Daim Blond: the perfect leather for autumn

One of the first Lutens perfumes that I tried was Cèdre and I absolutely hated it. The ones that followed were also difficult for me but then came Daim Blond and it was simply stunning. It provided the key to unlock the Lutens-Sheldrake code and embrace their olfactory vision. The thick, fabric-like texture of these fragrances took some time to accept but Daim Blond strikes the perfect balance between lutensian expressionism and comfortable wearing.

Daim Blond is a perfect example of fruit used in the best possible way in a composition. I can smell the apricot right from the opening but it is obvious that this is not going to be a cute little fruit. Equally obvious is leather but a soft, noble leather, without smoky notes. It has a buttery texture, you can almost feel thick ripples of rich suede curling around your fingers as you smell it. The delicate apricot note plays a subliminal game suggesting the fuzzy surface of suede. Everything stays together held by a cloud of sweet almond oil, this neutral, oily smell that gives texture.  All the notes present themselves from the opening but during its development leather becomes more prominent and a dark note presents itself in the base. It smells to me like honey with the tiniest hint of immortelle. I cannot smell any spices which is a huge difference from most of Serge Lutens releases and sweetness is harnessed.

During the cooler days of September Daim Blond is one of my favourite fragrances. The reconstruction of the smell of rich suede is amazingly realistic. I love suede for its texture and softness but it falls in this uncomfortable category of clothes that can be worn easily only during a very specific time of the year, when it is obvious that Winter is coming but you know that he is going to drag his feet a little before making an appearance. In Athens this means two, three weeks maximum. Before this suede jackets are just too warm. After this you just don’t dare expose them to a drizzle of autumn rain. Daim Blond offers the experience of rich suede any time of the year and it wears equally comfortably at any temperature. For those of you who cannot find it in a store near you or who find it too expensive,  Bottega Veneta created its eponymous perfume that has many similarities with Daim Blond.

Notes from Fragrantica:  hawthorn, Ceylon cardamom, iris, apricot kernel, musk, heliotrope, leather

Notes from my nose: apricot, suede, almond oil, honey, immortelle

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About Christos

Scientifically minded but obsessed with the subjective aspect of things. Photos copyright of MemoryOfScent, with special thanks to Pantelis Makkas http://pantelismakkas.blogspot.com/. You are welcome to link to my blog but you are definitely not allowed to copy text or use the photos without my permission. All text and main photos are originals and property of MemoryOfScent All perfumes are from my collection unless stated otherwise.

12 comments

  1. I do wish I could appreciate this one, but I don’t enjoy it at all, one of the few Lutens’ that I don’t get on with (along with Feminite Du Bois amongst others) – I find it incrediblyyyyy subtle, simplistic, and with little personality for me. I know it gets a lot of love, maybe one day it will click, but no problem if not :)
    On the other hand, I love Cedre! Tuberose cough syrup :P

    • Actually I did a 180 on Cèdre so there is a good chance you will get to terms with Daim Blond. I do not find it simple at all and I like the way it reconstructs leather without the cliché of birch tar.

      • I can appreciate that, but it’s leather is so quiet and fluffy I almost find it annoying, wanting more of it. I guess the subtle refinement of it is something I struggle to appreciate. I also can hardly smell it when it’s on my skin :( Ah well, enough said. Glad you made a turnaround on Cedre, I don’t like it enough to own, but maybe I will one day.

  2. Ramona

    Ohh, this is one of my favorites! I love it any time of year because although it’s definately a suede/leather scent it’s not heavy. I live in the southern US where is 80+ degrees nine months of the year and this is comfortable all year round, at least for me. It’s serious without being pretentious with just enough “kick” to let you know it doesn’t follow ALL the rules. Botega Vaneta I love as well and probably equally, truth be told, but it’s a horse of a SLIGHTLY different color, replacing Daim Blonde’s jamminess with a subtle floral instead. I think both are very versatile and its warms the cockles of my heart to see Daim Blonde getting some love because I think it is too often overlooked.

  3. I tried Daim Blond just once and didn’t like it at all. I plan to test it more but since it wasn’t even “ok”, “meh” or something to that effect but a straight forward dislike I doubt it’ll ever be love but I will try since I have a sample. Maybe it was a wrong time of the year?

    • To my nose Daim Blond is one of the easiest Lutens to like but I find out from comments here that this is not the case for many of you. There are lots of leathers out there for everyone.

  4. 100% Agreed! I’ve got a few ml decand in my drawer and it’s gorgeous when it’s cold and windy, autumny.

  5. Let’s hope Serge Lutens, himself hasn’t yet discovered this wonderful blog. Can you imagine what will happen If he accidentally finds out that somewhere in the net, somebody called his Daim Blond : ”simple”… I’ ll tell you what will happen : He will bring to life one of his most sacred, secret desires. He will persuade (and I m sure he knows how) Sheldrake and Roucel to reproduce Jean Baptiste Grenouille’s “human” extract. And then nobody could ever call a Lutens fragrance “simple”!

    • Many have tried. Let’s see if he will succeed :)

      Daim Blond’s simplicity is only reflected by its wearability. Boxeuses, a very close relative, smells more complex but at the same time something is lost from the clarity of Daim Blond’s context.

  6. I’m wearing Daim Blond today because of your review! For me, Daim Blond is an easy-pleaser yet sophisticated scent from Monsieur Lutens! I know it’s funny saying this but everytime I wear Daim Blond, I fall in love with myself, lol.

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