I also had trouble discerning true scent from the wax samples. While the idea is great, the packaging classy and really fun and the base wax creamy and smooth, there really isn't a lot of scent in these, or perhaps my samples were too old? Totally possible. The wax base is not without scent and takes over a good portion of the experience. Somewhere buried in that beeswax feeling is a fragrance, but I certainly wouldn't buy a bottle of the liquid based on my experience with the solid sample, and several times have found the solid and the liquid to be so totally different it would be wasteful to even try. For fun, five stars. For practicality, zero. So it gets two, coz the packaging is so much fun. What ever happened to those hard plastic pipettes from the 50s? You broke off both ends and applied liquid perfume to sample. Fun, elegant and the perfume stayed very fresh. (Seriously: I tried Shocking from one of these pipettes and it was incredible. The sample was from the 50s and was the freshest version I'd ever tried, totally different from a vintage bottle. Amazing and lovely.)
I am so very glad that I did NOT base my judgment on various Lutens on the wax samples! They are definitely not a good example of what the actual fragrances are like. They are rather like amped out cartoon characters of the scents and seem to select one or two of the fragrances ingredients and turn them into some type of modern art representation of the scent that bears little to no resemblance to the original. Yes, you can get them for free, but it seems you get what you pay for! Read about them then get some samples from one of the sample selling sites, it is the only way to really get a sniff of what they are actually like!
It is very nice that you can get an opportunity to try all Serge Lutens fragnances just sitting at home. They answered my email very fast and in 2 weeks I got my samples. It is true that wax samples are not exactly as liquid but they are close. I compared 3 fragnances that I have in bell bottles with the samples and they are rather close. But wax samples dont have top notes and they are softer in total.
I was so looking forward to receiving my petit livre. I was impressed with how quickly it made it here from Paris! The little samples are nice if you don't have access to liquid samples of SL's non-export line, but you would be much better served by trying to swap for liquid samples than to make a guess using the wax samples about whether you'll like the real juice or not. Some of the samples (Fumerie Turque, Chergui, etc) seem to smell a lot like how the real perfumes smell, while others (like Rahat, which smells *completely* different in liquid form) are simply nothing alike. So basically, it's a cute novelty, and I'm glad I got it, but nowhere near as cool as I'd imagined it would be and not very helpful in helping me decide how I feel about the various perfumes.
Nothing I can say that Basia hasn't already detailed. Although the wax samples aren't exactly true to scent, it's a lovely, elegant set to add to your collection. If you're a Lutens lover with limited ability to gather his scents (especially these, his exclusive ones), you're guaranteed to feel a little tingle when you see, "Mademoiselle (insert name here)..." on this small, chunky white envelope.
Two weeks ago I decided to write a letter to the Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido and voila! Right now I'm enjoying sampling scents from the Exclusive (and some from the Export) Range. They send you a little booklet plus wax samples of their fragrances (not meant to be worn on the skin, but at least you get an impression of the fragrances) with fun descriptions that you can enjoy if you know French. So do yourself a favor, write to them and ask for this little gift (hint: they like it if you write in French, and you have a better chance of getting this if you do so). Here's the address:
Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido,
142 Galerie de Valois,
25 rue de Valois,
I think this is such a cute way to sample fragrances. It's presented in a lovely thick envelope. I also appreciated that it's free and they sent them all the way to the U.S. for me to try. Heck, I can't get a sample from our local department store and here's an exclusive line treating me like an actual customer. I highly recommend you give it a try.
I know it may be a bit lame to review a free sample, but I thought the info would be useful for those who wonder if it's worth while getting one. Also, this gives me a chance to review the individual perfumes - since they are solid samples I don't want to put my reviews with the ones for the liquid form - it could be misleading.
THE PACKAGE A gorgeous little chubby envelope containing a booklet with perfume info (in French, which I have all but completely forgotten) and cards with solid perfume samples protected by plastic.
Will be reviewed as I try them on, starting tomorrow! (28/5)
CUIR MAURESQUE: Too sweet and heavy at first. After a while, when it's faded, it blends nicely with my skin. Still not something that suits me, it's way too mature and way too sexy. Somewhere along the way it reminded me a lot of Lush Tramp shower gel - funny.
VÉTIVER ORIENTAL: I love this! I love the smell of vétiver, and Guerlain Vétiver doesn't work on me at all, so I've been looking for another vétiver scent. This is fresh, and warm, and spicy, and has just the right touch of sweetness. Time to start saving to be able to buy this eventually...
RAHÄT LOUKOUM: Nope. Only a tiny bit more interesting than the cheap cherry vanilla fragrances they sold in all cosmetics stores a few years ago. Not for me.
AMBRE SULTAN: Soft, sweet but not too sweet, very nice and easy to wear (although I imagine the liquid form would be more intense). Lovely vanilla, and a spicy touch of resin. This is a great fragrance and definitely something I can imagine purchasing. CHERGUI: Nice, warm, sweet, I would wear it if I owned it, but I don't want to pay for it. MUSCS KUBLAI KHAN: This has a definite poop-note on me. Ew. FUMERIE TURQUE: Interesting. Would have to try it more to find if I like it or not, so I won't purchase. SANTAL DE MYSORE: Mmm... spices and sweetness... Very nice. Something to consider, definitely. ENCENSE ET LAVANDE: Mmm... spicy lavender and Thai incense... this is a very unusual lavender scent. The incense is like Thai incense from the asian grocery store, not the perfumey kind from the hippie boutique. I would like to smell this on the BF, but I could definitely wear it myself to, on my more confident days :-D FLEUR D'ORANGER: A nice, fresh floral. Nothing special, and I'm not a floral kind of girl, so not for me. UN BOIS SEPIA: Blah. This just smells like something dad would wear. And his taste in colognes is not what it might be, I'm afraid. This might be nice on the right person, it's not appalling, just... blah. BOIS ORIENTAL: Lovely. Warm, woodsy, spicy, I really like this one. It may not be on top of my wishlist, but it's another one I would probably wear quite often if I owned it :-D BOIS DE VIOLETTE: Nice, and pretty special. I would really have to sample the liquid first though, this definitely needs more testing before I know whether I really like it, and if it's 'me'. IRIS SILVER MIST: I expected a boring floral, and was pleasantly surprised by this woodsy scent. This one doesn't just remind me a little of Lush Tramp shower gel, but smells very similar in my opinion. Which is a good thing (still in my opinion). ROSE DE NUIT: Starts like a potpourri, continues like soap. This just doesn't work on me at all. TUBEREUSE CRIMINELLE: Boring! I'm just not a fresh floral person, I'm afraid. At least not this one. UN LYS: Another floral, another no, not for me.