Monday, November 2, 2015

The smell of fresh bread from the bakery takes us back; Jeux de Peau by Serge Lutens

Jeux de Peau by Serge Lutens

Andrew Wyeth, Christina's World, 1948

The table was set. Smell of food tells everything is well-prepared. Candles burnt shimmery and reflect a dancing light on crimson Persian carpet on the floor in dinning room, where is poetically partially light, partially dark. But no one has arrived yet, the guests must be on their way. Rain is occupying the night. You turn on TV simply to break the tranquility and to not hear the cupboard clock's tick tack. Suddenly, the door bell...

Before I try this perfume, I knew the nose who brought Féminité du Bois, Santal de Mysore and Datura Noir, has great story in gourmand realm. And Serge Lutens is a chef, a poet and a kind-hearted storyteller who shares everything from deepest of his heart and memory with us. An artist who communicates with his perfumes. With his Jeux de Peau he touches my heart.


Jeux de Peau (bizarrely means Skin Games) is a gourmand fragrance from Consolation series produced in 2011. This is one touch of lactonic nuances (Serge Luten's obsession and his medium to illustrate eastern vibes), woodsy (specially sandalwood), and fleshy spicy vibes. The fragrance, as expected, has a very keen and intelligent composition. I guess the nose behind the fragrance is Christopher Sheldrake cause the fragrance bears his signature: a mysterious dusty spicy woody accord which attains in most of Serge Lutens perfumes.

Jeux de Peau initiates with very dusty gourmand feeling. It's not a gourmand as silly as in celebrity perfumes, nor as in Bertrand Duchaufour's creations. It's a kind of weird gastronomical smell that is sending us a message from an unspoken inexplicable emotions. This weird gourmand frightens me, makes me excited, I don't know why. At one side the gourmand lasciviousness, at the other side nostalgia of childhood; strange juxtaposition. It emerges picturesque of forbidden carnality of Freud's Oedipus complex theory.
Notes in this creation are pared with a back up note. Wheat comes with milk, apricot follows osmanthus, and coconut supports sandalwood, what a chess master composition!

"It's as if the baker took us by the hand. Your childhood is a slope. The farther down you go, the more it comes back to you. You must separate the wheat from the chaff to know who you are. All this to say that the smell of fresh bread from the bakery takes us back. The feel of warm bread against the cheek even more so, evoking a familiar sensation from my childhood."
Serge Lutens
Initially Jeux de Peau presents a floral sweet patch of osmanthus merged within the very bakery smell. Fresh, warm round bread just come out of oven and you want to tear a part, with olive oil and cheese and a glass of wine, hmmm... This very beginning slaps me in face suddenly. It's the very smell of Iranian houses, where I do belong to. My intro which may not be fit to the smell of the perfume, for you, refers to that atmosphere. Well-cooked rice, vegetal foods, bread, tick tack of clock, Persian carpet and smell of wooden frames of pictures of family members and wooden furniture in sitting room. That makes me seriously homesick. Every time I smell Jeux de Peau I call home which locates thousands of kilometers away.


Soon after the very opening, the pseudo-floral patch disappears and the fragrance reveals its true face. Smell of wheat, very bright and prominent, plus milk accord, merged in subtle fruity osmanthus that in collaboration with apricot, smells like jam. But what shines like Kuh-i-Nur in this composition is wheat and without it, the skeleton collapses.
As it goes through the core, lactonic smell intensifies, but not as buttery and creamy as appears in apricot-centered fragrance (Bois et Fruits, for example), it's fleshy and semi-spicy which I believe is cured by licorice. A soft powdery touch in the background pets the fruity side and ornaments the composition. It's not maquillage powder nor iris based. It's way organic and seems to be smells from pattern of one of the notes. Another thing that I apparently smell is leathery subtone which is not mentioned. I think this composition contains slight portion of leather that guarantees for darkness and depth.

In overall, my first impression on the first whiffs of Jeux de Peau was uncertain feeling; would it be a perfume? It's more like a memorial smell. Smell of food or someone who cooks. It's odd. However, I confess that I deeply love this fragrance as I explained how emotionally it touched my heart. Then when the fragrance reached to the core I realized how smart the nose is. It's a very elaborately blended masterpiece, which I give my five stars, regardless to all who still stay suspended to love or hate this. I love this fragrance although osmanthus and apricot are not my mates. I enjoy writing it, and I enjoy deeper by smelling it. Jeux de Peau has around 7 hours longevity and mellow medium sillage.

Carpe Odor!

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