La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens

1 Aug, 2012 | Fragrance, The Lifestyle Library

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.

I’m Melissa de Blok, and I'm here to help you live your best life through personal truth and practical self-love (it's a verb, not a noun).

I write in a brutally honest manner, think vulnerability (silliness included) is a super-power, and provide specialised photography services that encourage authenticity. I strive to help my readers (as well as my clients) get out of their own way, face the darker and scarier parts of their thoughts and feelings, and go inward so that they can move upward in their careers.



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