Hey, sugar…

Fragrance Review: Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau

Uncle Serge and I are not good friends. His Santal Blanc was an instant scrubber for me due to a severe case of nausea, Ambre Sultan bug-spray….you get the picture. So, it was with a disinterested eye that I regarded the strip of paper the helpful assistant at Space:NK was waving under my nose.

“It’s the latest from Serge Lutens,” she chirped.

Uh-huh. I know. The perfume blogs have been on about it. 

A waft of something sweet tickled my nose. And I was in the mood for something sweet. A hint of wood – sweet wood? I politely took the strip, getting intrigued. My arm already full since I had just stepped out of Harrods (Roja Dove!), I declined her offer to spray me. A sample was duly produced with the helpful suggestion that I test it on my husband, Mr. Wears Ambre Sultan like I wish it’d wear on me. Still, I did it. Sniffed him. Sniffed the paper. Five minutes later, I was back in the shop boxing it up.

*klaxon sounds* Impulse purchase, impulse purchase….

Now, a month later, I have been (somewhat) faithful to Jeux de Peau. No regrets…. though my eye is roving.

What I got out of it is sugar and lots of it. The first minute is brown sugar, caramalized, gooey, but not yet the sticky mess that will eventually end up burnt. But wait, it just bypassed sticky to those burnt bits that are hell to clean.

Then, bang, the clincher for me: the smell of longan Tong Sui, a Chinese dessert I love to eat. It amused me then, and it amuses me now, as I wear Jeux de Peau again and again. Longans, red dates, winter melon and, you got it, SUGAR are boiled together for an hour or so and served hot. There is even the hint of that piping hot sugar water, which is quite an accomplishment, I am pretty certain, Lutens was not aiming for.

Jeux de Peau segues into another favourite pudding: a creamy, rice pudding, from a vaguely Turkish restaurant that makes me hesitate to call it a Turkish dessert. Now, it is the smell of the thick, chewy layer of burnt sugar at the top, with just a hint of the cream lying below.

By the time I get to bed, I finally get the bread note everyone seems to be able to smell. My bread, however, is a sticky toffee bun.

Good thing I like sweet, and my skin amplifies it; I love this. If you don’t, RUN. (Or you might just get bread, who knows?)


About A. Faris

A. Faris spent her formative years at libraries and scribbling odd tales that somehow always end up romantic. She writes in between running after her son.
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