REVIEW

The Fragrance Awards: Serge Lutens’ Five O’Clock Au Gingembre

Remember our Skincare Awards back in early September? Well, we’re back! This time we turn our attention to all the fragrances, old and new, that have claimed a spot on our wrists and décolletages. From classic to citrus and everything in between, these are the fragrances we keep re-purchasing, find ourselves gushing to our besties about, and stare lovingly at on our bathroom shelves for inappropriate amounts of time.

Serge Lutens’ Five O’Clock Au Gingembre is the refined English woman of the fragrance world. Inspired by the ritual of afternoon tea, the semi-gourmand, spicy, oriental scent has an unexpected modern twist and can be worn in all seasons—although it does lend itself a little better to the cooler months, because of its warmth.

Masculine-leaning, the fragrance is best paired with trousers, a beret, and a smart casj shirt. Personally, I felt like a monocle-wearing professor after having trialled it for a week (such is the full-bodied, rich scent it emanates), but I also found it to be super warm and ~sexy~, something I didn’t initially expect. Slightly medicinal, it opens up with black pepper, cinnamon, bergamot, and citrus, and is guaranteed to invigorate the senses with its sweet aroma. The mysterious cinnamon and vanilla accords paired with bergamot render it a master of seduction, and I found that, despite it softening over the course of the day, the scent was reasonably long-wearing. If you like spicy fragrances, this one is for you.

The fragrance is subtle, but not boring. It oozes romance, and inspires long walks through pine tree-studded parks. When I wear it, I picture myself having a spot of tea and ginger snaps with my grandma in a verdant pocket of the English countryside. I also feel luxurious, regal, and like my apartment would have many leather-bound books and smell of rich mahogany. Below, our very important and ~serious~ review.

If Five O’Clock Au Gingembre was a mood: Desire
A language: English
A place: East Yorkshire, England
A person: Alexa Chung
An era: The ’60s
A song: The Clash – London Calling
A time: 5pm
A character: Mr. Darcy
A YouTube video: This

You can buy a bottle here.

Words, Madeleine Woon. Photography, Ellen Virgona.