Saturday, August 23, 2008

Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido - Gris Clair

Extremely different from most Lutens scents, Gris Clair is somewhat brutal, quite one dimensional and very masculine. It definitely breaks the mould regarding what we've come to expect from this house. Neither ambiguous or an oriental, candied, fruit-honeyed-sweetness-meltdown. Instead Gris Clair is a modern, sharp and quite dark take on one of the most classic notes in perfumery - lavender.

The lavender has a clear metallic edge to it that is very special - reminds me a bit of the small spice sachets that grandma had lying around drawers with linen. But it´s also easy to argue that Gris Clair in fact is a stronge move toward the mainstream. It´s miles less original than most Lutens fragrances, and elements of it are extremely reminiscent of widely available stuff like Lanvin L´Homme or Rocabar from Hermès. Perhaps this is the route many niche houses will be taking? At least Fredric Malle´s Outrageous and some of the latest L'Artisans seem to indicate such a development.
To conclude, Gris Clair is a cool and macho spiced juice with some serious bite. Mellow and subtle it is not, but an accessible lavender that'll work great in a professional business environment assuming it is applied with moderation. Crisp and formal, a nice fragrance on it´s own but only okay granted its maker and niche status.

Year of Launch: 2006
Gender Classification: Unisex
Reminiscent of: Roberto Cavalli Black, Hermès Rocabar, Moschino Uomo, Lancome Hypnose Homme
Longevity & Sillage: Both well above average
Overall rating: 6/10

No comments: