Perfume Directory

Chergui (2001)
by Serge Lutens

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Chergui information

Year of Launch2001
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1245 votes)

People and companies

HouseSerge Lutens
PerfumerChristopher Sheldrake
Parent CompanyShiseido

About Chergui

Chergui is a shared / unisex perfume by Serge Lutens. The scent was launched in 2001 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Christopher Sheldrake

Chergui fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Chergui

Chergui smells "niche" (read: expensive) and still has an unusual scent profile even though the tonkabacco genre it belongs to to has been run into the ground. But it's also a minimalist, extremely linear, very sweet composition, with no secrets or nuances to discover after the first minute or so of wear, so it quickly becomes tiresome.
07th August, 2019
Chergui (2001) by Serge Lutens is one of those niche scents that is basically used as a gateway to the house that made it, much like Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle (2000). It is a deceptively simple and straightforward tobacco and tonka fragrance that would end up getting copied and modified dozens of times over again in the designer perfume sector after its release, with the style of tobacco it represents effectively replacing the older leafy kind found in predecessors like Aramis Havana (1994) or Versace The Dreamer (1996). Christopher Sheldrake is the main nose behind this, like all early Serge Lutens fragrances not made by the man himself (which is in fact most of them), so there is quality here even if the style is rather direct. For me personally, I understand why this is revered so much, but with the expansion and proliferation of this idea throughout the 2000's, I think there are enough better options for less on the table. I don't hate Chergui, but I think most of the appeal it has is carried by reputation alone with a bit of peer pressure from colognoisseurs.

A sweet pillowy cloud of iris and rose on just a tiny speck of lemon is carried along by a massive dose of tonka absolute large enough to take away one's breath. Folks who hate tonka bombs will immediately need to leave the area upon spraying Chergui because it is very intense and follows all the way into the base with no reprieve. A honeyed tobacco and amber are next, setting up the experience of Chergui for the duration of the wear. This is a powdery amber mixing with that honeyed tobacco, with some olibanum causing a bit of that, but the base of musk and scratchy woods is where the real dealbreaker lies with me. Whether this is norlimbanol or something earlier in the same vein, it mixes with the white musk to cloy up the rest of the scent and make it itch upon the nose. For fans of this semi-oriental "proto-tonkabacco" composition, winter time and dimly lit clubs are where Chergui shine brightest, as use in any kind of casual day time setting or warmer weather would feel morose to me.

Stuff like Gucci Pour Homme (2002) and McGraw by Tim McGraw (2008) would run with the style of amber here while L'Occitane Eau des Baux (2006), Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille (2007) and Calvin Klein cK One Shock for Him (2011) would lean on the tobacco style, so I guess if you wanted them combined, this might be an option, especially since the Gucci is gone and the McGraw can be something of a lark to find outside holidays. This one is a bit too heavy and itchy for me, plus extremely linear once it "locks in", although I can't complain for performance since sillage is insane along with longevity. The sheer hype on this scent among men especially has me a bit disappointed but not surprised, as this is an easy-to-understand fragrance and thus more accessible to those uninitiated to niche with quality being ipso facto to performance, but it just doesn't twirl my knobs in the way I prefer from this genre. Compound this with Creed-style price gouging direct from Lutens and the appeal for Chergui weakens further, especially in light of more sophisticated and graceful options having arisen in its wake. Still, I give it a neutral for being influential.
18th May, 2019
I need to expand my Serge Lutens collection. The opening of this is exquisite: light honey and whiskey notes coupled with rose, hay, and amber: a hint of powder but not enough to make it a primary element. Tobacco and hay come through more after the first 15 minutes, well-blended. It's gently sweet and light: I could wear this at any and all occasions. It is, unfortunately, a bit ephemeral: there is light to moderate projection and the sillage is 4ish hours. As the drydown occurs, it becomes lighter, straightforward/linear: hay and amber take the stage until the scent is gone altogether.

This is very good: unisex, leaning a touch masculine. For $55 dollars for 1.7 ounces, it's a wonderful scent that works in both formal and informal settings.

8.5/10

07th March, 2019
There’s probably nothing I could say about Chergui that hasn’t already been said at this point, but my newer bottle of this perfume is still just as amazing as I expected based off of other people’s experiences.

I get a smoky honey tobacco from start to finish. It’s quite linear on me but I happen to enjoy the scent from the initial application so I don’t mind. It’s when the scent starts out a mess on me that I quickly lose my patience. This starts out beautiful and doesn’t need to try too hard from there on. It’s totally unisex, I could see many different people enjoying this, the only prerequisite is that you enjoy tobacco in fragrances. The honey gives it that sweetness to balance with the smoky herbs, but it’s not sickening and most importantly (to me), it doesn’t go animalic.

It has some perseverance, longevity is great and it lasts on me all day (8+ hours). Projection/sillage is not as powerful as I thought it might be, but it is a modest amount of projection that will not offend anyone, which I actually am grateful for. I’d rather a scent be closer to me than assault someone across the street, but this one is a happy medium of the two.

I must stress again that this scent could work for anyone of any age. I consider myself to be young(ish), and recently into niche fragrances and I didn’t find this one to be too out of my comfort zone. Tobacco fragrances are really prominent in designer fragrance houses at the moment so this one wouldn’t be too outrageous for anyone to test that is just coming from that background.

Solid like! Might not use it all up but I'll use it later in the winter a couple of times and decide whether or not to pass it on.
26th February, 2019
Sumptuous, spicy, sweet, creamy, earthy. This is an absolutely beautiful fragrance, one which I fell in love with upon first sniff. What else is there to add that hasn't already been said? The hype is absolutely justified here in my book. Bar none, one of the best Serge Lutens and tobacco fragrances period.
24th February, 2019
ad_scott Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A luxurious version of Eau des Baux; creamier and smoother. I get the hay, tobacco and honey more than anything else.
De luxe.
23rd January, 2019

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Serge Lutens Chergui Eau de Parfum 5mL travel size

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(Receipt Available) Chergui by Serge Lutens 8 mL (0.27 oz) and metal case

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