Beauty Without Fuss

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau

Serge Lutens, how much do I love thee?  The first super-expensive bottle of perfume I ever bought for myself (at a whopping £45, back at the time when most "expensive" perfumes cost £18-25 depending on precisely how "fancy" you wanted to smell) was a bottle of Serge Lutens Sa Majeste La Rose. This was shortly followed by a bottle of A La Nuit, neither of which I ever wear these days, but I do still own the remnants of both bottles in their "vintage" formulations.

I can't really bear to part with them, because of the memories I associate with them, even though I realise they're two of the least complex of the Serge Lutens line, these days.  Back then I really just loved rose scents (Ombre Rose was a contemporary purchase too, and I used that bottle up in a matter of a few short months), and I thought jasmine - the primary, and some might say only ingredient in A La Nuit - was a much more innocent scent than it actually is.  I know different now, but ... do I know better?  Nowadays, I much prefer Ambre Sultan, and Femininite du Bois.

It would appear that dear old "Uncle Serge" has been playing memory games with his fans with this his new release.  I've read lots of reviews that talk about bread, jam, butter, and baked goods, and thought that as I'd recently come to terms with Guerlain's "patisserie accord" (more about that in a Guerlain post later on), that this might be a good one to try.

And, on initial sniffing, my immediate reaction was "bread and butter pudding!".  I was delighted, as bread and butter pudding is one of my favourite things.  Sadly, on closer inspection, the butter in this particular pudding turned out to be margarine.  The scent of cheap spread was cloying and clinging, somehow managing to be both fat, and flat.  It also - for me - crowded out the scent of anything else for the first three hours.  Then, when something else did turn up on my skin, it was curry.

Oh yes.

Actually, it wasn't curry, it's actually the scent of Immortelle, which has cumin-ish aspects on my skin.  Margarine and curry.  Yummy!  Then, finally, about six or seven hours of wear, there was a lovely, slightly peppery maple syrup scent that stuck very close to my skin.  Had this been more prominent, or had appeared sooner, I'd have loved this.  But, alas, it wasn't to be.  Me and margarine have never got along all that well, and this was terrifyingly close to being a scrubber throughout the entire day of wear.

Serge Lutens definitely tries to create art with his scents, and even his more challenging fragrances deserve a shedload of admiration. Jeux de Peau is a skillful creation, and it's a rather playful one, too.  However, this is Serge playing games on my skin, and I'm not sure I liked it.  I have to admire it, but I don't think I'll be wearing it again any time soon ...

Jeux de Peau costs £65.36 and is available from

What's the worst scent you've ever put on your skin?

The Fine Print: Review written from sample.

This post originated at: All rights reserved.


  1. I can't tell you how much I love your perfume reviews!

    I can't think what the worst scent I've ever put on my skin is TBH but I always regret letting my daughter loose in the perfume aisles at Debenhams as I generally come out smelling like a whores boudoir!! She's a perfume addict in the making, although she's a sucker for packaging over substance at the moment meaning that she's usually drawn to some ghastly Britney Spears concoction!

    Loveaudrey xxx

  2. the maple syrup smell is probably the immortelle too as that is what it is supposed to smell of. I suspect there probably is cumin in there too - SL uses cumin fairly regularly as a note. Anyhow, you've saved me the trouble of seeking this out - it sounds quite horrific.

  3. Hmm, margarine and curry and syrup? Well, wearing that you'll pull in a pub late at night! What a result;-)

    It seems as though the less complex early perfumes worked better as perfumes. Perhaps less is more after all?

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

  4. Worst thing I've ever smelt of is Chanel number 5. I happily squirted some on my wrist and pretty much immediately smelt of vomit for the whole day, even after rushing to the closest ladies loo to try and scrub it off. I have never been near a Chanel perfume since!

  5. This definitely sounds like a challenging wear. I'm not quite sure what the worst scent I've ever sprayed was. However, I recall vividly the time I wore an Amouage perfume in the car and it made my eldest sick. Ooops!


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