I am walking behind Serge Lutens, the creative director of Christian Dior in the 1960s and 1970s, and perfumer to Shiseido since the 1980s, as he shows me around his garden in Marrakech. Immaculately clad, despite the 30°C Moroccan heat, in a tailored black suit, Lutens, 66, occasionally darts off the path into the dappled greenery, emerging minutes later with a flower or seeds for me to smell. 'This garden has a personality that doesn't want to expose itself,' he says in his thoughtful, poetic manner. 'Except for the palm trees, everything else grows in the shade. The garden and I are similar. I wouldn't like to be too public and this is not a public garden. Every time I walk around here I discover something I don't know, because the garden grows itself.'
— From Grow your own perfume in the Telegraph, in which columnist Liz Hancock looks at gardens grown by Serge Lutens, George Dodd of Scent Systems, Edmond Roudnitksa and Michel Roudnitska.
Sigh… mixed feelings..
'I am walking behind Serge Lutens…' Oh, I've turned green! Not fair! *sulks*
'You have to be happy with the reality, otherwise it's nothing.' I like that: the opposite of airy-fairy.
Wasn't that a great article? And nice to read about perfumers from a different angle.
Nothing too special maybe it is just that Lutens and I share the same ancestors, the same roots and there are just more persons or characters like him in my family.
Just discovered that not so long ago.
what a lovely world he has created. And it does sound deeply rooted in reality. It inspires me to go fire up the tiller ….almost!:-)
ps. Liz Zorn has some really lovely musings on her gardens – I noticed you noted her name change, which prompted the memory. I love that she creates such lovely scents in such a prosaic place! Reminds us that beauty and elegance can be found any and everywhere, not just the places we (at least me) are conditioned to expect them. If Morocco, why not Morrow, Ohio?!
True Mamabear, those wonderful scents and beauty can be found anywhere.
I am a bit puzzled for I've lived in Morocco for abt three and a half years but I have little recollections of wonderful smells, except for the smell of cedarwood and mintleaves.
For many months Morocco is is very hot and very dry and the land turns brown. It must take a whole lot of water to create a beautiful garden as described. Only very wealthy people lived in such lush green surroundings, the rest of the population had little water at their disposal and the animals lived through hardship.
Morocco is just not a fairytale and most people are struggling to feed their families and build a house bit by bit.
The article does give the impression that he allowed the garden to sort of 'naturally' evolve, though his version of 'naturally' might entail more than another's…but I can see where your reality of Morocco and his might diverge.
This reminds me of the (possibly) apocryphal story of Ralph Lauren paying a potato farmer the price of his crop, so that he would plant something more appealing to the eye – some flower, I think. Let's face it, nature (and agriculture) is often at odds with the NOTION of nature (and agriculture)
Mamabear you write that nicely!
I just should also add that Morocco is also so much more than meets the eye.
You're related to him? Tell us more! You don't sound very happy about it. Why?
Lutens is a Flemish name, yes?
That's a wonderful article. So different! I would have liked more pics, though.
There nothing to tell Bela. Lutens is a Flamish name indeed, I have the same name in my family and both SL and my family come from Lille and were hugenotes once. And where everybody lived before that time..??
The sigh was more about those too romantic feelings concerning Morocco..
Sorry if I gave you guys the wrong impression.
Oh, I see. I'm sorry. I was getting all excited for you. Thought you might get an invitation to his Moroccan estate.
That would be really nice..;)