Perfume Review – Serge Lutens Fille En Aiguilles

Pine Forest by Brandt Wemmer. Source: Fineartamerica.com

Pine Forest by Brandt Wemmer. Source: Fineartamerica.com

Imagine Santa Claus in a snowy pine forest. With the strains of Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy playing loudly in the background, he decides to cook a gigantic pot of perfumed deliciousness. The elves line up with their ingredients that he, like a mad chef, throws into the pot with a heart laugh: 4 cups of the darkest of pine cone essence, reduced down to a syrup; 4 cups of the darkest brown sugar; 3 cups of dark candied sugar plums and dried fruits that he tosses in, in tune with the addictive rhythms of Tchaikovsky and with a nod to the Nutcracker; 3 cups of smoky frankincense; 1 cup of assorted spices from ginger to cloves and nutmeg; 2 tablespoons of earthy, rooty, dark, foresty vetiver; a dash of ISO E Super; and a hint of almost abstract apple cider. He sets the gigantic pot over a smoker filled with dried pine cones, incense, and perhaps a few cedar chips, then dances around the forest as he awaits for his perfumed distillation of the essence of Christmas.

Photo: Ross. Used with permission.

Photo: Ross. Used with permission.

That is Fille en Aiguilles, perhaps the best pine forest fragrance that I’ve ever smelled — and I’m not one who normally enjoys that note. But what an utterly joyful scent! The best of winter forests combined with the mysterious sweetness of Christmas treats, happy festivities, and excited anticipation. Pine is an extremely difficult scent to pull off in perfumery, as it can easily and quickly lend itself to the aroma of Pine-Sol household disinfectant, cheap car air-fresheners, or unpleasant medicine. I’ve dismissed more than a few extremely expensive, pine-centered fragrances for being over-priced air fresheners, or for evoking Glade plug-ins that I don’t want anywhere near my person. But Fille en Aiguilles is different, and it’s all thanks to the mad wizardry that is the inspired combination of Serge Lutens and the brilliant Christopher Sheldrake

Fille en Aiguilles. Source: Serge Lutens' Facebook page.

Fille en Aiguilles. Source: Serge Lutens’ Facebook page.

Filles en Aiguilles is an Eau de Parfum Haute Concentration that was released in 2009. I’m not quite sure what Serge Lutens meant as the inspiration for this fragrance as his website description talks about pine forests and, oddly enough, the beach. (The beach?!) But it’s clearly intended to be a playful, joyful scent, either way, with a winking pun in the name. As Ozmoz explains:

The name of this perfume, for instance, is an inspired pun: ‘Fille en Aiguilles’ means both “Girl in High Heels” and “Girl in Needles” (as in pine needles, one of the ingredients), and it sounds a lot like “Needle & Thread” too. Despite the name, this woody-resinous oriental shaded with frankincense and fruity accents is not just for women: Fille en Aiguilles can easily be worn by men, too, an idea that tickles Serge Lutens’ fancy.

According to Fragrantica, Luckyscent, and Surrender to Chance, the notes in this very unisex perfume consist of:

Pine needles, vetiver, sugary sap, laurel bay leaf, fir balsam [resin], frankincense, candied fruit and spice.

Photo: David Gunter Source: Flickr (website link embedded within photo.)

Photo: David Gunter Source: Flickr. (Website link embedded within photo.)

Fille en Aiguilles opens on my skin exactly as described up in the introduction. It’s not a very complicated, morphing, changing scent — which makes it pretty unusual for “Le Grand Serge.” But, oh, does it bring a smile to one’s face. It’s beautifully dark, smoky, sweet, wintery, and so incredibly well-balanced that not a single note ever seems excessive. Even the normally hated ISO E Super seems to fit in, feel wholly appropriate, and actually helps the fragrance. (Yes, I can’t believe I’m saying that, either!)

Sugarplums. Photo: Phil Gyford, Flickr. (Link embedded within photo.)

Sugarplums. Photo: Phil Gyford, Flickr. (Link embedded within photo.)

Fille en Aiguilles is utterly joyous in an inexplicable way, not only because it sums up Christmas, but because it has some tantalizing mystery in that beautiful combination of notes. It radiates like a prism, throwing off different elements at different times. Sometimes, the deep forest rises up to greet you; sometimes, it’s the forest floor with the earthy vetiver mixed with pine cones; often, it’s that deliciously sweet, sticky, brown sugar syrup; and occasionally, it’s the ginger and dark, sweet fruits. At all times, however, the notes are wrapped up in the most gorgeous, dark tendrils of frankincense smoke, like a ribbon around a perfect, glowing, jewel of a Christmas box waiting to be unwrapped. 

Photo: StormchaserMike Photograph via Flickr (link to website embedded within.)

Photo: StormchaserMike Photograph via Flickr. (Link to website embedded within.)

Fille en Aiguilles never changes profoundly and remains in a consistent, linear line until the end. The only difference is in its strength, as the perfume softens less than an hour into its development and hovers just above the skin. Midway during the third hour, Fille en Aiguilles’ edges blur; it starts to turn almost abstract and amorphous as a sugared, beautifully smoked, spiced, woody scent. You can still detect the pine or fir note if you take a forceful, really big whiff of your arm, but it’s lurking below a general, resinous, sweet, woodiness infused by a spicy, lightly musked warmth. At the start of the sixth hour, Fille en Aiguilles is soft, muted, almost honeyed woodiness, lightly blended with rich, winter spices and imbued with a strong hint of frankincense. In its very end moments, Fille en Aiguilles is just the quietest trace of spiced sweetness. All in all, the fragrance lasted 8.25 on my perfume-consuming skin, with initially moderate sillage that quickly turned quite soft and unobtrusive.

There are a lot of raving, adoring reviews for Fille en Aiguilles out there, but perhaps my favorite comes from EauMG who writes as much about the feel of the fragrance as its lovely scent:

Fille en Aiguilles is the best pine fragrance ever made.

Fille en Aiguilles opens with spiced apple cider, snow on pine trees and a flickering fire. This is an atmosphere; Fille en Aiguilles is a place. It’s a picturesque chalet in the mountains and you’re by the fire looking out the window, watching water droplets roll down fir branches and icicles morph into longer, glistening shapes. You feel the steam of warm apple cider hit your cheeks before you take a sip. The feel of spices and warm liquid roll down the back of your tongue. Comfort in the cold. This is Fille en Aiguilles — spiced gingery cider, pine needles, balsamic sap and warm resins. A crackle from the fire with a little bit of smoke… and a base of warm, cozy musk.

EauMG notes that, on her, Fille en Aiguilles had above-average projection and longevity. And she ends her review by calling the fragrance “a masterpiece.”

Source: high-definition-wallpapers.info

Source: high-definition-wallpapers.info

Fragrantica has similar sort of comments, from women and men alike. A vast majority talk about: walks in winter forests, “Christmas in a bottle,” childhood memories, gorgeous dried and sweet fruits, smoky church incense, how it’s one of the best Serge Lutens creations, and/or how it was love at first sniff. A few share my issues with projection, finding Fille en Aiguilles to be so discreet that they eventually had to press their nose right onto their skin and, even then, the scent was extremely soft. A handful of others had problems with duration instead. A couple thought it was too intense, or that it had far too much incense. And about 15 people voted that Fille en Aiguilles bore a strong resemblance to Parfum d’Empire‘s Wazamba. I haven’t tried the latter yet, so I can’t comment, but I should note there are some who say Fille en Aiguilles is nothing like Wazamba.

In the middle of the love-fest, there are some who had a very different experience. Two people found Fille en Aiguilles to be quite harsh and unpleasant; one thought it was very masculine and cold, while the other thought it was astringent and just like Pine-Sol. In contrast, on Luckyscent, a few people explicitly say that Fille en Aiguilles is nothing like Pine-Sol, so clearly, it all depends on one’s skin chemistry, perceptions, and taste.

Photo: Federico Bebber. Source: MyModernMet.com

Photo: Federico Bebber. Source: MyModernMet.com

I think that anyone who loves woody, Christmas-y, wintery scents should try Fille en Aiguilles. So should those who love incense fragrances because, for me, the perfume is as much about the sweet, balsam-infused smoke as it is about the pine or fir trees. Fille en Aiguilles is also wholly unisex with an equal number of men as women loving it. It is very wearable, even to the office if one doesn’t spray on a lot. Even better, Fille en Aiguilles is often quite discounted at some online perfume retailers, making it relatively affordable for such a beautiful, high-quality, niche fragrance. It it an all-year round fragrance? Well, I would wear it in summer, but then I’m someone who goes purely by mood or feel in my perfume selection, and never by seasonality. For most, however, I imagine that Fille en Aiguilles would be limited solely to the winter. But, truly, what an incredibly lovely holiday fragrance it would be. Fille en Aiguilles is more than just cozy, though it is that as well. I think it’s actually quite mysteriously sexy with those dark smoky touches, and the sweet resins mixed with dark, sugared fruits. Try it, and you’ll see. I think the vast majority of you won’t be able to stop sniffing your arm!

DETAILS:
General Cost & Discounted Sales Prices: Fille en Aiguilles is a concentrated eau de parfum that comes in a 1.7 oz/50 ml size and which retails for $140, €99 or £83.00. However, Fille en Aiguilles is currently on sale at FragranceNet where the 1.7 oz/50 ml bottle is priced at $80.91, or $95.19, with an additional 15% OFF with the coupon code RESFT5 and free domestic shipping. Sears sells the perfume by way of a third-party vendor for $91.14 with $6.95 shipping. Fille en Aiguilles is also on sale at Beauty Encounter for $100, and you can Google to find discount codes, eBates codes, or first-time customer discounts for the site as well. Lastly, Parfum1 is selling it for $126 with a 10% discount coupon for first-time customers. I don’t know how long these specials will last.
Serge Lutens: you can find Fille en Aiguilles on the U.S. and International Lutens website, with non-English language options also available for the latter. 
U.S. sellers: Fille en Aiguilles is available for $140 at Luckyscent, Barney’s, and Aedes.
Outside the U.S.: In Canada, you can find Fille en Aiguilles at The Perfume Shoppe for what may be CAD$140, but I’m never sure about their currency since it is primarily an American business. They also offer some interesting sample or travel options for Lutens perfumes. In the UK, you can find Fille en Aiguilles at Harrods or Liberty where it costs £83.00 for a 1.7 oz/50 ml bottle. You can also find it at Les Senteurs where that same bottle costs more at £95.00. The site sells samples of Fille en Aiguilles for £3.50. In France, French Sephora sells Fille en Aiguilles for €101.50, while Premiere Avenue sells it for €95, and I believe they ship world-wide, or at least through the Euro zone. In Brussels, you can find Fille en Aiguilles at Senteurs D’Ailleurs. In Australia, it is on sale at the FragranceNet site (I think the Australian version?) for AUD $104.72, instead of what it says is the Australian retail price of AUD $154.02. It is also on sale on the Hot Cosmetics site for AUD $161, instead of supposedly AUD $218. It sold out on the Grays website where the 1.7 oz/50 ml bottle retails for AUD $145, but you can find it at Mecca Cosmetics for AUD $200. For other countries, you can use the Store Locator on the Lutens website.
Samples: You can test out Fille en Aiguilles by ordering a sample from Surrender to Chance where prices start at $3.99 for a 1/2 ml vial. There is also a Four Lutens Sample Set for $18.99 where the vials are larger at 1 ml each, and you get your choice of 4 Lutens Export fragrances (ie, not those that are Paris exclusives).

80 thoughts on “Perfume Review – Serge Lutens Fille En Aiguilles

  1. It doesn’t last long and I could never skunk a room while wearing it because it stays close but I love this stuff and bought a bottle almost immediately after trying it. It’s perfect in cold weather but I love it in the heat too. I’ve made a good dent in my bottle and I could easily see me using it up and repurchasing. It reminds me of Kyoto but where I think of Kyoto as a forest during the day, this is more like an autumn night.

    • I thought of you while wearing this, Poodle. I knew it would be up your alley. Really, so, so you! It’s a gorgeous, joyful fragrance and I definitely would like to get it myself some day. Unfortunately for me, my list of Lutens to buy is expanding at a rate that my wallet is not going to easily survive. LOL.

  2. Oh dear! You’ve sort of created a lemming! This sounds great – I don’t usually seek out pine (for all the reasons you mentioned), but you make this one sounds great! I’ll have to give it a shot!

    • I’m completely bewildered by Uncle Serge’s “beach” bit. This doesn’t evoke even a wintery beach. It really doesn’t. All snowy forests and Christmas. Perhaps he was thinking of how the frankincense smoke is dry like grains of sand, but that’s really pushing comparisons! Still, I think you’d love this Vicki. I really do. It would be one of your comfort fragrances. 🙂

  3. I would have never thought that I’m gonna like pine based scent, but I like FeA quite a lot. I’m gonna be wearing it this fall, but I also tried it in the heat recently and it performed perfectly on my skin. I like the combination of incense, fruit and pine tree that I’m getting from it. Beautiful review, Kafka!

    • Thank you so much my dear! For all of it… 😉 As for Fille en Aiguilles, I agree, I think it would be lovely in the heat as well. It might bring out the sillage a little more, and that gorgeous sweetness combined with the incense smoke. I definitely want to get a bottle of it sometime. Thank God one can find this one somewhat discounted because I fear Serge Lutens is going to be the death of my wallet. LOL.

  4. And now, I’m already thinking of excuses to try this one. At sale prices and with discounts it’s practically a drugstore perfume, right?

  5. I love Fille! 🙂
    It is such an incredibly, hmm I’d say strange combination of notes that work perfectly together. And I get some sweet-fruity note in the beginning that smells like pomegranate to my nose (another plus for the perfume).

    • Another big fan of La Fille — yay! And, I must say, the pomegranate sounds like a delicious addition! There is definitely a subtle tartness in the beginning that works so beautifully with everything else.

  6. I like everything about this perfume but its name. I mean, it’s a great name but not only I can’t pronounce it but I can’t rememberthe spelling either! 🙂 It doesn’t prevent me though from wearing it and enjoying.
    You weren’t reading my blog yet when we had a group blind sniffing project involving this perfume for my Déjà vu series so I thought you might be curious to take a look (delete the link if you don’t want it here).

  7. Kafka, I had a very strong feeling you would love this!!! 🙂 Your whole review is beautiful, and I love that you included the equally gorgeous description from Victoria at EauMG.

    But heavenly days, I almost wish you didn’t review it now because I’m lusting after this terribly. I became well-acquainted with it when Undina featured it in her blind sniffing project, and who knows why I didn’t get a bottle(??) because, to me, everything you said in your last paragraph is true. This goes beyond a lovely holiday scent … it’s the scent of being wrapped up in front of a fire at Christmas with your lover holding you tight. 🙂

    And like you (and some of your readers), I’d have no problem wearing this baby all year long.

    • I loved how you not only knew that Undina’s blind sample was actually Fille en Aiguilles, but also that you knew that I would love it with a passion!! *grin* It’s sooooooooooooo amazing, I want a bottle of it now myself. I fear this whole Serge Lutens marathon is going to be devastating for my wallet. Simply devastating. I already had Cuir Mauresque high on the list, and now all these new additions. *sigh* Thank God a few of them are discounted, but still!

  8. I am familiar with this one from Undina’s blind sniffing, and I *still* think it smells like tobacco. 🙁 Wah. My nose is broken. I want to smell what everyone else smells!

    • There are perfumes like that for me, too, Natalie. MFK’s Oud on me was a complete Twilight Zone experience, and I tried 3 different samples on 3 different parts of my body. A total chypre with nary a drop of oud! Or Amouage’s Lyric Woman which was not a rose fragrance on me at all but a ylang-ylang one. I could go on, as the list of weird experiences is quite long. So don’t worry, you’re not alone and your nose isn’t broken; sometimes our skin just refuses to co-operate with us. 🙂

  9. I love this. It’s one of my favorite fragrances to wear in the winter. Even though I don’t give too much thought to “winter” and “summer” fragrances, the association with Christmas trees was too strong for me to think about wearing it year-round. But following Poodle’s comments, maybe I should! Wonder what notes get amplified at hotter temps…

  10. So glad you mentioned the discounting places that have this, Kafka – because I *need* an FB of this ASAP! 🙂

    You’re right, Fille en Aiguilles is a pine fragrance that doesn’t bring to mind either pine cleanser or cheap Christmas potpourri. And for once my sweetness-amplifying skin didn’t ruin a perfume for me; I get little whiffs of spicy ginger cookies but no sugarplums. On me it’s pine needles and pine-bark resin with touches of smoky frankincense and bay leaves and those ginger cookies; soooo gorgeous.

    Because I didn’t get the sweeter notes that you mention, Fille en Aiguilles doesn’t remind me of the Christmas season; it’s more like a walk through a pine forest with the smell of snow in the air.

    I think I may have had celery on the brain from reading your review of Mandarin Mandarine, because the first time I tried Fille en Aiguilles I smelled both pine needles and crisp fresh celery sticks (definitely *not* boiled celery!). And I had a mental image of a mixed pine-tree and celery-stalk forest, with celery stalks as tall as the pine trees.

    The things perfume can do to us…

    • I’m so glad you love it! So, so glad! As for the celery, I can’t help but laugh. That Mandarine Mandarin review really impacted you, didn’t it?! I can’t recall, was M/M one of the perfume samples you ordered and, if so, did you detect celery?

      Back to Fille en Aiguilles, isn’t the frankincense lovely? I swear, this one is strongly vying with Cuir Mauresque for my next Lutens FB purchase!

      • No, Mandarine Mandarin was one of the few SL samples I didn’t get. After I read your review I was thankful I hadn’t ordered it! Celery is one of those vegetables that I love raw but can’t stand the smell when they’re cooked (green pepper is another one that makes me queasy if it’s cooked).

        When I lived in Germany (about twelve years ago) celery was considered exotic and foreign, so I had to hunt for it in the produce section – and it was usually too expensive to buy for snacking purposes, so by the time I moved back to the U.S. I had pretty much lost my taste for it. I *definitely* wouldn’t want to smell it in a boiled form!

        • The smell of cooked, green bell peppers can make me queasy in large quantities too! I wouldn’t want to smell of either vegetable when cooked and I’m not wholly keen on smelling like them when they’re raw, either. (Let alone at these prices!)

  11. It’s safe to say I would love this. Winter, snow, incense, pine trees, yep I would more than likely be head over heals about this one, and if it actually manages to give me memories of my childhood Christmas times I would definitely think it was worth the price. I actually remember the smell of pine trees since around Christmas time my elementary School would always purchase a real pine tree and adorn it beautifully. I also remember having Santa Claus (or an overweight gentleman dressed in red with a fake long white beard) bringing us toys and sweets the day before Christmas break. I loved the simple but tasty snacks that would be given to us for free and the plastic cups filled with warm chocolate, and the smell of that pine tree 😀 . I think I would really love this indeed, considering the huge incense fanatic that I am. Sorry for not being around lately Kafka.

    • This perfume has your name all — ALL — over it, my dear. You’d adore it. Really. As for not being around, no worries, hun. I’m just sorry that you have had a rough week. I hope this next one is much, much better!

    • It’s my favorite modern house, too! But this marathon was quite… er… exhausting. Uncle Serge’s perfumes have more layers than onions, and I may have bitten off more than I could chew. So, I’m cutting it a wee bit short and will save some of the other Bell Jar fragrances for future reviews, if only because I need to get some sleep! *grin* As for Fille en Aiguilles, what a fragrance!

  12. This is my number ONE SL fragrance. It has this mystic, deep green incense that I love. Is it frankincense? It almost smells like oud.. I get the pine forest vibe, but the scent is much deeper and complex than just a pine forest. And it doesn’t remind me of Christmas as all. Btw, it works fine in the hot tropical climate.

  13. I officially have too many samples. Guess what I found in my stash? It’s everything you say it is Kafka, I can so picture Santa Claus laughing heartily, mixing this with the elves dancing around. In a forest of sugar plums and Christmas trees. Love.

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  15. Great review of this little beauty. I received a liquid sample of this from the Palais Royal store (luckily) as I had never sampled this one before.It’s definitely on the Lutens wishlist and evokes memories of childhood pine cone collecting and camp fires as well as smoky incense filled rooms in my teenage years.

    • Welcome to the blog, Megan! So nice to have you here. 🙂 And I’m so glad to hear that you love Fille en Aiguilles as well. It’s a beautiful fragrance that is one of my new favorites from Uncle Serge. Again, thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience with the scent. I hope you will feel free to come by again. 🙂

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  17. I think I’m going to take advantage of that FragranceNet.com deal and order some of this juice. I’ve been looking for a good piney/woodsy scent, and I agree with you you: they are HARD to find.

    I’m tempted to blind buy Norne by Slumberhouse, but the fact that it stains skin and clothes blackish green, while intriguing, doesn’t seem very practical.

    • Wonderful! I’m awaiting my bottle to arrive any day now. 🙂 While you’re at it, you may want to look at my new review for Olivier Durbano’s Black Tourmaline. It didn’t work so great on my skin for a number of hours, but everyone adores it as a super dark, black, smoky, pine, woody scent. It’s much drier, darker, smokier, and woodier than the Fille en Aiguilles, and not as sweet or fruited, so it may be an alternative to the Norne.

    • norne is fantastic, though not that similar to fea. it’s an extraordinary meditation on the forest (floor) with a very deep, muted incense. it is dark (literally & figuratively) but warm, cozy & meditative

  18. I’m going to have to try this one again in the winter. I think it would be perfect then, but in the heat of summer it just seems out of place. I’m picturing snow outside, fireplace glowing, blankets and hot cocoa.

    • 🙂 You seem to have actual seasons and winters, you lucky devil. I’m stick with variating degrees of heat, so I just wear what I like, when I like. What I would do to have an actual snowy, cold winter! 🙂

  19. filles is possibly (toss-up with derby)my favourite frag of all. the frankincense/thick piney/fruit accord is just so bloody life-affirmingly good. amazingly, it’s the incense that lasts the longest: amouage quality in a completely non-mideast setting. it always makes me smile as long as i’m wearing it – now that’s what i call quite good. needless to say, i’m thrilled that you dig it too 😀

    • I love Fille en Aiguilles that I became quite grumpy at the very close (TOO close) similarities of the new Tom Ford, Plum Japonais, that is like a bad, cheap, knock-off copy where all the proportions are wrong. The similarities are so close that I thought someone had plagiarized Christopher Sheldrake. Honestly, I still think they have, except they’re bad a much worse version. And, yet, I’ve seen so many people rant and rave about the new Tom Ford lately, without realising it was done better by Serge Lutens first. Whenever I think about it, I get a little bit peeved.

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  23. You might expect me to love this, and you’d be right! I adore foresty fragrances, including Wazamba (quite different from this one to my nose though), Sonoma Scent Studio’s Winter Woods (more labdanum centered amber woods), Norne, and yes, even the oft disliked Enchanted Forest (my skin amps the rose, boozy and animalic aspects though, and I adore black currant to begin with), and all of them represent different facets of the coniferous forest to me.

    Sometimes Lutens’ hurts my nose, but the ones I love, I just absolutely adore. Although, I would really really like (for Christmas, please, Uncle Serge) Bois de Violette in some super concentrated version with massive sillage and tattoo like longevity.

    • You have to try Arso from Profumum Roma, my dear! I’d love to know what you thought and if it trumped any of your favorites, because it is definitely in line with that foresty, piney profile. Different from Fille en Aiguilles to me, but others find greater overlap.

      And I’m with you on wanting Bois de Violette to be suddenly magically transformed into a potent, extrait-like concentrate with massive projection and longevity!!

  24. Mouthwatering review! I’m sold! Can’t wait to go try this next Saturday. What really interests me the most, based on your description, is the fruity incense backbone of the scent.

    I think I’m getting it, along with another scent when I hit the store next week. The other scent will be either bois de vanille, jeux de peau, or Chergui (yes I will give it another chance).

    Thank you for the follow up emails by the way 🙂

    • You’re very welcome. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of Fille en Aiguilles when you try it. As for the others, given your dislike of powder, you may do much better with Fumerie Turque than giving Chergui a second chance. Depending on your skin, you may have a very different experience than mine, though I do think the fragrance has been reformulated from what it was originally and from what made so many people adore it without reservation.

      • That’s a very interesting point about Chergui’s reformulation. Who knows, yes i might have tried the new formula. This is not the first time i test it, but the second (and next Saturday will my my 3rd), and every single time i do get a lot of powder. I’m going to abuse that Serge Lutens counter next week and see what else do they have. Last time, the SA over there pushed Arabie on me…

        • “I’m going to abuse that Serge Lutens counter next week and see what else do they have.”

          LOL at this comment!

          P.S. I just bought a 50 mL bottle of Fille en Aigulles for $76 including shipping through FragranceNet. There’s a 20% off your entire order coupon (click for the code from the banner ad on the home page).

        • From what I hear and what I’ve experienced myself, I think Fumerie Turque has been reformulated more drastically than Chergui, but Chergui has always had some degree of powderiness to its base. Your skin may be the sort to amplify that note. I know some people can’t wear Guerlain fragrances because their skin brings out the powder in the Guerlainade base to a shocking degree, and they can’t bear it. So, perhaps it’s something similar with you, regardless of formulation questions. But do give a sniff to Fumerie Turques if they have it. It’s like a non-powdery version of Chergui, with more tobacco, smoke, honey, and some leathery tonalities.

          • Thank you Kafka. Will check out Fumerie Turque for sure. I’m counting the days till Saturday , the day of the “attack on the Lutens” LOL.

            A side story: My neighbour is a dentist (old school type. He had his dentist clinic opened since the 70’s ). He smokes a lot of pipe and reads a lot of newspapers. When you walk inside his clinic, the smell is just DIVINE : Pipe tobacco aftermath mixed with the smell of magazines and something else that i can’t put my nose on.

            Wish i could find a scent that replicates that !!!

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  26. i finally got it and i’m giving it a second full wearing as i write this.

    What i love about it :
    -Those dried fruits are to die for and i love how they blend with the pine.
    – I could easily see myself wearing this in hot weather, and now i understand the “sand” analogy that Serge Lutens mentions in the description. The slightly boozy/syrupy dried fruits along with the cold pine is what makes it very accessible during hotter weather in my opinion. And that’s a always a plus for me in the versatility score !

    What underwhelmed me :
    – The incense didn’t open up on my skin until the later stages (6 hours) and by the time it did, the scent was “almost” a skin scent.

    What i didn’t like :
    – I wish the longevity and projection were better ! This is really a scent that would shine best if it had stronger projection, as the smell is very pleasing to both the wearer and the pass-byers.
    Dear Fille en Aiguilles, why are you so shy ? you are so beautiful !

    Overall i am pleased with it, and i have to give props to Christopher Sheldrake for being able to create such a complex yet very linear beauty with one of the most difficult notes to work with, pine. Respect.

    • “Why are you so shy?” ROFL!!! I’ve heard a few people find Fille en Aiguilles to be softer than they had hoped, especially in projection. I think it can be, depending on skin chemistry. However, I think one’s yardstick of measurement may also play a role. For someone used to truly Middle Eastern attars and oils, then few French fragrances, especially from Lutens, will measure up or compare. His style simply doesn’t encompass that much forcefulness. He will never be like an Amouage, for example, or, for Western scents, like a Nasomatto or Tom Ford. It’s simply a style thing. No Lutens is that forceful.

      That said, some are stronger than others, and it may well come down to skin chemistry as well. For me, Fille en Aiguilles is definitely one of the deeper scents. For others, the incense was strong for the first hour, but then it faded in the second hour to more boozy, dried fruits. For a few, there is incense from top to bottom. I wish you had experienced something in the latter genre.

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  32. FeA is very lovely and meets all the expectations I had after reading your wonderful review, Kafka. I own a FB and can safely wear this to the office (I am a dr) around patients without bowling them over. It sits close to the skin so I can enjoy the scent for myself. It’s unlike anything I have smelt before. Makes me nostalgic for Maine, which I loved and sorely miss. It is both light and dark and calming. It’s solitude.

    • Wonderful! I’m glad this one works so well for you, especially as Chergui didn’t. You know, I sometimes layer the two fragrances together so before you give away Chergui, perhaps you might want to try that too. Put Chergui on the bottom, spray FeA on top, and see if that improves things for you.

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  34. I finally got to try this! We found it at Barneys. I always used to love Tom Ford’s Plum Japonaise, and it’s so much easier to find. Ever since your review of it describing it at the frat boy bastardisation of Fille en Aiguilles, I’ve been dying to try it. When I use just a little bit of Fille, it feels like a cozy scene in a cabin doing some baking. With more of it, I start to get the pine needles, and it feels like a romantic memory pine forest just after but of snow. It’s sooo vivid and 3-dimensional. We also tried all the other Serge fragrances, including Chergui, which you had me expecting to love, but Fille en Aiguilles was the total winner. It’s a perfect everyday fragrance for me <3

    • Fantastic news!!! You don’t know how pleased I am to hear Fille en Aiguilles won you over so much. It’s truly one of the outstanding Lutens, imo, and one of my personal favourites as well. (Btw, “frat boy bastardisation” made me laugh out loud. That’s such a perfect description for what happened with Plum Japonais.) As for Chergui, I’m afraid reformulation has gutted and butchered the fragrance since the time of my review, let alone since time it was originally released eons ago. The current version of Chergui has pretty much horrified those who once loved it because all the real elements have been watered down substantially and stripped of their richness, while the white musk, the ISO E Super, it’s powdery side, and the synthetics have been amped up. So, I’m not surprised you didn’t like it. But if you ever come across Chergui on eBay in a box with the old, old SL logo, then that’s a vintage bottle worth grabbing.

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  36. Well,when you mentioned about it, I checked Notino, knowing that a couple days earlier it was going for $89,then it went up to $93, now it’s sold out. It was going for $78 on Fragrancenet , now it’s $104. It still list’s at Luckyscent for $150,among other boutiques here in the US and it is still $150 on the Serge US site. I did get mine from Fragrancenet for around $79. Do you think you’ll still be able to get a Bell Jar of it at the Serge Paris boutique ? I love this Perfume.I do have Arabie also. Why would they discontinue Filles ?

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