Thursday, January 31, 2013

Prolegomenon to any Future Phenomenology of Perfume Perception

Serge Lutens Wax Sample Haiku Project

For each entry, I am selecting a sample at random, without reading the name, and writing a haiku to reflect an image which comes immediately to mind. These short texts are not and are not intended to be reviews. They also are not intended to grasp the entirety of the perfume but only a momentary and immediate reaction upon application of the wax to the skin on the back of my hand. I find that these perfumes are not linear, so any momentary image cannot capture the complexity but only offer a glimpse of one time slice of a wear. In some cases the perfume eventually becomes much more appealing than my opening image construction suggests.

Haiku #1: Chypre Rouge
Haiku #2: Un Bois Sépia
Haiku #3: Un Lys
Haiku #4: Mandarine-Mandarin
Haiku #5: Santal Blanc
Haiku #6: Encens et Lavande
Haiku #7: Rahat Loukoum
Haiku #8: Fumerie Turque
Haiku #9: Fleurs de Citronnier
Haiku #10: Santal de Mysore
Haiku #11: Bois de Violette
Haiku #12: Cuir Mauresque
Haiku #13: Tubéreuse Criminelle
Haiku #14: Douce Amère
Haiku #15: Boxeuses
Haiku #16: Iris Silver Mist
Haiku #17: Bornéo 1834
Haiku #18: Bois et Fruits
Haiku #19: Bois Oriental
Haiku #20: Rose de Nuit
Haiku #21: El Attariine
Haiku #22: Chêne
Haiku #23: Une Voix Noire
Haiku #24: La Myrrhe
Haiku #25: Rousse
Haiku #26: Louve
Haiku #27: Miel de Bois
Haiku #28: Vétiver Oriental
Haiku #29: Sarrasins
Haiku #30: Fourreau Noir
Haiku #31: De Profundis
Haiku #32: Muscs Koublai Khan


  1. I love the idea of sampling blind and writing an impression, and Haiku is the perfect form.

    1. I'm certainly enjoying this little project, James. I did not want to write full reviews of the wax samples, because I believe that they offer a different olfactory experience from the liquid perfumes.

      What I'm trying to do, instead, is to see which images come immediately to mind upon my initial perception of the scent of the wax. In some cases, it ends up being a series of images, not a single image.

      Once I've finished all 32 samples (I'm doing one each evening), I'll write my overall impressions of the experience.


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