Santal Majuscule (and a minuscule draw)

There is a reason why I don’t review Serge Lutens perfumes often even though I wear many and like many of them (wouldn’t mind owning practically the whole line).
I just never seem to be able to find the words to describe exactly what I smell – that happens with other perfumes as well, but nowhere am I so strongly aware of it as with SL perfumes.

So, I’ll try and do my best ut in the end, as is always the case with Uncle Serge perfumes, the reviews won’t really prepare you for what you smell in the end. 🙂 (I find that a great thing myself)

Notes: sandalwood, cocoa, Arabian attar rose, honey, spices

I’ve sampled and worn Santal Majuscule many times over the weeks I have it and still, each time I smell it, I find another facet of it to be revealed. I went through so many ideas of what this perfume smells like and each time I smell it again, half of the stuff I thought it smelled like aren’t there but there are new things I smell.

Until I saw the notes, cocoa and rose never entered my mind  but once I saw them, I knew they were in there, I even remembered exactly at what point the cocoa comes to play.

Before I start describing what it smells like to  me, I should say that the most obvious thing I get from it is that it is a combination of perfumes that already exist in the line. I don’t mean to say by that that I think it’s not good or smelling differently, it’s just that there are familiar accords jumping out at you at different times.

Sometimes it’s the idea of sweet, sticky, spiced (and even boozy) fruit of what I’d like to think as Arabian market variety the first thing you smell, soon to be followed by the teasing wafts of how Jeux de Peau starts, following with opening of Santal Blanc until sometimes you come across barest hints of Ambre Sultan hidden in the murky depths of this perfume.
Because there ARE depths to it, you can smell them from the start. But try as you might, sniffing at close proximity won’t get you anywhere near those depths.

So, what I smell in the beginning is described in the previous paragraph, warm, spicy, boozy fruit with the general feeling of seriousness and darkness (there’s not frivolity to this fruit as the feeling is dry and not sparkling and happy) with cocoa underscoring the darkness and warmth and sandalwood making you swoon.
Now I know it’s there, I can smell the rose appear and the fruitiness slowly disappear. At this point is where I feel a smile blossoming on my face. It is also where I feel the resemblance to Santal Blanc is most prominent.

Being true to my smelling practices, after enjoying this phase for quite a while, all I can say about the drydown, is, it continues to dry in the vein it smells.

Honestly, I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m really not a drydown person.  My attention dissipates by that time.

So, for the minuscule draw I have two samples from my bottle, tell me why you think you might like/love this or why not? Both will work. 🙂

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23 thoughts on “Santal Majuscule (and a minuscule draw)

  1. leonel September 3, 2012 at 23:08 Reply

    I love anything sandalwood so I know I will love it :)(Hope I win the giveaway sample) 🙂


  2. Carol September 4, 2012 at 04:47 Reply

    I absolutely adore you for this : "Honestly, I don't know if you noticed, but I'm really not a drydown person. My attention dissipates by that time. " 😀


  3. Suzanne September 4, 2012 at 05:23 Reply

    Well, Ines, you had me at "warm, spicy, boozy fruit"!(The only thing that scares me is your mention of some resemblance to Jeux de Peau at one point, since I don't get on well with that one.)I'd love to be in the drawing, if I may. 🙂


  4. Tatiana September 4, 2012 at 05:50 Reply

    Sandalwood, cocoa, rose, and spices, what is not to love. It sounds like the very thing I would love.


  5. Irina September 4, 2012 at 07:51 Reply

    please, enter me the draw-I may love it, a lot


  6. Ines September 4, 2012 at 09:44 Reply

    You're in and good luck. :)Loving sandalwood certainly works toward loving Santal Majuscule.


  7. Ines September 4, 2012 at 09:46 Reply

    Hi,hi,hi, it just can't be helped.:) I tried, I really did, but I can follow a perfume for about 3 hours, after that I stop paying attention unconsciously.


  8. Ines September 4, 2012 at 09:48 Reply

    Hmm, Suzanne, now I'm wondering whether you will like it or not. I don't always get Jeux de Peau reference – that's what I find intriguing about SL perfumes, you never know what might await around the nose even though you think you're familiar with it.Of course you're in! 🙂


  9. Ines September 4, 2012 at 09:48 Reply

    Tatiana, now you put it that way, I agree. Really, what's not to love?! 😉


  10. Ines September 4, 2012 at 09:49 Reply

    Ok, Irina, you're in. 🙂


  11. womo531 September 4, 2012 at 11:31 Reply

    It's a SL, even if I don't LOVE it I will admire it greatly =) and ditto above, your comment about drydown is hilarious.. let me just say wait until you find that one perfume that surprise you with its drydown by making you take notice after 3 hrs!


  12. Alityke September 4, 2012 at 11:51 Reply

    This sounds gorgeous. Is the Jeux de Peau reference immortelle or honeyed bread? Please add me to the draw


  13. Laurinha September 4, 2012 at 18:07 Reply

    Hi Ines; thanks for the review…and the draw! Although I haven't tried this opus yet, I like most of what the great Serge brings out, plus the list of notes sounds right down my alley, so I'd be surprised if this one didn't take my fancy. Also, I'm very intrigued when you say that the fragrance keeps showing different facets…fingers crossed my name comes out of the hat! ^_^


  14. Natalie September 5, 2012 at 06:12 Reply

    No need to enter me in the draw, but I enjoyed reading your take as always. I have not tried this yet, and I love the picture you paint of it as something that is complex, but smelling it up close won't help you pin it down. I like perfumes like this, even though they frustrate me too. Thanks for the review!


  15. Ines September 5, 2012 at 09:33 Reply

    Womo, I know, I've been recently surprised like that by Seville a l'Aube – the drydown is the part I love the most in that perfume. But unfortunately that doesn't happen often…


  16. Ines September 5, 2012 at 09:37 Reply

    Alityke, I'd say both, it's that strange opening of Jeux that makes it unique and very recognizable.You're in. 🙂


  17. Ines September 5, 2012 at 09:39 Reply

    Hi Laurinha, I'm always interested in what Uncle Serge comes up with, and now I'm eagerly awaiting the gardenia one to come out in September. :)Good luck!


  18. Ines September 5, 2012 at 09:39 Reply

    I hate it when blogger plays tricks on me and now my reply to you is at the end. 🙂


  19. Ines September 5, 2012 at 09:40 Reply

    Thanks Natalie!Good point – perfumes sometime frustrate me too. 🙂


  20. Undina September 7, 2012 at 07:25 Reply

    Ines, I enjoyed reading your review.Do not enter me into the draw: I really want to but I hope I'll be able to test it soon at a store.


  21. Joan September 9, 2012 at 22:17 Reply

    It sounds like a mix between Badgley Mischka and SL's Arabie. That's why I'd like it.


  22. Ines September 11, 2012 at 09:54 Reply

    OK, Undina. I hope you get to test it soon, I wonder how will you like it though…


  23. Ines September 11, 2012 at 09:55 Reply

    Joan, you're in and I'm off to announce the winners. 🙂


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