Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vitriol d'Oeillet - friend or foe (and a draw)

It seems that lately there isn't so much love for the SL releases. Beats the hell out of me why that is so, because to me, they are still so very Lutenesque. And by that I mean, it takes several wearings for me to get to know it and then get friendly with it and then, comes love for life.
That's my usual path with any SL perfume (exceptions exist but aren't many).

Therefore, I don't get disappointed if a SL perfume doesn't instantly sweep me off my feet. It is usually a complex stranger you would be wrong to take at initial value.
So, I don't. :)

I've been testing and wearing it for some time now and what can I say? :) I'm a huge clove fan. For some reason, I keep thinking of this as a clove perfume even though it exhibits the carnation most of the time.

Notes: cayenne pepper, black pepper, pink pepper, clove, carnation, wallflower, lily, ylang-ylang, nutmeg.

I guess you can tell by all the peppers it's going to smell sharp on the start (clove helps too). If you ever smelled an SL creation, you probably know that no description can prepare you for what you're going to smell. So, when I say it starts peppery sharp with a clove twist, I'm hoping you're imagining your nose tinkling in response. :)
But before that happens, just after the initial spray, before the pepper takes over for a while, you will get the  sweet whiffs of nutmeg being propped by ylang-yland and lily. I'm still not sure on how good the lily part is  but it seems to work. Later, it will take much more work to smell all this under the peppers.

For me this perfume emits a constant light charge - each time I smell it, it seems my nose gets a little electrical charge. Quite interesting really. And then I smell the carnation. But for the life of me, I can't think of this as a carnation perfume. :) Yes, most of the time, it smells like carnations. But those are metallic, strange carnations, emiting even a lightly meaty smell at one time. Ok, so that last part might not sound enticing but it's not bad.
And yes, I noticed my constant use of "buts". :) That's because I keep thinking that while I'm describing this, I'm making it sound bad and my opinion couldn't be further away.

Once the carnation gets going, there's not much change, it lasts and slowly loses the charge. Less clove-y, more floral.

And each time I wear it, it seems more friendly and easier to love (less sharp, more sweet). Luckily, I'm not going to run out of it any time soon... :)

As I was the lucky recipient of a whole bottle, courtesy of Ca Fleure Bon and  Serge Lutens (it was supposed to be a mini bottle but they generously sent me the whole), I have 2 little decants and a sample to give. State your interest in the comments, and let me know whether you think you can like this or not.


  1. I am very into carnations right now, so I'd love to try this. Also, I tend to like weird, and I tend to be patient, so I'm willing to give it a real go.

    Intriguing review. I'll probably buy a sample either way. :)

  2. As a very newbie perfumista, I often enter the draws on Ca Fleure Bon to increase my access to scents without breaking the bank. However, I didn't enter the draw for Vitriol d'Oeillet because it was for a whole bottle and if I didn't like it then I'd be the one having to worry about swapping or decanting etc.
    I would, however, be interested in trying it. I like both carnations and clove, and spices do well on my skin. (Very curious about both the metallic and meaty aspects you mention.) I also like being challenged by a scent and enjoy the process of having to try a fragrance a few times to decide whether I like it and what might be making it work or not. I learn way more than from a scent I easily enjoy.

    Thanks for the review and for the draw opportunity.

    -- Lindaloo

  3. Great review Ines, you reminded me to go back and retest some of the (very few) Serge's that were a bit thougher for me to appreciate.
    I already have a sample of Vitriol, so no need for me to be entered:-)

  4. Thank you very much, Ines! You're very generous :)

    I'd like to try it because I'm always curious about new Serge Lutens fragrance. I love the natural scent of carnations, but I have not find it in any perfume yet.
    I think that I will love the spicy side of this fragrance, but I'm not sure about the metallic one.

  5. Very interesting! Especially the sensation of an electrical charge. Colour me intrigued!

    Thinking of VdO as a clove perfume as opposed to a carnation perfume makes me feel optimistic. Why? Because carnation perfumes generally smell awful on me and I adore the smell of carnations.

    I also adore Uncle Serge's perfumes. I would love a chance to try this clove beauty. How very sweet of you to share!

    JoanElaine (Blogger is broken again, it seems!)

  6. Diana, I believe our taste in perfume overlaps a lot, so I believe you might like it. :)

  7. Lindaloo, spices work really well on my skin too. I think of myself as an oriental girl (I enjoy everything but those I love most easily).
    And SL is a line that teaches me a lot. One of the reasons I love the line so much. :)

  8. Thank you Asali! :) I always approach SL carefully because very rarely so we hit it off in an instant (except in the case of amber). ;)

  9. Isa, I would love to hear your thoughts on this perfume as I'm not really familiar with the smell of carnations. I recognize them but it's not one of the smells I smelled a lot.
    I do wonder how it this would smell on you if your skin isn't very friendly with carnations. :)

    P.S. Metallic is not always there but I find it adds intrigue.

  10. Thank you JoanElaine (won't go into blogger issues that frustrate me to no end).
    It's not that this isn't a carnation perfume, it is, but that just isn't the first thing that pops into my mind when I smell it and think of it. :)

  11. I was very interested in this one, but didn't like it on first sniff. Thanks for the reminder to try again. :) No need to enter me in the draw, though.

  12. anotherperfumeblog, I'm glad if I got you to try it again. :)
    I always give SLs more than one try, I usually can't wrap my mind around them from the first.

  13. Am I too late? I was obsessing recently over carnation perfumes, I even smelled clove in one of the perfumes where it wasn't mentioned even remotely (can't remember the name but that was when I realized my obsession). Probably carnation will be one of my next Single Note Exploration posts.
    Yours is probably the first positive review for this perfume. Now I'm curious.

  14. Hi Undina, you're not late, I'll announce the winners later today.
    I must say I've been wondering about all the negative reviews out there, I really don't think this is bad. Different a bit for me though.

  15. I just tried it today. It was not what I was expecting, and I think I like it, too. I did receive a sample (so don't sign me up for the draw), so I am looking forward to trying it further. I'm glad you gave it a positive review. I have been kind of disappointed with the last few I have tried in the Serge line.

  16. HI Furriner, I love how you said "I think I like it too." That is true of many SL perfumes I tried so far and is usually my initial thought. :)
    I hope you get to like and wear this one, I think it might be the one people will appreciate in retrospect.

  17. please, enter me the draw
    I'm almost sure I'll like it
    thank you

  18. Anonymous, the draw is closed and the winners are already drawn.
    Besides, you didn't leave a name. :)

  19. sorry Ines, I didn't noticed

  20. I tried this just the other day with quite low expectations because of the scary name and the fact that I don't like clove or carnation really. But I agree that it becomes softer and more floral over time - I would say that it is the carnation equivalent of Bas de Soie for silky creaminess in the drydown. I liked it a lot.

  21. Vanessa, it's interesting you like Vitriol and aren't usually swayed by clove or carnation. :)
    I think you're slowly coming over to the "dark" side of perfumery, where more dangerous perfumes lie... ;)

  22. Sorry to hear I missed this draw. I need to be more timely with my reading!

    But this review is great. I hadn't really been interested in this release, mostly because my to-buy list is so long I'm kind of only half-reading new perfume reviews. ;)

    But your description has me wanting to try this! Thank you. :)

  23. Thank you *jen!
    I'm sorry too you missed the draw.
    But if Vitriol makes it to the top of your list, I'd love to know what you think of it. :)