Perfume Directory

Serge Noire (2008)
by Serge Lutens

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Serge Noire information

Year of Launch2008
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 261 votes)

People and companies

HouseSerge Lutens
Parent CompanyShiseido

About Serge Noire

Serge Noire is a shared / unisex perfume by Serge Lutens. The scent was launched in 2008

Serge Noire fragrance notes

Reviews of Serge Noire

Whew! The opening of Serge Noire is what I imagined the Scent of Oger to smell like! ;-) To quote Shrek who is an Oger..."Ogers are like onions...they have layers." Serge Noir has several layers thats for sure.

This opens like an acrid, eye burning onion with a dark, dank blackness lurking just under the surface of the onion stench. Within 30 minutes the onion changes to the chap stick like note that I also read about...check and check. The onion apparently comes from the cumin. The chapstick like note I believe is from the elemi, as I've smelled a similar note in an elemi heavy scent before. I'm only about an hour in, so I'm hoping for more transitions that I've read about. I love clove and cinnamon, so I'm hoping for more of that. We'll see how this develops. What a weird fragrance. Weird from the standpoint of, "why would someone purposefully make something like this to market and sell to the public as a scent to wear on their bodies?" It almost makes you wonder if they did it just to see how many people would buy it. The opening alone is off putting enough to drive many people away, but I'm going to work with it and see if I can possibly figure out a way to wear this stuff...
09th August, 2018
Judging from the reviews here and elsewhere, Serge Noire seems to develop very differently from skin to skin. Skin chemistry seems to be a huge factor with this scent. From some reviews I wouldn't think we're talking about the same perfume. Of course it can be a matter of taste, why people judge so differently. I happen to like woods and incense, another one of my favourites is Malle's Portrait of a Lady, though PoaL is much drier. Or it may be the case that reviewers don't wait for the full development. Serge Noire takes 15 to 20 minutes to develop, merge and settle down. I get the phoenix metaphor here, it changes and changes. Or may be the secret is to use just a tiny little amount.
I don't get any cumin or castoreum or bitter oud notes, let alone BO, nor any syrup and fruit notes either, just cinnamon, cloves, cedar, sandalwood, amber and incense. Warm spices, precious woods and uplifting incense all blended so well together after the first few minutes and wrapping me like a cashmere shawl all day long. On me it has tremendous longevity. Perfect for autumn and winter and also for a rainy day in summer. For me its a masterpiece and one of my all time favourites. Ten out of ten.
02nd November, 2017
The Scream by Edvard Munch 1893
01st May, 2017
Yet another fragrance ruined by the bitter, acrid oud-like note of cedar gone bad. There is cinnamon, amber and clove here too, which balance the bitterness with some sweetness, but the bitter cedar and patchouli act with these notes like two ends of a seesaw, one minute one is in the ascendance, the next, the other.

Night it is, but an ultimately unpleasant night. I never will understand why so many fragrance addicts enjoy just smelling "bad," but that is the state of the world's noeses today, and there is no end of attempts by niche houses to accommodate them.

This just smells bad to my nose and is one of the very few Lutens I am unable to give even a neutral to.
29th May, 2016
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."

Fragrance: 5/10

Projection: 3/10

Sillage: 3/10

Longevity: 3/10
18th April, 2016
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.

23rd February, 2016

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