Rosy Skin: Review – Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit

By Tara

When my great pal, Val the Cookie Queen, generously gave me a decant from her bottle of Paris exclusive Rose de Nuit, I expected a rose with an animalic edge. On first wear, what I actually experienced was a sexy musk with rosy tones.

rose de nuit sl
Interestingly, this composition was not done by Christopher Sheldrake but by perfumer Gilles Romey. Launched in 1993, it contains notes of Turkish rose, yellow jasmine, apricot, amber, musk, sandalwood and beeswax.

The musk in Rose de Nuit is not screechy white or skanky beast, but the intoxicating scent of sensitive, ravished skin after an amorous encounter that began early in the evening and lasted through the night. Rose de Nuit captures the sinful bloom on the skin where the blood has risen to the surface.

Serge Lutens calls it a “velvety musk” and it really is.

The rose is slightly blackened, dry and weather-beaten. It has already given up the best of itself. Its petals are suspended in warm, musky unguent with slices of apricot flesh and a smear of honeyed beeswax to help make it wearable.

I wouldn’t say I exactly enjoyed it the first time around but I was intrigued by it. I wanted to experience it again without my expectation of it being more rose-heavy.

The second time around Rose de Nuit was a sultry rose; a mysterious harlot. Now I really started to revel in it. On subsequent wearings, I’ve noticed the rose – and enjoyed it – more and more.

One of the things I love about Rose de Nuit is that it’s not a heavy oriental in the more usual SL style. It’s an animalic rose chypre on a base of woody amber rather than the ubiquitous patchouli or oud.

Rose de Nuit has incredible tenacity and presence. It’s very rare that I am aware of a perfume the whole time but I was constantly conscious of its presence. It accompanied me throughout my day.

This is not to say it’s loud exactly. It just has enough effusiveness to reach and distract me while sitting at my office desk. It certainly makes work less mundane, though it would be more appropriate for a nocturnal adventure.

black %26 white woman pictures 001

Metaphysical poet John Donne’s work went from deeply erotic to deeply religious. In the time before he took holy orders, he wrote the Elegies which are particularly sensual. The beginning of Elegy VIII is a nice fit with Rose de Nuit :

“AS the sweet sweat of roses in a still,
As that which from chafed musk cat’s pores doth trill,
As the almighty balm of th’ early east,
Such are the sweat drops of my mistress’ breast;”

-Elegy VIII, The Comparison by John Donne

Have you experienced Rose de Nuit? Do you like your roses to be photorealistic or do you prefer them subdued?


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31 Responses to Rosy Skin: Review – Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit

  1. cookie queen says:

    To perfection. A rich and decadent, velvety and golden perfume. I had forgotten how wonderful it is was/is. ❤️

  2. Sounds amazing! Sensual and mysterious! And very feminine! Thanks for sharing, lovely Tara!
    Wishing you an amazing day!
    Lots of xx, Annie | Annie’s Beauty

  3. Sandra says:

    Wonderful review Tara. I fell hard for Rose de Nuit when Val introduced me to its beauty. It is a perfect rose. Xo

  4. Hey there Tara,
    COR! You sure make it read wanton.
    There is so much rose in my collection I worry to add another because I’m pretty sure that it will sit there all forlorn and unopened while I use the others. It would have to be something very special to beat Mohur or Rose d’Ete, Fantasia de Fleurs, Ballets Rouges or the slew of others for skin time.
    Having said that, on Monday night one of the Drag Queens in town walked past me and left a trail the most divine sweep of bright, fizzy, fruity rose. I almost knocked people out of the way to ask her what fabulous creation she was wearing. Tea Rose by Perfumer`s Workshop! She made it smell like a million dollars.
    Portia xx

    • Tara says:

      Wow, that drag queen really elevated a cheapie to another level.
      I do think you’d love this rose Portia, even though you have many. It’s not like any other because of that warm, pleasantly dirty, musk.
      It is a wanton rose!

  5. Asali says:

    I think I still need to test this one, at least I can’t remember it… You make it sound gorgeous, but I think at long last I have found MY rose, yay. And on top of that a few roses that can be worn, now an animalic rose chypre that does sound fabulous, and I love the John Donne quote. Cats paws and roses, he knew what he was talking about 😉

    • Tara says:

      When you’ve found The One, it does change things and I know you have difficulty with roses anyway. This is worth trying if you get the chance all the same because I agree, it’s more likely than most to be your style.
      John Donne knew a thing or two 🙂

  6. Amanda says:

    It sounds lovely. We don’t get SL perfumes here unfortunately, but I hope one day to be able to try them somewhere. I love rose perfumes and prefer them more on the subdued side.

    • Tara says:

      Hi Amanda,
      I do feel bad writing about a perfume that’s so hard to get hold of. I think the bell jars are available in New York as well as Paris now.

  7. Annette says:

    You have made me yearn to try this one Tara. Autumn and winter roses should be more ‘harloty’ and this one sounds perfect. Next time I’m in town…..!

  8. shylotus says:

    Perfect description, Tara! I got a decant of this recently and was gobsmacked by it’s subtle, rosy, skin-like sexiness. Not overt at all, but very present in its sensuality. I am so in love with this that I am tempted to plunk down an arm and a leg for a bottle from Barney’s. But my sensible self will wait for a kind perfumista friend to mule it back from Paris!

    • Tara says:

      I’m pleased you concur skylotus! It IS subtle, rosy, skin-like sexiness. I’m in love with it too. From what you’ve said, I’m guessing the bell jars at Barney’s are sold at quite a premium.
      I hope you get your hands on it either way.

  9. Funnily enough when I was last in Paris this was the one I wanted. It has a real leather jacket biker’s feel for me with a dash of vintage Estee Lauder Knowing (which I also love). I would love a bottle.

    • Tara says:

      I love the way you describe it, Neil. I’d like to see if I can also get that but I’ve drained my decant.
      I want a bottle too. I’ll get one if/when I go to Paris some day.

  10. Suzanne says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried this, or if I did, it was so long ago that I don’t remember. But wow, Tara! Your review of it is so sensual that I will keep this one in mind for future sampling. I do really love rose perfumes (and usually list the same ones over and over again, so won’t do that here again) — and Rose de Nuit sounds quietly ravishing!

    • Tara says:

      Thank you, Suzanne! I love rose perfumes too but I was worried this one would be too animalic for me. However, it’s not that skanky, indolic kind of thing but more warm, sexy and skin-like. More human than beastly.

      I really have gotten to love it. Hope you do too.

  11. melissapham2015 says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’d like to try it. Hope to hear more from you.

  12. Vanessa says:

    I have just received a decant of this in a swap, but I was already a fan – though I am not sure I have ever dared to wear it out, haha. It is a bit of a Salome on me ie a honeyed, slightly boozy, clearly animalic rose chypre. It would be interesting to do a side-by-side comparison some time. Perhaps I just need to be a little bolder with my follow through, hehe. Love the John Donne poem – a perfect way to round off your eloquently – and elegantly! – wasted and raunchy review. 😉

    • Tara says:

      Thanks, V!
      I’m not sure I’d cope so well with honeyed and boozy. Two problematic facets for me. I wonder if this is another one which varies from person to person, like Salome. Neil and Val got leather which I didn’t notice.
      On Saturday Luca Turin said Salome was “Really quite disgusting!”. He liked it 🙂

      • Vanessa says:

        Am trying it again today and it is more green and spiky, but also honeyed – have lost any sense of booze! Maybe it does play peek-a-boo with its different facets…I am still liking it a lot and I would wear Rose de Nuit outside based on today’s take on it!

        • Tara says:

          Thanks for the update, V. It is definitely more suitable for public consumption than Salome. They’re both different depending on the person though. Perhaps we play up the skank.

  13. Pingback: A Favourite Bottled Rose – Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens | A Bottled Rose

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