martedì 13 ottobre 2015

How to recognize SERGE LUTENS perfumes.

SERGE LUTENS is one of the most acclaimed "niche" perfume houses, with a cult status, and an huge amount of enthusiastic followers.
During the Nineties (approx. until 1999) all scents "by Serge Lutens" were launched under the Shiseido label ("Les Salons du Palais Royal- Shiseido, Paris"), in the classic "Bell Jar" transparent bottles, with a white-purple label, stored inside a white-purple box. These early bottles are very rare nowadays.

"Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido"
(Rose de Nuit, middle of the 1990s)
During years 1999/2000, Serge Lutens officially launched a new line signing his perfumes with his own name, and adopting a "new" traditional, rectangular bottle, alongside the old, traditional "Bell Jar" ones.
Between 2000 and 2010 all scents sported the "Palais (Palace) Royal" as a logo in front of  both box and bottle.
Then, after 2010, Lutens adopted the so-called "SL" logo instead of the "Palace".
Here is an example of these three different labels on the classic "Bell Jar" bottle ("Encens et Lavande"):

(from the web) "Encens et Lavande" (year 1996)
labelled "Les Salons du Palais Royale - Shiseido",
(used until 1999-2000)
"Encens et Lavande" with "Serge Lutens" name,
 and the "Palace" logo (between 2000 and 2010)
"Encense et Lavande" with "Serge Lutens"
and the "SL" logo (since year 2010)
And here you can see two "new" rectangular bottles (produced since year 1999) with the old and new logo:
"Ambre Sultan", with the old "Palace" logo
years 1999-2010

"Ambre Sultan" with the new "SL" logo
(since 2010)
Another example: one of the most famous SL fragrance, "Feminitè du Bois", was re-launched in 2009. You can see the "Palace" logo (year 2009), and the new "SL" one (since 2010). Here:
Feminitè du bois, old logo
Feminitè du bois, new logo
Not considering the early "Shiseido" era (until 1999),  there is at least another method to recognize "Serge Lutens" perfumes, other than the logo: the INGREDIENTS.

This method is adopted by those fragrance-enthusiasts who want to avoid any suspect of "reformulations". This means to check for the "list of allergens" (i.e. coumarin, linalool, limonene, geraniol, etc.), mandatorily reported on all boxes since year 2005.  Since a few people claim all SL fragrances were "reformulated" after years 2006-2007 (a questionable matter, anyway....), it is enough to read the "ingredients" to verify a "vintage" production. You should read the ingredients written inside the "frame", on the back of the box. If the "allergens" don't appear, the bottle dates to "before year 2005". Example:
"Douce Amere", without the list of allergens in the "ingredients"
= before year 2005
"Santal Blanc", ingredients WITHOUT allergens
= before year 2005

Ambre Sultan, with the allergens in the ingredients
( "limonene, coumarin, farnesol, eugenol", etc...)
= produced after year 2005

"Muscs Koublai Khan", with the allergens 
(linalool, limonene, coumarin, farnesol, etc...)
= after year 2005 a nutshell....
-if you find the "Palace" logo without the "allergens" : it's between 1999 and 2005;

-if you find the "Palace" logo with the "allergens": 
it's between 2005 and 2010;

-if you find the "SL" logo: it's after 2010. 

Do you want extra clues? 

The first one is the old address. During early years (1999-2003) Serge Lutens used the "Symbole Luxe International" printed on the box and on the bottom of bottles (see picture below). If you read this line, it's a very early bottle.

"Symbole Luxe International" written on box and on the sticker.
These are early bottles (years 1999-2003)

Another clue: the web-address.  It's a very generic clue indeed. The web-address ( www sergelutens com ) appeared as "the last line" on the back side of the boxes between years 2008-2009 depending on perfumes. So you can roughly assume a box without web-address was produced before 2008-2009 (see pictures)
"Rousse", launched in 2007:
the last year without the web-address
"Chergui", year 2008
here you can see the web address on the last line
(www sergelutens com )

Another clue: FDP or EDP? During early years you could read "Fond de Parfum" on certain bottles, instead of "Eau de Parfum". It's not a mistake, it was the alcohol-free version of fragrance. It was used for at least 7 perfumes: "Ambre Sultan","Arabie", "A la Nuit", "Douce Amere", "Datura Noir", "Santal blanc" and "Sa Majeste la Rose".
Soon discontinued, and now very rare (see picture)

A typical "Fond de Parfum" box.

But if you want to date all fragrances you have to use...

The "Serge Lutens" batch code:
It is composed by a five-digits code. You have to consider the FIRST and the SECOND letter only. 
(see picture)

(in this case: you have to consider "R" and "N")

First letter is the year:
("Shiseido" years, not fully verified)
A = 1994
B = 1995
C = 1996
D = 1997
E = 1998
F = 1999 (since 1999/2000: "Serge Lutens" years)
G = 2000
H = 2001
J = 2002
K = 2003
L = 2004
M = 2005
N = 2006
P = 2007
Q = 2008
R = 2009
S = 2010
T = 2011
U = 2012
V = 2013
W = 2014
X = 2015

....and the second letter is the month:
A = january (B not used)
C = february (D not used)
E = march (F not used)
G = april (H not used )
J = may (K not used, etc...)
L = june
N = july
Q = august
S = september
U = october
W = november
Y = december


"Rose de Nuit" labelled "Les salons du Palais Royal Shiseido"
(until 1999)

"Ambre Sultan" by "Les Salons du Palais Royal- Shiseido"
(until 1999) (from ricardo. ch)

"Ambre Sultan" during "Shiseido" years
batch CWxxx =  probably year 1996 (from: ricardo. ch)

One of the first bottles ever produced: "Arabie".
batch FJxxx = 1999, May

The back of the very early Serge Lutens boxes
notice the ingredients without allergens, and the line
"Symbole Luxe International"

"A la Nuit"
batch JLxxx = 2002, June

(printed on glass, unfortunately it's easy to erase)

"Un Bois Vanille" (launched in 2003)
batch KJxxx = 2003, May

"Sa Majestè la Rose"
batch MLxxx = 2005, June

Four different batches:
MYxxx = 2005, December --- QYxxx = 2008, December
MCxxx = 2005, February --- MYxxx = 2005, December

Batch NSxxx = 2006, September

"Chypre Rouge", (launched in 2006),  batch NJxxx = 2006. May

"Fumerie Turque"
batch NYxxx = 2006, December

"Bois et Fruits"
batch PQxxx = 2007, September

batch RNxxx = 2009, July

"Muscs Koublai Khan", batch RNxxx = 2009, July

"Bois de Violette", ingredients with allergens ( = after year 2005)
and batch QAxxx = 2008, January

"Clair de Musc"
batch RCxxx = 2009, february

"Un Bois Vanille"
batch RNxxx = 2009, July

batch RYxxx = 2009, December

Batch TUxxx = 2011, October

Batch TNxxx = 2011, July

"Nuit de Cellophane"
batch UQxxx = 2012, August

"Jeux de Peau"
batch VQxxx = 2013, August

A modern "Bell Jar" bottle,
batch UGxxx = 2012, April.

Another modern "Bell Jar" bottle,
batch WSxxx = 2014, September

"Feminitè du Bois"
batch WUxxx = 2014, October

(A very big thanks to Enzo and Claudia for helping in preparation of this article and for providing pictures.
For a few images it was not possible to know the author or original provenience. 
We are ready to add authors, or to remove pictures.)

Previous Chapters

-GUERLAIN perfumes ( here ) -
YVES SAINT LAURENT perfumes ( here 
- CHRISTIAN DIOR perfumes (here 
- GIORGIO ARMANI Perfumes ( here 
-VAN CLEEF et ARPELS perfumes ( here 
- CHANEL perfumes ( here 
- BVLGARI perfumes ( here 
- HERMES perfumes ( here 
- VERSACE perfumes ( here 
- GIVENCHY perfumes ( here )
- GUY LAROCHE perfumes (here
- CACHAREL perfumes ( here )
- LANCOME perfumes ( here )



"Serge Lutens" playing cards: enjoy!

3 commenti:

  1. Where did you get the information to date bottles and batch codes so precisely?

    1. Hi, sorry for late reply.
      Specifically related to Serge Lutens codes, two enthusiast collectors gave us all pictures we needed, and explained the SL "method" in details.


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