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Douce amère by Serge Lutens

Douce amère

by Serge Lutens (2000)
76%
76 of 100%, 115 Ratings
Released in the year 2000, apparently still in production.
Perfumer: Christopher Sheldrake

Fragrance Notes

Absinth, Aniseed, Jasmine, Lily, Musk, Tiarella, Tagetes, Tiaré, Cedar, Cinnamon

Ratings

Scent
76% (115 Ratings)
Longevity
77% (73 Ratings)
Sillage
58% (60 Ratings)
Bottle
75% (56 Ratings)
Researched and submitted by Kankuro
05/04/2014
Longevity: Average
Sillage: Strong
Bottle: Average
50%
Douce Amère
This fragrance opens with an unusual accord of sweet, spicy and floral notes. At first I think I see chocolate, but it is all an illusion created by florals along with the vanilla and cinnamon note. In my opinion the name of this fragrance is well-chosen, for this is a collection of counterpoints, a fragile combination of contrasting notes: sweet is juxtaposed to sour, spicy to floral and soft to pungent. As the scent dries down the cinnamon note burns off, leaving the wearer with florals on a vanilla base. Once again the particular interaction of notes comes into play: the sharp quality of the flowers is balanced by the softness of the vanilla. Smelled close the skin the sour notes appear dissonant, but further away from the skin they mix beautifully and thus prove their importance to the whole creation. The dry down is a heavy floral vanilla blend, devoid of any counterpoints. This is a delicate fragrance, sheer but powerful, pleasant to wear and interesting to smell.
12/22/2012
Longevity: Good
Sillage: Strong
Bottle: Good
50%
5 Review Awards
childhood nostalgia
Douce Amère is a strange one. I am not sure I like it but I love wearing it. Another one of those scents where what I smell has nothing to do with what most people will tell you it does. It opens with a thick, sweet exotic flower burst (it actually reminds me of datura) but from early on bitter notes are playing hide and seek with the flowers. As it settles on the skin everything becomes, stickier, creamier, less floral. The unforgettable smell of sweetened condensed milk becomes the centre of the attention but right there, in the end of of the sweet milk trail awaits one of the most cryptic, nostalgic, ironic notes I have ever smelt in fragrance: a rubber teat, a pacifier. I am sure I don’t recall this smell from the time I was using one but I remember being disgusted by it when I was watching my younger cousins grow up. The overly sensitive smell of the five-year-old that I was could not believe that they were sticking that thing in a baby’s mouth and expected to eat from this. And I remember my parents telling me that I was a cry-baby and wouldn’t go to sleep without my pacifier and I just couldn’t believe it! So annoying was that smell to me.

Now after all these years rediscovering the combination of sweet milk and rubber strikes strange chords. Douce Amère is way too sweet for my tastes but every time I wear it I get this nostalgic feeling of sheltered childhood. Soft clouds of fuzzy cotton wrap around me, I feel the warm sensation of snoozing in a dimly lit room knowing that someone is watching over me. I am not sure where these feelings come from but it almost feels like they are popping out the depths of my subconscious, right from the time I was actually using that bottle full of milk. The word “nostalgia”cannot describe exactly how I feel. The portuguese word “saudade” is the only word that explains this. A strong feeling of missing something that is part of you, is now missing and possibly can never be found again, filling you with a restrained sadness that will always be a part of you.
01/08/2012
80%
2 Review Awards
A discontinued (or so I hear) treasure
At first sniff, I get a pollen-like effect – a lightly sweet, somewhat powdery scent with a bit of a dry herbal quality. This floats atop the aroma of a blooming white flower (I pick up jasmine mostly). The white flower scent is definitely present, yet somehow softened, almost as if it were bleached by the sun.

As the perfume dries down, it develops more of a gourmand character. The sunny floral /herbal smell remains, but is now dusted with flakes of creamy chocolate just starting to melt in the warm air. The cinnamon and anise are not easily detectable to me, but do lend a delicate spiciness to the mix.

This fragrance is so well blended that none of the notes take over, but rather combine to form something unique and lovely. Sadly discontinued.

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Douce amère by Serge Lutens
by Sylli

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