Serge Lutens – Fourreau Noir


source: sugarbombbakeryblog

If one were to sum up Fourreau Noir in brief, it would be this: Lutens takes lavender and gives it his signature oriental treatment. It dispels lavender’s common associations with ‘grannies’ (hopefully that’s not what you lot think) and fusty scented drawers, and instead marries its herbal elements with a very edible tonka bean that is delectably creamy, and dare I say… fluffy. Throw some musk into the mix and we get a perfume that is thoroughly warming through and through. This lends it a quality that can best be described as the olfactory equivalent of a mink stole – not that I have worn one, nor ever intend to wear an animal – a furry coat for the coldest of winters.


But then midway through, the edibility gives way to the strangest olfactory flash mob – a turpentine note emerges, which I suspect to be the result of an interaction between the medicinal aspects of tonka bean and the herbal aspects of lavender, and the composition veers towards a woody dry down, which is pleasant enough. Once the surprise of the turpentine wears off, the mild shock on one’s face is replaced by the widest of grins that can only be an indication of the adrenaline stemming from a sensational roller coaster ride. I tend to have a hate-hate relationship with lavender, so it definitely is high praise when I say that this is my favourite lavender fragrance and that I actually love it. Sadly, as with most brands, prices have been inflating year-on-year, so all I can say is try it while you can still afford to.

~ The Smelly Vagabond

15 thoughts on “Serge Lutens – Fourreau Noir

  1. I’m totally with you on that. Lavender is not my favourite note, but this perfume is sublime and would be my pick from the Paris Exclusives. Have you tried to make your own lavender sugar? That’s a lovely treat for desserts, and FN is a bit like that. Sweet, herbal, syrup-y and warm.

    • Who would have thought that lavender could be redeemed? I wonder why so many people have trouble with the note, myself included. I can’t make my own lavender sugar because it’s not readily available here in Singapore though.

    • I think it’s worth every penny I paid for it. It’s more widely available right now because you can get it in its Vaporisateur Tout Noir version, which comes as 30ml x 2, and is cheaper than the bell jar as well.

  2. Hey Smelly Vagabond,
    I found you lurking in my spam, GRRR, glad to have you back in my inbox. My Mum had a blonde mink stole with tails. It was her pride & joy and when she died I wore it quite a bit till it started to look extremely moth eaten and threadbare. I still kept it for memories sake till I realised it was just attracting vermin, then I let it go to the goodwill. Hopefully someone else is wearing it as shabby chic.
    All this to say you have tweaked my interest.
    Portia x

  3. Another person who is conflicted about lavender, so it sounds like this scent could steal up on you – like a stole indeed. ;0 Vero Kern’s Kiki was my surprise lavender love to date – does Fourreau Noir top that in your view?

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