As a matter of personal preference, I do not quite like Chergui, but I understand its popularity, a sweet and sour wood fragrance.
Update: I have changed my rating from neutral to positive. Wearing a heavy dose and having it last all day won me over.
28th February, 2016 (last edited: 20th May, 2016)
Too sweet and too tobacco-y.
And given the hype this was a bigger disappointment.
Get Herod or Varvatos Vintage instead if you want tobacco.
Chergui is certainly the Serge Lutens fragrance that I see mentioned the most, and as a fan of sweet tobacco fragrances, it was the first I wanted to try. I'm not disappointed, but intrigued but its depth.
I get far more spicy than tobacco in the opening, the sweetness being obvious but certainly more subdued than other leading "sweet tobacco" niche favorites (Tobacco Vanille, Herod, Back to Black). The dry down is balanced between honey and tobacco, though I'm reasonably sure there are other spicy aspects to this, and not just the incense listed in the notes breakdown. Clove perhaps? I'm not sure.
Decent to strong on projection, and certainly the type of fragrance that cuts through cold weather effectively (it's pungent but not a projection beast, if that makes sense), Chergui is an obvious cold weather option---I can't see this being the type of tobacco fragrance that transitions well to summer.
Deep and spicy, full of both tobacco and, to some extent, sweet honey, Chergui is certainly a great option at its price (in the $55ish range for 50ml on FragranceNet), and its fifteenth year, has observably been a niche mainstay, given the press it gets. For me, it's another option, an interesting alternative to most sweet tobacco fragrance that I own and have sampled.
7 out of 10
Iris, iris, iris, hay, tobacco, and honey. I didn't it at first because it smelled too powdery--almost like a mature woman in a stuffy outfit. After the top notes die down a bit, the thick powdery sweetness is quite nice. It's great how this perfume doesn't smell conventional, and it may be off-putting to some people at first, but it grows on you. One of the few ambery scents I like. Excellent sillage and longevity.
Starts with a very brief, intensely sweet note. Quickly reveals a rich tobacco leaf and hay chord. The florals (first rose, later iris) are certainly evident.
One blog I read said that it suggested not a dry desert wind but the warm atmosphere of a Victorian gentleman's club. I agree. Tobacco, leathery chairs, and furniture polished by rosewood oil. A very masculine scent. Though once in a while I detect some delicious freshly baked sugar cookies on the sideboard.
Cool and warm as various notes alternate. The resin and incense notes persist. At times the incense suggests oud, but perhaps this is the ghostly iris note. No, I am convinced there is oud here.
Touch of honey but not sweet. Leathery, smoky dry-down.
A very complex scent! A dignified Oriental. I'm not big on Orientals, and this is still little sweeter than I like. But it is an excellent scent.
And worth revisiting.