If I were blind testing this fragrance, I would simply love it for what I smell, not for what its name suggests it ought to be. In other words, while I'm doubtful this has anything whatsoever to do with Mysore Sandalwood, I really enjoy this deep, resinous, honeyed, delicious and sensuous juice!
The opening was really nothing to write home about. In fact, I was so unimpressed, I vaguely wondered if I had been issued a vial mislabeled. But, approximately one episode of Family Guy in, I started smelling something akin to roasted marshmallows...and then I sniffed my wrist, and there it was! It started developing into a warm vanilla, with a sweetness to it that really was quite similar to roasted marshmallows. And then the honey came in...and I love honey. I love the animalic quality along with the resinous quality. There is something woody here, but it is not dense...it sorta floats in and out. This is more creamy and languid.
I think if this were called any other name, it would receive much more praise.
I love many of Lutens' fragrances, but this is basically curry on my skin. It starts with a blast of spices and I am fond of several spices, but this turns into Indian curry which I prefer to eat rather than smell like. Unfortunately, the curry lasts throughout so the sandalwood is pushed into the background. Mysore? Mysore curry yes, but Mysore sandalwood no.
I have well over a dozen sandalwood fragrances. I don’t find Santal de Mysore by Serge Lutens to be a particularly successful example. First off, I have a decent stockpile of true mysore fragrances (mostly vintage) and I find no evidence of mysore here. That may be a merciful fact, for it would be a crime to drown mysore in the duck fat-spiked honey&caramel that dominates this scent. After some time vague hints of a santal accord show weak signs of slogging through all the stickiness. This is of some interest but the experience is much like seeing a water fowl slimed in an oil spill; you root for it to free itself of the muck and survive but you know that it’s struggle is futile. Even forgetting the utter domination of whatever wood may be in the mix, all the rest is hard to take because the spice hits no higher notes than all the resinous sweet base. This Lutens effort only goes to show how great Santal Noble is – an indisputably opulent take on sandalwood that is nevertheless astonishingly refined.
Beautiful thick resinous spicy honeyed take on sandalwood. Majuscule is the more 'bubbly' sibling to it's more serious father.
Wear once a week during the winter to appreciate it over and over again.
Genre: Woody Oriental
The initial dry sandalwood and cedar blend is heavily spiced and discreetly seasoned with incense. Dark honey and signature Lutens-Sheldrake dried fruit well up quickly underneath, and soon overwhelm the woods to yield what I think of as the standard issue Serge Lutens “fruitcake” accord. (See Arabie or Rousse for an example.)
Happily, the honeyed fruit travels like a slow wave, so that after an hour or two of wear the woods resurface and the composition becomes more distinct and focused. Once Santal de Mysore regains its balance it continues in a more-or-less linear manner for several hours before drifting off in a fine mist of cedar. It projects with moderate strength and leaves a significant trail of sillage for most of its run – enough to make its presence felt, but not so much as to be intrusive. It’s a nice enough scent, deeper and more nuanced than Tam Dao or Satellite’s Padparadscha, though nowhere near as rich and dignified as Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier’s Santal Noble. On the other hand, given its midfield stumble into syrup, I wouldn’t invest in chasing it down myself.