Random Blog Stuff, Serge Lutens & Surrender to Chance Sale

Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a good week! Just a quick post about random stuff:

The Hairy German before the big medical center. You can tell he knows nothing good is in store for him....

The Hairy German before the Small Animals medical center at Texas A & M. You can tell he knows nothing good is in store for him….

First, my normal reviewing schedule will be very off this week, as I have an old childhood friend from Monaco who is in town for a few days and I haven’t seen him in ages. Plus, I’m on a bit of a roller coaster as it pertains to The Hairy German’s health. My seventh surgical attempt to get him the badly needed hip implant failed 10 days ago, so I’m now juggling various medical suggestions, and will probably go to see a whole new set of specialists and surgeons. From four doctors, he’s now going to have a whole lot more. I think I’m more exhausted by the whole thing than he is!

Second, and in perfume news, Surrender to Chance is having a sale on some brands. Most of you get their email notifications, but this one was only posted on their Facebook page from what I can tell. The sale is 15% off ALL Serge Lutens, Etat Libre d’Orange, and Byredo products. The code is: SergeEtatByredo and the sale ends on July 11th at midnight, Central U.S. time, so that is 10 p.m. for those of you on the West Coast and 1 a.m. on July 12th for those of you out East.

Now, the code cannot be combined with their normal and usual promotional codes. They do offer a way around it though:

If you want to order some fragrances that are on sale this week and other fragrances not on sale using the July discount codes, you will need to place two separate orders, but just note on one that you would like the orders combined, and we will refund your shipping charge on one of them!

In addition, they have the Daily Chance special on the new Le Labo Ylang 49 fragrance that I reviewed recently. It is 8 mls for $19.99 (normally $26.99). The general July discount codes are as follows:

5% off with code Sparkler

8% off orders totaling more than $75 with code Hotdog

Now, given my slight … er…  fondness… for Serge Lutens, I’ve decided to do (at least) seven days worth of Serge Lutens in a row, starting next week. Maybe even more than seven, though I don’t think I’ll manage every single day in a row, given the length of my normal reviews and the fact that Serge Lutens fragrances are often more complicated than most. (Even I have to sleep once in a while!)

I’m going to review quite a bit of the non-export, Paris Exclusives line, which is clearly an exercise in frustration, futility, and financial masochism. Honestly, I don’t expect those reviews to engender more than a mere shrug or intellectual curiosity, given that the perfumes are only available in the U.S. for a massive mark-up at $290 instead of the usual Euro price of €120. But I’ve wanted to try some like Mandarine Mandarin, Bois de Violette, La Myrrhe, SarrasinsIris Silver Mist, and others for ages. There is also Fumerie Turque that I’ve meant to review for a while, but which has somehow gotten shunted to the side all too often.

I also have regular import Lutens fragrances as well, like Musc Kublai Khan, Ambre Sultan, Fille en Aguilles, Rousse, Un Bois Vanillé, and Cedre, so that will alleviate the frustration of being tempted by a bell jar exclusive. I’ll pick and choose amongst them, but if you want to give a shout out for a favorite to make sure that it is covered, let me know. (Sarrasins, Mandarine Mandarin, Ambre Sultan and Fumerie Turque are certainties for immediate review.) Bottom line, I’m afraid you’re going to be stuck with my obsession for all of next week, though I really will try not to give you 10 days of Serge Lutens. (How I am tempted!) I’m fully aware that some of you are not quite as enamoured with Uncle Serge as I am, so I will try to restrain myself…


His Highness

Lastly, I have been (and will continue to be) a little behind in replying to comments this week, so I hope you will forgive me and accept my apologies. It’s been very hectic between The Hairy German’s medical issues, entertaining my friend, making plans for my holiday trip back home to Europe in the fall, and trying to catch up on some sleep so I don’t collapse. I promise I will reply to things as soon as I manage to come up for air.

So, that’s that with housekeeping and blog stuff. Are you tempted to get anything from Surrender to Chance in their special Lutens, Byredo, or Etat Libre sale? Or samples from any other line? Have you encountered any perfume that had made you weak in the knees? If so, what is it?

57 thoughts on “Random Blog Stuff, Serge Lutens & Surrender to Chance Sale

  1. So sorry your German is having such trouble Kafka. The Serge series is a great idea. There are so many I’ve wanted to get around to trying and you’ll do it for me. And it just so happens a few minutes before you posted I had just swabbed on some Ambre Sultan. It has similarities to Mitzah. Can’t wait to hear your take on the rest of the line. Like I need more reasons to want more Serge, sigh.

    • Thank you, my dear Cohibadad, for your kind thoughts on my furry prince. And I’m glad you’ll get some use out of a Serge Lutens series. You know, there are SO many fragrances in the line, it sometimes feel as though one can never get through all of them, but hopefully, I can start to put a dent in covering just a few. I’m SO obsessed with his fragrances! 🙂

  2. Wishing you and Pooch the best of wishes for finding a successful solution! I would gladly read an Uncle Serge week!!!!

    • Yay for another Uncle Serge fan! And thank you for your kind thoughts about His Royal Furriness. This has been an endless ordeal for the last 18 months, but hopefully, there will be a solution at the end of the road! 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by, JudithDM, and I hope to see you again. We Serge addicts must stick together. 😉

    • Heh, that schedule of 2 a day would kill me, even assuming I could manage with how long my reviews are! 😉 LOL. La Myrrhe it shall be.

  3. I am all for 10 days of Uncle Serge – I love his stuff! I particularly can’t wait to hear what you think about Sarrasin, Musc Kublai Khan and Iris Silver Mist. You already reviewed another favorite of mine, Cuir Mauresque (which I am glad you liked!). I am a little afraid to ask but, have you tried Miel des Bois? Definitely one of the more controversial of the line. I will bring you a sample (along with the Santal Blanc and Mysore) when I am in TX. Une Voix Noire is another favorite of mine (and my only bell jar).
    As for other things I am trying / loving recently – I have been on an artisan kick recently sampling stuff from Exotic Island Aromas (several really great ones!) and Olivine (beautiful gardenia scents) and I finally got a bottle of Grossmith’s Shem El Nessim which I have been coveting for awhile (thanks to a wonderful person on FB) – a truly wonderful Iris scent to my nose!
    Good luck to you and the Hairy German!

    • LOL at the hesitation in asking about Miel des Bois. No, I haven’t tried it, but I know it’s a very polarizing scent. Honey is obviously a very tricky note for a lot of skin chemistries, but I’ve been super lucky in never having it go foul, sour, urinous or rancid on me. Others have not been so lucky with Miel des Bois, I know, so I definitely want to try it sometime. Une Voix Noire too, because…. well, look what the inspiration is! How cool can you be!! As for Cuir Mauresque, I truly adore that one and I really must get around to buying a full bottle. I think it’s a SHAMEFULLY under-appreciated Lutens. I almost never see *anyone* talking about it for some reason!

  4. For those non-export Lutens I can recommend this service. I used it (not for bell jars though) and I read good mentions in the FFF group on FB.

    Good luck with everything else and enjoy your friend’s company.

    • I agree with Shop FranceInc. I have used Suzanne and her service is fabulous. She brought back for me two of the Vanilles de Madagascars, when the Las Vegas store said they were sold out..I would not hesitate to use her!

    • Thank you for reminding me about Shop in France. I’d actually looked into her service a few times. The thing is, I recently saw her selling De Profundis on eBay for $229. Given that the cost of the bell jar translates in US dollars to $150, the $229 is surprisingly high. She says on her website that she will charge 10% commission, but $229 is more than that, so….. hm. Still, it’s better than $290, I guess.

      As for my friend, since he lives in Paris now and not far from Serge Lutens Palais Royal store, he’s agreed to be my personal shopper and says he will just FedEx me whatever perfume I want whenever I want. Oh, the many, many possibilities! I feel almost giddy about it. 😀

      • I can’t say it as a fact – yor readers will have to contact her directly (if you choose to include that information in your posts) – but from what I understand ordering it from her is different from buying through her eBay shop: not only you have to pay %% to eBay when you sell items there, but also you have to spend your own money to buy something hoping to sell it but not knowing how long it’ll take. When you bring something for the order, you get 50% deposit that ensures that your buyer will pay the rest as soon as item is available. 10% guaranteed mark-up is a good margin. And she probably gets some additional perks – samples, minis, etc. – that end up in her eBay store.

        Having said all that, even $229 is much better than $290 + tax.

        • Good to know about the differences in terms of ordering from her directly. And I had forgotten about the eBay fees on sellers, so you’re probably right. Thanks, Undina.

          • Just to reiterate: I do not know her personally and have no interest in the busines. It’s just a “public service” for those who do not have a designated Paris shopper 🙂

          • I know you’re unassociated with her, so no worries, Undina. I contacted her and the Bell Jars fall into a special category. $225 and a waitlist as she is limited to only 10 bottles of Lutens on any one trip. But I’ll include the information, as it’s better than nothing. Thank you for bringing up the site, Undina. 🙂

  5. I hope you have fun with your friends and that things will start to get better and more clear for His Majesty Hairy German.

    It seems I will miss your Lutens week, I will be out for 7 days with a pretty limited internet access.

    • Thank you, my dear. I will miss you while you’re gone, but I know you’ll have a great time. I look forward to hearing stories about your adventures there. xoxoxo

      • There will be some posts appearing during that week as I don’t want to take a break from blogging now. I will just reply to the comments slower and with a delay

  6. I love Uncle Serge so review as many as you want. It’s not even close to being on my favorites list but I’d love to hear your impressions on Iris Silver Mist. Pretty name at least.
    I’m a sucker for a sale and I’m trying to avoid the StC one and the 20% off coupon I have for Parfum1. Trying, but it’s killing me.
    Have fun with your company. I hope some new doctors can help the pup out a little. Stanley’s allergies are starting to get a bit worse. 🙁 he started with a hot spot last week when we got back from vacation but I caught it in time and got the e-collar on him. Today is his 5th birthday and I’m getting him a new bottle of Benadryl. 😉

    • 🙁 Poor Stanley. I hope he got another present apart from the Bendadryl? I’m so sorry to hear his allergies are getting worse. They’re a plague on everyone’s furry pets, it seems. Will you please give the birthday boy some belated kisses from me? On his tummy but, especially, on his paws?

      Did you withstand the lure of the Parfum1 coupon or Surrender to Chance sale? If you succumbed, what did you get? Parfum1 has Serge Lutens, often at a discount, so I’ve been super, super tempted to get my Cuir Mauresque, but I’m splitting Ambra Aurea this month and have suddenly fallen back in love with Chanel’s Coromandel, so I’m very torn.

      • Stanley said thanks for the birthday kisses.
        Today is the day my coupon expires. I’ve been good so far but I may break down and use it before the day is done. My birthday the other day was less than memorable so I’m feeling like I need to treat myself.

  7. Your poor pup! Good luck to him with his next round of vets.

    I have yet to try any Serge Lutens, but have no objection at all to ten days of reviews. La Myrrh and Un Bois Vanille sound particularly interesting. Don’t worry about posting every day. A gap here and there will just give me a chance to catch up.

    • Thank you, Laurels. My hairy child and I appreciate your kind thoughts. Well, he’d appreciate them more if you came with some treats. 😉 lol. As for Serge Lutens, are there any that have tempted you in terms of getting samples to try? I think Un Bois Vanillé is a gorgeously fluffy, cozy, comfort scent and it may be a great way to dip your toe into the line without starting at the more challenging end of the spectrum. (I.E., Tubereuse Criminelle or Muscs Kublai Khan!)

  8. A whole week of Serge Lutens reviews – yay! After you mentioned the StC sale a post or two ago, I decided it was time to dive headfirst into the bell jar (so to speak). So there’s a tasty little package from StC that should be in my possession later this week. I’m looking forward to comparing notes with your reviews!

    Best wishes headed your way during this hectic week, and take care of yourself – the reviews and comment replies take a back seat to your health. I’m happy to keep looking forward to new blog content for however long it takes. 🙂

    And a hearty Gute Besserung to the Hairy Teuton!

    • HAHAHA at the Hairy Teuton! I may have to steal that. Absolutely love it!!!

      So, tell me what goodies you got from StC? I can’t wait to hear what you love and what you didn’t. Whatever one feels about Serge Lutens’ perfumes, no-one can say that they will bore you to tears. heh. 😉

      • I splurged and ordered one each of almost all the SLs that StC had; I think it came out to thirty-two vials [wince]. Oh well; it’ll be happy sampling time for me for the next few weeks!

        I’ve only tried two SLs prior to this. L’Eau Froide was horrifyingly awful on me – strong synthetic orange + bug spray, a real scrubber! Un Bois Vanille was coconut + spices with a dash of vanilla; it was definitely intriguing, but a bit more coconutty than I prefer. I’m a bit better at picking out notes and accords now; a big batch of SLs will be good practice for me.

        I can’t wait to try the thriller-shocker fragrances like Muscs Koublai Khan and Miel de Bois, but I’m just as curious about the “quieter” ones like Un Lys, Daim Blond, and the Bois series. Here’s hoping I only fall in love with one or two. Or maybe three… 😉

        Enjoy the rest of your time with your friend, and all the best to His Teutonic Majesty!

        • FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One each of almost all the Lutens…… I bow down before you in admiration, awe and respect! My kind of perfumista, Stina! You totally rock, my dear, and I’m sure you’re going to smell extremely interesting for the next few weeks! *grin* (No, but seriously, 32 samples of Lutens…. I feel like giving you a standing ovation, laughing, and bowing all at once! You are totally my kind of perfume addict — one who goes all the way with passion!)

          As for L’Eau Froide, oh boy…… I’ve heard some terrible (terrible!) things about that one! It’s actually one of the perfumes that is often mentioned when people talk about how Lutens went through a stage where the focus shifted to more bland, watery, unappealing, or downright BAD perfumes! I’ve actually avoided testing it as a result. Well, that and the whole thing about a L’eau type fragrance to begin with. It doesn’t seem like my sort of thing. As for Un Bois Vanillé, coconut is always an interesting note in terms of how it manifests itself. I don’t recall a lot of it on my skin, but I used up my sample months and months ago so my memory is a little foggy. Still, I’m like you in that I don’t like a lot of coconut at all, so I don’t think I would remember it so fondly if it had been too gooey on me. It must be that my skin was feeling generous with it. (Datura Noir, in contrast, had a LOT of coconut one of the times I tried it, but very little another time. It was so schizophrenic!)

          • What can I say… when I go down the rabbit hole, I go all the way to the center of the earth! 😉

            My SL samples arrived yesterday (thank you, lovely people at StC!) and testing has commenced. Of course I couldn’t resist slapping five or six favorites on each arm right away, which created some *interesting* sillage when I stood up and moved around.

            One general observation about SL’s fragrances – they *writhe* in a way that no other line of fragrances does (and I don’t mean that in a bad way). A Lutens perfume twists and turns and twines in and out almost like a living thing. It’s like watching a fast-forward video clip of a flower bud that bursts into bloom and then turns into a bird and flies off, all in ten seconds – how did that happen again? Don’t blink!

            El Attarine was one of the most convoluted ones; will you be testing that? I’d love to know your thoughts on it. And Muscs Koublai Khan shocked me, but not in the way I thought it would…

          • Not only did you sum up the Lutens’ character beautifully but, oddly enough, I just finished writing something similar for the first review of the Lutens series. They morph like mad! They’re super-complicated, always with endless layers, and they change like a living thing almost!! In fact, I used pretty much those exact same words in my review! So, we’re not only on the same wavelength, but at the same time as well! 😀 😀

            As for El Attarine, I went back and forth on whether to get that one. I got two of Surrender to Chance’s Lutens Sets, where you can choose the fragrances you want, and I had a devil of a time picking between the Non-Export ones. In the end, I didn’t get El Attarine, but damn, it was close. I will definitely order it at a later time, however. I’ve gone a little mad lately with perfume samples and I’m almost awash with them. LOL. But Musc KK will definitely be up for review. (It sounds like you were pleasantly surprised by that one!!) I suspect there is no way I will stick with just 7 reviews and will have to expand that. I just hope it doesn’t kill me since Lutens’ fragrances *are* so insanely complex. *grin*

    • Thank you so much, Lulubelle. It’s been an incredibly frustrating, exhausting and depressing process over the last 18+ months. I keep doing everything that I’m supposed to do, but nothing ends up happening or getting fixed. I hope the new specialists will be the answer, even if my vet bills end up being the death of me! lol.

  9. I´m so sorry to hear that the Hairy German will be again forced to undergo checkups, I personally know how tiring that can be, and I imagine how it is for both you and him, and I´m pretty sure he hates going to the clinic and he does look like he knows indeed that nothing good is in store for him, in that picture, but His Highness will be fine in the end for sure 😛 . It´s very nice that you will have the opportunity to pass time with your friend from Monaco, I have been to Europe so many times but never been there, since I´m originally from Europe myself. It´s also great to hear that you will return back home in the fall, I will also return to Europe between late September to mid October, probably this time I will move back permanently. To me it´s always interesting to see this reviews about Serge Lutens perfumes and since I don´t live in the USA and will be in Europe soon, those reviews could be quite useful. Ouch about the $290 markup though 🙁 . My best wishes to you and the Hairy German.

    • Thank you, dear Vicky. His Royal Furriness is an incredibly good patient and puts up with a lot, but I’m decidedly more grumpy than he is at this point. As for Europe, I can’t wait until you get the chance to move back and to hear all about your adventures! With regard to the Lutens Bell Jar Paris exclusives, the markup isn’t $290, but the price of $290 is almost a 90% markup from the Euro price. So frustrating. It brings out my inner cheapskate issues. lol.

  10. My dear K – So sorry that you are having such a hard time with your baby…we simply for both of you to be well and happy!!! As for 7 days of Uncle Serge, you are a brave soul and I can’t wait for the results. I’m very curious about Mandarine Mandarin as you never hear anything about it!

    • Thank you, my darling Hound for your thoughts on *my* hound. 😉 😛 As for Mandarine Mandarin, I know, right?! No-one ever seems to talk about it! I saw a photo of one of its Limited Edition special bottles though, and thought it was one of the most beautiful bell jars I’d ever seen. And the notes sound fantastic, too. I almost hope that I don’t fall for a lot of the Paris Exclusives because…. ouch!

      • I was in Barney’s in NY last winter and thought about a purchase. Surprisingly up close the bottles aren’t all that and I couldn’t prompt myself to go ahead and spend that kind of money. I look forward to your posts!

  11. It’s nice to know you are having your old friend around and making plans for the holidays.
    Big hugs for you and the Hairy German, dear Kafka. I understand his health and hapiness means a world to you.

    • Thank you, my sweet Caro. Yes, the Hairy German matters to me pretty much more than anything else in the world except for my family. And I had a blast with my friend. It was as if no time had passed at all, never mind 20+ years! That’s always the best sign of all.

  12. Big hugs to Hairy German and you and I hope he will get better soon! Looking forward to Uncle Serge week

    • Thank you, sweetheart! A massive smooch to you. And the Hairy German sends you a ton of face licks. For all his giant fangs, he’s incredibly gentle. And he loves a man in Cuir Mauresque…. 😉 😛

  13. And so the saga of The Hairy German continues…sigh. Give the boy a hug for me, dear Kafka. I’m glad you are taking some time off to be with your childhood friend — sounds like a lot of fun.

    As to the Serge Lutens reviews, I am quite excited about your planned series! I have a sample of Bois de Violette from STC and a big “sample” of Un Bois Vanille (I forgot how cheap it was but I couldn’t pass it up). I would also love to read your impression of Iris Silver Mist (my bell jar #1, one of my favorite perfumes and even more preciousssss than Boxeuses).

    Finally, a shout out to the folks at STC – they are truly a class act – SUPER GREAT customer service, very real, very down-to-earth and they do everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, to make me feel like I am their most important customer.

    • Ha, why am I not surprised that Iris Silver Mist is your favorite, my dear Iris fanatic? 😉 😛 As for Surrender to Chance, aren’t they wonderful?! I’ve *NEVER* had a bad experience with them (which is more than I can say for one time with The Perfumed Court — never again!). And they’re so incredibly fast in shipping, always so professional and kind, so approachable and warm. I love them, and I’m glad you do too! So, did you order any fun things from them this time around?

      • Oh yes: 5mL decant of Ylang 49, SL Bois de Violette, Cuir Maresque (I think this stunk up my box), ELDO something Rien AND the Bois des Iles Pure Parfum (there’s a long story about this in relation to the order but I won’t bore you with the details; how STC handled it was an incredible class act). I may have forgetten to list one item, but there you have it!

        • I’m anal so I am back. I listed every item from the last order and the ELDO perfume is simply named Rien. I kept thinking there was more to the name but that is it.

          • I have a sample of Rien, thanks to the very generous Bacon Biscuit! I’m hoping to get to it after the Serge Lutens series. 🙂

        • Your reaction to Cuir Mauresque will be….. interesting. I happen to love it, but it works really well with my skin and I don’t mind some muskiness. One of your scent twins hated it, though, so…..

          YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY for the Bois des Iles Pure Parfum! Can’t wait to hear what you think of that! Actually, of all the ones you got, from the Le Labo Ylang to the Bois de Violette!

  14. Roo and I send lots of positive energy and doggy treats for The Hairy German. Hopefully someone somewhere can give him the help he needs.
    I’m loving the week of Serge Luten. Some of his scents are pure love, some confound me, but he always keeps me interested! The very first review of yours I read was of Chergui. I’ve been hooked ever since. 🙂

    • Awww, really, Chergui?! That makes me so happy!!!!! 😀 You’re right about how some of the Lutens scents utterly confound one, but they’re never boring, that’s for sure. There is a kind of genius in that; creating scents that always engage you — positively or negatively — but which never leave you feeling totally apathetic.

      You know what touches me the most, though? Roo and you thinking of my Hairy German. Especially Roo. Give him some paw kisses from me. (I have a weird thing about kissing paws. lol) And tell him that I hope he’s got his slave well-trained enough to take some glamour shots of him to be sent out and admired…. 😉

  15. Wishing the best for The Hairy German – and many smooches to him for being such a patient patient! (And smooches to you for being such a good mom! )

    In regard to the Serge reviews, I’ll be looking forward to reading your Fumerie Turque review, as I really love it. Bought a bottle and parceled it out among many friends, just as a way of telling people how wonderful it is. The other one I’m hoping you’ll review is MKK, another great love ,,, although Fille en Aguilles is also so gorgeous, and strikes me as more “you,” that I think I’ll vote for that one instead.

    • What an amazing friend to parcel out Fumerie Turque!!!! LOL! That and Fille en Aguilles are both on the definite list, while I’m hesitating about MKK for this go-around. Without having even smelled it yet, and going only by what I’ve read in the past, I can already see the reactions and comments….. *grin* I wonder what His Furry Highness will think of it? The really musky perfumes always trigger a noticeable response in him. LOL.

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