Daim Blond starts as a mood. It seems to begin cool, dry, aloof, sort of like unrequited love, something just out of reach, squeezing out the yearning in the wearer. It's all distant pastels and grey pebbles, starched skies, and the persistence of unembraceable beauty.
It's a study in from what my nose detects as Suederal (judiciously dosed, not pummeling like TF's leathers), heliotropin, and anisaldehyde (have I mentioned before that I love a hawthorn note? I want to create a hawthorn-centered scent one day). Of course, we have in the opening cardamom accompanied by this plush apricot, which is the point of interest, as it were. As the cardamom slowly recedes, the apricot goes from voluptuous to desiccated as it embeds in the florals and suede.
As time passes, Daim Blond becomes hazier, sort of the like that sensation where you drift in and out of sleep, and you're at your calmest and most still. The iris and musks swaddle you and the realization comes that it was never out of reach after all, it was right there with you all this time, you just had some opening up of your own to do.
Pale suede that smells of hot sand and apricot.
Stripped of the usual curlicues Daim Blond is an oxymoron, a spartan oriental; more understated than Arabie and Ambre Sultan, and I would say more ground breaking.
It's beautiful in it's own way, but it's a hard beauty to find. Daim Blond doesn't work on paper, this bitter-sweet fruit of the desert only ripens on skin, and then not for long.
I enjoy Hawthorn as a note. Here with cardamom, it has a slight but fleeting gasoline-mist accord. I find that fascinating and beautiful. Iris and suede, I smell next. There's a slight fruity, almost creamy feel. Musk begins to pervade.
I find Daim Blond to be soothing and delicate. It has a different take on iris and leather, that I've not experienced before. It is evocative for me. Inspiring. The suede-leather lasts and lasts.
Ostensibly, this is a mix of ionones (violets over suede) and iris, but there's so much else happening here that it feels unfair to lump it in with the rest of that genre.
Sniffed up close on skin, the smell is puzzling but captivating, a mix of fresh laundry, kheer (the Indian rice pudding flavored with cardamom), and vague fruity tea. There's something in there that combines all of these disparate elements and makes them all smell like some sort of alcoholic beverage, perhaps a yeasty French champagne or the fermenting rice smell of a sake factory. I know this all sounds strange, but it all has the smooth texture of musky suede, so it works.
But then there's the sillage, a gorgeous cloud of violets, plum, and sandalwood that's kind of like Feminite du Bois reimagined as an aperitif, which hovers nicely but that doesn't register when smelled up close (I think this may be why so many people write this off as "weak").
The drydown is the suede and iris you'd expect from something like this, but deepened with that greasepaint makeup smell you get from the drydown of peach aldehydes, as well as a pinch of Serge's signature honeyed base.
This is quite good, and I'll echo the other reviewers who suggest picking this up while it's cheap and plentiful. It may be a bit weird for a blind buy, but if you're a confident fan of iris/suede perfumes, this is definitely one of the more interesting ones.
A beautiful fragrance that is very wearable. So light, but with enough body to transport your positive emotions on it's soft, sweet, suede wafts of powder. I'm not a lover of powdery scents, but Daim Blonde isn't just a powdery scent, it has it's own understated but desirable quality that speaks for itself. I've only worn it once, but I already love it. Another bottle worthy Lutens to be sure.