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Une Voix Noire

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The SL website describes this new Paris Exclusives fragrance as “jazz, drinks and the night, and, beyond all that, a troubling line of white, gardenia-scented smoke.” Serge Lutens has created a scent that truly does evoke the look, the sound, the smell of Billie Holiday.
If you dab this frag expecting a lush gardenia, you’re in for a big surprise - this isn’t Tubereuse Criminelle, or Carnal Flower, or Fracas, which all sing the BWF (Big White Floral) notes at full volume from beginning to end. It starts with a tantalizing white gardenia but there is much, much more going on in Une Voix Noire.
Jasmine, green and watery, and tart strawberry are right at the top, floating on sweet white gardenia.  It’s a fresh blossom, lush, creamy, velvety and slightly musky. After five minutes, I start smelling tobacco smoke and the boozy caramel note of dark rum. The edges of the gardenia petals darken and soon have a distinct narcotic indolic edge.
In the heart, the tobacco transforms into stale cigarette smoke, the smoky smell of “morning after” hair and clothing, mixed with powdery floral notes, veering toward iris but still with the gardenia in the background. Une Voix Noire changes again in the dry-down, pushing the smoke back and revealing plums and woods. The sillage and longevity are perfection.
I love this perfume. White florals are never my first choice, but Une Voix Noire has totally captured my heart and imagination.  There’s a dignity, and quiet melancholy which is revealed as Une Voix Noire darkens and deepens. I hear the wistful, sad and strangely beautiful voice of Lady Day.
Notes: gardenia, rum and tobacco
Type: EdP
Parfumeurs: Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake

Price: $8.00