Not all of Serge Lutens fragrances take me on distant journeys in my imagination or my mind. Some of them take me back to familiar places. In contrast to the more suggestive and hard to penetrate fragrances, these manage to create a feeling of familiar and appreciated safety.
Douce Amere is that kind of perfume. It is mild, but very aromatic. Rich of odours, but dry. Warm, slightly sweet, but with some bitterness still. For me, Douce Amere is as relaxing and comforting as any fragrance with lavender. Douce Amere takes me back to my childhood summers in Alträsk. Yeah, I keep nagging about that Alträsk, but how could I do else? Ask me to
associate to the word summer and I would probably say Alträsk faster than a pig blink (it´s a saying in swedish).
When I was a child, there was still some people in the village that have farm animals, there was cows, sheeps and horses. Some of my friends parents had a small-scale farm and we run in and out to the cow-house, petting cows and horses and offcourse... jumping in the hay. Besides that we rest in the hay when it was rainy outside and we build tunnels and secret rooms in it and the sligthly tart smell of hay was all around.
During the late summer we used to get us plastic cups with a little sugar in and then we picked the cups full of blueberries and sat us down in the sun with our backs against a haystack and ate our bluberries. We used to compete on wich one was the cleanest after finnishing the bluberries. If you´re about eleven years old and have your back against a haystack and eating bluberries together with your little brother and friends, there isn´t much that can be more cozy and secure.
Just that is what Douce Amere smells on me. Sunwarmth hay, comfort, late summer sun and something a little sweet and spicy. Douce Amere is late summer in Alträsk, vegetation that has started to dry out and become yellow, preparing for autumn and winter. The days are still warm, but the nights has become colder and there isn´t that fun to bath anymore. Just a little melancholy, because the summer is about to end and the school is soon about to start.
On me, Douce Amere isn´t a thrilling fragrance, but it evokes a lot of good feelings. Childhood, warmth, security and the feeling to exist in a context that is the best one can imagine.
Right now it is winter in Alträsk, and I talked with my mother some days ago and she told me that it was -25 c (-13 f) up there. But I just have to sniff my wrist to be transported to Alträsk in the late summer. Not bad, huh?
By the way, Alträsk is pronounced more like Altraesk, than Altrask.