I was gifted a sample of this, and I like it. I am surprised there are not more positive reviews of it. This is definitely a warm and spicy scent. I smell cumin, cloves, and incense mostly. There are other spices--I cannot delineate cinnamon from the lot-- but I do not have a highly tutored sense of smell, either. It is not sweet smelling to me. It has very little projection. It seems more of a skin scent to me. Longevity is not very good. I expect it would wear longer on clothing than on skin. I find it enjoyable for myself to wear on the right day/night, but I do not imagine wearing it for others, and I would not say that it is sexy in any way. It is not especially feminine in the way some orientals such as Samsara are "feminine." It is definitely unisex, or more precisely non-sex. I would label it "neuter."
Borrowing some descriptors from other reviews... chapstick, kreteks and cumin. A spicy and rather quirky novelty of a scent, and I'll echo, not too terrible distant in weight/feel from its tea-based-brother from the same house. Hardly deserved of all the acrimony. Works well in cool weather, under clothing.
I'm 50+, for reference.
The reviews of this fragrance, shows just how subjective peoples olfactory senses. I have bought fragrances with wanton abandonment much to my credit cards credit limit, because of their reviews and found that they were not all cut out what they were meant to be. This is why not buying blindly is an expensive game. Also do try and sample and see how the fragrance develops over a period of time. This all may seem academic but I think so worthwhile reinforcing! Sermon over, I got a free sample of this, and it just hit me as one of those dark mysterious smells, I just had to have it. The majority of reviewers have not thought this a great scent. In my opinion this is one of the best scents I have ever smelt. I think we get camps of people some who like floral, some who like woodsy, some well you get the point I raise I help. But do sample this scent, it is superb, In my repertoire I have Tom Ford, Plum Japonaise, Tobacco Vanille, nearly all the Amen reincarnations, Frederic Malle, Musc Ravageur, Portrait of a Lady, down to Old Spice, Noir, Mandate. This is a scent you have to try before passing judgement. In my mind it is one I think ranks amongst the top 10. Superb!
Genre: Woody Oriental
Well, they got the “noire” right, at any rate. Even within the first few minutes of wear, Serge Noire establishes itself as a dark, dark scent, with a dense blend of spices, incense, and aromatics that even suggests some of the big, burly masculines of the 1970s. The composition resolves into a bold, rasping accord of peppery spices and incense that’s held together by a huge dusty cedar note. The impression is one of simultaneous heat and darkness.
Notably absent is any of the familiar Sheldrake-Lutens stewed fruit and syrup accord, so Serge Noire is dry as well as hot. With all the spices and cedar, Serge Noire gets me thinking about Shiseido’s Basala, which I believe Sheldrake may also have worked on. The two scents are cousins, if not siblings, though I remember Basala as a somewhat richer and more rounded scent.
All of these impressions come within the first hour of wearing Serge Noire. Soon after that, the entire structure collapses like a house of cards, so that only the dry, dusty cedar remains. The development, if you can call it that, is one of the most bizarre I’ve ever encountered. The fragrance shrinks away so fast I can actually smell it imploding. It’s not clear to me whether Serge Noire’s transformation is an inherent property of the fragrance, or due to my own olfactory habituation. All I can say is that over the course of five or ten minutes all of the spices and incense that comprised Serge Noire’s heart are crammed into a cedar box and the lid slammed shut on top of them. Utterly baffling.
Wow, very refined Coca Cola smell. What can I say? I didn't expect this from this house, albeit the fact this is the first fragrance I'm smelling by them. In a way it takes some guts to wear this one, smelling like boiled coca cola.
As time passes, coca cola smell subsides a bit, but not completely, and fragrance starts to smell a bit like a burned paper/wood. It is the strong clove note, which is not listed, but clove it is and it is strong, that actually creates this "distinct" coca cola note I'm feeling.
A fireplace, letters burning in it, also a shattered glass full of cognac...and some clove. That's the best description I can come of at this moment.