Serge Lutens' latest opus takes us far from Marrakech, back to his native city of Lille in the North of France, and to the magical “golden place” of his childhood, the bakery where he was sent to fetch the bread after school… “When I got to the bakery I woke up from my daydreaming to enjoy the sight of the bread. Bread opens your eyes just as surely as it whets your appetite”, Serge Lutens reminisces.
Is this Jeux de Peau a “jeu de mot”, the “play on skin” a play on words? The scent doesn't smell like a bakery: the bread comes wrapped up in toasted, roasted notes that conjure the familiar aromas of coffee, chocolate and chicory (the hot drink, not the plant), sprinkled with cool green spices and darkened with licorice… The familiar Lutens accord of lactonic fruit, violet and woods is subtly displaced as a result: the creamy, smoky sandalwood alludes to butter melting on toasted bread; the apricot, perhaps a facet of osmanthus, turns into jam. But the dryness of the burnt wood notes gives off a hint of incense – the child may have already dreaming of Marrakech before knowing it.
“I set out to use this fragrance like a lovely invisible ink to write a message on the air”, Serge Lutens concludes. Isn't that the purpose of all fragrances?