Serge Lutens La Religieuse or the Metaphysics of the Creative I (2015) {New Perfume}


Serge Lutens will introduce a new perfume from January 30th, 2015 called La Religieuse (The Nun), which is elliptically referred to, as usual, as a jasmine composition...

Other themes which are evoked which could refer to the juice itself is that of snow. Lutens did a perfume with perfumer Christopher Sheldrake called Louve in 2007 which had this element in mind.

More critical to his thinking however is the meaning with which the fragrance composition is imbued. The press release in French reads like a literary poem in prose which you are invited to interpret. What comes out of it to this reader is the exposition of Lutens' angst over the creative process surrounding his perfumes especially.

We understand also the importance of the subconscious in his creative work. In this manner, the name "La Religieuse" came to him he does not even know exactly why and as soon as it has solidified, he is not interested in it anymore which gives way to a session of self-loathing.

lutens_la_religieuse_tss.jpg There is a mystical dimension to Serge Lutens' interrogations about what is worthwhile to put out in the world. He feels caught up in his aesthetic ambivalence about good and evil, "J'envoyais la vierge faire le trottoir", "I sent out the virgin to prostitute herself"; the white snow he admires yet feels impatient to trample it. In another snippet of information garnered from yet another tag line he exclaims "Deliver us from the Good!". Once more his fascination for the contrast of black and white appears expressed here too when he writes that jasmine is as white as snow while his own religion is black.

In a way, and his text ends on this final note - pun not intended, but welcome - his work is never up to the simplicity and self-evident character of a boy (or garçon de café (?)) stating the "obvious", there is snow, when it is snowing.

A level of interpretation for this reviewer is to see that Lutens seems to want to free himself from the categories of Judeo-Christian moral thinking going in the direction of a more mystical tradition.

More concretely speaking, a French forum, Beauté Test, gives out the perfume notes as being not only jasmine but also civet, musks and incense.

Serge Lutens has previously co-created two jasmine perfumes with perfumer Christopher Sheldrake, A La Nuit and Sarrasins. He also reprises the color violet - his fetish tint which adorns the walls of his Palais Royal boutique - which has been offered in a variety of shades over the years.

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