Paris’ Les Salons du Palais Royal is worth visiting just to enjoy a stroll around the lavish green garden. Venture further into the echoey cloisters and you will discover luxurious little shops filled with treats and trinkets. I purposivey took a trip to this square to see the Serge Lutens Perfumeries, despite worrying that it would be shut in muggy August.
Serge Lutens made Christian Dior cosmetics famous before boosting Shiseido as a legendary label, through his powerful creations they have made an indelible visual impact. After having revolutionised and beautified the makeup world for over thirty years, he is now breathing new life into the world of scents, composing for the Japanese institution a new designer perfume collection with bewitching aromas. Serge Luten’s special fragrance creations are available exclusively in the unique boutique in Paris. Some perfumes from the range are available at selected department stores nationwide with the key retailers being Liberty (0207 734 1234) and Harrods (0207 730 1234).
Moody and mysterious, the Serge Lutens emporium is a magical chamber of potions. A spiral staircase leads up to unknown territory, downstairs the room is dimly lit and arranged in a minimalist fashion. Subtly hued liquids fill medicinal style glass vessels.
Experts are on hand to assist you, thank god as I felt completely lost and overwhelmed by the choice of scents. Each has an entirely distinct and indosyncratic smell. The Eau de Parfums are delicate but have character, and a plethora of individual ingredients. They leave a lasting impression on the skin, seasoning that stays for a whole day.
All the scents are unisex though some seem to be more of an acquired taste, suited to a more feminine or masculine wearer. I was attracted to a variety of different perfumes:
Fleurs d’oranger – a sweet fruity scent, light and playful, sensual and fun
Douce amere (Bitter sweet) – a more grown up and mysterious perfume, a hint of absinthe gives a spicy sophisticated feel
Un bois sepia (After the rain in the forest) – a magical and unusual scent, thoughtful and provocative, fresh and powerful
The aromas take fifteen minutes to develop on the skin, so after extensive testing I had shortlisted three, marked on different areas of my wrists and arms. I wandered to the nearby fountain to wait – even in those few minutes the scents changed and deepened adapting to my skin. Eventually we both agreed on Un bois sepia, by far the most distinctive and exquisite of the three, and delicious to have around you.
Extraordinarily exciting and enticing, you emerge smelling of subtle sophistication, a desirable rarity. Enter the world of Serge Lutens and you will never want to spritz Chanel No.5 again.
Visit the website here.