Serge Lutens La fille de Berlin

2 Apr

People have compared La fille de Berlin to Red Roses by Jo Malone, and I do see some similarities in the presentation of rose, however there is much more sweetness and subtlety in the nuances of La fille de Berlin. I cant help but think it is in an entirely different arena, though if you enjoy one, you may very well appreciate the other.

Jo Malone’s Red Roses is straight, fresh, beautifully unadorned, robust and voluptuous deep red roses along with their crisp, wet, green stems and leaves. Just breathtaking. Now take those roses, tenderly envelop them in a gauzy black shroud, and you have La fille de Berlin.

Like JM’s Red Roses, La fille de Berlin demonstrates a certain clarity of vision within the rose genre and not just because it’s a soliflore, but because it gives me a sense of the heft and the texture of the flower; I can envision the appearance of the particular rose I am smelling. For this reason it is a unique and admirable fragrance which projects very well and sticks around on my skin for quite a while. The warmth of the pepper and sweetness in the roses make it an ideal fragrance for the bone-chilling, damp Spring morning when one wishes it would just be nice out already!

The amount of pepper in this is perfectly calculated. Just enough to set off the features of the rose: bright red petals against an off-black background. Much gratitude to Serge Lutens for my sample.

As it dries down, it does take on a sweet earthy/powdery quality and a good deal of the clarity is lost; I feel like the rose is naturally decomposing into some sort of powdery rose compost, though I would not go so far as to call it musty. The emergence of the powder is surprising and I could do without it (its absence in Red Roses is one of the many reasons it’s so gorgeous), but I will tolerate the powder here in exchange for the addition of pepper, which the Jo Malone rose is lacking. A soliflore depicted as an entire scene, suitable for both male and female rose lovers. Very well done.

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