I hate to say this, but after all the good reviews I have read about Chergui, i thought I am going to love it. This was my first sniff of Serge Lutens, and i hated it!
It smells cheaply sweet and a bit too creamy. This might as well be the house's DNA. But I really did not enjoy it, i tried to like it. However after giving my sample many tries i concluded that this smell is just not for me.
It simply reminds me of the cheap oil mixtures you get from local markets around the middle east. Nothing beyond that IMO.
Oh well, i got a lot more to try from the house of Serge Lutens.
Chergui was a total disappointment for me, after hearing all the rave reviews I was expecting a fragrance that would knock my socks off, and what I get is this linear sweet tobacco scent that is nothing out of this world.
For a sweet tobacco perfume, Desert by Fragonard beats it by a mile. Not only is more complex, but it offers a nice development while Chergui is linear.
Desert by Fragonard not only smells better to me, but is a higher quality perfume and has this beautiful Oud note in the drydown that in not there in Chergui (I was expecting Oud on a S. Lutens fragrance).
But I can't complain about the sillage and longevity of Chergui.
150 bucks for 1.7 oz of Chergui against 50 bucks for 3.4 oz of Desert by Fragonard, it is a no brainer.
Many times on these forums, and in the Youtube reviews, certain fragrances will gain legendary status until enough people get their noses on the product and the lengend is shattered. Due to price and exclusivity this happens more often with niche fragrances vs. the designer frags that can be smelled at the local mall. After smelling Chergui I couldn't help but be dissapointed, and below I will go the various aspects of the fragrance:
1. Projection: Powerful. I sprayed some on my wrist and an hour and a half later my wife made me wash it off before she would sit on the couch and watch a movie with me.
2. Longevity: It last 8+ hours.
3. Scent: Absolutely nothing groundbreaking, but not all scents need to be in order to be legendary. However, it doesn't necessarily smell bad. It is simply a dash of honey, 3 dashes of tobacco, 3 dashes baby powder, and 1 dash of the chemical you can smell in baby wipes (so maybe 4 dashes of baby wipes). Think of the drydown of The Dreamer and then add bably wipes and you have Chergui. In a battle The Dreamer TKOs Chergui every time. This scent is dull, feminine, uninspiring, and highly over rated. At this price, don't believe the hype!
17th April, 2011 (last edited: 23rd April, 2011)
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Chergui = women's hairspray + cherry sauce + pipe tobacco still in the pouch.
This obviously works for some people, but not me. I'd place it on the feminine side of the scale.
I didn't like the first couple of hours and the rest was simple and uninteresting, though it did last a long time. I agree with the reviewer that mentioned an "air freshener" quality, which I really dislike. It's a "synthetic" quality that I detect in some inexpensive fragrances. I find nothing appealing about this, and didn't detect tobacco, though the rose was there (I would have rather it been the other way around). I also agree with the reviewer who said that eventually it developed in something too similar to Pi by Givenchy. Not sure what the idea here was, but it didn't seem very well thought out to me. Sillage is strong too.
I get wet pavement big time with this. The pavement that's been sitting out in the sun, baking and collecting the dirt, grime, dust and soil of the weeks since the last rain. Then dump some incense and syrup in the mix.
Something in the opening of Chergui kills my sense of smell. Shortly after taking a whiff of this I can't smell it again until several minutes later.
The dry-down is a generic-smelling vanillic gourmand. Not unpleasant but certainly nothing worthy of all the praise. It seems this fragrance has acquired the me-too bandwagon syndrome where one well-respected reviewer has created a following regardless of the quality of said fragrance.
Bois Blond by Parfumerie Generale does the hay thing much better.
What a funny little fragrance this is. It reminds me of the fair, whether it means to or not. I don't know if it's that honey and hay imagery getting the best of my senses, but I am reminded of a hot summer day at a country carnival; clad in sandals and a sundress, walking atop asphalt and dirt strewn with hay. Games surround, with their bright colors and flashing lights, the occasional bll ringing, indicating a winner; ferris wheel rising above the background, screams from the rollercoaster, and the smells of cotton candy and elephant ears made less sweet by bitter hot asphalt and the sharpness of stacked haybales.Chergui doesn't last long on me, five hours at best. I did not wish it to come back. It is fun enough, out of the ordinary, but for me, maybe a little too virtual reality. It shares a note with Aomassai that is sharply medicinal and burns my nostrils. Maybe it is the hay? Chergui is sweeter through and through, though, which tempers the hay and makes it more wearable for me than Aomassai.
Sorry, it smells the same than Pi - Givenchy to me.
And I don't like that.
Sticky! Rather than sumptuous, Chergui was syrupy. A nauseating Stephanotis note, as in Nocturnes by Caron, with a touch sweat, but not enough to redeem it. I bought a full bottle based on some reviews, and that bottle needs a new home fast! Want it? Free to good home.
Starts very well, but is rather soapy and very strong. Ends with a vanilla/sandalwood blend some of Serge Lutens scents have that is cloying and nasty on me. Scrubbed.
I acquired from Lutens their set of wax samples, which I have tested from time to time. Chergui was one that I enjoyed and it struck me as smooth, sensual and sophisticated with a well-rounded tobacco note. So when opportunity came to purchase a bottle I did so. Unfortunately, in the liquid fragrance the tobacco was more potent, a tad bitter and clashed with the smoothness around it. I learned a valuable lesson for myself: don’t buy a Lutens on the basis of a wax sample. Test the actual liquid before buying.
Does anyone else go to a dentist who uses a cleansing tooth paste which smells of Chergui? That's about all I get from this, which develops into that scent melded with cinnamon. Under all this is the treacly Lutens structure which quite frankly is just too damn sweet for this lad.
Admittedly, I am trying this from a Perfumed Court decant, and not the original bottle, but I'm willing to bet the source is pure.
That being the case, I'm glad this has its adherents; I am not one of them. This is one of three scents I've worn (Polo Blue and Montale Cuir d'Arabie the others) where I've actually had to wash them off lest there be imminent sickness.
Blind buyers beware: do not be lulled into the fantasia of hay, tobacco, and amber, thinking this a lost city of El Dorado. Try before you buy, unless you want an olfactory hallucination of dental fillings by Dr. Resnick.
I tried several of the Luten scents and just cannot wear them.
They all come off as cheap Wizard air deodorizer on me.
So overwhelming that I got a headache and nausea like I do with Poison.
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I must say that even the best of reviews of this fragrance make it sound like exactly the kind of nauseating mess I try to avoid. This artificial, cloying amber/vanilla era actually closes up my throat sometimes. Thank you for helping me avoid this collision.
Such a clash of notes, I can't figure it out, is it cosy or nauseating? Warm, sweet notes like honey, musk and amber collide with a watery coolness reminiscent of cucumber and schampoo. Weird. The sweet/sour/watery mustiness of it smells close to rottening. And above it all a nice, dry, smoky hint of incense.
I'm sorry, but I just can't take the clash between gourmand sweet and watery "fresh", between warm and cool, I find it sickening.