A Perfumista Pilgrimage

Serge Lutens



Mr Lutens is the magician of the fragrant stratosphere. A self-described sorcerer. A virtual recluse who conjures mysterious and amazing perfumes. He puts the genie in the bottle and you get to take it out. He is A Spell Jar of Adventure. The gravitas of the critiques of his releases and by who makes for fascinating reading. You can read some of the critiques below.

Wax Samples are the entry point to this particular wormhole. You have been warned. The wax solid perfume is an almost exact scent rendering and an excellent method to choose what to explore further in these eau de parfums. After that you have three collection choices, L’eau, Selective Distribution (formerly ‘export’) and Exclusives. And after that you have numbered limited edition flacons. The Exclusives come in bell jars that until very recently have only been available at the Paris store. Hence the need for a pilgrimage.

All 36 bell jars will suffice you for 3 years at the rate of a bottle a month. Clever people place small glass marbles in their bell jar to raise the juice level after constant application.

What interests me is going further, not into the perfume, but deeper into myself, exploring my innermost depths to extract darkness from light, and make it just as visible – Serge Lutens



In 1992 Serge opened his house of perfumes called Les Salons du Palais Royal. His vision was for

a unique place in the world where one would come as an enlightened being to define oneself through one’s perfume, in order to stand out from the identity-free crowd which previous times had imposed upon us.

It is to this salon in Paris than many a perfumista has made a pilgrimage. The latest one to embark on a quest for a bell jar is Portia Turbo from Australian Perfume Junkies. Which bell jar of Sergian notes is calling out to her as she leaves The Land Down Under for The Perfume Capital of the Universe? A dry dry desert wind, a night or tuberose, a cry from the depths, the sweat of Kublai Khan, blackened amber, or the atmosphere, if not the very voice of Billie Holiday? If you can guess then a decant will be yours on her return. Careful here, Portia is unpredictable! I’m thinking Sarrasins. What do you think?

Jordan River

Jordan River

References and Further Information
Serge Lutens Interview 1 – Denyse Beaulieu
Serge Lutens Interview 2 – Denyse Beaulieu

Serge Lutens Profile
Serge Lutens Profile Part 1
– His Childhood, His Early Years and What Drives Him – Kafka
Serge Lutens Profile Part 2
– Perfume, His Inspirations, The Search for Identity – Kafka

La Fille de Berlin (Selective Distribution range) launched at Les Salons du Palais Royal February 2013.
La Fille de Berlin review at The Alembicated Genie
La Fille de Berlin review at Akafkaesquelife
La Fille de Berlin review at boisdejasmin
Olfactoria’s Travels – Serge Lutens reviews
The Black Narcisscus – Serge Lutens reviews

Serge Lutens
Serge Lutens US site
Serge Lutens – Information by Snap
Portia Turbo – articles published in Express Magazine
Serge Lutens Bell Jars are now available in New York at Barneys.

8 responses to “A Perfumista Pilgrimage

  1. First, thank you for the reference and link! Second, I’m going to guess Borneo 1834. It’s the dark, flip side of the Coromandel that she just fell in love with. But, given her love of leather, it might be Cuir Mauresques. Hmm…. no, I’m going to go with Borneo 1834. LOL.

  2. Oh thank you for this.
    The Dandy heads to Paris this weekend and, quelle surprise, the Palais Royale is at the top of his list!!
    Oh for a beautiful bell jar.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • You wouldn’t want your upcoming bell jar to be lonely would you? Much easier to buy three and then you have the added benefit of not having to decide which one. Saves headspace. Vaya con parfum.

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