måndag 3 december 2012

Serge Lutens - Une Voix Noire

Picture: Billie Holiday and her dog Mister, backstage dressing room,
probably at the Downbeat, NYC, Juni 1946
Photo: William P. Gottlieb, Wikimedia Commons
Une Voix Noire, the latest exclusive from Serge Lutens is a strange creature, almost as last years exclusive De Profundis. I suppose Une Voix Noire is created by Christopher Sheldrake as almost all the Lutens fragrances. Voix Noire is inspired of, and a homage, to Billie Holiday with her dark, dramatic voice (and life), often wearing a gardenia in her dark hair.

Une Voix Noire starts with a dreamy, almost dusky, putty, gardenia accord or a white flower that could be gardenia as it is somehow indefinable. The abstract gardenia is not fresh, it’s a gardenia that just started to wilting. There is also a green, slight mentholic note following, a note that is also present (but more clearly) in Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle. As Une Voix Noire further developes, a note of strawberry appears. The note is not the syntetic, sickly, sweet strawberry note in candy or bubbelgums, the note is less sweet, darker and as the smell of the whole plant, the strawberries, leaves, steam and root with some dry, sandy earth on the rootlets. Soon thereafter a metallic note emerges, a note of steel but also with facets of blood. This stage is a bit gruesome and there is also a dusky, moist, almost sour and rottening vegetating note in the background, a facet that reminds me of the damp floral water note in Kerosene Whips and Roses. There are no distinct basenotes, of course they are there, some slight woody nuances could be noticed, but overall Une Voix Noire seems to be anchored in subtle dark rummy and tobbacconotes. The booziness is dark and minmalistic as is the tobbacco. There is not the blond, dry and almost fresh tobbaco of, for example Frapin Speakeasy, but a dark, slight moisty pipe tobbacco just taken out from the tobbacco envelope to be stuffed in the pipe. The dusky gardenianote is fleeting in the blend, making Une Voix Noire to a beautiful, dark, mysterious and strange composition that leaves me wanting to try this fragrance repeatedly, just as De Profundis a year ago. After two days of wearing it finally klicked which fragrance Une Voix Noire reminds me of when it has dried down and lingers there on the skin until the morning after: The a bit weird and special creation Psychotrope by Pierre Guillaume for Parfumerie Generale, which I like much. The Psychotrope is lighter in its tonality and there are different flowers but there I something in the texture, in the metallic and in some facets almost syntetic feeling that unite these two fragrances.

Just as the stunning De Profundis, Une Voix Noire is a contemplative fragrance that demands peace and quiet to be properly perceived and to evoke the imagination of the wearer. Une Voix Noire could of course evoke the picture of the dark jazzclubs where Lady Day performed, but I also think it has an almost macabre side, the bloody, metallic accord that also could conjure some unpleasant associations.

As concluded from above, Une Voix Noire is a fragrance for quiet days at home, at least until the wearer is familiar with this strange creature. Then it could be worn anyway, preferably during autumn and winter. The sillage is medium and the longevity is very good. 

Rating: 5

Notes: Gardenia, tobbacco, rum 

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