Bourreau des Fleurs 2017

Bourreau des Fleurs by Serge Lutens
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8.4 / 1021 Ratings
Bourreau des Fleurs is a popular perfume by Serge Lutens for women and men and was released in 2017. The scent is sweet-woody. The longevity is above-average. It was last marketed by Shiseido Group / Beauté Prestige International. Pronunciation
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Fragrance Notes

LiquoriceLiquorice ImmortelleImmortelle Charred woodCharred wood

Ratings

Scent

8.421 Ratings

Longevity

8.619 Ratings

Sillage

7.820 Ratings

Bottle

8.622 Ratings
Submitted by OPomone, last update on 17.05.2022.
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Reviews

8.5
Scent
10
Longevity
9
Sillage
6
Bottle
4
Pricing
Gold

470 Reviews
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Gold
Gold
Top Review    49  
Serge Lutens Search
For this commentary, I use a text written by Serge Lutens himself for underpinning and explanation. It is entitled "Monde arabe" and can be found in the book "Les Parfumeurs: Dans l'intimité de grands créateurs de parfum", Harper-Collins, 2018.
Unfortunately, since no German translation is available yet, I'm doing the job myself. Here I am largely dispensing with the original quotations in French, because this would make the commentary unnecessarily cumbersome. Anyone who understands French and is interested in perfume should pick up the above book. It is a fantastic source of first-hand information. This is because it is not narrated by a blogger or conjectured by a perfume critic, it is always the perfumer himself/herself speaking.

I don't know what facts of Lutens' life you already know, so forgive me if I bore you with some biographical info that was new to me personally. Because, in fact, I didn't know that Lutens grew up in Lille in the north of France and had his first experience with the world of cosmetics in a hair salon, picking up hairpins off the floor and sweeping them. He does not reveal in his text how he then came from Lille to Dior in 1968. In 1980 he joined Shiseido as stylist and make-up director. There he designed flacons, later he was sent to Firmenich for further training, where he received a perfumery education that still enables him to create perfumes today. In the 90s there was a crisis between Shiseido and Lutens. He left the group.
In 2000, he opened his own perfume house, the Palais-Royal in Paris.

"Today we count 80 different fragrances among our collection, most but not all of them developed by me together with Christopher Sheldrake, with whom I collaborate during every single stage of the production...sometimes for years. It took us 12 years to make 'Chene,' for example." (p.135)

How long Sheldrake and Lutens sat on "Bourreau des Fleurs" I don't know.
The pyramid initially suggests a simple fragrance. Only three ingredients are mentioned.
That's a good thing I like it when perfume houses do without to come up with extensive information about the ingredients, because then we, the critics (whether professionals or amateur critics like me) can no longer practice in working off and rehearsing the pyramid, but must align our texts differently.

"Bourreau des Fleurs" is a multi-layered, spicy fragrance that leads back to its roots, which Lutens himself describes as an "imaginary landscape in which he spins in circles." At the heart of his work, he places an examination of "the woman" par excellence:
"All these women are the woman, my invented woman, magical, with magical powers. One might think that my imaginary landscape is going round in circles. For the contempt I take revenge. I take revenge on women. I take revenge on the woman herself. My life is a story of revenge. I am the mistake. I make up for it and I make it worse. Because you can't make up for something without making it worse. I love, I seduce, and at the same time I hate and destroy. Without this violence there is no creation." (p.130)

In "BdF", one senses an almost magical herbal hexenaura at the beginning, a brew of various spices already familiar from other creations by the Lutens/Sheldrake duo.
Something "Ambre Sultan" flashes, a little piece of Marrakech, a place that has great significance for Lutens, since his ethnic roots are there, although he grew up in Lille.

"When I discovered Morocco, I knew that the Arab world had not yet been embraced by French society. Hence my choice. To return. To stay.
I was in permanent contradiction with French society and the violence of this new world I discovered suited me. And I haven't changed. I still find myself in contradiction. So I'm still here. That justifies my loneliness, first in Paris, then here, in Marrakech." (p.132)

The licorice herbal spice potion gives way in the heart to a note that I personally usually find problematic in perfumes, but which seems masterfully crafted in "BdF". It is the strawflower.
"If you manage to get past your initial disgust, then things get very interesting. Disgust plays a big part in my way of conceiving the story of a fragrance. The disgust and the words." (p. 131)
"A perfume isn't a single smell after all, it's not a vanilla cake, it's a whole cosmos. That is literature then!"

Just like a literary text, Lutens sees perfume as a fundamental means of artistic expression.
"My intention is to touch people. If perfumery didn't touch anyone, it would be completely uninteresting." (p. 136)

"I'm not interested in happiness. When I open a book about happiness, I close it very quickly. It bores me. I'm not interested in happiness. What I'm interested in is the process of creating. Creating something." (S.137).

The strawflower is called "Immortelle" in French, meaning the immortal. In "BdF" it possibly refers to Lutens' mother, whose first name was Fleurisse. For him, the mother remains a person he could never grasp.
"The psychoanalysts....they've all gone mad because I can't get better. It's impossible. I need this image of a woman who replaced my mother in the beginning...without a woman, I croak."
Maybe that's why the strawflower seems so soft and homey to me, so fitting in "BdF".
But it weakens toward the end, giving way to a light kitchen smell that reminds me not of charred wood but of an oriental stew with herbs.
The flowers, in my perception, were not trampled or broken (as the name suggests), but slowly cooked.

"I need this permanent image of a woman and I keep reinventing it with every perfume and with every name I choose. The names of the perfumes of my house perpetuate a dialogue with this woman...Death is very present in our conversation, but it never has a sad aspect."

Lutens ends his text with a poem, which I quote in the original French text:

La mort, c'est gai, la mort,
c'est aussi une femme.
Une femme qui vient me dire bonjour.
Elle est tres élégante.
Elle est immortelle.
Elle a de beaux jours devant elle.

And now a discussion from a feminist point of view would certainly not be unexciting.... - rarely has a perfumer so clearly and openly declared his basic theme: "Cherchez la femme!"
37 Replies
9.5
Scent
9
Longevity
7
Sillage
9
Bottle
Shaking
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Shaking
Shaking
Top Review    16  
The heart is a lonely hunter
One of the front ways the famous disclaimer:
It will be long, it will be exhausting, if it will be worth it, please let everyone decide for themselves.
The comment has only in passing (the basic mood) to do with my favourite book "The heart is a lonely hunter"..so please don't be surprised
A fragrance about age, pain, loneliness and the impossibility of love...
and yet loving...

What? Pretty hard stuff the inclined reader will say...why would I spray something like that on my neck?

Moment Moment slow...
Why,why,why?

Mr Luten's late work "Bourreau des Fleurs" cannot be viewed without "Dent de Lait". (There may be a commentary to follow..time will tell)

These 2 fragrances, both launched in 2017, are, in my eyes, inseparable.
"Bourreau des Fleurs" has, like 'Jersey' in your comments before it, different meanings:
Charmer of love", "heartbreaker", "flowerbreaker" and "executioner of flowers" ... here it gets interesting now.

As Serge Lutens once mentioned, his relationship with his mother is a torn...a love-hate relationship you could say The scent text of "Bourreau des Fleurs" in German has been slightly changed and shifts the context, although it already gives a very good insight into Luten's feelings.

It reads as follows:
A night sun... violence drenched with love Flattering, sensual, calming and mystical at the same time

In English it sounds a little different:
"The condemned: - Persecutor you slice, but in my blood you're the sap. Executioner: - And you, from my heart, you're the wood."

Lutens always wanted and still wants to convey certain emotions in certain situations with his fragrances and for me, this one is clearly about love...

But not the innocent, pure love or the love between man and woman...
It is about the strenuous devotion, the cutting the cord, but still about being eternally connected...love becomes something painful and enraptured, something that goes far beyond a bold "I love you" statement!
It's about the love between son and mother...

Does Lutens want to olfactorically lead his mother to the scaffold? At the moment of your end, does he recognize the inevitable bond between your two souls?

Interesting here is an excerpt from a written interview of 2014 with Mr. Lutens, which for me can be seen as a blueprint for "Bourreau des Fleurs" and "Dent de Lait". It is about the early childhood memories from the Nazi period and afterwards.

Serge Lutens:
The image of Berlin is very present in my story: the war, Pétain's laws, the German Occupation... My imaginings around this woman who is my mother. What is this? Who is my father? What is this about? Who is she? Who is this woman, who kept quiet all her life? Who died in silence... without telling me anything.. I don't know who my father is, but I don't know who my mother is... I know who my father is, since I didn't love him, but actually, there's a turnaround. Things aren't that simple
If "Bourreau des Fleurs" represents the end of this process, then "Dent de Lait" is the beginning....The hubris of birth,of childhood...of being "thrown into the world"!
Dent de Lait is described in English as follows:
Now weary of the tongue's games which have for weeks on end been loosening its tooth, a young wolf is anxious to move from milk to blood.I have loved you for so long I will never forget you."

This is clearly for me about the painful process of cutting the cord from his mother.

Serge Lutens:
At seven years old, a girl will usual go towards her father... A boy will naturally gravitate towards his mother, that's more or less how the world establishes itself. Now, when you choose the mother as strongly as I did, of course it's extremely dangerously, because it's an incredible imbalance... The fact of having an adulterous mother, the fact of being a bastard, the fact that my father didn't recognize me, refused to recognize me initially, that he married my mother two years later: she experience all that, of course, and I experienced it even though I wasn't fully aware of it.
Because an anxious mother, that's an anxious child. So this choice, if you will, that we make of one being or another at the outset of our lives, because deep down there's only one choice, though we don't know it's a choice... Because you're a child, you don't understand you're choosing. You don't call it a choice What's a choice, anyway? I'll tell you: in fact, you're being stalked by wild beasts, there's a flooded river in front of you and on the other side, there's a quiet shore. What do you do? You cross the flooded river anyway
Lutens, a driven soul, restless but with an incredible will and a sense for the moment, be it painful or beautiful.

For me, "Bourreau des Fleurs" is the conciliatory end of Luten's long journey..towards forgiveness and acceptance of one's self For this very reason, the fragrance is like a "Best of" from Lutens.

He lets us once again participate in the stations of his life.
The fragrance contains traces of ripe plums as in "Bois et fruits", a basic spice as in "Arabie" and a smoky component interwoven with sweetness as in "Fille en aiguilles"

Above it all, the Immortelle is enthroned, which mixes with all the ingredients to my almost viscous syrup.

This fragrance has something loving, conciliatory...memories of a time of warming sun and comfort...but also something resinous, charred that bubbles under the surface comes out from time to time
A warning shadow - smoky liquorice.

Harmony and disharmony are very close together here, always fighting each other.
Who may gain the upper hand?
I don't know...

But what I think I know is that with this fragrance you can buy a part of "Luten's Self".
It is the artistic attempt of a reappraisal, a "scented catharsis"

Whether this is worth 450€ is, as with art in general, needless to say
From a sober point of view, the price for a "best of" fragrance is certainly too much Here you won't be surprised, there is no sensational scent (there is a lot to discover, no question)
The sillage and durability are phenomenal, which is certainly due to Immortelle, who, no matter what scent I wear, always reacts very well with my skin
This fragrance is and will always remain a matter of the heart for me as well.
As it is with the muse art...

Art is a "possessive lover"...which does not always please everyone...but does not have to.
9 Replies
10
Scent
10
Longevity
10
Sillage
10
Bottle
Jersey
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Jersey
Jersey
Very helpful Review    10  
Trilogy - Episode 3: Longing for love
Thanks to Parfumo, it happened that a wish came true all at once, when suddenly 3 fragrances from Serge Lutens' Section d'Or series arrived at my home. I'll start with fragrance no. 3 Bourreau des Fleurs - which could have several meanings: quite poetic like "charmer of love", a bit dramatic "heartbreaker" or intimidating "flower-breaker" or even "executioner of flowers" - where somewhere I saw a picture with axes - which should perhaps mean unrequited love. The composition only mentions the following: Licorice, strawberries, charred wood. It is also said that Bourreau des Fleurs contains no flowers.

But my nose speaks differently: Bourreau des Fleurs is one of the most beautiful floral fragrances or even belongs to the most beautiful Lutens fragrances. Probably thanks to the amazingly wonderful strawflower scent bathed in the Mediterranean sun. I am impressed by the beauty, delicacy and loving impression of the perfume. I feel happy and my heart rejoices. I remember my childhood, a short time spent together with my dear mother in a summer apartment in the country. In a short time, a light, warm, very pleasant Mediterranean breeze from Corsica or the South of France came into the room through the constantly open windows. I clearly felt a warm embrace from my mother, her hands caressed me and smelled a little sweetly still after the spice from the cake that had just been baked. An incredibly successful scent, lasts a good 8 - 9 hours.
1 Reply
6.5
Scent
8
Longevity
7
Sillage
8
Bottle
StellaDiverF

213 Reviews
StellaDiverF
StellaDiverF
Top Review    9  
Expensive Immortelle Soliflore
Bourreau des Fleurs is advertised as heavily revolving around immortelle, and that's exactly what I got from this new Section d'Or offering. Upon spraying, the immortelle immediately jumps out with its sweet, maple syrup-related aspects. Decadent dried fruits are drenched in unctuous, golden honey, then get reduced and caramelised, until the dried fruits look like being preserved in amber.

This might sound like a nightmare of gooey molasses, but that's not the case on my skin, as the sweetness feels ambered and are in a lower octave than pure sugar fest. Moreover, if inspected closely, there's a subtle, underlying woody bitterness effectively anchoring the rich sweetness, which might be the doing of licorice and the smoky woody elements.

Bourreau des Fleurs behaves largely in a linear manner and is dominated by this lavish sweetness of immortelle. At around 90 minutes in, the spicy cumin aspect of immortelle suddenly makes a surge and then looms at the periphery, completing the olfactory profile of immortelle. Towards the later dry down, Bourreau des Fleurs sometimes makes me think of an almost resinous honey tobacco, but it eventually feels more like an illusion of immortelle.

The fragrance has a heavy to moderate projection, and lasts comfortably for 9 hours.

I quite enjoy Bourreau des Fleurs for its many facets of immortelle, especially its rich, ambered sweetness. However, the elephant in the room is, without surprise, its price and limited distribution. Personally, I'm not more impressed by Bourreau des Fleurs than other wonderful immortelle-centric fragrances such as Annick Goutal Sables, Lutens' own El Attarine, or Pierre Guillaume Fareb, etc. I would recommend it to those who are looking for an immortelle soliflore, or a generally resinous honey tobacco fragrance, but there are surely other ineresting and more affordable choices out there.
0 Replies

Statements

Japarfumo21Japarfumo21 7 months ago
9.5
Scent
8
Longevity
5
Sillage
9
Bottle
Deep Oriental, avant-garde, artistic, nostalgic
0 Replies
BoBoChampBoBoChamp 12 months ago
7.5
Scent
9
Longevity
8
Sillage
After a salty spicy-sweet opening, this challenging and smoky spicy-floral Winter fragrance, settles to a meaty, smoky earthy-woody base.
0 Replies

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