Serpentine by Comme des Garçons
Bottle Design Tracey Emin
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7.7 / 1079 Ratings
Serpentine is a popular perfume by Comme des Garçons for women and men and was released in 2014. The scent is green-fresh. It is being marketed by Puig.
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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesGrassGrass
LeavesLeaves
GalbanumGalbanum
IrisIris
Heart Notes Heart NotesAldehydesAldehydes
Ozonic notesOzonic notes
MuskMusk
NutmegNutmeg
Base Notes Base NotesLabdanumLabdanum
CedarwoodCedarwood
BenzoinBenzoin
JuniperJuniper
Gaiac woodGaiac wood

Ratings

Scent

7.779 Ratings

Longevity

5.857 Ratings

Sillage

5.159 Ratings

Bottle

7.264 Ratings
Submitted by Michael, last update on 26.09.2021.

Interesting Facts

This is a collaboration with London's Serpentine Galleries.
Serpentine's box has been designed by the artist Tracey Emin as well.
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Reviews

9
Scent
Jingle
Translated Show originalShow translation
Jingle
Jingle
   3  
Art/Exit over the squeaky green grass
All right, I love this one! Long skulked around, sample after sample consumed, now tingling in the belly every time I mock him in the closet.

I've never been to the Serpentine Galleries, never been to London. And if I were to come to London, I'd check out the Barbican first and foremost, too. But the Serpentine Galleries hold a fascination for me that can only come from ignorance, and I don't want to disturb it at all. A friend told me about a reading she gave there, I was killer impressed, I fantasized.

And then Tracey Emin, whose career I haven't really followed but whose marquee artwork "Everyone I Have Ever Slept With" I've never forgotten. I had seen it once in a women's magazine as a teenager (and was awestruck at the number of people!). Emin designed the bottle, which with its frayed print looks like someone didn't know how to crop a drawing and/or said to themselves, never mind, I'll leave it like that now. A certain snottiness in art making = me like. So strictly speaking, Serpentine is a celebrity scent then, non?

Lots of avant-garde arty mist around the perfume then, lots of 90s, when Comme des Garçons and Rei Kawakubo's fashions respectively promised the spasmodic Arte-watching small-town girl something of breakout, exciting future and promising distance (Japan!).

Yeah, but what does it smell like now? At the start, the lawn is immediately recognizable, shaved-domesticated, clean grass, the florality of iris announces itself, galbanum. The impression is bright, flat, like a park in the middle of a city, with man-made hills spread out before a view of the distance, cloudless skies above in June. A few skyscrapers in the distance, for this is an urban scent. I suppose that stems from the asphalt and ozonic notes, the often mentioned synthetic impression. I find this one pleasant, tidy! If you're looking for unspoiled nature, you're in the wrong place - with Serpentine, you can almost think of turf or plastic lawns when you think of grass, the science fiction greenhouse. Musk is clear, with a little sexiness coming in via the nutmeg. I don't get anything differentiated in the base, consider it more functional. I was glad I didn't smell the guaiac out (or maybe I subsumed that under the nutmeg).

The scent is summery light, doesn't project strongly, but it - warning, pun! - helps me to project fat and channel again this promising feeling, this art promise, there would be something incredibly cool sublime, and well, what you feel is always real, and with Serpentine I feel state of the art and dream and associate so around, as I would escape the profanity.
2 Replies
ColinM

516 Reviews
ColinM
ColinM
Helpful Review    3  
Rich minimalism
Serpentine opens with an unexpectedly vibrant and realistic lime-green accord with a slight creamy note underneath, and also a really subtle candied feel that reminds me of elemi, and something bitter-green that resembles to lentiscus. Hyper-clean and minimal and with a contrasting soapy-powdery aftertaste providing a cozy “freshly ironed shirt” effect, and a light woody base, yet not that synthetic or abstract; the greenness is restrained and thin, but it’s sharp and natural in its own transparent way, at least at the opening stage. This thin texture is what fascinates me for the first couple of hours: the scent is vibrant and “alive”, and the sillage is solid (probably thanks to aldehydes too), but at the same time it’s incredibly subtle and faint. I don’t know how they did that, but as much contradictory as it may sound, Serpentine smells rich and minimalist at the same time, and as I said, not that synthetic as one may expect. After one hour or so, on my skin Serpentine gets warmer, more “greyish”, always clean and soapy-green but with a sort of more abstract feel, as if the initial greenness slowly faded away bringing Serpentine on a more and more “lunar” field, depersonalizing the scent until it reaches an enjoyable stage of pure grey-musky cleanness, almost mineral or concrete-like, with just a subtle, foggy pink-grey breeze of anodyne powdery-soapy notes. It’s like watching a timelapse video of a natural landscape becoming more and more deserted. And that is the drydown for quite long, which after a while, once this brilliant transition ends, gets honestly a bit boring – I get the pleasure of “grey-clean-soapy” notes, just not for that long. Apart from this, which is just my taste, I personally consider Serpentine a clever, interesting, versatile, pleasant and truly “contemporary” scent surely worth a try (not sure about the purchase, as it's a bit costly).

7,5-8/10
8
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
5
Bottle
Drseid

796 Reviews
Drseid
Drseid
   4  
How Comme des Garcons Does Fresh...
Serpentine opens with an extremely fresh aldehyde-laced airy ozonic accord shortly adding hints of green fresh cut grass in the background. As the composition transitions to its early heart the aldehyde led ozonic accord remains, now joining light synthetic musk and mild powdery iris in support. Through the heart the white musk and iris very gradually give way to a woody incense-like accord that grows in intensity though never quite matching the strength of the aldehydes. During the late dry-down soft cedarwood takes on the starring role with a blend of very mild spice and remnants of the powdery iris remaining in support through the finish. Projection is average, as is longevity at 7-9 hours on skin.

Serpentine to the unobservant may be dismissed as "just another fresh composition," but that really doesn't come close to doing it justice. It is true it starts off extremely airy and ozonic, somewhat resembling a very mildly perfumed ozonic air freshener, but where things get interesting, however, is when the composition transitions seamlessly through its many phases. First it adds the green tinge of fresh cut grass, next adding powdery musky facets to the ozonic mix resembling linoleum, then again swapping in woody incense to the weave playing with the fresh aspects in the latter heart and finishing as lightly-spiced soft powdered woods. The journey tells a nice story and proves there is a lot more to Serpentine than one might first assume. Like most Comme des Garcons compositions Serpentine comes off synthetic at times, but it is obviously intentional here and meshing perfectly with the house style. What is not always a guarantee with Comme des Garcons is whether one would want to wear some of their offerings but in Serpentine there is no need to fear as this is probably the easiest offering from the house to put on daily if desired. On the flip side, the official notes list contains some rather avant garde notes and accords like "a little bit of pollution," but while the linoleum is kind of quirky the more "out there" aspects never really materialize, and maybe that is a good thing. The bottom line is the $95 per 50ml bottle Serpentine is an ever developing fresh composition from Comme des Garcons that is worthy of the house's great synthetic innovative heritage, earning a "very good" to "excellent" 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5 rating and a solid recommendation.

Statements

LillibetLillibet 4 years ago
7.5
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
7
Bottle
Reminds me of walking in a city park. You can smell the crisp grassy green notes but underneath is the ozonic scent of the city traffic.

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