Bas de Soie is the latest export release by Serge Lutens, which was destined for international release sometime in August. Imagine my surprise then, when walking into my local Fenwick department store this morning I saw a tester of Bas de Soie on the shelf. So of course I tested it immediately. Now, I had briefly read about its launch, but hadn't paid all that much attention to it, so I was approaching it with no preconceptions. Now, I am not a perfume expert by any means, but I think I have a reasonably good nose, and after an indistinct half an hour of weird florals, which my wife told me reminded her of a hair conditioner called Sheen, it dawned upon me that this was actually a leather fragrance. When I got home tonight, I started to read up a bit more about Bas de Soie, which seems to be a release for the ladies, and translates as silk stockings! What surprised me even more was that the primary notes in Bas de Soie are Hyacinth and Iris, not a mention of leather. In fact, Uncle Serge is releasing another perfume, a non-export, called Boxeuses, which is actually the leather fragrance. I'm seriously confused folks. On my skin, this is not remotely feminine, although admittedly it is decidedly floral for the first half hour or so and I definitely had it down as a leather fragrance, sort of a halfway point between a Spanish and a Russian leather; it smelled quite a lot like saddle soap to me. I love an iris note and I did not remotely detect iris in Bas de Soie. If anyone has tried this yet, I'd love to get your opinion on how it played out on your skin.
I'm not going to do a full-blown review of Bas de Soie, save to say that I really liked it. In fact, I thought it was the best Serge Lutens release in a long while. I know a lot of people loved Fille en Aiguilles, but it did very little to float my boat. L'eau Serge Lutens did even less for me. But Bas de Soie definitely has something folks. I'm sure it will please some and not others, as Uncle Serge never fails to do. I have seen reviews of Bas de Soie by Octavian at 1000fragrances and Denyse at Graindemusc, both of whom seemed to get the interplay of Hyacinth and Iris, albeit in a fresher, almost metallic style, so maybe it is just me who is deluded! Anyway, I think Bas de Soie is definitely worth a try.