Skip to main content



Opening with a sharp burst of cool, I think at first that this is a citrus accord but it’s a fountain of crystal aldehydes, similar to Luten’s opening in L’Eau Froide but not nearly so cold or clinically clean.  After the first minutes, I smell the incense pushing aside the cool notes, backed up with lovely resinous woods and salty musk, so that L’Orpheline becomes warmer, and a little peppery. Spicy even, quietly spicy with a little clean dirt thrown in the mix, and I can’t name the spice.
As it dries down through the heart and into the base, the incense note intensifies becoming creamy, just a little smoky, and sweetening slightly with what I detect as amber or patchouli. The dry-down unfolds with more of the same, only better, the notes balancing as on a fulcrum, tipping one way then another so that the incense and musk notes are never overwhelming, allowing the spice and woods and amber to create the sensation of smooth creamy sandalwood. The result is a blanket of  cashmere scent that is serene, meditative, and as soft, warm, and inviting as one’s own bed.
Moving from explosive cold to soft warmth, L’Orpheline has a poignancy that isn’t revealed in his other incense fragrances. The scent is quiet and unobtrusive, but has a delicate power that lasts and lasts on my skin – it’s “fragile but whole”. Lutens has told the next chapter of his incense story, and it is beautiful. 

Notes  Aldehydes, cedar wood,  fougere accord, coumarin, clouds of ambergris, patchouli, incense, and Cashmeran
Type: EdP
Parfumeurs: Serge Lutens and Chrisopher Sheldrake


Price: $6.00