Thanks to a generous Basenoter, I have a lovely 2.5ml decant of Jeux De Peau. I have tried this before, I love it, and I know I’ll own a bottle in the near future, but there are other things on my priority list right now :P
My nose is finally getting better (thanks Dr.), and I wrote a mini review of this fragrance before so I’m confident in reviewing it without my dodgy nose affecting my writing :)
Jeux De Peau has a beautiful opening: edible and delicious, I can’t help but lie back and go “Mmmmmmmmmm”.
Compared by everyone to the smell of hot buttered bread, I also get a strong popcorn vibe off it. The start on the skin is warm, sweet with bread notes and instantly a hot melted butter. As thick and fatty as it sounds, it actually doesn’t penetrate the depth of Jeux De Peau, and turns out to be perfectly translucent as the heart comes through.
A typical Lutens’ heart and base is present, but I’m not saying it’s unwelcome or predictable – a maple syrup sweet immortelle (taken from Chypre Rouge), and the delicate licorice (taken from Borneo 1834) both melt together underneath the initial sweetness. Sandalwood becomes detectable after only 5 minutes or so, and is one of the leading notes throughout.
Apricot (taken from Daim Blond) creates a jammy accord which although sweet and almost pulverised, savours up the fragrance’s more gourmand accords and keeps Jeux De Peau wearable and “perfumey”.
I am reminded of bread, yes, but also chocolate covered hazelnuts, sweet smoky coffee, maple syrup pancakes, and a butter and jam soaked croissant. All these wonderful glimpses are presented on a diaphanous golden veil that sits above the warm signature, syrupy sandalwood.
As it rests on the skin for longer, the gourmand notes do settle, leaving behind the apricot which becomes more prominent, and some savoury cereal notes spiced with immortelle. At this point it is instantly recognizable as a Lutens’ creation, and a perfect example of his style.
It literally picks at cleverly used aspects of his other work and combines them into this one fragrance – obviously adding a wonderful top accord to create a new, more literally edible theme in his line-up.
The drydown becomes more masculine, and savoury. The apricot vanishes, whilst sandalwood, amber and the remaining crumbs of cereal hug the skin, never fully allowing the opening images of mouth-watering food yummies to disappear. A waft of smoke, that I can only guess comes from a trail of Lutens’ incense?, allows the quiet base to keep delicately throwing itself up at your nose.
I personally really enjoy Jeux De Peau, I know it is very hit and miss in the community and I can completely understand that – people have described it as unoriginal. I don’t think it is overtly sweet and “cheap”, there is a whole lot going on in here and it is an extremely clever combination of notes with unexpected, delicious results.
I would recommend Jeux De Peau as a perfect introduction into niche perfumery and Serge Lutens’ work.
Really lovely stuff! :)
Jeux De Peau 50ml Serge Lutens – 79 Euros – sergelutens.com