The Fragrance Files | Serge Lutens Clair de Musc


When it comes to fragrance, my taste is eclectic and runs the gammut from fruity to floral to men’s, certain men’s fragrances wear amazingly on women. But I kind of have thing for musk, overall it’s the one I would choose if I had to choose once and for all. So I try pretty much every musk I can get my hands on. I also fancy a powdery scent, therefore in times past (or times now), you may have found me spritzed with the likes of Chanel Coco, Obsession, or Guerlain L’Interdit (famous for being created for Audrey Hepburn). These have been some of my favorite mainline scents. But I am always on the lookout for scents that are not mainstream, that no one recognizes, that can become fully “me” as it meshes with my biology. So I found a favorite line when I found the obscure Serge Lutens. Serge Lutens is a highly curated fragrance line created by the famed photographer, artist and perfumer Serge Lutens born in Lille, France. I love many of the fragrances in his lineup, but by far the most beloved is Clair de Musc.

Clair de Musc is a very different take on musk, and that’s why I love it so much. It is classified as a light musk, and appropriately so, since to me the musk notes are so subtle and spohisticated it’s hard to put your finger on the fact that they are there at all. And actually all the notes are so rounded out and smoothed into this formula, they are not distinguishable individually, but breathe together in unison a redolence that’s every so slightly floral and creamy, with that tinge of musk that fills out the fragrance’s maturity. Technically, it carries bergamot, neroli, light jasmine and iris, and sandalwood, but the grace of this blend is in the fact that you won’t read any of these upon either smelling or wearing this beautiful scent. I love it at bedtime, and there are very, very few fragrances that make that cut for me. It has to be extremely clean, and somewhat comforting for me to use a scent in the PM. In recent years though, this is my main post-nightime soak finisher and also in all it subtlety, it’s one of those fragrances that slowly grows on you more and more, becoming one of your dearest perfumes over time.