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Daim Blond – Definitely NOT a dumb blond – October 19, 2012 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - perfumeniche - Serge Lutens perfumes are sold at Palais Shisheido, Palais Royale, Paris

If you’ve developed an interest in perfume to the point that you’re reading perfume blogs, and you haven’t tried any frags from Serge Lutens, then you need to get yourself Lutenized. The line of fabulously unique perfumes that Lutens has created with Christopher Sheldrake over the past 20 years is one of the main pillars in the temple of niche luxury perfumes - many of the SL scents are used as benchmarks for comparing other frags.

You could start with the Lutens scents from the 1990’s, Orientals based on his scent memories of the Middle and Far East – rich, complex, spicy, fruity, sweet, woody, musky, dark – which may seem way over-the-top to newbies but which are revered by perfume aficionados as visionary and brilliant. I remember the first time I smelled Arabie and Tubéreuse Criminelle and Vetiver Oriental and  Borneo 1834 - I was shocked by the powerful opening notes, amazed by smells I’d never encountered from a perfume bottle, like tobacco and menthol and curry and cocoa - but thought “Whoaa , baby – I could get to like this”. I can tell you THAT was a gigantic understatement - I now own many Lutens frags, old and new, and I’ve never met a Lutens I didn’t like, and probably never will.

A more subdued and perhaps more gentle introduction to the Lutens line is Daim Blond. No, that’s not French for Dumb Blond – it translates as Pale Suede. It’s Lutens story about the leather note, but in his inimitable abstract style, his take on this note is unlike any other frag with leather in its heart. Lutens uses supple suede rather than thick tanned leather, and he pairs it with apricot, the fruit with the sensual sueded skin.

Daim Blond is pure chic in a bottle, and it’s all about skin. The scent works best when the weather turns colder, since hot weather seems to kill its sensuality, turning it slightly sour and medicinal to my nose. When the leaves start turning gold and red in October, and there’s a little shiver in the air, that’s the time of year when I happily grab my bottle of Daim Blond, then douse myself with its perfect juice.

And it’s OK to do that, because Daim Blond, which was launched in 2004, lacks the majestic “grand sillage”, the rich sweet spiced fruit stew of many of the earlier Lutens scents. It has fruit right from the first sniffs, but it is a mild fresh apricot, slightly tart, which is mixed with the smell of soft suede, the smell of a suede jacket or shirt that’s been well aged, and carries the scent of all the perfumes you’ve ever worn, and all the places you’ve been, and all the people you’ve hugged.

This wonderfully elegant pairing of sueded fruit and sueded leather is there from the beginning right through into the long dry-down, and it is the sensual heart that the other notes feed into. Iris shows up after a few minutes, which lends cool elegance, then hints of cardamom add some spiced warmth, then soft sweet heliotrope mixed with musk smooth Daim Blond into a true skin scent with a little animalic punch. In the base, the frag smells powdery and almost nutty, with a slight bitter note like an apricot pit, and the quiet waft also smells faintly woody - not resinous, more sawdust-y. It’s an addictively comforting and satisfying smell, like the pleasurable scent from nuzzling the back of the neck of someone you love.

So start your Lutens education with Daim Blond. It’s a gorgeous, elegant frag that you can wear anywhere, anytime, and feel confidently beautiful. But I’m warning you, it might be one of those “Whoaa, baby” experiences that lead to a Serge Lutens perfume addiction.

Today we’re adding Daim Blond to our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00.