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I recently received two Serge Lutens perfume samples, from Glossybox if I recall rightly. The first one I tried was L'Eau which is a very simple scent yet absolutely gorgeous and I think I fell in love with it just a little bit, so I was really looking forward to trying the other Serge Lutens scent I received, Vitriol d'oeillet.
I do not have the full sized product, only a small sample spray but I will touch briefly on the packaging. The full sized bottle is very plain and simple being tall and rectangular with a rounded lid. As far as I can tell the majority of Serge Lutens bottles are all the same aside from the labels and perhaps the colour of the fragrance inside. I am not quite sure what I think of this idea, as on the one hand it hopefully makes the bottle be easily identifiable as a Serge Lutens scent, but on the other hand I do think the packaging lacks personality and wouldn't stand out to me on a shelf.
When the fragrance is first sprayed, I am hit by a very spicy scent combined with a sharpness that smells a lot like patchouli. The spiciness is pleasant with a cinnamon aroma coming through strongly. I am not a fan of spicy scents, they tend to be a little too masculine for my tastes, but this one wasn't too bad on that score. That said, to some degree I do think it would be more suited to a home fragrancing product than a perfume.
As the scent settles on my skin, the patchouli tone fades the unmistakable aroma of nutmeg lingers. I can't recall ever using a perfume with nutmeg in it, and it does seem a strange choice. I love the smell of nutmeg when baking but do I want to smell like it? I'm not so sure...
The spicy aroma lingers on my skin for some time and the cinnamon/nutmeg mix never really seems to fade. Apparently having now looked at the fragrance notes, this scent also includes pink pepper, clove, black pepper and paprika -all very spicy. Cinnamon doesn't get a mention, although I still maintain that it smells like cinnamon to me!
The staying power of the scent is quite good - it's one of those you can smell on your skin when you're wearing it - and if I apply in the morning, the scent is still lingering there mid-late afternoon.
I'd definitely describe this as a winter scent. It reminds me of Christmas and I guess that would be the ideal time to wear it. Now that we're heading towards spring, I am favouring a lighter scent and this is a bit too heavy and too spicy for the warmer weather. I'd also say that it is a daytime scent rather than an evening one. In the evenings I prefer something a little more special, especially if I'm going out - this in my opinion does not fall into the category of special, it's quite a boring scent.
Age range for this scent is a difficult question to answer. Teens will probably prefer something lighter, but anyone older with a love of spicy scents may appreciate it.
The only place I can find this scent online is House of Fraser and I have never seen it in the shops. They are charging a ridiculous £73 for 50ml (down from £78!). I do think that's way overpriced, I would expect the fragrance to be exceptional for that, which I don't think it is.
Overall, this is an OK fragrance, but not really 'me'. I don't like spicy fragrances to begin with, so it didn't have much of a chance in fairness, but it hasn't won me over. I'm sure if they made it into a candle or air freshener it would sell well, but I don't think the scent suits being a perfume (if that makes sense!) and so I would not recommend it.
What is it, Doctor Jekyll?