Serge Lutens – Fourreau Noir

source: sergelutens.com

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.

source: citysafe.org

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

Guerlain – Insolence

I remember wearing Insolence (EDT) while driving in my car to pick up some friends to go for supper. Supper, for those unfamiliar with the strange ways of the regular Singaporean, refers to the rather full-sized meal that one eats AFTER already having had dinner (the evening one, I know the meaning of dinner varies from country to country), usually anywhere from 10pm – 2 or 3am. To put this in context, we usually have dinner at around 6-7pm, unlike some countries where dinner starts at 9 and finishes at midnight, which was my experience when I lived in a French friend’s lovely home for a vacation! The size of our supper meals sometimes matches up to the size of our dinner meals, and can be anything ranging from nasi lemak (an extremely lip-smacking rice dish cooked in coconut milk and topped with plenty of other ingredients) to a bowl of steaming mee pok (blanched noodles with minced pork, braised shiitake mushrooms and lots of sauce). In short, supper in Singapore is pure gluttony.

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