutensian beauty to the fragrance is the action of the notes with the dark vanilla absolute, that is the focus note. The top notes features a scent more caramelised and liqueur-like, creating a peculiar (and natural) expectation of a different type of vanilla, one whose inspiration comes from a type of Mexican beverage drunk in the past by Hernán Cortés, a Spanish conquer during an exploring expedition in the Aztec Kingdom.

The first accords are like a mix of a newly prepared caramel in which is added instantaneously a liqueur glass with a small dose of coconut. The start is very sweet, influenced by the dark and sweet roots, the marzipan and the benzoin. The skin is warmed up so fast as if someone had been drunk a beverage shot in only one drain to make the body hot faster. The sensation is that the coconut milk note is there, however it is not so clear as the marzipan, for example, that reacts on fragrance picturing the image of almonds immersed in an alcoholic beverage.

Later, the vanilla takes the direction as drydown note, which is the base of the perfume together to aqueous and woody notes , characterizing the fragrance with an adult and discrete vanilla. This process of drydown lasts more than the conventional expected by a perfume named Un Bois Vanille and, as anything that may be predictable in a fragrance breakdown, the vanilla is very aligned to what is called vanilla
boisée, in French. A vegetable vanilla that reminds me of fields full of trees therefore the perfume has a scent closer to the nature, with a vanilla that is impacted by notes of gaiac wood and mainly, the sandalwood, more familiar to my nose.

The notes development is very interesting, resulting from an aesthetics that has this intention: compose ideas through a world knowledge, in this example, the vanilla originated in Mexico and, thus, compose ideas into a hard-to-copy fragrance such as true masterpieces. A perfume to those who love the 8th Art, the Art of Lutens.

Perfume Review by Copyright Cristiane Gonaçlves aka Cris Rosa Negra for Perfume da Rosa Negra Originally published in portuguese language in 2007.
Photo credits: Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens.
Hernán Cortes by HC

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