French perfume art-house Serge Lutens is releasing a new collection of 6 fragrances baptized Les Eaux de Politesse, or "Politeness Eaux". This library of scents includes 3 re-worked compositions - to make them come across as lighter; 2 unchanged; and one brand new, L'Eau d'Armoise...
In 2010, Lutens came up with a pronouncement on the over-perfuming mores of our civilization after having been a guiding light in amping up the antes on artistic perfumes with a rich Oriental connotation. But he said a decade after founding his house, over-scenting had reached a limit, it needed de-escalation. This gave us L'Eau (2010), followed by L'Eau Froide (2012), Laine de Verre (2014), and L'Eau de Paille (2016).
In 2019, Lutens is taking his program on "less-perfume-is-more" further with a separate collection he calls Civility Eaux, scents which are designed not to intrude upon people's personal spaces.
It is somewhat paradoxical then not to see his Eau series included in full in the library; instead, there are 3 new adaptations, namely Fleurs de Citronnier, Gris Clair, Santal Blanc, which have been remastered by perfumer Christopher Sheldrake together with Serge Lutens, so as to be lighter renditions of themselves. L'Eau Froide and L'Eau de Paille remain the same as ever. L'Eau is not included.
L'Eau d'Armoise is the sole newcomer, a fragrance inspired by smelling mugwort,
"How could I have known when I distractedly picked a leaf from a bush and rubbed it between my index finger and thumb, that mugwort would later speak to me from a perfume bottle ?"
In a press communiqué, Lutens explains a linkage he makes between water and the scene of a drowning he witnessed as a child. It it therefore always paradoxical territory you're entering with him even when approaching, supposedly, self-effacing scents.
SRP is 120€ for 100 ml of eau de parfum.
[Source: press release]