Serge Lutens Louve

I’m not ashamed to say it: Shakira was my childhood. At first glance, Shakira appeared to be little more than another pretty, thin blonde, no different than Britney or Christina or dozens of others. But then we discovered that spectacular voice, that expressive, joyful yodel somewhere between Alanis Morissette and a mountain goat. Oh, and she dressed like Xena, Warrior Princess.

Now, almost a decade after her first English-language album, the music industry has finally managed to reduce Shakira into a Britney. As evidence, I present her latest album, 2009’s “She Wolf”. Gone is the delightfully hiccupy voice. Gone is the Columbian influence. Gone is the jaw-dropping belly dancing. In their place we have generic, computer-generated vocals and unbelievably awkward, Riverdance-esque dance moves. Oh, and the lyrics make no goddamn sense. “I’m starting to feel just a little abused, like a coffee machine at an office”? I mean, obviously we can’t know what goes on between Shakira and her household appliances, but what does that even mean?


Serge Lutens Louve (“she wolf” in French), much like the newly gentricized Shakira, has none of the ferocity of a true she-wolf. In fact, Louve is about as cuddly as they come. Louve smells distinctly and inescapably like Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo. The official notes, from LuckyScent, are: almond, rose petals, fruity notes, jasmine petals, amber, musk and vanilla powder, but they might as well just say baby shampoo.

Now, I love the smell of baby shampoo, and so I find Louve to be an extremely pretty almond scent. However, mothers who have actually had to deal with a screaming baby at bathtime may find the association considerably less endearing. The traditional Lutens complexity is mostly absent from Louve, making it one of the more accessible fragrances in the Lutens lineup.

9 thoughts on “Serge Lutens Louve

  1. The first time I smelled Louve I was like, “Oooohhhh, marzipan!!!” I got a sample and tried it on skin later and was like, “What the H is this?” I found it piercingly strong and it had this icko diaper bag quality — I wish I were getting a gentler “baby shampoo” accord like you.

    Have you tried Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie? It’s crazy cheap in comparison and I prefer it — it’s less sweet, but still powdery, and quite nice. It even has a convincingly doughy quality.

    1. Awww, y’all are not feeling the Louve love! I’ve only tried Almond Cookie once, and found it quite intense, but I need to try it again. The price is amazing, and I like supporting Carol’s Daughter.

      1. The top notes are intense but it’s more subtle on skin I think, and lasts a surprisingly long time. I’d probably be WAY more critical of it, of course, if it were expensive as Lutens, but for the price, I like it.

  2. Louve is one of the only scents that as soon as I smelled it (on my skin, of course) I hated it.

    Cherry cough syrup to the tenth power. And then squared.

    Which was a bummer, because I really thought that I was going to like it!

    1. I am starting to suspect that the issue here is that I have never tried cherry cough syrup (our family favored grape). I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you! Have you tried Rahat Loukoum? I’ve read that’s what this was supposed to be based on.

      1. I love Turkish Delight! I like the Keiko Mecheri incarnation much better, although it’s too sweet for me to actually wear.
        Almond is delicious… the first few seconds of Louve are amazing. When I put it on, I thought, Wow, This Is Amazing! followed less than 10 seconds later by, Oh Crap, I Hope This Washes Off (nope. great lasting power.)

  3. I truly dislike sugar coma perfumes (ultravanilla&berries ones), but for some reason I always feel attracted to those little gems of indulgence : the moderately sweet, almondy ones…
    You either love or hate marzipan in perfumes. I love it, but mostly leave it unless I can find the very special one that doesn’t screams ‘eat me’. And as a Guerlain-desserts’ fan, I’m afraid that have to go this way: to be particularly reminder of L’Heure Bleue (or Après L’Ondée), which both of them evoke me the almond-based multicolored macaroon cookies of traditional french pastry.
    I think Louve is not as far as it seems from that. It smells simply tender, in a ‘guerlinadesque’ way. I find it quite a bit boring-one dimensional-sadly just not for me, but always deserves my respect.

    I have to get around to evaluate L’Eau d’Hiver by EP Fréderic Malle in very short.
    It seems that is another must have of the category (I’m sure I read the same ‘Johnson Baby Shampoo connections’ somewhere!).

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