30 novembre 2010

Chêne, faunus smell

"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine"

W. Shakespeare - A Midsummer night's dream

The smell of an autumnal wood, where you can smell not only the timber, but the whole naked tree, its roots covered in dust, dry foliage glued by the resins drops oozed from the bark, a hollow with a beehive inside, moss and ivy leafs. Lutens expresses here his usual sumptuousness choosing new unexpected words: Chêne has a dry, even slightly bitter mood that confers to it definitely a masculine character.

Chêne is the aroma of a fairy wood, it suggests how the king of fairies Oberon’s couch smells, picturing images of him drunk surrounded by fauns and forests in all their neglected grotesque sumptuousness. This is the suggestion this woody-green creation by Serge Lutens and Christian Sheldrake suggests to me as it fully discloses all the facets around its name and represents a remarkable digression from the candied, spiced and few times even too syrupy Lutens classic register without losing its surreal distinguishing style.


The olfactory pyramid declares cedar crystals, sap notes, birch, Tonka bean, rhum absolute, black thyme, resins, beeswax, immortelle flower, undergrowth moss and from the green and mossy tones, coupled with the booze tinges, one could be led initially to think to certain 80’s macho juices. Anyway smelling it you quickly realize that it goes far beyond, developing a so complex balance of sharpness and powderness of rhum and immortelle, dryness and softness of black thyme and beeswax, warmth and coldness, shades and lights of the olfactory picture, that immediately realize from the lack of a hammering woody note this is a manly scent but for sure not a macho at all sharing some common points with Guerlain Coriolan, Chanel Antaeus and Lutens Un bois sepia.

foto presa da qui
On the skin, Chêne smells incredibly complex with notes playing catch and hide. Even if there are several facets following one upon the other, it moves clearly through three distinct stages. The first stage starts with an slight woody facet kept up by a heady tannins spikes made gentler by tender tones of sap. During the second stage appears a warmer, bitter, green accord rounded by the silkiness of Tonka bean and deepened by resinous hints. The third stage completes the picture with a dusty, powdery green and barky dry base warmed up by immortelle, turning less bitter and more round thanks to beeswax and the velvety moss that amplify again the green wood.

Born as part of the "Les Eaux Boisées" section of the exclusive line, Chêne is for sure the most original woody themed juice of the line with its unexpected evolution and it deserves for sure more than one sniff to fully understand it: I felt in love with it since the first time, but I can see not being easy at all to appreciate it in all its aspects at first sampling it.

This is maybe not the Serge Lutens juice with the most potent sillage, but it has a good sillage, not obstructive yet embracing and this suits well the spirit of the composition: there’s no need for noise in the peaceful isolation of the woods.

3 commenti:

Dusan ha detto...

You've captured perfectly how I feel about Chêne. It's one of my favourite Lutenses. Great review!

MARIAELENA ha detto...

Leggendo quello che scrivi su Chene, mi è venuta voglia di riannusarlo ! Eppure...so perfettamente che è un "maschilaccio" !! :-) Quindi..complimenti per la recensione, è davvero bella !

Magnifiscent ha detto...

Dusan, thank you very much, I'm glad we felt the same inspiration coming from this amazing juice.
Mariaelena, si lo so, è un po legnoso ma se gli dai tempo potresti avere grandi sorprese da tutto quello che cresce attorno al legno e anche su una donna può avere grande fascino secondo me.

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