French creative perfumer Serge Lutens never fails to surprise. His latest fragrance, Vitriol d’Oeillet – in English, roughly, “the rage carnation” – takes as its starting point the carnation, a lowly, ubiquitous flower at the best of times, and marries it with unexpected spice. The mundane flower, sometimes thought of as the poor man’s rose, suddenly, intriguingly, takes on a spunkier character.
As the master himself explains it, “After a moment of hesitation, the carnation – alias the clove pink – is what I am in every sense: this fragrance fraught with anger is my riposte. Its petals, laced with tiny teeth, hold out the solution: a burst of fragrant spikes. Would it make you smile to know that the wallflower packs a real fragrant punch, that the pepper comes from Cayenne, and that the scent of cloves lies deep within this composition?”
A fragrance for men and for women, Vitriol d’Oeillet dares you to expect the unexpected, only to be seduced, after its initial tempestuousness, by its lingering gentleness.
Available exclusively at Metropolitain Cosmetics in Hyde Park, Sandton City and Melrose Arch from September. R950 for 50ml.
Text: Bambina Olivares Wise