La Fille De Berlin – Serge Lutens

Ok I wasn’t excited about this release at all until recently I’ve started feeling like I need a new rose in my collection, so awaiting this sample got more and more intense. Oh and the colour of the juice doesn’t help… <3 !!

La Fille De Berlin

La Fille De Berlin opens much more translucent and subdued than I thought. Sure, it’s rose all the way upfront – and right now, the note alone is getting me off (in a good way), but it definitely isn’t a big hard-hitter. Next to this rose (which borders on a tea rose, clean, slightly spicy – with just a touch of jam) is a cool, dewy note that I think is a touch of mint. The spice is an expected dose of pink pepper and just a touch of something heavier – but it’s much less than I expected, certainly not the nose-singing start of Vitriol D’Oeillet.

Just a smidge of violet joins the rose, more green than powdery – but a dusty texture comes forward from the rose, drying out in a potpourri style that reminds me of the development of Une Rose (although I much prefer the heaviness of the Malle). The rose’s dewy quality begins to separate from the rose itself, and instead of smelling fresh and damp, it smells more like dried rose with a little aloe next to it. Is it aloe? No idea, but it certainly smells like it. The rose/aloe combo is what dominates, the rose extremely prim and proper – ditching any intense peppered notes and the make-up powder association that the violet will give to some people, and remaining relatively straightforward, clean and tailored – definitely not the beast I expected from the marketing description.

A slightly metallic note comes in, but not at all as intense as in Bois De Soie (as a Lutens’-metallic comparison), it does however add something a little sharper to the rose than I expected. I can’t say I’m all too fond, but at least it’s something a little interesting in here… The metallic note I guess comes from a touch of rose oxide – a note I get big in the opening of Sa Majeste La Rose (if I remember correctly) – and unbelievably huge in Damascena by Keiko Mecheri. Rose oxide smells of clean rose, metal, petrol and has a sharp-oily texture – it’s a fascinating aroma chemical, and its subtle use here is one of the first times I’ve smelt it not be so overwhelming but noticeable – I guess that in itself is a little bit of an achievement to me.

As it begins to drydown, the slight metallic qualities persist, as does the rose (of course) – I get a subtle honeyed note atop some musk, supported by a quiet, dry cedar/woods combo (as expected?). There’s a slight over-ripe greenery to it, that may be coming off the cedar, but it almost reminds me of cardamom… whatever it is, I like that bit. It’s texture gets even lighter, a touch of powder (the violet taking a turn?) sweetening La Fille De Berlin like a fine layer of icing sugar. But all in all, it’s a straightforward rose, that isn’t quite bright and spring-y, but neither is it full, dark and warm… I’m not too sure what it is. I’m also not too sure if I like it? I think I do? We’ll just say “It’s nice”, but it could have been fantastic.

La Fille De Berlin 50ml EDP Serge Lutens – 82 Euros

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17 thoughts on “La Fille De Berlin – Serge Lutens

  1. I have to say that I have been testing this one for a few days and might just commit to a bottle of it! At first whiff, I thought that it was a pretty rose but not much more. But then the rose got jammier and then it went chilly and metallic, almost blood-like. My favorite SL’s all have that same warm/cold thing, so I would be very happy with La Fille de Berlin in my collection. Everyone is different though and I loved reading your review!

    • Thanks bacon, I can imagine growing to like this more and more, honestly – I do also like the chilly metallic thing from time to time, and I still really want a new rose soliflore. I’ve lived with it for the last few days though and am still not entirely convinced, I really don’t know what to think of it :’) It has me confused…
      Glad you’re enjoying it so much! :D I’d love a pretty bottle of it on my dresser <3 haha.

  2. lucasai says:

    Hello Freddie!
    I’m looking forward to try this SL and also have no expectations for it. Was your sample a one claimed through SL Newsletter? I claimed my that way, I wonder when it’ll arrive (in case of Santal Majuscule it took almost 2 months before it arrived)

  3. Kafkaesque says:

    “I’m not too sure what it is.I’m also not too sure if I like it? I think I do?” — Heh. I’m amused. Particularly as you rarely seem to be ambivalent in knowing what you think of a scent. :D

    I’m with you on the “We’ll just say ”It’s nice”, but it could have been fantastic.” I think that sums it up well, though I still veer on the side of “pleasant but boring.” I think I expected more from Lutens. MUCH more. Or perhaps I just like his more distinctive stuff? I just became quite enamoured of Cuir Mauresque and that one seems to horrify a LOT of people. So, maybe I’m a little more edgy in my tastes than I had originally thought. ;)

    • Cuir Mauresque horrifying? No way! Haha. I’m not a huge fan of it but I haven’t given it enough time. I remember it as a big grand, spicy floral, a little too dated for my taste at the time but it’s due another visit :)
      True – I hoped this would be a Tubereuse Criminelle of roses. I suppose not :) Still – nice enough, a touch boring – glad to hear you agree! The drydown is snooze-worthy though :(

  4. Kafkaesque says:

    Oh my GOD, I’ve turned into “Alexander McQueen, Jr”!!! *faints* ;)

    What you wrote about Cuir Mauresque is the essential synopsis of my review. ROFL! No, seriously, it is. I thought it very classique, called it an oriental floral, and said it evoked Bal à Versailles. I really, really liked it, and thought it was incredibly sexy. Other reviewers I quoted seemed to love it as well, (minus Nathan Branch who talked about piss in a gay biker bar), but some of those who commented on my review talked with such revulsion, you have no idea. Essentially, basic horror!

    So, apparently, I’m turning into you! Hahahaha. Mr. Hound will be aghast when he returns from his trip. There should only be one blogger with extreme tastes amongst us and I was always the boring, conservative one between you and me! LOL. xoxox

    • YES! You convert you :P Haha.
      Just read your review – beautiful, definitely have to revisit it now. It reminded me of Mitsouko? I guess just becuase that’s one grand floral I used to wear and now can’t – and they share a clove note which note many seem to attach onto.
      Haha, Mr.Hound has his bizarre taste too at times – his Damascena blew my socks off! Although I hear he’s not too fond of it now :P Haha.

  5. laniersmith says:

    Could it be an old fashioned paper rose with rose water sprinkled on it like they used to do in the 1890’s? I loved reading about it Freddy!

    • Sounds fabulous! :P I’m sure there’s a little more to it than that though haha. Are you keen to get your nose on it?

      • laniersmith says:

        Oh yes you bet I am keen to get my nose on it. I love to smell every perfume I can. Last Thursday evening I went to Neiman Marcus to buy my Dior Mitzah and ended up there till closing making friends with all the sales associates and smelling everything they had. It was a regular perfume party! So yes …I am sure when I find it I will smell it.

      • Haha! Did you end up getting your Mitzah though? :P I don’t own anything from the Dior Privee but am craving every time I see them. Oh man, the joys of having a nice apartment and no spending money becuase of it! D:
        Let me know what you think when you do ;)

      • laniersmith says:

        Oh yes I got the Mitzah and I love it. But I have to eat potatoes for two months to pay for it. LOL. I have reviewed it a while back when I got my sample so check that out for my impressions.

      • Haha! Oh man, I need a bottle of Indigo, I think I’ll be doing the same. I’ll go head over and read now :D

  6. poodle says:

    Is it wrong to want this just because I like the color of it?

    • Not at all – this is why I so wanted to love it – and De Profundis, and Sarrasins… I so so so regret not buying Mandarine Mandarin at the Palais Royale! Such a beautiful colour and such an awesome fragrance! Stupid me…

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