Waterlogged Cotton – Serge Lutens Laine de Verre Perfume Review

Laine de Verre

Laine de Verre – Image via grey-magazine.com

It’s a strange paradox that the king of non-mainstream perfumery’s most divisive fragrances are those that are the least unusual – the L’Eau series. This is evidenced by the fact that there was practically a public outcry when Lutens launched his first ‘eau’. Die hard perfume nuts were found weeping in the street, bell jars were burned and bottles upon bottles of Ambre Sultan were smashed in moments of despair.

OK, I accept that I may have dramatised the situation a bit there but the truth is that many were disheartened that Serge Lutens, the man behind so many of perfumery’s modern greats, was going against his own grain by releasing anti-perfumes that were evocative of cold water and clean linen as opposed to life’s darker and more dangerous aspects. But people need worry not, both perfumes in the collection so far (L’Eau and L’Eau Froide) have turned out to be pretty decent, acting as a welcome change from Lutens’ usual oeuvre and showing how clean fragrances really should be done.

The latest perfume to be added to the L’Eau collection is ‘Laine de Verre‘. Taking its name from everyone’s favourite mode of loft installation – fibreglass – this new L’Eau penned by perfumer Christopher Sheldrake is as unusual as it is fresh and relaxed. Serge Lutens, in his usually riddle-filled way, states that the perfume is inspired by “complementary opposites” [1], elaborating further that the conflict is himself and the masculine and feminine. With that in mind, it’ll be no surprise that Lain de Verre is a genderless, inhuman fragrance that piques interest.

“With Laine de Verre, it is the metal which, physically, takes shape within its fragrance…” [2]

Eau de Fibreglass - Laine de Verre

Eau de Fibreglass – Laine de Verre

The Notes

Citrus, Aldehydes, Musk and Cashmeran

How Does it Smell?

It would be fair to say that Laine de Verre is intriguing right from the outset. The initial impression is of blinding citrus and turquoise coloured mint, much in the same vein as the austere chill of L’Eau Froide. Things shift away from this quickly and when the aldehydes kick in it all become about texture, specifically that of waterlogged cotton. At this point the effect of the steamy aldehydes and the sweet mint is slightly jarring and sets one’s teeth on edge, almost like chewing on noisy fabric.

This means that Laine de Verre is true to its namesake and succeeds at capturing that strange dynamic of fibreglass, where the material’s texture is simultaneously discomforting and strangely addictive. For the most part, the rest of Lain de Verre’s developed is centred around a gentle waft of white floral-esque musk, sweetened by mint and citrus, that supplies volume for that off-kilter fabric accord.

Laine de Verre is the most conceptual of Serge Lutens L’Eau collection and equally it will be the scent most likely to garner compliments from critics and perfume nerds alike. It’s also one of the lighter perfumes in the collection and the fact that it is so interesting is equalled by the fact that it doesn’t have particularly good staying power, a quality that it does not share with either L’Eau or L’Eau Froide and ultimately leaves one feeling a little bit frustrated.

Still, Laine de Verre is a good perfume (that’s reminiscent of CREED’s Silver Mountain Water). I personally find it very intriguing and keep spritzing on my sample to re-experience that startling effect of cold water being wrung out of a cotton towel. It’s the sort of fragrance that will resonate with anyone who has affection for the Comme des Garçons Synthetic or Odeur scents, but given the choice I’d go for the slightly more conventional and infinitely more beautiful Aqua Universalis by Maison Francis Kurkdjian or even Serge’s own L’Eau Froide before picking this one up if I’m in the mood for clean and fresh.

Further Reading

Grain de Musc


Serge Lutens’ Laine de Verre is available 50ml (£67) and 100ml (£94) Eau de Parfum.

Sample via Serge Lutens. Image via grey-magazine.com. Image 2 via tendance-perfumes.com. [1] via grey-magazine.com. [2] via Serge Lutens.


32 thoughts on “Waterlogged Cotton – Serge Lutens Laine de Verre Perfume Review

  1. Hmmmmm. My sample sits in my leather sample bag that I got from Vanessa. When I am really desperate for a hit of fibreglass, I might try it. So I will keep it handy. Great review. Bussi.

  2. When I think of fiberglass insulation, I think pink. The notes in this do not make me think pink. Call me crazy but I do like the name. That nonexistent longevity is a deal breaker for me. I won’t even bother seeking this out if it doesn’t even last on the average persons skin. It won’t stand a chance on me. I’m not terribly into those clean and watery perfumes anyway. I’d rather read about them than actually smell like them.

  3. LOL at people smashing bell jars in the street 🙂

    This does sound like a weird one. You did a great job of gettting it across though. Cold water wrung out of a cotton towel is very evocative.

    I liked the incensey one. I think it was L’Eau Froide?

  4. The idea of people smashing bell jars in the street is hilarious to me. I dropped a tiny atomizer of Sarassins and I was furious with mysel! Not sure about these. Of the three you’ve reviewed, I think I L’Eau sounds most appealing and also I share your love of white florals. The incense one (Friode) sounds intriguing but I worry the mint note would come off a little “peppermint foot rub” or “muscle pain rub.” The wonderful thing about Serge Lutens is that even if one is not wearable on your person, it’s still going to be well blended and you can certainly appreciate the craft.

  5. Loved the opening imagery! 🙂 And the exchange with Val.

    I actually liked L’Eau Froide – but not to the extend of actually wearing the scent (or buying a bottle). I’ll try this one when it gets to me (I ordered it to “my” U.K. address when they advertised getting a sample but for whatever reason it hasn’t arrived yet) but I don’t think it’ll win me over.

    Still, I’d rather people buy these than most of the mainstream horrors.

  6. I surprisingly rather liked L’Eau Froide, certainly far more than expected – it’s also my fave out the ‘Eaus’. (Thankfully & unusually it’s ‘mintyness’ JUST made my level of acceptable restraint. It’s combination with frankincense helped loads too tho’.) … And as much as LdV’s concept really rather intrigued me, with it’s odd original muse, I’m rather sad to now hear your mention of ‘MINT’ once again – which is the one note that always manages to aaaaargh scare me off. It’s just the one note I can’t seem to bare much anywhere else but the confines of my mouth. 🙂 – (Tho’ oddly enough I really enjoy menthol, which kinda doesn’t even make sense considering.) …

    Still, I suppose the fact u also say it’s rather ‘nebulous’ overall might just be it’s saving grace when it comes to my ‘mintophobia’.

  7. OMG you had me in stitches laughing,imagining people smashing and burning their beloved Lutens collections!!Haha!This one sounds very intriguing,hopefully I can sample it soon!

    • Reading Basenotes at the time of L’Eau’s launch the bottle smashing/burning seemed like it could have been a disturbing reality 😉

      Laine de Verre is intriguing stuff. I feel no need to buy/wear it but I’m glad that I have experienced it.

  8. I love the comment about Serge Lutens’ ‘riddle-filled way’ – so true. 😉 I am not at all sure LdV (not to be confused with Luncheon Vouchers) would appeal to me – on so many levels, indeed – not least the mint, and I really did not like L’Eau Froide one bit. That said, I totally salute someone taking loft insulation as their conceptual inspiration. A perfume based on cavity wall anchors or blind rivets (both of which I have extensively researched in my time), now that I would buy…er…only kidding!

    • It’s a good piece of inspiration, isn’t it? They’ve succeeded at creating something very fibreglass-esque, too.

      I can’t wait for Eau de Blind Rivets! Perhaps Lutens could use you as a consultant on the project? 😀

  9. Pingback: Serge Lutens Laine de Verre ~ fragrance review | Perfumes and Fragrances

  10. Pingback: The Candies 2014: The Very Best and Very Worst Perfumes of 2014 | The Candy Perfume Boy

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