Serge Lutens’s new Baptême du Feu fragrance for winter 2016 is an idealized dream of holiday domesticity alchemically captured.
Wine-y and woody, the garnet-hued perfume opens with a puff of dry ginger, cinnamon, and clove with a slight, sweet, tea-like Osmanthus floral base. It makes a dazzling first impression—and indeed, something about it says “company is coming”, conjuring an atmosphere of uncorked Bourdeaux, baking, and a velvet halo of potpourri—old-fashioned, but seen warmly through nostalgic eyes. On the skin, a tangerine topnote asserts itself along with dominant balsam woodiness, elevating the whole accord with a welcome freshness.
Baptême du Feu is the kind of luminous fragrance you will want to trail through holiday parties, and inhale off your cashmere shawl as you exit into cool nights.