Sweet candied orange rind is all my nose can perceive from Mandarine Mandarin. There is a fizziness that is reminiscent of Lubin's Gin Fizz.
Immortelle is here but way in the background, peeping out occasionally, but remarkably not taking center stage as it usually does. I get no smoke or spices.
Sadly, it just smells "cheap," to me, synthetic. Like sniffing a shampoo that ended up at the local dollar store.
I will pass.
Genre: Citrus (Oriental)
This sleeper has become one of my favorites in the Serge Lutens line. It’s never developed the kind of cult following as Muscs Koublaï Khan, Chergui, or even Tubéreuse Criminelle, but I think it’s no lesser a fragrance than any of those. Though Michael Edwards classifies Mandarine-Mandarin as a citrus scent, it could just as well pass as a very rich oriental. Mandarine-Mandarin goes on with a burst of beautifully rendered orange rind, backed up almost immediately by a truly odd mix of fresh hay, honey, and rich spices. These top notes kept me guessing as to where this scent was going right from the start, and raised expectations of a darn interesting road trip.
Next to emerge is a very rich, velvety honey and smoked spice accord that’s lively by a lingering bitter orange note and an ambiguous animalic element deep in the background. It took me some time to recover from the shock that this mysterious and profound episode caused after the bright candied citrus top notes, while in the meantime Mandarine-Mandarin continued to evolve.
The smoke intensifies over the next hour, while the spices meld and deepen into an exotic accord so thoroughly blended that I can’t distinguish the individual notes. Floral notes rise up as well, soon followed by a small hint of amber.
Now I’m bracing myself for a catastrophe. In my experience, the Sheldrake-Lutens fragrances fall into two broad groups: the few that don’t smother me in amber, and all the rest. But lo, Sheldrake and Lutens manage restraint once more, as they had with Chêne, Sa Majesté la Rose and Un Lys: Mandarine-Mandarin steps away from the amber abyss. Instead, the amber blends with delicate white flowers as a background for the sustained smoke and citrus, and the entire composition grows to resemble a floral-infused bitter marmalade, dusted with lightly charred spices.
Unlike many of the Lutens scents, Mandarine-Mandarin effortlessly blends into my skin. As it develops, its projection becomes somewhat limited, but it fits me like a perfectly tailored garment. In fact, it’s the easiest Serge Lutens scent for me to wear. The drydown is a subtle and extended study in tonka, smoke and ambergris that’s miles and miles removed from the citrus opening. Quite a trip!
Absolutely unisex, by the way, and shares with the otherwise remotely distant Ungaro II the distinction of being a “citrus” that suits me in the wintertime.
Notes of toasted tea leaves latch on to the bitterness of orange peels to create a weird but compelling impression of - wait for it - a smoky orange! Take a bow, Msr Sheldrake.
It reminds me a cheerful cousin of Malle´s Noir epices without the rose and the overdose of cloves. In fact ,It symbolizes to me what Noir epices should have been and wasn't as a result of that cloying rose-clove-orange combo.
the spicy orange always stays on the top like a cheerful veil and the darker side stays in a discreet background.
It has a sort of burning caramel (like brown sugar) that blends perfectly with the bitter orange tones and carry it to more profound and intriguing paths.
very special indeed!
This IS Tresor by Lancome! Add a little smokiness and you get Mandarine Mandarin. I am not going to paint some fairy tale and build up your expectations only for you to end up disappointed. I mean, I know how hard it is to get a hold of some SL so if there is a mall near you, go sample Tresor. If you like what you sniff from Tresor and want some smokiness then get Mandarine Mandarin.
I was in search of a deep, dry, complex and unique citrus scent (emphasis on dry and unique) and a lot of people recommended SL Mandarine but I ended up being reunited with Tresor. This is not a bad scent by any means but for me this was a let down. Tresor was one of my signature scents in high school. I was way ahead of my peers. No teenage fragrances for this girl lol! Anyways, I really really wanted something different.
The spices here are seriously deadened by the screaming caramel sugared mandarine so much so that you don't smell them unless you actively search. The smokey tea holds its own and nicely blends with the candied mandarine. In fact, I think the spices are mixed into the smokey tea and then added into the mandarine if that makes any sense. What I am trying to say is that whatever little spice is in there, I sniff them in the smoked tea and not in the candied mandarine. Smoked spiced tea + seriously candied mandarine= Mandarine Mandarin.