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    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chergui by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Interesting how folks perceive fragrances so differently. I am a little shocked to see so many references to the sweetness of Chergui. I don't find it all that sweet...resinous for sure, but not sweet like so many of today's fragrances. Likewise, it's interesting to note how many different - and very strong - reactions this fragrance has elicited! It's so beautiful and so well-blended that I can't imagine having to scrub this off. Jaime B's analogy to a dissonant chord resolving to the tonic is apt - both are beautiful executions of tension and resolution. But, perhaps most surprising to me is that in all these reviews - 108 to date - no one has mentioned immortelle! To my nose, one cannot understand Chergui without noticing the immortelle sitting in the middle of this mass of scent, providing a substantial bitter-herbal balance to the heaviness of the resins, the sweetness of the honey and vanilla, and the softness of the floral and hay notes. In fact, more than anything, I'd call this probably the best use of immortelle in an oriental fragrance. It's there, and noticeable, but not out of place, as it can so often seem to me. All-in-all, Chergui seems to hover right near the edge of becoming too...something...you name it. But it holds together, retains its balance and presents a wonderful blend of resins, honey, floral notes, and hay that really does remind one of a hot wind, heavy with the scent of the miles of land it has blown through. One last note, for something that's now 10 years old, it still smells remarkably current. One of the undisputed greats of the oriental genre!

    26 May, 2011





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