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La Fille de Berlin – The name of the rose – November 11, 2013 New Fragrance Listing


Image - Wikipedia - Liza Minelli as Sally Bowles in Cabaret - Allied Artists Pictures Corp

I subscribe to the notion of perfume as art and I am drawn to the idea that it is ephemeral – it’s meant to be enjoyed while it’s around.

Like all art, people like to analyze, critique and comment on it, which is fun for a while, but too much of it makes me nod off.

Take La Fille de Berlin by Serge Lutens for example. I smelled it and had to have a bottle right away. Oh, buying this ruby red juice was such a smart move, even if I do say so myself. Every time I get a whiff of it on my arm, I fall more deeply in love with it and anytime someone else gets a whiff of it they want a bottle of it too.

Over time questions began to emerge: who exactly is the girl from Berlin and what’s she doing on my arm? Is it Marlene Dietrich? Sally Bowles? The lady Lutens’ buys his morning macaron from? Well, questions are why Google was invented, so I start sniffing around looking for the true story, the inspiration the  sweet and dirty low down. And you know what I learned? Nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero, bupkis.

I did learn about German expressionism, Lutens’ work as a photographer and some really wild stuff about pre-war Berlin, but no real definitive ‘This- fragrance-was-inspired-by my-Aunt-Rose’ revelation. Although, in all likelyhood, it was inspired by his mother. The man has issues well-documented issues with is mother - just sayin'.

Speaking of rose, it’s the note La Fille de Berlin is built around. Now there’s a story!

La Fille de Berlin opens with rose so deep, luscious and fleshy you could fall into it until a metallic tang from pink and black pepper breaks your fall. As it blooms, the rose gets thick, dark and jammy. I smell berries – red currant and blackberries - and violets while that metallic note shimmers lightly in and out of the background. Musk at the base gives it a real animal magnetism that’s just shy of dirty, but bawdy enough to make you keep wanting to smell it.

The drydown is rose, a dark, deep rose, that’s seductively animalic while being refined and polished.

 Lutens and nose Christopher Sheldrake, certainly have a way with roses. Their Sa Majesté la Rose and Rose de Nuit are among my favourite frags and La Fille de Berlin take it place right up there with them.

Sometimes art is just meant to be enjoyed and experienced for what it is. It’s not meant to be over thought. I’m not dissing commentary or thoughts on fragrances or what inspires them, I’m just saying you gotta smell and enjoy La Fille de Berlin, whoever she is.

La Fille de Berlin is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.