Lautus by Navitus Parfums (2020)

Thumbs Up

Lautus by Navitus Parfums (2020) is from the second series under the creative direction of Steven from Redolessence, but sees the usual perfumer of Christian Carbonnel switched out for longtime niche perfume hero Bertrand Duchaufour, which promises to make things a bit more classical in nature. Surely enough, Lautus feels far more French than many of the previous Navitus fragrances, and doesn’t try to stuff oud, incense, or amber into weird places like some of the original 2019 line. Lautus feels dry and semi chypre-like, and is the traditionally aromatic one from the line, also swinging slightly more masculine for that reason, and is likeable enough to fans of vintage styles reworked as upper-ten luxury niche experiences. I’m not keen on the $130+ price for 50ml, because ultimately this just feels like “designer +” to my nose, but you could do worse.

The opening is going to have a bunch of sharp and floral citrus notes, citing lavender, neroli, yuzu, and lemon verbena. The lift-off from this is impressive, but a touch artificial. I hate re-using “built for cost” so much when reviewing modern fragrances regardless of price point because it feels like a cop-out, but that’s what it is. Juniper in the heart with hedione and other nondescript florals move this further along until the slightly camphoraceous patchouli finds home in the base. Here we see ambroxan, Iso E Super, and cashmeran mingle with the patchouli, giving me huge “Nü” Dior Homme (2020) vibes, but with a more-complex aromatic floral interplay on top. This isn’t an exact analogy and Lautus is the far better “nü-chypre” scent, they just have similar base DNA that makes the late dry down near indistinguishable, which is a bit of a bummer. Wear time is all day and sillage peters out after a few hours due to the extrait format. Recommended use is fall through spring for formal occasions.

Lautus by Navitus Parfums is a good scent if gotten at a good price for people into revisionist traditional perfume and aren’t picky on materials. The extrait concentration means one bottle will last ages in larger collections, which may mitigate the price some, and I see this line as mostly for wealthy or intense-hobby collectors already with large collections anyhow, or the kind of people who follow Steven’s channel. Beyond my price nitpicks and the bottle design looking too much like a store brand Roja Parfum Cologne, there isn’t much else to dock points off of besides the fact that Lautus doesn’t feel exciting. This is relatively safe and reverent yet left-of-center niche perfumery with dubious ingredients quality the likes of which niche fans have known for years by now, and had Duchaufour made this for L’Artisan Parfumeur say 15 years ago, it might have been a head turner like Timbuktu (2004). A solid if slightly unremarkable release from Navitus. Thumbs up.

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