Yay! It feels like ages since I’ve written about a Lutens. I love them
Ok so before I go into that, I will start uploading more reviews more regularly soon, I really want to crack on with the Aftelier’s, but every time I try them, they’re just blowing my little mind and I go a bit gobbledygook. If I may say so myself, my Cepes & Tuberose review is my favourite fragrant writing so far. But anyway! Yes, so, lots of exciting new passion filled reviews to come… and here’s another.
Chypre Rouge is a fragrance I have always overlooked, to be honest I completely forgot it was part of the Lutens’ line up. Having said that, it was actually the first Lutens’ I ever tried. I remember walking into House of Fraser when I discovered they stocked Serge Lutens, at the time I was just beginning my niche exploration. It was very exciting and completely intimidating. I sniffed a few of the lids and must have pulled a million faces, but being the nerdy bargain hunter I can be, I picked up one bottle that was on clearance – Chypre Rouge. By picked up I mean physically, I didn’t buy it! I wasn’t that outrageous yet hahaha. I sprayed it all over myself and really quickly left. All I thought at the time was – strawberry jelly, I really liked it but was a little confused about what I was missing.
I found Chypre Rouge online in the original spray bottle (as it has now been moved to the Non-Export line of bell jar only fragrances), discounted, and I suddenly craved it again. I read up lots on it and discovered what I was missing and felt a real need to have it in my collection. Having completely forgot about its existence, and having currently been on the hunt for a fruity fragrance with a twist, this was a pretty much obvious buy.
So, at my door today, it arrived and I instantly fell in love with it again… for the first time.
Chypre Rouge slips out the bottle with muted top notes. It isn’t at all bright and nose-invading like so many others in the line, instead it takes on a more restrained approach, but in a traditional Lutens’ style.
Instantly there is a beautiful flurry of immortelle - an unusual flower which takes on both the scent of maple syrup, and curry spices. It can be used both ways and is instantly recognizable. Here, the immortelle falls in between – a perfect balance of traditionally Lutens’ syrupy sweetness, with a delicate spice to it.
Along side the immortelle is a tame, dense pine needle scent, similar to that used in Fille En Aiguilles (which I can’t say I enjoy that much). Here it adds a wonderful almost resinous smell, soft, ever so slightly green and I’ll even say “dusty”.
So the sweet but spicy maple syrup, alongside a resinous pine, intermingles with the fruit notes here. I get a little bit of blackcurrant actually, which is absolutely fantastic, a note which never seems to pop up in perfumery, alongside maybe raspberries? Red berries I think… and it almost has the feel of jelly (relating back to my initial thoughts a long time back). The reason jelly pops into my head is because it has that slightly synthetic, almost rubbery quality to it, that remains delicate and never overpowering. It isn’t a fresh fruit, there is no juice, yet it doesn’t quite take on Serge’s usual stewed/dried fruit style.
As time goes on, the fruit notes do dry out slightly. The pine turns more into an atmosphere, and the spices broaden but quieten. Alongside the spicy floral I think is cumin? It has a lot of warmth to it and I love how cumin mingles with the skin (I miss my beloved Kingdom by McQueen).
Chypre Rouge is sweet, and it doesn’t only come from the syrup. There is an extra dose of honey in here, deep and dark like Miel De Bois’, only with far less heat and intensity (and the urine soaked clothing). It literally honey-coats the base notes which gradually begin to rise from here on.
Deep down in Chypre Rouge is a big tearing of patchouli, and oakmoss of course. Combined, these add that bitter green edge, but with a brilliant soft touch, making the otherwise playful accords of fruit jelly and spices a more mature and wearable fragrance.
Some amber warms up the composition even more and gives it a glistening hue – sparking a bit of light through the forest floor.
Also listed is jasmine, but to be honest, I don’t really pick it up like many other reviewers seem to. Maybe it’ll come to me soon - but for now I just lie back and enjoy the warm, heat that radiates from the sticky, syrupy spicy fruit goodness!
So there you have it. Chypre Rouge. My point is – it’s pretty great. I keep going to say “a highly overlooked fragrance” but, I disregarded it for so long aswell, I just forgot about it. I’m really not understanding the drastically hit and miss reviews over this either, but then again I forget that pretty much every Serge Lutens creation is 50/50 with the reviews.
I will say though: Don’t be put off by the listed curry spices; I personally find them in perfect balance and not at all dominating – and I am not a spicy fragrance fan at all.
So guys – Chypre Rouge. I may be a bit late to the party (again), but definitely not one to overlook. If Arabie is a bit too close for comfort with its cooking goods, then this may just be a smash hit for you.
As for me, I’ll be thoroughly enjoying this throughout summer smelling like a hot pack of fruit gums! Yum