Serge Lutens will launch a new perfume at the beginning of 2012 called L'Eau Froide (Cold Water). It is a second chapter in his exploration of the thematic of water, which he presented las year as being the opposite of perfume...
L'Eau in 2010 was the exact - in appearance at least - antithesis to his previous work known for its sense of full-bodied intensity, ripeness of flavors and smells, and complexity.
It played more softly on another characteristic of his work, subtlety. But it also seemingly tried to shoot itself in the foot by declaring itself dead-tired of smells. The world was choking on too many perfumes.
This manifesto came as a shocking paradox to faithful Lutens followers who were still waiting for the master to shake awake the rest of the world from their olfactory slumbers. To them pronouncing the word "clean" as in a "clean fragrance" was like uttering the name of the Antechrist.
Smelling L'Eau up-close though revealed already then more layers and texture and in particular, an undiclosed accord of incense creating an effect of "Liquid Smoke" of sorts.
L'Eau Froide turns clearly to incense this time, showcasing a specific note of Somalian incense which was selected for its capacity to evoke marble-cold coldness. While Serge Lutens acknowledges that a measure of coldness can be experienced with incense, with its sensation suggestive of a cold church (see review of his Encens et Lavande), this time L'Eau Froide is much more than suggestive in this regard.
The author said that he wanted to explore a different kind of freshness. The cold in the new fragrance should awaken the skin at first, he says. Then he goes on to present L'Eau Froide as designed to form a protective shield around the body, mixing and fusing with air to shield it from external impurity.
But as he concludes momentarily, water becomes pure only after it has known impurity and you cannot experience it as pure iif you do not know what impurity is.