Thread: Lutens Sarrasins Review
So I waited and waited and finally got my beautiful bottle of Sarrasins (my first bell jar...smaller than I thought, but beautiful nevertheless).
The easiest way to describe this would of course be a comparison with A La Nuit. As far as jasmins go, they're on each end of the spectrum. A good analogy would be to say that Sarrasins is ALN's older, more demure sibling. Where ALN is bold, outspoken, and maybe even a bit crude around the edges, Sarrasins is smooth, elegant and makes less of a statement, while still having presence.
The opening immediately reveals a burst of jasmin, then moves into a round heart with a tangy, berry-like quality. Although its a bit sweet, its not noticeably feminine. I detect a warm musk undertone, which I guess is where the "surrounded in fur" description comes from, along with a hint of spice.
I wouldn't call Sarrasins groundbreaking by any means, and its not nearly as bold as, say, Tubereuse Criminelle, but Lutens' floral scents continue to satisfy my craving for wearable creations from his house. I can appreciate the artfulness of the signature Lutens fragrances, but I like to keep them at a distance, whereas Sarrasins will continue in my rotation.
Last edited by BrothaG; 3rd December 2007 at 05:23 PM.
"Perfume is the dream that carries me."
There is always the sky to look at
Serge Lutens is exploring "subtle" here. Sarrasins is the most beautiful jasmine I was ever given to smell, no A la Nuit harsh suffocating top notes, no heady indolic jasmine such as Joy or Acaciosa extraits, no synthetic ultra-clean jasmine either. think of A la Nuit 's somptuous jasmine all the way in drydown but without having to wait for two or three hours it gets there!
there are similarities with Tubereuse Criminelle in terms of floral sensuality and sophistication, the orange blossom I believe and some subtle oriental elements (except for the civet which picks up in Sarrasins 's drydown, but nothing as pungeant as Fumerie Turque 's civet here)
drydown impressions, a dusky floral powderness emerges, musks and civet (but subtle here) pick up which makes it more complex, elegant and less soliflore than A la Nuit.
I would also compare it to TC in its composition. It has a creamy quality to it that TC has once it gets past its camphorous opening. I'm a huge jasmin lover, and was extremely disappointed with ALN...although I can see how others love it, its just too overbearing for my tastes. I think if any other perfume house besides Lutens released Sarrasins, it would have been very highly acclaimed. I guess people expect to be shocked when something has purple-black juice and the Lutens label on it.
I love how the animalic notes blend with the jasmin's indolic qualities to create a warmer approach. I couldn't be more pleased with this (blind) purchase.
hi sofresh, I too hated ALN, the opening notes are too harsh and green but the final drydown is this beautiful jasmine on my skin. I get more floral silkiness than creaminess in TC and Sarrasins. always expect the unexpeted with Serge Lutens, he doesn 't need to come up with a scent called Outrageous to shock. I love that electric ultra violet juice in that bottle, so chic.
by the way they mispelled Sarrasins in the directory, that 's why I didn 't add it to my wardrobe. I contacted Basenotes twice about it but so far they didn 't respond to any of my emails nor did they correct the spelling.
Last edited by bilqis; 3rd November 2007 at 12:18 AM.
A la Nuit always reminds me of the best quality in Indian jasmine incense: mogra agarbatti. But one would have to love jasmine to appreciate this scent; it is really assertive.
Last edited by opalsdad; 3rd November 2007 at 12:36 PM.
Thanks for the review so fresh.
I flat out love A La Nuit and it's brash, attack-of-the-jasmine notes. The suffocating level of florals of ALN is part of its appeal to me. But, dark and sophisticated florals I can get into also (I learned this from Ava Luxe Midnight Violet).
For now, I'm holding out for JC Ellena's new Hermessence to deliver a sumptous, elegant jasmine. If I don't find love with this, I might consider sniffing Sarassins. Oh and I almost forgot - the Sarassins juice color reminded me instantly when I saw it of Dior's Poison. Love it.
Last edited by mikeperez23; 3rd November 2007 at 04:58 AM.
"Seize opportunity by the beard for it is bald behind"
Sarrasins doesn't seem to like me very much, it gets just too soapy in the beginning, then the dry down smells weird on me too .
Last edited by Ascella; 3rd November 2007 at 01:59 PM.
I commented before about Sarrasins in a non-Sarrasins thread so I'll mention it again here.
It's a lovely fragrance which to me smells like Jasmine on Suede. I have no idea what the Suede accord is comprised of, but to a large extent smells the way it looks. It's inky, a bit watery, and dark. It evokes something strange - like the smell of certain kinds of foam - it reminds me of when you ipen up a new motherboard for a computer. The jasmine is thick, but it's not very musky indolic aspect of it is muted, and there's something a bit watery about it. As time goes on, the jasmine and the suede become more of a single accord. At the very end of it though, it leaves a kind of thin jasmine petal residue that feels very "weak" and limp.
I liked a La Nuit but it was too unpredictable. Sometimes thick and heady, sometimes limp and thin. So far the only jasmine that I find to be really intense enough is Montale's Full Jasmin. Sarrasins is not a soliflore though, so it's not something to be directly compared. I find it lovely, and interesting, but there's something about it that isn't human somehow. It's not something that lends with my skin and accentuates me, it's something separate.
The more different kinds of fragrances I try and enjoy, the more I'm becoming aware that what I really like to wear are thick spicy concoctions, so I suspect this one will end up on my swap list and maybe it'll finally get me my Cuir Mauresque... I'll certainly give myself a few more chances to acclimate myself to it though since it's quite nice, and also so rare - you don't want to trade one of these away and regret it later.
I contacted BN about changing the spelling as well...and the gender designation is set to female, where I believe it should be unisex.
Anyway, I love the "new motherboard" comparison...never heard that one before! I think Sarrasins is much more complex when you spend some time with it...much more so than ALN.
It definitely has a leather/suede aspect to it, as well as some other white florals, and lots of animalic notes to emphasize the indolic quality of the jasmin. I also detect similarities to La Parfum de Therese and Diorela in its aldehydic juiciness.
Its something that smells different everytime I put my wrist to my nose...sometimes I catch the jasmin, sometimes the musks, and sometimes the tart, berry notes. I find it to be a bit soapy at times, but its not something I can't live with.
Overall I'm very pleased with my blind purchase, and I think that some of the blog reviews discounting it as Lutens going a bit generic were too hasty. Where I appreciate the artfulness of many of his creations, having some that are actually wearable on a daily basis can be just as important to maintain the versatility of his collection.
I just noticed that SL is releasing Sarassins is limited edition bottles - they're beautifully elegant and priced at stratospheric levels (850 euros or $1,200 US)!
"Seize opportunity by the beard for it is bald behind"
I think they've done that for all their bottles recently...you can also pay to have your initials engraved on the front of the bottle. The Sarrasins ltd. ed. bottle comes in either gold or platinum. I really liked the Mandarine Mandarin bottle with the blue dragon on it....very pretty. Would I buy one? No. Would I love to receive one as a gift? Yes.
Whoah, I wore this again yesterday, and this time after awhile the jasmine faded and what was left was some horrid Muscs Koublai Khan undertones. WTF?
Is stank musk and civet part of the composition? I don't think I can handle it.
Yikes - I *really* can't stand it! I totally didn't notice it the first few times though - it like this nice scent is ruined for me! I don't mind it blended in with the jasmine, but if it's the only thing left at the end of it, it's unbearable!
Verdict is in for me. Sarrasins is gorgeous, and I love it - except it's gross and I hate it! It's that damned civet. Unbearable. I think it just doesn't work on my skin. It smells like B.O. but it's not *my* B.O. it's someone else's BO or synthetic BO.
Is not the civet in most frangrances synthetic?
Civet real or fake works on some people though - I've heard many people say that MKK is just a "nice musky floral"! But on me it's stale dirty armit stains from some dude on the bus.
Man it's a real disappointment. I love the opening, and I love the black/purple bell jar...
Last edited by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR; 28th November 2007 at 05:50 PM.
Typically, civet used in perfumery is synthetic, but like nitro musks, which are not accepted in modern perfumery, I believe the perfumers are just hush hush about whats included. I have a bottle of synthetic civet, and I'd love to compare it to the real thing one day. Just a guess though...I have no definitive info on what's used and what's not.
I'm sure someone on ebay will buy it from you...then you can get another bell jar with something you really love...no point in keeping something at that cost if you don't love it.
The more I read about this, the more I am intrigued by your descriptions of this sofresh. It sounds downright gorgeous.
"Seize opportunity by the beard for it is bald behind"
Thanks for the review!
This is still the time i haven't tested this one yet...
Meanwhile the opening is magic - a masculine jasmine suede combo. The civet is only nice when it's buried under the jasmine and other sweets, because then it acts like a suede. Again, something I want to drink. If they would have substituted the civet for a leather or suede, this would be one of my all time favourites.
And as for mike not liking it because he loves A La Nuit, I don't think the two fragrances are in the same realm. A La Nuit is really a soliflore, a jasmine bouquet, with other notes that mimic or accent aspects of the jasmine.
This really is something else. The jasmine is velvety, and lighter, and then it has all that sweat underneath. I can definitely understand why it's called Sarrasins (Saracens) - sweaty stinky medieval soldiers with rank armpits, and jasmine flowers in their hair!
I guess this is a futile question, but does anyone know a fragrance that smells like Sarrasins without the civet?
Well, I am now in possession of CAESAR's bell jar of Sarrasins, and am trying it on today. There seem to be two interpretations of this scent: indolic, animalic jasmine, or cool, understated jasmine. Muscs Koublai Khan with jasmine, or a quieter, jasmine version of Tubereuse Criminelle. On fist wearing, I fall into the cool, crisp camp. On me, Sarrasins is a very green jasmine with the merest touch of camphor or menthol (the "ink" note?) to lend it an oddly sharp edge. It's a much less challenging scent than Tubereuse Criminelle, with a floral note that's less heady and a much less aggressive camphor. I sense very little that's animalic in it, and it's certainly far less indolic than A la Nuit. So far I think it's very understated, unisex, and wearable, and a far cry from A la Nuit. My full review is pending more wear.
My review from the directory:
"Comparisons with the earlier A la Nuit are inevitable, but Sarrasins is its own scent. It is a less voluptuous, less indolic jasmine, and altogether more reserved – maybe even severe. I almost immediately get a very green and somehow austere jasmine out of Sarrasins. I also smell some hay and the merest touch of camphor or menthol. The camphor remains in the background, but it does put a cool edge on the central jasmine. Though I don’t find any actual tea in Sarrasins, it does leave an impression of green tea with jasmine.
Sarrasins continues in its green jasmine groove for some time, gradually growing sweeter and smoother as it develops. Then at length the floral accord sharpens, and in so doing begins to lead the scent in a new direction. Having grown sweeter, Sarrasins now becomes somewhat hard-edged as well, and then remains comparatively cool and aloof throughout its lifespan. Part of this increasing sharpness may be due to the spicy carnation middle note.
Sarrasins doesn’t so much alter as fade during its drydown. It clings stubbornly to its jasmine and reveals only a hint of sweet, powdery musk and creamy woods. I get nothing animalic, and certainly no civet or castoreum in the base. It’s also completely free of the sweet, syrupy base accord that’s common to many Sheldrake-Lutens fragrances. When applied very liberally, Sarrasins reveals some darker, leathery overtones, and more vanilla or coumarin in its base, but on the whole it’s a simple scent, and a remarkably straightforward one coming from the house that brought us Muscs Koublai Khan, Ambre Sultan and Tubereuse Criminelle.
In fact, with its camphorous, medicinal edge, Sarrasins could be taken as an attempt to do for jasmine what Tubereuse Criminelle does for tuberose. If that’s the case, Sheldrake and Lutens have either miscalculated or lost their nerve, for Sarrasins is a far less challenging scent. If anything, it’s a sibling to Un Lys, or even Gris Clair, which are likewise crisp and clear. At no point does Sarrasins become thick or heady, and it wears quite close to the skin. I think ubuandibme is accurate in describing it as "sheer" and “transparent,” qualities that Sheldrake and Lutens have rarely achieved during their partnership. It conspicuously lacks the near-hallucinatory accuracy of Un Lys or Sa Majeste la Rose. In all of these respects it smells more like something L'Artisan Parfumeur or Hermessence would do than what's expected out of Serge Lutens. Its limited projection and unusually crisp, green-tinted floral character make Sarrasins a “safer” scent than A la Nuit (or many other jasmines for that matter,) and I think it will work well for either gender.
Sarrasins is labeled as an eau de parfum, but on my skin at least, it’s a surprisingly mild scent. The lasting power is only fair – maybe about five hours. My verdict? An easy-wear jasmine, but so far it doesn't bowl me over."
Last edited by Off-Scenter; 20th December 2007 at 09:14 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
Well NowSmellThis has chimed in on a review of Sarassins that is spookily similar to Vibert's. http://nowsmellthis.blogharbor.com/b...5/3466757.html
Anyone else on BN smell Sarassins?
I'm sticking with my conclusion...its nothing radical, but we already have A La Nuit for that. Its a wearable jasmin & civet combo. I, unlike nowsmellthis, get the indolic wofts, but only in the drydown. To me, upfront is a big, lush, fruity jasmin, then dries into a floral heart, with a animalic base.
edit - I wasn't really thinking...indolic isn't the same as animalic in this case. The animal-esque qualities I get are from an animal ingredient, not an animal/indole aspect of the jasmin flower itself. So I guess I agree with Robin afterall.
Last edited by Dane; 15th January 2008 at 09:01 PM.
I wore Sarrasins today for the first time (thanks sofresh). No review from me yet, I need to wear this more...but for now, I clearly do not like it as much as A La Nuit, but the middle notes where it transitions from a clear jasmine to something much more creamy, floral and 'darker' is genius!
Will report back!
"Seize opportunity by the beard for it is bald behind"
I am wearing this again for the 2nd time tonight - I liberally applied this one, thinking it might help me 'get' this scent. I worked out at my gym tonight, so walking out of the locker room to come home I was a 'tornado' of jasmine. Poor guys at the gym...
This is so jasmine prominent when it starts out, it smells more like a real jasmine bush in the ground than A La Nuit does (or any other jasmine scent I've smelled, for that matter). But, right away, I get more sweet jasmine notes at the top. I wish I didn't. When the jasmine recedes to the background (which is how it's smelling at this very moment), I'm not really sure I like where it takes me. It's as if the volume has been turned down and there's nothing else to fill the space that was occupied by ALL OF THIS JASMINE.
Maybe I'm anosmic to the animalic/musk/civet/foam notes that you guys mention above? Maybe it's my sample that's bad? I sprayed it from my sample the first time I sampled it. Tonight, I dabbed it (thinking it might smell different?). But still, both times, it's almost as if this scent doesn't have base notes.
I also, like it was mentioned above, get a 'creamy' jasmine from this scent. I do not like creamy florals.
Caesar said it best above: 'Sarrasins is gorgeous, and I love it - except it's gross and I hate it!' LOL
Last edited by mikeperez23; 2nd October 2008 at 02:27 AM.
Very interesting insights, gentlemen
PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather
I went ahead and did it. Bought it blind. It looks like I am going to like it and even if I don't, who cares. I only bought it for the colour of the bell jar :-)
Last edited by cpk; 7th May 2009 at 07:44 PM.