When death steals into our midst, its breath flutters through the black crepe of mourning,
nips at funeral wreaths and crucifixes, and ripples through the gladiola, chrysanthemums
and dahlias.

If they end up in garlands in the Holy Land or the Galapagos Islands or on flower floats at
the Annual Nice Carnival, so much the better!

What if the hearse were taking the deceased, surrounded by abundant flourish, to a final
resting place in France, and leading altar boys, priest, undertaker, beadle and grave-diggers
to some sort of celebration where they could indulge gleefully in vice? Now that would be

In French, the words beauty, war, religion, fear, life and death are all feminine, while challenge,
combat, art, love, courage, suicide and vertigo remain within the realm of the masculine.

Clearly, Death is a Woman. Her absence imposes a strange state of widowhood.

The chrysanthemum is the sole pretext for writing these lines.

Turning gravesites held in perpetuity over to Life – a familiar of these haunts – the
chrysanthemum invites Death to leave the cemetery and offer us its flower.

De profundis clamavi.


The eau de parfum is available for 140 euro at the Palais Royal Serge Lutens Boutique in Paris. In Switzerland, perfumes by Serge Lutens are available at Jelmoli (Zurich) and Bongénie Grieder (Geneva and Lausanne).


Discover the world of Serge Lutens

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