Monday, February 22, 2010

Review by Joeybunny - Serge Lutens Serge Noire and Creed Himalaya

Ah, my lovelies, I fear that today’s post is not going to be the most terribly thrilling article I’ve ever written. Or maybe it might be. It’s not about makeup today, since I still have not managed to walk my lazy ass to Best Buy for a new digital camera. Hopefully I do so shortly, because I feel as if I have a lot of pretties I need to show you all (like my small Sleek palette collection, for example!).

I digress - I tend to treat this blog as a sort of really cheap therapist, I admit. I write something witty and clever and colorful, you all respond with “Oh Joey hi this was fun!” and you make me feel great for a day. That’s also how I treat Bergdorf Goodman, although I can argue that a visit to Bergdorf costs as much as a therapist does. Whatever, a therapist won’t make me smell nice and look pretty, but Bergdorf does! And sometimes, I can do this cheaply (believe it or not!). Over the past two weeks I have accumulated a nice pile of Serge Lutens and Creed fragrance samples from Bergdorf that I received either in the mail or at the store when I was paying for an item. I have to tell you, I have smelled damn good lately because of this.

I just want you to take my little fragrance reviews with a grain of salt. First off, I’m no Gaia, The Non-Blonde. That woman has a true talent when it comes to reviewing fragrances, and her ability to break down notes and really explain the feelings one experiences while wearing a given scent is jealousy-inducing. Also, I have a preference for strong, heady, masculine scents. What I wear, Elvira would shudder to place on her skin (she’s a delicate flower whose scent wafts down a river on a dewy Spring morning, and I’m the stinky armpit of that guy from high school that wore Axe and Hollister sweatshirts...). Fragrance is so relative, and so personal. I just happen to be entirely too smitten by the following two fragrances and I wanted to share them with you!

Serge Lutens and Creed are two of the big names in niche, high-end fragrances. The eponymous Serge Lutens line has been around since 2000, while the House of Creed has been around since 1760. Both lines are expensive but entirely worth the money spent on them; you really pay for the artistry that goes behind the scents - they are luxurious, long-lasting, and truly works of art. Also, both lines have such a large range of choices that you are bound to find at least one scent that you really love. Serge Lutens Chergui and Creed Tabarome are my Holy Grail scents, but I’m pleased to have found two new favorites - Serge Lutens Serge Noir and Creed Himalaya.

Now, I love me some masculine fragrances. I love a strong patchouli or tobacco note, and sandalwood makes me deliriously happy. I feel as if I’m being embraced by a strong, sexy man (like Clive Owen, for example) when I wear a scent with these notes.

(Oh Clive, are those flowers for me? You shouldn't have! All you had to do was take off your shirt!...)

They comfort me, and I also find something seductive about a woman who can pull off strong, heady fragrances. Serge Noire and Himalaya fall under this category.

(Image from

Serge Noire ($140) is spicy and woody: it has patchouli, cinnamon, amber, and a note called “black woods”, whatever the hell that is. When I spray it on myself, the cinnamon and patchouli mingle and dance on my skin. It is the scent I imagined filled the air in a desert - warm, sharp, biting, sexual. There’s a quality of incense to it, but I don’t get reminded of being in church when I wear it. Instead, I feel like I should be draped in silk and lounging on a featherbed while Clive Owen talks dirty to me as he shuts the lights off. I’m only partially joking; this scent screams sex, night, stars, sand, wind. I am not entirely convinced I’m hot enough to be wearing it, actually, but I do so anyway. It’s femininely masculine, if that makes sense.

(Image from

On the other hand, Creed Himalaya ($190) is the tamer, equally as hot but dresses down because he doesn’t need to prove his hotness, thank you very much! fragrance. The sandalwood and wood notes in Himalaya are clear when you apply it, but there’s a more playful quality to the fragrance. There’s a clear musk note, and a hint of a citrus - grapefruit, I’m sure - that make you think of the outdoors, of mountains, of maybe having a stiff drink with Clive Owen after taking a brisk hike in the mid-afternoon: the smell of alcohol on his breath mingling with his post-hike sweat and the smell of the mountains and the grass. This is rugged, outdoorsy, and smells like something my father would love. This is definitely a man’s fragrance, but I like it on myself because my body chemistry tones down the citrus and musky notes and really amplifies that sandalwood. It’s truly delicious.

These scents aren’t cheap, and I was incredibly fortunate to obtain samples of them from the lovely staff at Bergdorf. If you can find decants or samples of any Serge or Creed fragrances either in a store or online, I highly recommend you try any and all of the scents. Is there any scent you’re particularly in love with right now? Do you think I’m insane, like Elvira does, for wanting to smell like a guy? Let me know!


  1. I don't think you are insane for wanting to smell like a guy...I just can't comprehend one not wanting to smell like fresh cut flowers. This review was great. Your imagery really took me to the Desert, maybe in Morocco?, and then to the Rocky Mountains hiking with Clive...however I find Daniel Craig more masculine. And LOL @"she’s a delicate flower whose scent wafts down a river on a dewy Spring morning" Yes. Yes. I am. LOVE YOU!

  2. Ha this was yet another great guest review. I think I have a bit of a split personality. While, I think of myself of a lovely cousin of Elvira's delicate flower moment...I am also Joey's heady counterpart. I think it's also seasons that sway my choices. Since spring is right around the corner, I've been thinking more and more about buying a bottle of Fresh's citron de vigne. It's a clean scent without being too cloyingly sweet. And then there's Tom Ford's Black Orchid or that I keep fantazing about buying because that strong musky scent just makes me think about sex and hoping that my husband would chase me around the house if caught a whiff of that on me. And when I just want to feel like a Rich Bitch on my broke days, I wear Bois de Paradis, a sample, from Parfum DelRae. I have made this sample last the whole fall/winter season - a sample I purchased with 5 others for $20. Sadly, I didn't like the others as much but since the seasons are changing I may have to revisit them.But yes, scents are highly personal and making it one of the most gifts to ever give. Well it's easy to do with my husband - I just buy him what I WANT him to smell like =)
    The last scent I bought him was YSL, L'HOMME and yes I want to chase him around the house when he wears this.

  3. Love, love, love fragrances by Serge Lutens! My HG is Fumerie Turque, closely followed by Chergui. I'll have to get a sample of the Creed Himalaya. Great review :)

  4. I'm a sucker for the way you packaged this article. I don't need to hear a thing beyond you posting the pic of Clive Owen. LOL.

  5. I thought I was the only female who wanted to smell like a guy (meaning one who has good smelling cologne). LOL!

    I steal my DH's shower gels all the time. Even his shampoo smells better than my girly ones. Makes me go through the day thinking "oooh, I smell good." Yes, I'm a bit of a weird one.

    I'll have to check out that Creed the next time I'm at Neimans.

    But I agree fragrance is so personal. I have yet to find one that I love on myself. I have found a ton that smell wonderful on DH though.

    It's like Jo Malone's Grapefruit for me. To me it smells more masculine than feminine. But the name alone (Grapefruit) seems so unmanly, I just can't bring myself to get it for DH.

    Loved your article, so fun :)


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