Serge Lutens – L’Eau, L’Eau Froide

L’Eau opens like a traditional cologne. Bright, transparent citrus – with the inclusion of soapy aldehydes, a little bit of mint, and very subtle clary sage.

That’s about it. There’s a delicate white musk underneath that provides a little bit of throw and the most miniscule amount of warmth. The aldehydes burn off and give way to some ozonic, calone-y style notes, continuing L’Eau’s sense of weightlessness from the opening.

There’s a very subtle spice that is pulled throughout, whether it is just from the sage or not I don’t know – but basically, this is light, fresh, citrus cologne – absolutely nothing to talk about :) The only plus is that it lasts a surprisingly long time, and it manages to never fall into to “bathroom cleaner” territory – which I guess is impressive in itself… Still, a worthless release :)


L’Eau Froide opens with crisp ginger and pepper – an unexpected heated spice, cooled by potent mint leaf. The ginger is like a raw fresh-cut, juicy and spicy – nothing heated resembling baking here.

The spicy opening cools relatively quickly, as a fresh, slightly salted accord coats the L’Eau Froide, and an ever so slightly resinous incense provides a delicate, crisp smoke. Whilst it sounds complicated, it’s execution smells very simplistic – from a distance, or a passing sniff, it yet again resembles a generic cologne. Within ten minutes, that’s exactly what it becomes.

A very clean, translucent vetiver in the base secures the slightly spicy, herbal quality of the opening, whilst the saltiness disappears, leaving behind some aquatic remains. The incense is cool, translucent, and unappetizing – and whilst thankfully avoiding citrus cologne territory, it manages to create something equally dull.

I am keeping an open mind with these, and have read very little about them. I understand the concept was to make an anti-perfume in the sense that this is so different from Lutens’ usual style. The thing is, they are not even good examples of their genre. I’d say “hugely disappointing” – but I’m not disappointed. Easy to forget and never sniff again :)

L’Eau Serge Lutens 50ml – 69 Euros sergelutens.com
L’Eau Froide Serge Lutens 50ml – 69 Euros sergelutens.com

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7 thoughts on “Serge Lutens – L’Eau, L’Eau Froide

  1. lucasai says:

    Thanks for your impressions! Both these don’t suit the Serge Lutens philosophy of dense, heavy and darker fragrances, right?

    • Not even a little bit. But then again, I’m all up for perfumer’s experimenting with something new. The thing I didn’t understand was – if Lutens decided to make some refreshing colognes, why not make the best damn colognes on the market!? These are poor attempts with zero originality or attraction. :(

      • lucasai says:

        Yes, I like when a company does something innovative on their own terms and when they do it nice. Sad to hear these are poor attempts. I recently reviewed one of those poor attempts, check it out :)

  2. We checked out L’Eau Froide at the beach. It worked well for the hot and humid weather. But in all….meh.

    • L’Eau Froide is definitely the better of the two, with a rather nice fresh ginger up top, the drydown is where it mainly fails. It is “meh” indeed – but I can imagine on the right day in the right mood it would do it’s job. Whether I’d enjoy it or not is another story :)

  3. Undina says:

    I was totally expecting not to like L’Eau Froide after reading A LOT of “meh” reviews – and then it smelled very nice when I tried it. I’m not saying “need-a-bottle-now” nice but I was surprised how pleasant I thought it was. I will be testing it again and, most likely, will never go beyond my sample but still my impression was really far from disappointment.

    • Really? It is definitely the nicer of the two – I can see the appeal in the opening. As a finished fragrance though it leaves nothing to the imagination, very simple, predictable drydown. Not a fan myself (although I did kind of want to be!).

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