Perfume Review – Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger

Fleurs d'Oranger. Source: Serge Lutens Facebook page.

Fleurs d’Oranger. Source: Serge Lutens Facebook page.

Ethereal, glittering, radiant, voluptuous clouds of white with a tiny sliver of a dark lining of funk. That’s Serge LutensFleurs d’Oranger, a powerful bouquet of white flowers headlined by orange blossoms and tuberose. It is an eau de parfum created by Lutens’ favorite perfumer, Christopher Sheldrake, and released in 2003.

Serge Lutens describes Fleurs d’Oranger in terms of emotional responses, which seems quite appropriate for such a sensuous fragrance: 

It’s within us.

A single whiff of this fragrance, drawn from the highly scented blossom of the bitter orange tree, augmented by a hint of civet, resonates within us.

The notes — as compiled from LuckyscentFragrantica and that statement — include:

Orange blossom, white jasmine, Indian tuberose, white rose, citrus peel, hibiscus seeds, cumin, nutmeg and civet.

Orange Blossom. Photo: GardenPictures via Zuoda.net

Orange Blossom. Photo: GardenPictures via Zuoda.net

Fleurs d’Oranger opens on my skin with the most beautiful, concentrated, powerful, and completely narcotic burst of orange blossoms. They are quickly followed by tuberose with a slightly metholated, minty, just barely camphoraceous undertone, and by a powerful heaping of cumin. The latter is a discordant feature in the white mix, radiating a definite aroma of stale sweat body aroma that is quite strong at first. Thankfully, however, it softens, weakens and recedes in less than twenty seconds, retreating just to the periphery, and never returning to the same levels again.

tuberoseThe tuberose is quite the diva in Fleurs d’Oranger. It repeatedly tries to muscle aside the orange blossoms, and to take over the whole show. It’s brawny, potent, heady, narcotic, indolent, addictively sniffable for those who love tuberose, and the living nightmare of those who don’t. I happen to adore tuberose, and it’s one of my favorite flowers (if not my favorite), so I’m rather in heaven. It’s especially lovely here in Fleurs d’Oranger, as it is simultaneously a little bit green and airy, but, also, full-blown, lusciously languid, creamy, rich and completely voluptuous. It brings to mind what the legendary nose, Roja Dove, once said about tuberose (in the context of the famous, white floral powerhouse, Fracas):

tuberose is the most carnal of the floral notes. It smells like very, very hot flesh after you’ve had sex — that’s the bottom line. [via The Independent, 12/14/2002.] [Emphasis added.] 

That carnality is in full sway in Fleurs d’Oranger, where tuberose is joined by its similarly voluptuous siblings, orange blossom and jasmine. It’s all because of the indoles, which are present in the three flowers and which are the main reason for Fleurs d’Oranger’s headiness.

Bee on a tuberose. Photo: faixal_javaid via Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/faixal_javaid/3360386339/

Bee on a tuberose. Photo: faixal_javaid via Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/faixal_javaid/3360386339/

The scientific story about indoles, in simple terms, is that bees can’t see white flowers like tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom, gardenia, or the like. So the flowers have an extra-large amount of a natural organic substance called indoles that they put out to signal the bees to their presence. In their undiluted, purest, and most concentrated form in perfumery, indoles can smell like musty mothballs. However, when diluted to just a few drops, they create a radiant richness in floral perfumes that is sometimes described as narcotic, heady, meaty, dense, voluptuous or sensuous. For some, very indolic flowers can have an over-blown, ripe quality that smells sour, plastic-y, fecal, urinous, or reminiscent of a cat’s litter box. Its richness in classic, very opulent fragrances is probably why some people find indolic fragrances to smell “old lady-ish” (a term I hate, by the way, even apart from its ageist aspects). Those who prefer clean, fresh scents are likely to struggle with indolic fragrances as well, and not only because of their heavy feel.

Fleurs d’Oranger contains three of the most indolic flowers around — tuberose, jasmine, and orange blossoms. Here, however, the thickness of the notes is largely undercut by a very subtle, very quiet, green, chilly note underlying the tuberose. It’s all due to methyl salicylate, the revolutionary, transformative key to Lutens’ famously difficult, Tubéreuse Criminelle, and something which is present to a significantly lesser extent in Fleurs d’Oranger. Methyl salicylate is a natural organic compound found in tuberose (and in jasmine) which has a crisp, medicinal, almost mentholated, sometimes eucalyptus-like smell that evokes “Vicks Vapor Rub” for a few, but minty, spearmint mouth wash for others. It can also create varying impressions of gasoline/petrol, rubber, or leather.

Tuberose: Source: mostbeautifulflower.com

Tuberose: Source: mostbeautifulflower.com

The aroma is not a usual part of most tuberose perfumes, but Christopher Sheldrake like to deconstruct the flower to its scientific essence and core molecules in order to emphasize that metholated side. One reason, perhaps, is because it undercuts some of the richness of the flowers’ indoles, thereby assuring a greener, lighter, airier scent that isn’t so overwhelmingly buttery. That’s what happens in Fleurs d’Oranger where Sheldrake cleverly uses the smallest hints of chilly, cool freshness to cut through the heady fumes of the flowers, thereby reducing any potential cloying over-ripeness.

On my skin, Fleurs d’Oranger is primarily an orange blossom scent, always trailed very closely by the tuberose. In the opening moments, sitting in the background as quiet as a wallflower, are the supporting players. There are subtle flickers of zesty citrus peel, feeling more like the slightly bitter oil you get from grating the rind. There is also a barely animalic muskiness, though I never detect civet in its true form, let alone in any substantial degree. The cumin skulks around the corners, too, sometimes adding a quiet funk to the delicate, florals, sometimes feeling like an amorphous, dry, spicy note. Finally, there is a touch of sweet, dainty rose that does, indeed, feel very white and heady.

Source: Hdwallpaperes.com

Jasmine. Source: Hdwallpaperes.com

Nothing, however, has the remotest chance of competing against the tuberose. Sometimes, not even the titular, purported star of the show itself because there are brief moments when the tuberose completely pushes the orange blossoms aside. The jasmine doesn’t fare any better; it is habitually overshadowed in any concentrated, distinctive way. Instead, she is almost intertwined with the tuberose, having an indirect effect in adding to that drug-like, opulent headiness.

Despite the power of the three white sisters, I’m surprised by the lightweight feel of Fleurs d’Oranger. Don’t mistake my meaning — this is a strong scent, especially up close and in the opening hour. However, it lacks a dense, thick, opaque feel. I’ve read that Fleurs d’Oranger was reformulated, perhaps around 2008, in accordance with the start of the IFRA/EU fascistic regulation of perfume ingredients. One of the targeted notes on their hit list is orange blossom oil, which may explain why tuberose sometimes seems as much a focal point of Fleurs d’Oranger as the orange blossoms. According to one Basenotes thread, the perfume used to be almost syrupy in feel. I’ve never tried the original, vintage formulation, but that description fits with everything that I’ve heard: Fleurs d’Oranger was stronger, deeper, richer, heavier and, according to some, had more orange blossoms in it.

Nonetheless, ten minutes into its development, Fleurs d’Oranger is led by the orange blossoms, then followed by lightly mentholated tuberose atop a base of jasmine with a small touch of very heady rose that seems almost like a tea-rose in its sweetness. There is a strong hint of something else lurking about that I can’t quite place and that feels a little woody and dry. Perhaps the hibiscus seeds? And, taking its place in the rear of the line is the cumin with its nuance of earthy funk. Fleurs d’Oranger doesn’t change much from that primary bouquet, though the tuberose will occasionally take the lead for a few minutes until it falls back to trail behind the orange blossoms. Also fluctuating in strength is a subtle muskiness that infuses all the flowers, covering them with a fine veil of sensuousness. The combination would feel almost erotic in its voluptuous carnality, were it not for the subtle freshness and airiness created by the perfume’s green, chilly, menthol undertones.

Orange Blossom. Photo: GardenPictures via Zuoda.net

Orange Blossom. Photo: GardenPictures via Zuoda.net

Fleurs d’Oranger remains that way until its final drydown, when it smells solely of orange blossoms. There is the faintest flicker of some dry spice lurking underneath, though it’s not really distinguishable as cumin. All in all, Fleurs d’Oranger lasted a brief 3.5 hours in total, and I tested it twice. I never have any luck with the duration of Serge Lutens’ pure florals, and sadly, Fleurs d’Oranger is no exception. The perfume’s sillage starts to drop as quickly as the thirty-minute mark, though it is still so powerful up close that I suspect it will give a headache to those who suffer from the richness of indoles. It becomes a skin scent at the end of the second hour, and feels quite blurry around the edges. I have to admit, I’m hugely disappointed because I’ve always loved Fleurs d’Oranger. I first tested it last year, and quite fell in love with its sensuous, bright radiance. If its powerful projection at the start were matched by at least a moderate longevity on my skin, I’d want a full bottle.

Luckily for everyone else, the votes on Fragrantica indicate many people have considerably better times than I did. There, in the duration rankings, 17 people voted for “long lasting,” 11 for “moderate,” and 8 for “very long lasting.”  For the sillage, 20 found it to be “heavy,” 17 voted for “moderate” and 7 for “soft.” I think the potency of the opening hour may explain some of the projection numbers because Fleurs d’Oranger truly did not feel nuclear-tipped like some of the 80s powerhouse fragrances, especially after the first 60-90 minutes. My standards must be skewed, however, because Fragrantica commentators frequently bring up the word “powerhouse,” and talk about just how big it is.

In terms of the scent itself, the reactions on Fragrantica are interesting. A handful of people wonder where the orange blossoms are lurking, as they find Fleurs d’Oranger to be primarily a tuberose fragrance on their skin. On the other hand, one or two posters think Fleurs d’Oranger is the best jasmine fragrance around. For the vast majority, however, Fleurs d’Oranger almost amounts to an orange blossom soliflore with spicy, rich, luxurious depths that “sing of summer.” Clearly, it all depends on skin chemistry as to which flower may dominate. The same holds true for the issue of the cumin, and its strength. It is another reason why Fleurs d’Oranger can be far too much for some people. A lot of people can’t handle tuberose; and a number of people are cumin-phobes. Bring the two notes together, and you have a fragrance that is most definitely not for everyone. Yet, despite that, most people on Fragrantica adore Fleurs d’Oranger, using words like “masterpiece” or “the best orange blossom fragrance around.”

The same is true of the commentators on Luckyscent which, by the way, has perhaps my favorite description for the fragrance:

In a word: masterpiece. There is no other way to sum up Fleurs d’Oranger. This is truly a legend in the Lutens line, the fresh yet decadent scent of an orange grove in full bloom, blossoms falling like rain as a warm breeze swirls the petals in the air. The heady and sweet scents of orange blossom, white jasmine and tuberose are highlighted with a hint of citrus and enhanced with just the tiniest wisps of warm spice to create a perfume that is ever-changing and, once you live with it awhile, you begin to sense its ultra complex nature. Fleurs d’Oranger is a floral fantasy that is even more beautiful than any amount of flowery prose can hope to relay…it’s a rare fragrance that could be worn every day and you’d never tire of it. Gloriously feminine, Fleurs is not “cute” nor is it cloying or overpowering…it’s pure French elegance meets a wild romp in an orange grove, a dream of a perfume that will make you close your eyes, breathe deeply and just…smile.

I think that accurately sums up Fleurs d’Oranger. So, too, does this Luckyscent description from a commentator:

Delicately glittering, this bright scent is reminiscent of the orange grove at Versaille. There is something regal and elegant inherent in its light floral composition that is never overwhelming. I wish that it had more staying power though.

As a side note, two people bring up the L’Artisan Parfumeur orange blossom scent as a point of comparison, though I think they’re referring to the 2007 Limited Edition Fleur d’Oranger and not to Seville à L’Aube. Both posters prefer the Lutens version, adding that it is much longer-lasting as well. Speaking of Seville à L’Aube, I hated it. Passionately. I found nothing remotely appealing, seductive, or sensuous about it. It was revoltingly unpleasant and bracingly pungent at the start, before turning into something unbearably cloying and sickeningly sweet later on. Serge Lutens’ Fleurs d’Oranger is a whole other story. It truly is a beauty, to the point whereby I wonder if I should just suck up the dismal longevity and get a bottle anyway.

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t recommend the scent to everyone. If you despise tuberose or jasmine in even the smallest, most microscopic quantities, then stay away. If your skin chemistry consistently turns either flower into something sour or urinous, the same advice applies. And, if very heady, indolic, floral fragrances are not your cup of tea, then run away. But if you have some tolerance for either tuberose or jasmine, and if you love orange blossoms, then I would really give Fleurs d’Oranger a test shot. I think it’s incredibly wearable and versatile, suitable as much for everyday use as it would be for a romantic date night. However, I urge extreme caution in application if you work in a conservative office environment. Do not spray with reckless abandon, or you may have some sensitive coworkers up in arms. Finally, the fragrance is easily accessible and often massively discounted at a number of online retail sites, one of which offers it for the incredibly low price of $69 instead of the usual $120.

The one potential problem that I see with Fleurs d’Oranger is that the average man may find it to be too feminine in nature. I personally don’t believe in gender differentials, and I know a lot of men who wear both orange blossom and tuberose fragrances. In fact, one of my best friends rocks “Carnal Flora” (as he calls the Frederic Malle tuberose fragrance), and his husband finds it utterly irresistible on him. I’m going to strongly insist that he add Serge Lutens’ Fleurs d’Oranger to his collection; it’s a whole other sort of carnality that should be completely up his alley. So, if you’re a guy who is tempted by Fleurs d’Oranger or who likes heady floral scents, don’t get put off by the potential “feminine” categorization and try it. If you can wear Tom Ford‘s Neroli Portofino, Seville à L’Aube, or Vero Profumo‘s Rubj, you can certainly wear Fleurs d’Oranger!

In short, for those who fall in the narrow categories listed above, I definitely recommend this glitteringly bright, voluptuously sensuous, narcotic, white floral cocktail.

 

DETAILS:
General Cost & Sales Prices: Fleurs d’Oranger is an eau de parfum that usually comes in a 1.7 oz/50 ml size, though a larger 2.5 oz/75 ml bell jar version is also available from Serge Lutens. The retail price for the usual, common 1.7 oz size is $120, €82 or £69.00, with the bell jar going for $280 or €125. However, Fleurs d’Oranger is currently on sale at FragranceNet where the 1.7 oz/50 ml bottle is priced at $82.19, with an additional 15% OFF with the coupon code RESFT5 and free domestic shipping. There is also an even lower price of $69.86 if purchased with a separate one-time coupon (though it may be the same code and come to the same price. I’m not completely sure). FragranceNet ships internationally, and also has free Australia shipping after you spend a certain amount. Fleurs d’Oranger is on sale at LilyDirect which sells it for $71.91. Canadian readers may want to check if the company have started shipping to Canada as planned some months back. Fleurs d’Oranger is also discounted on Overstock.Com where it is priced at $82.99, and at StrawberryNet for $111. I don’t know how long these specials will last.
Serge Lutens: you can find Fleurs d’Oranger in both sizes on the U.S. and International Lutens website, with other language options also available. 
U.S. sellers: Fleurs d’Oranger is available in the 50 ml size for $120 at Luckyscent, Barney’s (which also sells the expensive bell jar version), Aedes, and other high-end perfume retailers.
Outside the U.S.: In Canada, you can find Fleurs d’Oranger at The Perfume Shoppe for what seems to be US$120, but I’m never sure about their currency since it is primarily an American business with a Vancouver store. They also offer some interesting sample or travel options for Lutens perfumes. In the UK, you can find Fleurs d’Oranger at Liberty where it costs £69.00 for a 1.7 oz/50 ml bottle. You can also find it at Les Senteurs where that same bottle costs more at £79.00. The site sells samples of Fleurs d’Oranger for £3.50. In France, Premiere Avenue sells it for €79 instead of €82, and I believe they ship world-wide, or at least through the Euro zone. You can also try French Sephora which sells it for more at €84. In Italy, you can find Fleurs d’Oranger at Essenza Nobile for €78 and, in Germany, you can go through their German section which sells the perfume for the same price. In Australia, it is sold out on the Grays website where the 1.7 oz/50 ml bottle retails for AUD $109.50, but you can find it massively discounted at Australia’s Fragrance Net for prices starting as low as AUD$75.44 with a coupon. It’s also sold at Australia’s StrawberryNet for AUD$123. For other countries, you can use the Store Locator on the Lutens website.
Samples: You can test out Fleurs d’Oranger by ordering a sample from Surrender to Chance where prices start at $3.99 for a 1/2 ml vial. There is also a Four Lutens Sample Set for $18.99 where the vials are larger at 1 ml each, and you get your choice of 4 Lutens Export fragrances (ie, not those that are Paris exclusives).
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40 thoughts on “Perfume Review – Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger

  1. One of my favourite florals. I don’t find it to be feminine at all. A non-sweet and somewhat bitter floral, this is one of the few florals I wear during daytime on a regular basis.

    • I’m so glad you love it, Jorn! Also, thank you for chiming in on the femininity/non-femininity issue. I hope some men listen to your words, and give it a shot. 🙂

  2. I’m back my dear Kafka!
    Beautiful review.
    I tried Fleur d’Oranger at the same time I got to know Fleurs de Citronnier. I remember that Fleur d’Oranger wasn’t good on me. There was almost no orange blossom, but tons of tuberose and indol I think. Plus after an hour I got a lot of cumin I couldn’t stand so this one was a “no go” for me. I much prefer Fleurs de Citronnier.

    • Welcome back, Lucas! As for Fleurs d’Oranger, I’d NEVER recommend this one to you. You dislike tuberose, have a hard time with jasmine, aren’t one for very indolic fragrances, and generally despise cumin. *grin* Fleurs d’Oranger is basically the epitome of a lot of stuff you don’t like. The soapy, clean, lemony Fleurs de Citronnier is definitely more you. 🙂

      • You didn’t have to recomment it 😛 I tried it before anyone told me I should avoid it. Oh well, I tried it and I’m alive, but the memory about it isn’t very special, it’s specially bad 😛

          • Do I even need to comment? 🙂

            Ok, I still want to say that Fleurs d’Oranger was just awful on my skin whereas I liked Seville à L’Aube and, as another example of an orange blossom-centered perfume, By Kilian Sweet Redemption.

          • No, I knew you wouldn’t like this. You hate tuberose, especially done the Lutens way.

            We’re such scent opposites, I sometimes wonder why you read the reviews.

          • Other people’s reviews do not do much for me (other than sometimes causing an accute episode of lemmings) regardless of whether I liked the perfume or didn’t. Most blogs I read I read not to learn something about the perfume (though sometimes I find interesting bits of information) but because I’m interested to see how thosescentsare perceived by people I “know.”
            And in your particular case, in addition to the above-mantioned reasons, you cite places that I do not read (Fragrantica and some others). I’m not interested in opinions of unknown me people – and that’swhy I don’t go there usually – but when you sum it up or do citing it’s educational.

            Hm… I hope it actually was a question and not a hint “stop waisting my time commenting about perfumes I like and you don’t” 😉

          • No, it was truly a genuine question (and not a hint), since I sometimes wonder what benefit I can offer to you. I understand even less now, given that you’re not interested in the opinions of those you don’t know, though you can see some educational value in the summations.

          • Let me try to explain 🙂
            I don’t care if Jo and Jane Doe liked the perfume or didn’t. But I’m curious to read that “almost everybody liked it” or “it was a 50/50 love/hate” or “8 out of 10 smelled tuberose in it.” Numbers are interesting, people I don’t know – not so much.
            As to the benefit from you – I read reviews as a part of friendly communications, to know what you (and others with whom I communicate) like/dislike/think about perfumes (and not only).

          • BTW, I’ve just realized that, in addition to everything I’ve said, I also never know if you liked the perfume or hated it until sometimes half of the review. So I just have to read it to know, haven’t I? 😉

  3. I’ve come close to buying a few times. I used to hate white floral scents but not anymore. I wish this lasted longer, but I wish everything lasted longer on me.
    I laughed when you warned to not spray with reckless abandon if wearing this to work. I spray almost everything with reckless abandon before work and it doesn’t seem to keep anyone away, but I keep trying. 😉

    • LOL! Have you considered trying to keep them away with Amarige? 😉 It may last a long(er) time on your skin, too. I happen to adore Amarige, so I am recommending it in some seriousness if you haven’t tried it before now (though I’m sure you must have).

      • I like Amarige. I can’t understand why it gets so little love. The only person who people in the office stay far from is the woman who rarely bathes and once wore the same pants every day for 12 1/2 weeks. Yes, I counted. Let’s just say I’m not ready to take that approach to being left alone and getting my work done. Lol.

        • o_O TWELVE and a half weeks???!?! o_O I… I…. don’t know what to say. Are we sure she didn’t merely own 12 of the same pants???! And she rarely bathes en plus??! I can’t even wrap my head around this.

  4. Oh this sounds lovely! I’ve been eager to try it, but this review really sealed the deal! I’ve heard a lot of great things – I think I’d like this one. But I love white flowers, too. 😀

  5. Like Lucasai I like Fleurs de Citronnier more, but I am gradually becoming drawn to this one after a long stand off. I think I reserved the term ‘wasp trap’ for Jo Malone’s Vintage Gardenia (discontinued for a reason!), but this heady orange number came close at one point. Yet as time goes by I am getting bolder in terms of my tolerance of indolic notes – to my great surprise.

    • What a nice, unexpected surprise to hear that you may be slowly warming up to this one, Vanessa. It does seem a little too indolic (even a little “dirty” perhaps) for your tastes, but I actually can see you wearing Fleurs d’Oranger — in very, very small doses. LOL. Let me know if you ever give in all the way. 😉

  6. I tried Fleurs d’Oranger several times; it took a while for me to wrap my head around the concept of a non-sweet white floral, but now I love it (and I totally see how a man could rock this one).

    Unfortunately I have the same tenacity issues that you did, and it’s just too expensive for a perfume that’s gone in less than two hours.

    • Less than two hours?! 😦 Your skin may be more troublesome than mine. You should have seen my sadness over the glorious, gorgeous Lutens jasmine, A La Nuit, which I adore with a passion. TWENTY MINUTES, Stina, twenty minutes!!!!!! I was crushed. Have you tried that one? If so, look up the review, because I’d be curious to see how that one fares on your skin in terms of longevity.

      As for Fleurs d’Oranger on a man, I think it would be sexy as hell, but most men seem to think big white florals — especially something with tuberose of all things — is the sole province of women’s perfume. It’s a shame.

  7. Another superb review and a very sensual one at that. Fleurs d’Oranger has been on my radar for some time, but I’m not sure what tuberose smells like nor my reaction to it. Certainly the price point for Fleurs d/Oranger makes it accessible. I found it today at just under $66 on one website. Strangely, I have thought about purchasing Fleurs d’Oranger not for itself, though your review has changed my mind on that score, but because I have seen it referenced several times as a Serge Lutens one could use to layer with other fragrances. I have no idea if that is anathema or not, nor do I have any experience using fragrances with each other, but it does sound interesting: (I don’t recall where I picked these suggestions up from – so apologies to the original sources): Fumerie Turque + Fleurs d’Oranger; Cedre + Fleurs d’Oranger; Fleurs d’Oranger + Vetiver Oriental
    What do you think?

    • First, if you’ve never tried tuberose on your skin, DO NOT BLIND BUY!!!!!!!!!! Serious, my dear, it is one of the more polarizing notes out there. There are people who bluntly admit that the word “tuberose” will send them running for the hills! More than jasmine, more than gardenia, more than all of them, tuberose is one of those flowers which is like kryptonite to a lot of people. It’s why Fracas is so notorious for some people. Amarige, too. The flower is the epitome of Maria Callas and every big, difficult, sensuous, over-the-top diva you’ve ever heard of. And tuberose mixed with jasmine, orange blossoms *AND* Cumin? Danger, danger, Will Robinson! 😉 😀

      That said, *IF* you figure out that you love tuberose, *IF* it works well with your skin, and *IF* you like cumin, then this is a glorious fragrance to try. And I think layering it with other scents is total genius! Really, quite a brilliant idea. I don’t know about some of those choices as I haven’t tried all of them, but I think Fleurs d’Oranger would work best with a really dry, woody scent or with ouds. In fact, I think it would be glorious with a very spicy oud like Tom Ford’s Oud Wood which has cardamon and other notes that would go really, really well with the orange blossom and cumin here. Some vetiver fragrances would also go well (I haven’t tried Vetiver Oriental), because of how vetiver has an earthy, rooty side to it. I actually think Lutens Borneo 1834 would go even better because of the patchouli and woods. Cedre… hm, possibly, yes, though that has florals to begin with. But it is so amorphous and sweet. Hm, I don’t know about that one.

      It would all depend on how one’s skin chemistry works with the stronger, woodier, darker, denser scents. You should put those on the bottom, and the Fleurs d’Oranger on top since it is a lighter fragrance (in terms of weight and the molecular lightness of the notes). It could be a really lovely addition to some fragrances, so whomever came up with the layering idea is very clever!

  8. Isn’t it fascinating how much skin chemistry can tip the scales like that? I will have to revisit this and see which way it goes on me. I remember trying it oh-so-long ago, before I started really concentrating on figuring out what I liked and what I didn’t. It’s always good to go back to the ones we smelled when first starting out, no?

    • I think so, it’s good to revisit what are some of our starter, introductory niche scents from time to time. This one certainly is for a lot of people when it comes to Lutens. I’ve never met a heady, narcotic, white diva fragrance that I didn’t like, so I love it. In fact, I *ONLY* like my florals to be diva-esque; no namby-pamby light, delicate, dainty florals for me and certainly none covered by aldehydes à la Chanel. But most people aren’t like that, so Fleurs d’Oranger can be a little over-the-top for them, especially if they have issues with tuberose or jasmine. A friend of mine read the review and said, “Lovely, but this would be my personal kryptonite.” And I think that’s true — for her and for some others.

      You’re different and you don’t run screaming from the florals in question, but you also like more masculine scents or scents with some drama and edge. I don’t know that this one would qualify for you. It’s not edgy at all. It’s actually a pretty easy, simple scent at the end of the day. But it’s beautifully sensual and it does have that dark funk lurking about its edge, so who knows. I’d be interested to see your reaction to it if you get the chance to sniff it at Barney’s.

  9. I have always avoided this one because I am NOT a huge fan of orange blossom in scents but, thanks to your review I will definitely give this one a try because I adore tuberose and jasmine! There is a store here that has a lot of the older boxes of the SL export scents (the old logo with the building on it) someone asked me to buy her this one because she wanted the old version. I didn’t even know there were old versions but, it makes sense. They have Rousse there too, another one to at least try… So many perfumes, so little time!

    • Let me know what you think of both of them when you try them and, in particular, if the orange blossom or the tuberose/jasmine wins out on your skin for Fleurs d’Oranger. 🙂

  10. I’m definitely going to have to try this. I love the smell of orange blossoms, but have yet to find a perfume that comes close to the smell on the tree. Narciso Rodriguez for Her edt has a great opening blast, but I can’t smell the musk at all, and it’s gone in 20 minutes. I recently tried Houbigant Orangers en Fleurs, sure that it would be The One, because a) it has nutmeg, and b) it’s quite expensive, but while beautiful, it was somehow too pretty for me. Apparently I need a bit of funk with my flowers. Fingers crossed that I don’t dislike tuberose!

    • Oh, I’ve heard lovely things about the Houbigant Orangers perfume, Laurels! It makes sense, though, that it’s more purely pretty and without that slightly dark edge of funk that hovers around the edges of this one. Given the great discounted prices you can find for the Lutens, I hope the sample works out. Let me know what happens and if you like it. But don’t expect pure orange blossom as if straight from the tree. The tuberose is too strong to make the scent total and pure orange blossom, in my opinion. Just as a side note, have you tried either Seville à L’Aube or the more pure orange Parfum d’Empire’s Azemour? Neither worked out for me with the former being far, far too sweet (and with lavender), while the latter was acrid, too dusty and dry — but I’m in the minority on both fragrances. You may want to add them to your sniff list, and see if you fare any better, Laurels. 🙂

      • I’ve read about both, but haven’t tried either. I think I’ll try them if neither the SL nor the 7 Virtues Afghanistan Orange Blossom work out.

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  12. Wearing this today and definitely getting more tuberose than orange blossom. However, how we experience scents depends on SO many things (not least the fact we all have our totally unique set of olfactory receptors); mood, season, time of day… that I recommend trying a perfume more than once before purchase. Anyway – just a small correction: it’s “methyl” salicylate, not “menthyl”. 😉 And I’m not sure but could swear that there are other salicylates here, too; it has an air of suntan lotion and salicylates have been traditionally used in those. Methyl salicylate definitely has a “medicinal”, camphoraceous, green air to it but I wouldn’t describe it as mentholated (but then we’re back to how our scent perception is unique 😀 ).

    • First, welcome to the blog, Nukapai! 🙂 Second, I definitely agree, how we perceive perfume notes and scents depends on a vast variety of factors. The very fact that sensory perceptions like aromas are filtered through our brain and through the lens of our past experiences means that we will interpret things in a very personal way. And thanks for the heads up about the typo! I tell my friends that I’m getting late-onset dyslexia and that my fingers have a mind of their own when it comes to some words. You should see how my brain insists on spelling Jubilation or Kurkdjian! lol.

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