Much of Serge Lutens’ copy reads as La Nouvelle Vague dialogues and I admit, that it’s often eyeroll inducing. I also find that the vagueness is intentional, coming across as art student leading you into your next perfume purchase. I also find that these vague French dialogues actually leave an impression on people. One mention of death and everyone starts saying that De Profundis smells like cemeteries.
In 2011, when De Profundis was launched, my life was crazy busy and hectic. I didn’t even read the copy of this one nor did I have the time to try it. Years later, I sampled it and a few other Serge Lutens during a “blind sniff”. I said that this purple one smells like “a really glamorous funeral”. I was actually surprised to find out that was exactly what Serge wanted.
De Profundis is what I imagine going to Rudolph Valentino’s funeral was like. De Profundis is a glamorous funeral in a bottle. It’s cut chrysanthemums and carnations; they’re fresh but like all cut flowers, they’re dying. The opening is sprigs of fern-like greens with hyacinths and rose buds, with a floral bitterness. At this stage, it’s like a slightly spicier (like floral spicy, not spice market spicy) Bas de Soie. It has a cool humidity. De Profundis dries down to a light spicy floral with a hint of resinous powder and bitter tree sap. It’s ghostly.
De Profundis reminds me of a more somber and darker version of Bas de Soie, one of my favorite perfumes. For me, De Profundis was instant love. From it’s first cool floral breath to its last.
Notes listed include bluebell, hyacinth, carnations, chrysanthemum, violets and incense. Launch date 2011. PERFUMER – Christopher Sheldrake
De Profundis has no projection. What do you expect from such a somber perfume?
The 2.5 oz bell jar retails for $300 (in the US) at Serge Lutens.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – A really glamorous funeral. It’s cool florals and greens, ghosts of floral arrangements.
For fun – I asked David what did this smell like, wondering if his answer would be “morose” as well. He said it smells like “black and white photos of Cuba in the 1950’s”. But, he isn’t a closet goth like me.
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