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The top notes are a blend of dry smokiness and resinous incense (not frankincense...well, shall I say not burning frankincense, but the incense resin itself and some other kind of pine based almost citrus spiked incense) - very dry. At the very edges of the incense is a wonderful spice accord. Not the candied 'Red Hots candies' of Rousse or the candied ginger from Five O' Clock Gingembre. No sweet spice. Rather, the smells of a fresh ground nutmeg pod.
As it dries on the skin, the scent actually gave me the impression it was 'warming' my skin. I even looked at my skin the first time I tested this, just to check that I wasn't having a skin allergic reaction to the scent (I wasn't). But, the olfactory impression of warm skin and spice is uncanny. There it was, buzzing atop my skin.
When I have Christmas parties at my house, right before the guests arrive I usually grab a few whole cinnamon sticks and whole cloves and boil them in a shallow pan of water - to fill the house with a fresh spicy scent. Once I left the pan on the stove idle for too long. I rushed in, the spices burning and sticking to the hot pan because it ran out of water. I am reminded of this smell, the first hour of wearing SN.
The honey notes come and go, in amidst the incense, spice and resins. Not too strongly, and almost imperceptible at times - but still enough to link the scent to my impression of a Serge Lutens scent. The honey's skillfully blended and it's not sweet. It's one of my favorite parts SN.
The longer one wears the scent, the more sweeter the spice starts to become. It starts to really smell like cinnamon at this point (yay...I love cinnamon!!) but because it occurs at this stage of the dry down it is a subdued and restrained sweetness. Not candied or syrupy but 'textured' and skin hugging.
I enjoyed the longevity of the scent. Almost five to six hours later my skin smelled up close, revealed the incense: dark, filled with hints of ash (less smoky than Avignon by CdG...more warm), almost raw. However my skin, smelled from far away, revealed the spice and oleoresins: freshly ground, nose tickling..
In India, ground nutmeg is smoked. Imagining a burning, nutmeg scented, hand rolled cigarette. I am certain wearing Serge Noire comes close to replicating this olfactory experience.
This scent is amazing.
03rd October, 2008