May 22, 2011

Daim Blond by Serge Lutens

 Daim Blond is a "haute concentration" eau de parfum, and perfect for these extended cool Spring days and even cooler evenings.  I have long been fascinated by the concept of scented leather, and the scent of leather itself, especially that of the perfumed leather gloves that are so identified with the history of French perfume as it began in the city of Grasse, and the use of personal perfume as we know it in the Western world.  This is the subtle modern version of that idea.

This is about a delicate leather, soft and brushed and similar in its clean musk to the skin it envelops.  The brightness of the opening notes have an almost distanced sense of space that contains an apricot/heliotrope/iris sweetness  which on me quickly gives way to the tone of true suede. Or more accurately, what my ideal  of what a soft delicate pale suede would smell and feel like, made into a perfect pair of gloves that reach softly up the arm to a three quarter length.  The suede accord owes much to the cardamon and musk notes.

This is a far lighter and softer form of the Serge Lutens style I am more used to from my experience of Chergui, and Fille en Aiguilles, but still very much in that genre of an abstract composition that winds up resembling or recalling a real physical experience. Eventually, after the sense of suede dies down, there is simply a warm sense of (highly decorative) intimacy, of skin on skin.

Christopher Sheldrake is legendary in his ability to conjure the forces of pure luxe in the form of a scent.  This is a suede that enhances the sense of skin,  creating a velvet softness that makes it difficult to differentiate between the scent,  the skin and the impression of the a very fine suede embellishing it.

I have almost depleted my sample, which I received at a Sniffapalooza event last year, and would say this one is worth saving up for, at $140 for 50 ml.

Image above, by Bert Stern, Marilyn wearing such luxurious gloves in the early 60s, from We Heart Vintage, a site about fashion photography from the 20s to the 70s.


Carrie Meredith said...

Gosh, your review makes me want to revisit this scent. It really did not work that well for me the first time I tried it, so I stashed my sample. Our perception of scent does change over time, so perhaps the timing is right for Daim Blond now. I hope so!

Lucy said...

Carrie, you are right, it does change, and circumstances and mood are a big factor. Do try it again, and wait for the apricot to burn away at the beginning, which is lovely, but then you get the true suede, which is remarkable.

lostpastremembered said...

I love peau d'Espagne... the darker side of leather... I am intrigued with the lighter floral interpretation... wonderful review... I can almost smell it!

Lucy said...

Lostpast, I thought of you and peau as I was writing this --

Anonymous said...

I feel like Carrie, stashed away the sample quickly after initial dislike,but your review makes me want to revisit Daim Blond. As we know, tastes evolve... ;)