La vierge de fer (2013)

La vierge de fer by Serge Lutens
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La vierge de fer is a popular perfume by Serge Lutens for women and men and was released in 2013. The scent is floral-fresh. It is still in production.

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Fragrance Notes

Lily, Mineral notes



7.5 (80 Ratings)


7.7 (62 Ratings)


6.7 (63 Ratings)


8.2 (68 Ratings)
Submitted by Apicius, last update on 07.05.2019
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484 Reviews
Helpful Review    5
la vierge de fer
In their roles as artistic director and perfumer, Lutens and Sheldrake have explored their central woody accord many times, taking it in a syrupy-spiced direction with Arabie, Miel de Bois and Daim Blond and in a more overtly gourmand direction with Un Bois Vanille and Five O’Clock au Gingembre. Overall, there’s been a tendency to hold close their to their signature wood/fruit compositional style but with their soli-floral perfumes Sheldrake and Lutens range much further afield. The perfumes run from pretty and tame (Sa Majesté la Rose & Un Lys) to ferocious (Tubereuse Criminelle & Iris Silver Mist*). La Vierge de Fer falls in line with two other perfumes the brand, A La Nuit (2000) and Datura Noir (2001). Let’s call them the Crass Florals.

All three of the Crass Florals share an over-the-topness that defuses any solemnity the Lutens line might have accrued over the years. Lutens himself has seen enough fashion over the years that he seems to know to pepper ‘serious’ design with camp. La Vierge de Fer’s depiction of lily is less olfacto-realistic than A La Nuit’s jasmine but only slightly so. The unexpected lily-pear pairing takes a moment to come into focus clearly but once it does, it makes perfect sense. The two aromas, the flower and the fruit, share a musky connection that might not be obvious but is smartly manipulated by Sheldrake, who makes the unexpected pairing fit together perfectly. The prickly mouth feel of a bite of pear is recreated with a shellac-like musky tone that cuts sweetness and allows flavor to shine through just as it does in a pear on the cusp of ripeness. La Vierge de Fer’s lily is green and expansive, quite different than the wafting vanillic lily Sheldrake composed for Lutens Un Lys. The pairing of flower and fruit is angular but not jarring and has less sting than the lost pear–florals Jean-Michel Duriez created for Jean Patou.

La Vierge de Fer lacks Datura Noir syrup but shares the luminosity and billowing projection suggestive of tropical climes. Also like Datura Noir, La Vierge maintains super-sized proportions into the hearnotes but finds a more tenable scale by dry-down. The lily remains coherent throughout and the perfume neither loses its shape nor collapses into a ‘skin scent’ and demonstrates Sheldrake’s particular talent for coherent, satisfying drydowns.

La Vierge de Fer provided a welcome break in the grey drift of Lutens’s recent Oedipal florals. 2013’s La Vierge de Fer was preceded by the receding-carnation of 2011’s Vitriol d’Oeillet and followed by the bleak white-out of 2014’s l’Orpheline and grey skies of 2015’s La Religieuse. The muffled, blanketing tones of these woody florals seem at odds with the specificity of many of the line’s earlier florals. They were framed by cryptic allusions by Lutens to revisited childhood memories and distant female authority figures. I believe they were intended to convey a sort of meditative sense of distance and isolation but as a collection they don’t build on each other to express anything but an uncomfortable listlessness.

Vierge de Fer started in the Palais Royal Exclusive line (the bell jars) and eventually found its way to the export line (the rectangular spray bottles.) I came to The Iron Maiden out of sequence, well after The Caustic Carnation, The Orphan and The Nun. The name and the general trend in the Lutens line led me to expect a dirge of a perfume but La Vierge de Fer is neither torturous, as the name implies, nor grim like the other latter-day Lutens florals.

* Yeah, iris is a root but is described qualitatively as a floral scent.

1 Replies
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Very helpful Review    8
no iron lady
I know that the girlfriend is raving about the " iron virgin " and so I had to test this Lutens absolutely, especially since he laughed at me in the special offer.

I wasn't exactly tempted by the title, as one might think of older, buttoned-up " Frolleins " - or of the strict iron Lady Thatcher.

I also feared a metal tone that would always remind me of blood.
But none of that is true.

This lady is soft and turned towards - with the slender, curved forms of the noble lily.
A lady comme il faut - with a ladylike, yet warm-hearted charisma.
Well-groomed and stylish - without arrogance.
The minerals over powder the scent again warmly, so that no cool iron impression develops.

This expressive but unpretentious fragrance would go well with my lovely friend.
She's already made a good choice.
I would have thought of her without her guidance.

But the misleading title might have kept me from testing after all.

But Lutens often labels his creations with strange names.
Nouns aren't always omens.
1 Replies

84 Reviews
Very helpful Review    5
More iron lady than iron maiden.
In the last times i have had the chance to visit several times the beautiful showroom of Serge Lutens at Les Jardins du Palais Royal, and experience some of the exclusive fragances, including this very last release, La Vierge de Fer, probably some of you are curious about it, so here are my impressions.

As every time a new fragance from the House of Lutens is released, it comes with an exquitely designed mythology that usually triggers my desire to smell it as very few brands manage. In this case, the concept is so appealing. The religion of Iron needed a Virgin, and the Virgin, a lily. What a delightfl transition from the torture device at the service of fanatism, to the a flower of purity. A maiden of iron, with its hollow inside covered in nails and razors to purify the sins of the body and make the soul worthy of our Lady´s lily... it gives you chills, but this poetic imaginery indeed describes pretty much what the scent is.

A lily that smells of metal. Or, well, a bit metallic.

But in order to really understand La Vierge de Fer, here´s a warning. This is not a dark, gothic fragance. Take a lily and take a metal note. Fuse them masterfully so the lily morphs into iron (or blood) in one single deep sinff. There you have it. No torture chambers. No coldness from the metal. No mistery even. Not a shadow, but a beautiful, heady lily, at the very light of the day.

Now, lilies can be a torture device for some people! They sure are heady. I find myself having this sadomasochist feeling when i happen to have fresh lilies at home... i love them but they can be too much, and even if im grasping for air, i wont dare to open a window... La Vierge du Fer is not as suffocating, but is way headier than Un Lys from the same line. Un Lys is greener; a natural smelling lily. La Vierge is more complex. The addition of jasmine imparts a more sensual and femenine quality (almost sexy, not really virginal) than Un Lys (i would wear Un Lys) and the tinkling iron note makes it more aggresive and high pitched than the former, which is probably what i like best of this perfume. But, overall, aggressive is not really a word that goes with La Vierge de Fer, lets say more assertive... it is a pleasant, grown-up, lily soliflore that wont give you maedieval nightmares , nor fulfill your heavy metal fantasies.

The quality is outstanding as you would expect of the price. Great performance and longevity. I loved that the metallic notes didn´t fade although i long they managed to transform the lily up to the point it smells really cold and detached instead of seductive and ladylike. But really worth a sniff! We need more lilies!
3 Replies


MiaTrost 24 months ago
This uninspired damsel in distress is more greenish-aquatic than metallic. Flanked by a feeble lily and some waxy musk, she performs poorly.+5

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