Gray skies, Serge Lutens Gris Clair

Even if the season of autumn can be saddening, depressing or making us drowsy I still really like this time of the year when leaves turn burning red, vivid yellow or earthy brown. Weather in autumn is a lottery, it can change within few seconds from lovely and sunny to dark and rainy. On those gray days it’s good to have a fume that goes well with this scenery and appropriate mood to it.

Gris Clair is a fragrance made for Serge Lutens by perfumer Christopher Sheldrake in 2006 so it’s nothing particularly new but worth talking about in my opinion. Described as woody floral musk Gris Clair is a perfume that goes well with gray skies on gray days of autumn. In the opening one get to experience a glimpse of soapy vibe noticeable when a wrist is still wet after spraying. It disappears almost immediately showing quite powerful lavender note. This one is mainly of a herbal manner but it has some floral nuances too. Under this beautiful lavender is a flowerbed of delicate floral (with just a hint of powdery quality) iris combined with woody notes that add good character to Gris Clair.

From now it takes a while before Serge Lutens Gris Clair evolves and take another step further. When it does it becomes slightly sweet and spicy. While sweet comes from ambery notes spicy aspect is a doing of tonka beans. Official list of notes used in creating Gris Clair lists incense as an ingredient but I think it’s quite transparent as I wasn’t able to smell the aroma that would bring a though about incense to my mind. This Serge Lutens would be a perfect lavender for me if it hadn’t that one feature that causes it to turn a little bit too sour and acidic after a short time. It really is disturbing when I smell it on my wrist. It’s probably my skin chemistry that causes that. Oh, well… The search for my perfect lavender continues.

Gris Clair (Clear Gray) by Serge Lutens is an interesting take on lavender in perfumes. It doesn’t smell typical or similar to other fragrances having lavender as their main ingredient. And when you think more about it you realize that it smells not only like lavender but also like ash. I believe if perfume were associated with colours, Gris Clair would definitely deserve a label of gray fragrance. It smells rather minimalistic but complicated enough to provoke a thought during a rainy walk.

Gris Clair to me is a quiet, soothing and contemplative scent. Something that allows you to relax after a long and busy day. If you want to, it will help you clear your mind and escape from a minute from daily problems and duties. It’s lasting power is nice and strenght of its aroma is good. Sharp at the beginning and turning more quiet after some time. Serge Lutens Gris Clair is an eau de parfum and is available in 50 ml bottle with stopper, sprayer top included in the box.

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14 thoughts on “Gray skies, Serge Lutens Gris Clair

  1. EasilyEnabled says:

    I almost wore Gris Clare today. The morning was gray and I have to deal with an insurance inspector later. Gris was a bit too mellow for my mood, so I spritzed on Wild Lavender by Lorenzo Villoresi. Have you tried that one? I’d be interested to know whay your thoughts are on it. Have a great weekend!

    • lucasai says:

      So close to become a Friday fragrance twins. I must admit I didn’t try Wild Lavender from Villoresi. Will have to do something about it soon. I’ve got to find that perfect lavender for me.
      Great weekend to you too.

  2. hajusuuri says:

    Lovely write-up, Lucas! Have you thought of layering it with something vanilla or benzoin to temper the sour bits?

    • lucasai says:

      Thank you. Honestly – this idea didn’t come to my mind. Do you have any certain vanilla/benzoin for layering with Gris Clair in your mind. I’m thinking of Un Bois Vanille at the moment.

      • hajusuuri says:

        How about Prada Candy – benzoin / caramel? Didn’t you give your mum a decant? And for vanilla, something not complex — The Body Shop Vanilla EDT (truly a cheap thrill – I got my 30mL bottle for $8). I would be curious to know your thoughts if you decide to try it!

        • lucasai says:

          Oh! That’s a great idea. Yes, I gave her a decant but now she has her own BIG bottle. Will have to borrow a spray to see how Candy will mix with Gris Clair.
          This might sound unbelievable but The Body Shop has no stores in Poland (at least not where I live or study)

  3. poodle says:

    Nice review. It sounds like the name fits. The notes sound like a good combination for a gray day.

  4. Lovely review Lucas. Thanks.

  5. Natalie says:

    With the onset of fall (it’s very autumnal here today), I’m starting to reach for my fall scents even more often, too. It’s a nice change.

    • lucasai says:

      I already turned to the heaver side of my perfume samples collection. Lighties will have to wait until next spring.

  6. smellythoughts says:

    Nice write up Lucas – I find Gris Clair disturbing too – but I love it. For some reason it almost smells Medieval to me. Whenever I post it on the forums as my scent of the day, I include this image http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/be/TM-Spanish-Donkey.jpg becuase it’s what comes to mind :’) A sour, haunting, ashy lavender.

    • lucasai says:

      I still have to find my perfect lavender but I feel like I’m getting closer.
      Seems like I get the idea for a medieval thought about it. But the picture is drastic… ^-^

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