More than any other line, Serge Lutens scents are slowly winning over any other line. Well, they actually already won and I’m not even close to owning bottles of all of those I love. That is one of the reasons I am very attached to my credit cards. 🙂
I swapped some time ago for a small decant of Santal Blanc and I totally fell in love with at first smell but didn’t give much thought to actually thinking about what is it that I love so much (probably due to the fact I couldn’t at first recognize any note out of it).
So, the other day after feeling so low I decided to visit Martimex (used to be my favourite perfume/skincare store – maybe will be again) and see if they have Douce Amere before the bottles disappear forever. They didn’t but I saw Santal Blamc and while discussing some other things with the very helpful SA and buying some of them, I decided I will be going home with SB. 🙂 And since I did, it was time to give it a proper sniff and review.
Notes: white sandalwood, cinammon, fenugreek, pink pepper, rose, jasmine, orris root, musk, benzoin, copaiba balsam.
I’m still struggling a bit with it because to me it is complex and not easily broken down into notes. It starts with this warm sandal feel but it has much more depth than those words imply. The slightly warm feeling reminded me of cumin but it’s not exactly that – cumin has a “distinctive” warm smell while this just smells slightly spicy and warm (my guess fenugreek and musk?). Anway, smelling it without notes, I would never have thought of cinammon and then afterward I thought I smelled it through this white sandal spicy warmth but cannot say that for sure. I started to think of it as warm and cuddly but although it comes close to being that, it doesn’t actually get into that category. There is a spicy/woody edge that just doesn’t let it get there and I appreciate it. It exactly fits with me when I want to smell warm and approachable but strong.
I find it rich and deep, I guess all those bottom notes give it that quality. Honestly though, I don’t know where the jasmine and rose are – probably blended so well into the structure that my untrained nose just can’t get them. It took me a while (although it shouldn’t have) to figure out that the slightly boozy-vanilla hint was coming from benzoin (I know that usually!).
It really isn’t an easy perfume for me to get to the bottom of – I got the feeling like it has this quality of its ingredient notes being wet. Not an aquatic note but more like some of the ingredients were wet when getting into the formula. And it gives it even more depth and body. This wetness dissipates later and I’m left with a drydown of benzoin and sandalwood hinting at some saltiness coming from orris (that would be my conclusion).
And since I mentioned my collection, it already has: Cedre, Serge Noir, Chergui and now Santal Blanc (I also have Feminite du Bois but that is a special category). Those that I know I will buy (eventually) are: Douce Amere, Fille en Aiguilles and Fleurs d’Oranger. But since I haven’t smelled all of them, you never know what else might come along.