"How can one attend the coronation of Satan without ever once having tasted sin? Oud and labdanum come together to create a diabolical and sumptuous veil of indulgence and remorse for a first transgression." – Serge Lutens website
I missed the coronation, but at first whiff, it was a swanky event, with a lot less brimstone than you might have expected.
Mostly, I agree with the positive reviews already posted. If you like labdanum—and I do—this is great. The oud is relatively tame (meaning neither barnyard nor searingly synthetic), which in this case is probably a good thing. There's some amber and spice to "keep it oriental," but the amber isn't too sweet, the spice not overbearing, and thankfully no dollop of vanilla to turn it all to marshmallow. Although I'm not rushing out to buy a bottle, I'd say it's FB-worthy, and if I stumbled upon one at the right price, I'd probably nab it.
We all smell what we smell, of course, and I respect Dane; but, as someone who's iffy about amber and despises tomato paste, I gotta say his take is a head-scratcher for me. Tomato leaf, maybe, but only in passing. Ah, well: more for the rest of us!
The opening is a rich woody mix, with oud in the foreground. It a fairly refined synthetic oud, when compared with the harsh versions often found in newer releases. The other component is a strong labdanum, that is equally sophisticated it its unobtrusive intensity. Soft glowing citrus hints - tangerine and orange - as well as r discreetly dark rose are in the background, but the rose ins never prominent on me; this is not a typical rose-oud for a change.
Sweeter aromas develop in the drydown, with an amber-soaked cinnamon more evident. The spicy side is enhanced buy a dark saffron. After the opening the whole has an increasingly resinous and musky character, which always remains fairly smooth without any significant harshness.
AN agreeable autumn scent with some complexity in its development, whilst not being overly exciting. 3.25/5.
I get moderate sillage, very good projection, seven hours of longevity on my skin..
At last, Serge Lutens' take on labdanum! La Couche du Diable does with labdanum what Fille en Anguilles did with pine, namely accentuating its resinous, sticky features, abstracting the sensation when touching cistus leaves and stems under the scorching sun. La Couche du Diable also performs perfectly in warmer climates. As with many Lutens releases, these sticky qualities are amplified when the perfume is exposed to higher temperatures. Similar to when the source material also would release these substances. The opening comes with a somewhat eccentric sour note, not unlike how Bergamotte sometimes gets used. Once one is through that, its endlessly balsamic, reminding me strongly of Comme des Garçons' discontinued SKAI, making it full-circle: when I first smelled SKAI back in 2004, I had no clue that labdanum is the central element of that, with the perfume being announced without any ingredients narrative back then In any way, this is a great Lutens and recommended for anyone keen on labdanum and interested in Lutens's abstracted 'one ingredient' works, which all have a lot more going on than the official notes suggest.
I really like it. The opening is a bit sweet, in the style of Jubilation XXV, then the oud fades somewhat and the sweetness gives way to notes of church frankincense. The name of the perfume is a fail though.
With every new release from Serge Lutens we wonder, is Uncle Serge back? For a moment, La Couche du Diable, with its signature moody drama, you think to yourself, yes, he has returned. However, when one recalls earlier scents such as Tubereuse Criminelle or Fille en Aiguilles, you are not so sure.
The opening hits you with a rich, molten labdanum that carries the sweetness of stewed fruit a la Lutens. The notes and name would suggest the potential for something dirtier, but the oud here is entirely defanged and overpowered by the labdanum, offering smokiness and depth although this grows stronger in the dry down. Overall, the scent is dark, pleasing and bears the house "aesthetic" but it also feels a little rote.