I never would have thought I would like Bas de Soie. But I do, I love it.
Maybe what I want changes all the time.
Maybe I am just really flexible.
Maybe I like extremes.
Maybe I am full of surprises.
Maybe Serge Lutens is too…
Bas de Soie is Lutens latest, but that does not mean it is new, it came out early this year and was created by Christopher Sheldrake. I just never felt the need to smell it, since I had dismissed it before I ever got near it. The notes, the reviews, everything seemed to say, not for you, not worth the time seeking it out.
Well, I got a sample the other day, while treating myself to a bottle of Un Bois Vanille (no surprises here, I just could not keep going on without it) and was curious enough to try it, before fully expecting to toss it into the reject pile. But noooo,…
It bears repeating: I love it.
Bas de Soie starts out cool and icy almost, an iris fit for the Snow Queen of Narnia. That is the image in my mind for the first few moments, the perfect Tilda Swinton in that wonderful costume in the Narnia movie.
But soon, after a tiny, little screechy, metallic phase that goes by in a blink on my skin, a much warmer fragrance develops, softly sweet, a blooming blue hyacinth of exquisite loveliness. It is as if the flowers fight their way through the snow up in to the sunlight – early spring in a bottle. Did I mention that I love it?
Bas de Soie is reminiscent of Chanel Cristalle of course, but I find it softer, not so MUCH. I like Cristalle in the early stages but it soon turns unwearable on me, because it gets so sweet and opens up enormously on my skin. (It doesn’t do that on a friend whose signature scent it is, but on me I cannot stand it, sadly.)
The other obvious comparison, in-house iris predecessor Iris Silver Mist, which I own and love too, is something else entirely in my opinion. A whole different take on iris, it depicts the flower from earthy root on up, realistically painting a beautiful and convincing iris in all its green and rooty glory.
Bas de Soie on the other hand, is refined, elegant and first and foremost artificial. I don’t mean that in a bad way, just that it is clear that this fragrance is a perfume, in the sense of being composed, constructed, art-ificially made, a piece of abstract art following an idea rather than a replication of something natural.
Bas de Soie got a lot of bad rap for being to hard, cold, metallic, screechy or sharp. That is also why I had no interest in it. Funnily enough, I end up with a warm, comforting and almost cozy scent, that still keeps its innate elegance and sophisticated refinement, with a hazy memory of its former iciness remaining.
Something like this…
I am really happy I took a chance on Bas de Soie. This once more teaches me, what you don’t smell for yourself, you can’t judge. Reviews are wonderful, inspiring and helpful, but they cannot do the smelling for you, they can never replace the sensory experience.
And in a side note for my friend Dee, who writes her own insightful reviews here: this is definitely a blonde fragrance :)