all perfume writers are guilty of giving too many words to serge lutens.
for obvious reasons we give in to the plot, the summary the framework the bullshit the story the poetry, get sucked into the whole shebang (and very, extremely, pleasurably – i love, or really like to be more honest, so many of the perfumes from this ‘line’).
and yet yesterday, when i smelled this in shinjuku isetan (and wondered how the hell had i missed it? how did i know this hadn’t even come out yet? isn’t a new release from this man like an album from a pop star?) i felt that, aside a pleasing (because i do have my tacky side, really, seriously, and i love bubblegum) jasmine and banana, but hasn’t that idea already been done more interestingly in encens et bubblegum, that whole madonna in the church thang) like i say top note of something indiscernible and banana ish and pink (it could’ve been a tuberose, a polystyrene wrap, another nuit de cellophane, which i love incidentally and bought twice, once for me and once for helen, thinking of our berlin trip together and our helmut newton exhibition but i was wrong; she hated it, and was indignant upon leaving the helmut and rightly so; : ‘ i never want to see a pair of tits again in my life” was i think the refrain, and she was right : just so pneumatic and otherworldly, but talking of helen, i remember that in the fifth year at school, at tudor grange, i chose art for the simple reason that i wanted to sit next to her and have at least one subject that was relaxing.
‘but you are too clever for art’ i was told stupidly by my geography and history teachers (neither of which i had even the remotest interest in), and i was adamant about having one time, just one hour or two a week where we could just sit and talk and sketch still lives or whatever, and in fact i didn’t’ regret it in the least (although i have NO SKILL WHATSOEVER when it comes to drawing and painting – i can create ‘whimsical’ grotesqueries that can work, kind of- i enjoyed the experience anyway. all that stress. it was nice for us to just sit down, and for me to get on with my totally rubbish ‘still life with primrose’ or whatever it was (the piece i did as my final examination). so UTTERLY dull. my finest course work piece was literally a detailed drawing of a turnip. a
replete with all the right hairs and lines, but absolute CRAP nevertheless, no holds barred.
helen was a million miles better, as was her sister. their father being an architect they had inherited some ability in at least drawing a human figure (you should have seen mine, they were probably indistinguishable from the turnip), but in any case it was lucky that julia was around because if i remember correctly, helen LOST her entire course work ( we tended to lose everything, be late for everything, forget everything, resulting in our infamous homeless episode in siena, tuscany but i digress) at least helen could just slightly bullshit around the titles of her sister’s homework and HAND IT IN AS HER OWN, even though in reality it was an (utterly predictable) tragedy that she had lost her own portfolio. she was really good, but
she got away with it (miraculously).
but what was far, far more miraculous was that i got an A. for my turnip with primroses, and my other horseshit ( i thought that if i put ‘eyes’ on everything it would make it more mysterious and ‘surreal’ (we were just discovering salvador dali).
the thing was, i was good at TALKING around my crummy, and worthless, course work. i had the gab. and i can remember quite vividly all the guff and the spiel i wrote around my course work, how i talked it up, how i managed to lend it something that it categorically DIDN’T HAVE.
and getting back to the subject, isn’t this, in a way, the situation we have now with christopher sheldrake and his muse and mastermind bullshitter, serge lutens?
‘la religieuse’ is actually much more up my street than a whole lot of other serge lutens perfumes of recent years, as i never wear woods, i never wear incense, and i love me some white flowers, some osmanthus, and even some dip shittingly urban white musks if need be. i am the serge lutens fan who loves louve, and nuit de cellophane, and even that weirdo datura noir.
but in truth this latest release, without the blurb to go with it, would probably not catch anyone’s fancy.
i did quite like it; i liked the amorphous sweetness of it; the curious bubblegum. but at the same time, it is, in a way, a weeny bit pathetic (unless you feel differently: i’m kind of looking forward to being proven wrong about this and go back), but then again ;could this not just be our brainwashed reaction to uncle serge and the ridiculous need to want to like it?
no matter what it is like?