Early last fall when I was first dipping my toes into the horizonless ocean of perfume obsession, I asked my Facebook friends for fragrance suggestions. One of the responses I got was from a guy I had a crush on in college, and he suggested I look into Serge Lutens’s line. I was obviously touched that senpai finally noticed me, despite it being a decade late and in the form of an unconventional fragrance recommendation instead a much preferred post-Oscar party makeout, but whatever, it’s not like I’m still bitter, even if I did make Pillsbury croissants with pesto filling as an appetizer, which is some Martha Stewart-level sh*t when you’re a senior in college. My point is I’m super great at taking suggestions and I never get hung up on anything, so a few weeks ago I finally dove into the
surge Serge and got a couple of Lutens that’d piqued my interest: Fémininité du Bois and Cèdre.
Since every Tuesday is Tuberose Tuesday, today I’m wearing Cèdre, the Serge Lutens fragrance you’d assume to be a perfumed paean to cedar but surprise! It’s actually a tuberose oriental. Sure, there’s cedar in them thar hills, but there’s also a spicy, syrupy injection of cloves, cinnamon, and amber, and the tuberose is so camphorous and indolic at times that even I’d call it a bit difficult to love, which is saying something from the person who loves a tuberose perfume that smells like horse stables and bubblegum. Cèdre begs the age-old question: “If a balloon animal takes a sh*t in the forest and nobody is around save for the tuberose and cedar wood and Oriental accents, does it even make a smell?” The answer, apparently, is yes, but oh what a nice smelling sh*t it is!
Anyways, while I’d just L-O-V-E to delve deeper into this discussion about the pros, cons, and general wearability of indolic and skanky notes in perfume, I can’t because OH GIRL WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS PACKAGING?!?
Allow me to explain:
Each spray bottle package from Serge Lutens comes with both a spherical screw top and a cylindrical spray top, because some people prefer to apply their perfumes by splash, and those people are wrong. I’m not a monster when it comes to these things, so I immediately installed the spray top, spritzed, and set my mood to perverse admiration. When I tried to put the bottle back into its box, though, I found that I just, well, couldn’t.
See, there’s a flap to the top of the interior packaging that is meant to sit just above the neck of the bottle, and if you leave the spray cap on, you’ll find the cap is too tall for the flap to fit over. Obviously you’ll next take off the cap, fit the flap over the neck, and then put the cap back on, only to find that–oops!–the cap is also too tall to close the box. GREAT. Necessity may be the mother of invention (and by invention, I mean throwing that interior packaging into the trash), and I suppose surgery’s always an option as well, but it seems to me that the packaging designer only anticipated you to keep your bottle out on your vanity (which exposes it to light damage, an absolute no-no for the serious perfumista) or in the box as a splash (which is just wrong). Seriously, for being a perfume house of such high standing, I must admit I am flummoxed by how ill-conceived this packaging is.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ll still wear Cèdre, and I’ll still enjoy wearing it, too, and I’ll probably even arrive at a workable solution for this packaging design dilemma sometime soon, but you’d better believe I will trot out this minor irritation at every turn until I get over it, which is never, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that if you get hung up on everything, you never get hung up on anything.