Is this the New Lutens?
Since Michael Edwards stopped using the word Oriental, the ideology that appeared to motivate Serge Lutens has fallen out of favour in some parts of the world of perfumery.
This driving force, which led him to use names like Ambre Sultan, Cuir Mauresque and Muscs Kublai Khan, seems to have been replaced by a kind of olfactory agnosticism, which serves to distance the house from it’s previously held convictions but provides little in the way of inspiration.
Just as the nineties aquatics tried to wash away the honeyed tuberose of the egotistical ‘Greed is Good’ excesses of the eighties, the most recent creations of this New Luten-ism, a trio branded ‘Matin Lutens’ (Morning Lutens), offers little in the way of characterful ideas, just apologetic skin scents. In fact they appear to be little more than adjuncts to a cleansing ritual.
What at first sniff is the most interesting one is a pale milky-woody, musky, woody amber and incense creation. This is the minimalist philosophy of ‘less is more’ in action, a complete reversal of what the house once represented; and, with it's lack of conviction, it makes me wonder if Lutens stands for anything more than colonial fantasies.
The name of this latest scent is Dans l’Eau qui Pétille (In Sparkling Water) : a pretty insipid brew compared to the potent liqueurs he served up in the past.