Saturday, October 12, 2013

Roaming the Coniferous Forests of My Dreams: Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

When my husband and I visited Yellowstone National Park this summer, I was struck by the perfume that lingered in the air. At our campsite in particular, the languid and sweet aroma of pine and sap hung around us as though the pine trees swaying in the breeze were beautiful women walking by who had just surreptitiously applied Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles. I'd sampled and enjoyed the fragrance prior to our visit, but sitting in the vast expanse that is Yellowstone and breathing in the incredibly fresh air rich with the aroma of pine made me certain that Fille en Aiguilles had to be mine. 

If you've read reviews of Fille en Aiguilles elsewhere you'll know that this Serge Lutens masterpiece is regarded almost universally as "more than just a perfume." I'd go so far as to say that almost all who love this perfume associate it with a particular scent memory: a childhood spent exploring pine forests, a sleigh ride in the woods, a cold evening burning pine incense, Christmas. Whatever the scent memory may be, this drunken pine meets incense is sure to bring it back.

Like all of my favorite Serge Lutens fragrances, Fille en Aiguilles is unquestionably over the top. My immediate first impression of this perfume is that of boozy (bourbon?) pine. This fragrance doesn't just offer one dimensional green coniferous leaves, but rich sap and an undertone of dry bark. There is a damp quality but not wet, as though a heavy snow has fallen that is only suggestive of water. As Fille en Aiguilles dries down I detect (as I do in many of the Lutens perfumes conceived by Christopher Sheldrake) surypy dried fruit that gives the fragrance a personality that can only be described as bodacious. This classic Serge Lutens note highlights and complements the pine as the incense develops against my skin. Much like a stick of incense that leaves its presence in the room like a phantom long after the red cherry embers have stopped smoking, Fille en Aiguilles will stay with you throughout the day. I often wake up the morning after I've worn this still smelling of pine as though I've physically roamed through the pine forests I sometimes see in my dreams.

Fille en Aiguilles is a fragrance for those who love woody, rich perfumes but tend to steer clear of dryer vetiver heavy concoctions (although this note is present). It's a perfume that celebrates all elements of the coniferous forest and pays homage to the way they smell, particularly during the winter. I adore it.

Have you tried Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles?

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