Datura Noir by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

Year: 2001
Nose: Christopher Sheldrake

The opening is classic and promising, although to me (on me) it smells a bit different as regards from how it should, reading the composition: it should contain tuberose and osmanthus, I smell a microscopic bit of tuberose and no osmanthus at all. While instead I get a beautiful, breezy-mentholated carnation note, and since I like it I'll pretend I am right. Jokes aside it is much elegant and sensual, the floral notes are dense and rich, and there is an enjoyable green/floral balsamic breeze all over, on a powdery/vanilla base comprising white musks and perhaps resins too. I also feel some spices like maybe cumin, and a fresh hint of citrus, or better bergamot. Basically a good classic structure with a contemporary twist, as it is all quite linear, simple and aerial – almost geometrical, like some other recent scents by Lutens. After a while it emerges a little bit of gingerbread heart. So far so good: silky, soft and velvety but fresh, aerial and multi-faceted, feminine and refined but also luring and shady, intriguing and sensual, in a really peculiar minimal way. I thought of Tokyo Decadence for a while. As I said at the beginning, however, this is all just "promising", because in fact, the drydown is far less interesting than the part before. It basically, entropically becomes all more generically sweet and powdery, still elegant and dry but dull – basically the same drydown you'd have after taking a bath or a shower. It "loses" all that interesting personality as minutes pass, like waking up in the middle of a dream. Quite persistent, though.


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