A gentleman´s studio
When I think in a fragance as "English" I tend to think in this old fashioned, respectable, conventional perfumes that smell well and smell classic and smell correct and i never wear. In my imagination that word could also conjure up a cottage garden perfume, pretty and romantic, loaded with lilac and rose. But if Mr Lutens says english, you know there is going to be surprises.
The truth, Five O´Clock is very english, in a way that has nothing to do with english perfumery, and the fragance could recreate a tea party, but not in a prim garden a summer afternoon, but in a colder time, in the inside of a luxuriously furnished home, with a cosy fireplace, and there, you have the tea, and the ginger jam, and also a slice of pain d´epices.
It starts wonderfully. I would say, it is darker and more classic in the opening. And more masculine, or lets say, more gentlemanly. You are politely welcomed by a perfectly dressed butler, and all the notes of the fragance introduce themselves elegantly. The polished citrus, an introspective ginger, dark woods and the spices, create a shadowy, earthy opening that doesnt lack of vigor.
I notice now and then something that reminds me to Feminite de Bois and Daim Blond, being those completely different fragances. I guess maybe there is some type of signature in the Serge Lutens compositions. I mean, you would guess it is Lutens.
As for the ginger in Five O´Clock au Gingembre, it is not a freshly squeezed ginger fragance. Is a candied ginger, softer, smoother, rounder. And is after a while when the jar of ginger jam opens. Moist, deep, sweet ginger jam, with chunks of candied ginger.
Then, the fragance gets warmer, and noticeable smoky, like smoked black tea. The patchouly and the cocoa comfortably wrap the sweetness and keeps it from being too edible. This is not a mouthwatering type of perfume. Is a luxurious shelter. Smells wonderful and different, but not too different, so , for a Lutens/ Sheldrake creation, is easy to wear.