La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens
Serge Lutens owns my heart. I have two bottles from the export range, and one from the non-export range. Most of the scents I have tried I love – sometimes for their actual scent, and other times for their gorgeous complexity. I have absolutely hated a few, but good art always evokes extreme reactions, and perhaps – being an artist myself – this is why I am drawn to this house.
La Myrrhe is a pretty old scent, and was launched in 1995. It is – judging from the name – supposed to be about myrrh, but I am not very familiar with the scent of this note, so shall judge with my limited perfume knowledge. The notes named (but never judge a SL scent by its named notes!) are mandarin, myrrh, lotus, bitter almond, sandalwood, honey, jasmine, amber, musk, various spices and pimento.
For this review, I dabbed a normal amount (so not too much) from my little sample vial on my wrists and inner elbows. I recently tried to get a few of the non-export range in samples from the Perfumed Court so that I could at least enjoy these scents – even if I cannot own them.
This fragrance opens with a soapy note, very very soapy. Like, to the point where you feel *clean*. I catch myself impatiently waiting for some Sergian notes. I am currently in a very gourmand phase, and this is not very gourmand or dessert-like on my skin. Can we say “disappointment”?
Suddenly a thick syrup note pops through, as if to say “fooled ya!”– “Yesssss,” says the pig in my nose, “FOOD!”
I can smell a woody scent in the background, as though the bitterness of PURE incense resin is present. I do not know what real myrrh smells like, and presume it isn’t sticky sweet as some myrrh/incense scents like to make it, so this feels real. This woody note disappears as fast as it came, and like many other SL scents I have tried, this one seems to be a chameleon. The notes come back and disappear again, like some mysterious nimble bellydancers who simultaneously work as ninjas.
It has a note of garbage bag on my wrist, which I’m not loving, but when I smell the inside of my elbow (where scents bloom, in my opinion), I smell a cologne-like masculine coolness that I like. I realise now that this “soapy” quality I initially sensed is brought on by a white flower I do not recognise. It could be jasmine (according to note list), as this is a note I am not familiar with (I know – how is it possible?).
There is a greenness to this that is slightly bitter, but I think this is a scent that, on me, is dominated by a floral. It seems pretty linear for the first half hour, but then some anise-like scent comes through. According to this review, this scent is very true to myrrh, but since I know nothing about it I cannot say what I think of this matter.
After a bit, the sandalwood and spices come through, and I feel myself nodding and smiling with recognition. Hello Uncle Serge! The usual gourmand aspect is different, but still exists – I can sense a slight burned overly flavoured vanilla pudding. Yum!
I will have to say that I like this one quite a bit, and could see my see myself wearing it. It would be my first white-floral dominated scent (even though that aspect is less strong during the drydown). I read here that it is recommended to dab this one, and not spray. I do agree that this could be too heady and just “too much” if over-applied, and due to its “coolness” could definitely see – and love – this on a guy.
To conclude, this is a scent that has a coolness to it that reminds me of white flowers with dew drops on them on a crisp summer morning after a storm. I like the slightly bitter medicinal anise-like note in the background, but perhaps that is because I like very bitter dark chocolate too. Besides, bitterness is good for you. 😉
Note: The more time passed, the more I caught myself inhaling deeply when my arm was close to my nose. Warning: This scent – like a lot of Serge Lutens fragrances – grows on you! The more hours that pass, the creamier this one gets. I cannot comment on sillage as I really did use a few drops. Obviously, due to dabbing the sillage would be lower than if spraying.
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