She"s a rose with thorns, don"t mess with her. She"s a girl who goes to extremes. When she can, she soothes; và when she wants ... !

Her fragrance lifts you higher, she rocks & shocks. — Serge Lutens1

La Fille de Berlin is the latest from Serge Lutens; reportedly it"s the only new scent we"ll get from the house this year (normally, there are two or three launches). It"s being introduced in conjunction with his new book of photography, Berlin à Paris, và pays homage, apparently, khổng lồ the women of Soviet-occupied postwar Berlin.2

The first couple of seconds — it"s quick, don"t miss it! — are ROSE, big and bright enough to justify the all caps, và nearly a dead ringer for The Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose. But La Fille de Berlin soon enough goes off in another direction entirely, bypassing as well the dewy springtime rose of Lutens" own Sa Majesté la Rose & the overtly seductive aura of Rose de Nuit.

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After the whoosh of Tea Rose nostalgia, La Fille de Berlin is at first jammy & sweet và full, and then slightly metallic và chilly as the rose is joined by violet. For the first 20 minutes or so, it"s a relatively conventional (and relatively feminine) powdery boudoir rose-violet, but as it continues khổng lồ develop, it gets warmer and muskier and woodier, và the very slight green undertones of the opening intensify & take on a slightly bitter edge. The lushness of the rose fades, so that despite the velvety finish & a light dusting of peppery spice, it has something of a somber feel. So, nothing lượt thích so sunny and cheerful as Sa Majesté, but nor is it so dark và animalic as Rose de Nuit. It"s somewhere in between — dusky, perhaps, và maybe a bit moody và serious. It"s quietly elegant, and to me, an odd fit with the rather alarmingly vivid màu sắc of the juice.

Verdict: I"m impressed, & being impressed made me happy — the last Serge Lutens fragrance that really got my attention was 2008"s El Attarine. El Attarine made the buy danh sách (although lượt thích most things on the buy list, I"ve never bought it). La Fille de Berlin definitely captured my attention, but it did not quite capture my heart. So not on the buy list, but very much worth a try, especially if there"s still room in your collection for another rose.


Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin was developed by perfumer Christopher Sheldrake. It is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum; for buying information, see the listing for Serge Lutens under Perfume Houses.

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Note: image is Giant Roses by bjaglin at flickr; some rights reserved.

1. Quote via us.sergelutens.

...the scent was about finding beauty in the darkness và persevering through adversity with strength & humor, as women in postwar Germany had to lớn do, when they were as plundered as their cities by occupying forces meant lớn restore order. This story is movingly told in the anonymous best-selling autobiographical book titled “A Woman in Berlin,” clearly an influence.

“Beauty is the moment when you rise up. It is the moment when you pick up your head, stride through your own ruins, & climb up the mountain,” explained Lutens. “That’s La Fille de Berlin. We all have our own ruins.”