The Last Days Of Winter – Review: Olfactive Studio Lumière Blanche

Today, on April 3, I went out into five inches of freshly fallen snow, mummified once more into a stylish re-interpretation of the Michelin-man, dragging two children in the stages between whining and all-out screaming behind me through the icestorm, to distribute them to their various schools. Driving was out of the question.

A spring perfume review seems out of the question too.

But thankfully I have something for today that not only fits the weather, but manages to make my day better in the time it takes to take a deep breath.

Olfactive Studio is a line I very much like and admire. Céline Verleure is one of those women who struck out to make their dream come true and seems to be doing so without compromising it on the way. The first three perfumes that launched the brand have been well received and rightly so. Olfactive Studio, for me, is a package deal where every detail is right. From the idea to the execution, from the juice to the bottle, things seem like one organic piece.

Céline has released Lumière Blanche last fall, but I only now got the chance to try it. Bad weather or not, this is a perfume I like – like a lot!

lumiere_blancheLumière Blanche was created by Sidonie Lancesseur and includes notes of cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, iris, almond milk, cashmere woods, cedarwood, sandalwood, tonka bean, and white musks.

Like every perfume of the line, Lumière Blanche is paired with a photograph. This one by Italian photographer Massimo Vitali is of a white, white beach, but my eye cannot but see snow in this picture and for me the scent inspired by it, is a warm, cosy blanket ideally suited to protect you from the cold, white world outside.

Cardamom is the primary note that opens up to you upon spraying Lumière Blanche. Combined with other spices, this cool note gains warmth through cinnamon and aniseed. It smoothly floats over a milky iris that seems to hover and undulate over a woody base full of creamy sandalwood buffered in soft musk.

The whole perfume gives an impression of weightless warmth and soft tenderness. Its milky, spicy and creamy aspects trigger regressive impulses in me. I dream of warm beds, soft blankets, comfy pillows and leaving the world outside to hurtle on it its mad pace, giving me space to breathe and be content in my very own cocoon, with just a book and a cup of tea. (Detail on the side: I adore the fact that this perfume is milky white, not clear, that visual correlation to the scent, makes the experience with this perfume perfect for me.)

The sandalwood in the base is what remains for hours, creamy, milky and warmly spicy until the end (about eight hours later), Lumière Blanche is a delightful, non-edible comfort scent that never overwhelms, but gently cushions with its understated presence. It has radiance and a good sillage, but feels airy and light. I am reminded of Jean-Claude Ellena’s creations L’Eau d’Hiver for Frédéric Malle and Santal Massoia for Hermès, both firm favorites in my collection.

Lumière Blanche will be another, I’m sure of that.


The newest release by Olfactive Studio, Flash Back, is perfectly geared for spring, so I really hope next week’s weather will bend to my perfumed agenda. 😉

Here are the previous three reviews: Autoportrait :: Still Life :: Chambre Noire

The perfumes are available through, where a sample kit as also available.

Image source:; Sample provided for possible review by Celine Verleure of Olfactive Studio.

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34 Responses to The Last Days Of Winter – Review: Olfactive Studio Lumière Blanche

  1. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Wienerwald is covered by deep deep snow, it was like a snowstorm today. I can’t no more…
    But Lumiere Blanche sounds nice.

  2. Vanessa says:

    Beautiful review – you capture the sheer milky woody cosiness of this one. And I have a bottle if you need a top up. A windfall from a dear friend who wasn’t so keen!

  3. Vanessa says:

    PS Weather bending to people’s perfumed agenda? We are not seeing much of that here!

  4. lucasai says:

    Lumiere Blanche is my favourite in Olfactive Studio line (haven’t tried the new Flashback yet) but still I find it and other scents in the line to be very short-lived. LB disappeared from my skin within 3 hours and so did the other fumes from this house.

  5. Alice says:

    Lovely review. I haven’t tried any in the line, but will seek them out. I have l’eau d’hiver, in fact my bottle is almost finished, but I am not sure I will replace it as I am wearing it less and less – not so keen on ‘transulcent’ perfumes as I was (maybe too old and crumpled?). Strangely, your description sounds like a combination of l’eau d’hiver and my new love In the CIty of Sin, with its cardamom and woods.
    It’s so cold here in London I have given up on my sping florals, and am wearing ITCOS, Santal Blanc or my Fleur d’oranger for its cheerful orange glow.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m still persisting with spring scents most days, but now and then the cold wins out and I am glad to wear cosy perfumes like LB. I must try ITCOS soon, all I ever did was give those three Kilians a cursory sniff… *shakes head at herself*

      • Alice says:

        I’d be very interested to know what you think. I sniffed all three, in fact the whole range! I came away with a sprayed card of Forbidden Games (no samples), which I didn’t take to on first sniff, but the dry down was better. It was my first visit to by Kilian and I was somewhat overwhelmed -serves me right for trying far too many at once!

  6. Sandra says:

    You make this sound so lovely! Exactly what is needed today. We also complained on the way to Kindergarten. I really must get out and try these perfumes. I am looking forward to your review of Flashback. Spring will come!!

  7. brie says:

    I have heard so many wonderful things about this perfume and this line. I must seek it out!

  8. Dionne says:

    You and I are on the same page with this one, Birgit. (And after a lovely warm week, it’s snowing here today as well.) Lumière Blanche is one of the few fragrances that I find seasonless; it’s worked as well for me in the midst of winter as it did vacationing in Mexico a couple of months ago, and has become my favorite release of 2012. I’ve enjoyed the concept behind this line, and appreciate the affordability of it as well – which is good, considering how much of my 15ml decant is already gone.

  9. Suzanne says:

    Hmm, for some reason WordPress didn’t send me the usual email notification of your new post. I found it by logging into their site.

    Sounds like Lumiere Blanche has the kind of iris treatment I favor – the milky (versus root-y) treatment – although I’m guessing it might be a little too airy for me. Whether that’s would be the case or not, it was lovely to read your review, Birgit. You do make this sound like a good one to put on in the ridiculousness that is Winter in April. Stay warm and cocooned if you can.

    • Olfactoria says:

      WP didn’t send out emails today, I think because this review was posted erroneously (when still in draft stage) last week. And one email is all you get per post… 🙂

      I stayed cocooned as much as possible today. I think you might like this one though, it has more substance than L’Eau d’Hiver for instance. It is also similar to Jacomo #08, if you know that one.

    • Nana says:

      Hey B, Lumiere Blanche is nice but too soft for my liking. I do love autoportrait very much, it’s a great scent to wear for sophisticated events in the not so warm evenings. I am curious and intrigued by Chambre Noire…would love to smell it!

  10. cj says:

    This sounds absolutely beautiful! I love both Santal Massoia and L’Eau d’Hiver (which I’m wearing today, although I can’t smell it at all thanks to a stupid head cold), and I’m a total sucker for anything with cardamom, cinnamon, or creamy sandalwood. I’ve read several very positive and tempting reviews of this, but your lovely and evocative words may have just pushed me over the edge 🙂 I guess I’m going to have to make another sample order soon!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi cj,
      I’m glad you want to try it, seeing that you love those other two, I’m sure LB is your thing.
      I hope you could take advantage of the sale at Surrender to Chance that is going on now, Luckyscent also carries the line by now, so finally Olfactive Studio is available in the US too! Let me know how you like LB!

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  12. Crystal says:

    Such a mesmerizing review. I’m dying to try this scent now. It sounds like a combination of notes and feelings from a few of my favorite perfumes, all tied into one. I’m in Georgia, and it’s so cold today, I would love to cozy up with a warm, spicy, comforting scent like this one.

  13. Dear Brigit
    The splendid picture you paint here of weightless warmth brings to mind down – the pure white feathers of goose and duck that packet into duvets and eiderdowns keep us warm this unending winter.
    Sounds like a very snug scent indeed.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

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