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  1. #1

    Default Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    I posted a thread about an SA almost selling me on a combo of SL Rousse and Louve. Smelled awesome and I almost pulled the trigger. Almost. Went with better judgement and investigated further here on BN and ordered some decants from the Perfumed Court. Thoughts and questions:

    Are the Serge Lutens offerings all unisex or some feminine/masculine? How does one know??? You'll know why I ask in a moment.

    Louve alone: For a concentrated version, I'd be damned if I can pick up anything. I love the strong cherry/amaretto opening, then it immediately softens into a powder (not baby powder) almond skin scent. In my interpretation, no man can wear as it is so soft, silky and ultra fem. Fabulous scent though.

    Rousse alone: Very strong cinnamon, I like. It relaxes into something very familiar to me...cozy, comforting, warm, somehow "watery"...crimeny, it smells very much like my hallowed Clive Christian X. While they are not identical in scent, I feel CC X is superior in scent effect since I find it has better complexity and depth. This is disappointing and I don't see enough differences to warrant owning both.

    So, I liked the cherry almond of Louve and I liked the cinnamon blast of Rousse. In layering the two, I almost am able to get the best of both worlds. For the price, it may not be worth it though.

    However, in my research of good ole Serge, I came across Rahat Loukhoum...and damn if the description didn't satisfy what I was looking for. Also ordered a decant and tried it yesterday and I find that it fits the bill just fine. Its sweet, cherry, almond, gourmand, all that but with a smoky sort of feel to it. Again, I find myself asking...is this for men or women?

    Your thoughts and opinions?

    TNMA
    Last edited by thenmarcher; 13th March 2008 at 05:43 AM.
    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
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  2. #2
    Dimitrios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Hi buddy ,, I really am a newbie on the higher quality niche scents bit I will add my opinion anyway ... Today I been wearing his Ambre Sultan from a sample spritzer and its friggin awesome !! ... those you mentioned above all sound very interesting but I feel the Rahat Loukhom will one day alongside Ambre Sultan be in my rotation cabinet .. cheers .

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    I believe rahat loukhoum is generally percieved to be a unisex scent. it really depends on how it smells on you, my gf loves it on me, even tho I dont really like it on myself (glad I ran out of that decant)

    she was surprised when I told her that most of the serge lutens are in fact designed for women, with only a few being unisex. She thought they all smelled very manly

  4. #4

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    They're not designed for Women as far as I know, SL never mentions anything about what sexes his fragrances are designed for. Some are far more feminine than others, and are very hard for a guy to pull off. Sarrasins, Rose de Nuit come to mind! But, all of them can be worn by anyone as long as you're confident Amongst guys, i've read lots of talk about Ambre Sultan, Rahat Loukhoum, Muscs Kublai Khan and Iris Silver Mist.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Quote Originally Posted by thenmarcher View Post
    Are the Serge Lutens offerings all unisex or some feminine/masculine? How does one know?...Your thoughts and opinions? TNMA
    From the 40 perfumes in existence, I have sampled perhaps 25 but none of those you mentioned. Lutens fragrances can be quite ambiguous, I agree. But the vast majority of them seem to be clearly feminine orientals. At Lutens local counters girls clearly suggest A La Nuit, Tubérose Criminelle, Un Lys, Sa Majestée la Rose, and Rose de Nuit, for women.

    Maybe it will help you to look at those 21 contained in Osmoz’ directory.
    They have always been pretty careful in gender classifications and recommendations:
    - masculine: Chergui, Five’Oclock, Miel de Bois, and Vetiver Oriental
    - shared: Cèdre, Fleurs de Citronnier and Gris Clair
    - feminine: The remaining 14. However the verbal fragrance description, supposedly from Shiseido Press, mentions 'shared' for Chypre Rouge.

    Following my own instincts I would add:
    Arabie – m
    Cuir Mauresque –
    m
    Muscs Koublai Khan –
    m
    Chêne - m
    Fumerie Turque –
    s
    Ambre Sultan –
    s/f
    Last edited by narcus; 13th March 2008 at 02:15 PM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    I believe the Mr. Lutens himself has stated that he does not like to gender classify his fragrances. I think even the sweets, florals, and chypre in his line do very well on men, while I (and I'm a woman) prefer the likes of Meil de Bois, MKK, and Chergui.

    Like what you like and don't be afraid to wear it!
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  7. #7
    kopah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    In my experience, one sure-fire way to know if a scent is feminine or masculine: ask your mother. Mine has never been shy to ask "Are you wearing women's perfume?"

    The gendering of scents is all a marketing construct. Florals are feminine because perfume that smells like flowers has always been marketed to women. This doesn't mean that the concept is invalid - it definitely has real-world implications, as my mother demonstrated. In all seriousness, the best way to tell the gender of a particular scent is to ask one or more people who have little perfume knowledge and therefore a simpler, more black-and-white notion of men's vs. women's. Most parents probably qualify; grandparents almost certainly do.

    Oddly enough, I've also tried 25 of the Serge Lutens line. As far as I'm concerned, all the SL florals, along with Louve (powder), Clair de Musc (powder and white musk), Un Bois Vanille (caramelized sugar), Cedre (tuberose) and Miel de Bois (honey and fruit) are overtly feminine. Few are overtly masculine - in my experience, I would say only Fumerie Turque (smoke), Chene (wood!), and maybe Vetiver Oriental and Gris Clair (lavender) qualify here. The rest are unisex to a greater or lesser degree. Douce Amere, for example, is a scent that my fiancee likes on me more than I like it on myself, and I'd say it leans more toward the feminine end just because it reminds me of Burberry Brit. Daim Blond leans a little bit feminine because of the apricot, but it blends nicely with the suede - and my dad said he liked it, so it can't be that feminine! As far as masculine-leaning unisex, I think Borneo 1834 (chocolate/patchouli/anise?) and Encens et Lavande qualify.

    Although I haven't tried it, I suspect from reading the notes that Rahat Loukoum might lean a little bit feminine. I'm planning on testing it this afternoon, so I'll report back once I have.
    Last edited by kopah; 13th March 2008 at 07:25 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    I also think I was a bit too harsh (or simplistic) in my opinion about the Lutenses I sampled. I do have to discover some more of this line.

    Thing is, there's so much for everyone in this range. I sampled Miel de bois (which I didn't like), Griss Claire (good lavender), Fumerie Turque (I loved this one), Damn Blonde and Ambre Sultan (both good). All very differend.

    I recently purchased Chene and this stuff is masculinity bottled imo. Not the slightest hint of sweet or fresh notes in here. Only woods. Again, totally differend than , say Ambre Sultan or Arabie
    Last edited by eric; 13th March 2008 at 12:46 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Quote Originally Posted by thenmarcher View Post
    Your thoughts and opinions?

    TNMA
    Glad to see that you're giving Serge Lutens another chance thenmarcher, and that you're sampling before you pull the trigger on full bottles. Smart!

    I thought Louve's cherry note was also pretty tart and wonderful. I remember the day that I wore it, it was hot in my office (they were working in the A/C) and the combination of my sweat mingled with the tart cherry sugary paste note was quite fascinating. I extremely enjoyed it. But, I agree with your assesment of it's powdery-almond drydown. It was too much powder for me to enjoy (not just powder...baby powder) and reminded me of the smell of strawberry flavord protein powder (that I used to drink when I was weightlifting a lot years ago). In a bad way. Blech... If SL could replicate that cherry note in the top of Louve and perhaps use it in another way, I would buy that scent in a second.

    Your comparisons of Rousse to Clive Christian X are incredibly surprising to me. I thought X was just such a let down for me, when I sampled it at Neimans last year. I also didn't get much cinnamon from X, whereas the cinnamon in Rousse is red hot, then tree bark-esque, then transparent, then just an aura of cinnamon in the drydown. Can you tell I love Rousse? A generous basenoter just sent me a healthy decant of some, to tide me over until I buy a full bottle and I'm so psyched about it I haven't even worn any...I don't want to waste it.

    I have not smelled Rahat Loukhoum - silly, because I absolutely LOVE Turkish Delight candy (I even tried to make it from scratch one, and failed...). It is one of the SL I have yet to try, there are so many. Michael (sloan_8013) has tested RH and posted about it in the womens forum - I think the general concensus was Keiko Mecheri's Loukhom is far superior to Serge Lutens. I remember someone comparing RH to the smell of Bazooka brand bubble gum.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 13th March 2008 at 01:35 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Oh no! Now I have to try Keiko's stuff now! Here we go again...

    Thanks for your input guys and gals!

    TNMA
    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
    -- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    For what they're worth, here are my two scents (ouch!):

    All of the Lutens scents I've tried have been gender neutral, or at least "gender ambivalent." Whether you consider them masculine or feminine is more or less irrelevant. What matters is your personal comfort level with each scent. I have no problem wearing the ostensibly "feminine" Un Lys, Fleurs d'Oranger, Daim Blond, and A la Nuit. In fact Tubereuse Criminelle is one of my favorites in the line. Conversely, I find it hard to wear some of the apparently "masculine" Serge Lutens scents, including Miel de Bois and Fumerie Turque.

    The bottom line: it's entirely up to you!

    PS: Like Mike, I was profoundly disappointed with Clive Christian's X, and I'm not sure why one would be troubled by Serge Lutens's prices, given the outrageous cost of the Clive Christian. Good grief, Clive Christian makes Amouage look like a bargain!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Quote Originally Posted by Vibert View Post
    For what they're worth, here are my two scents (ouch!):

    All of the Lutens scents I've tried have been gender neutral, or at least "gender ambivalent." Whether you consider them masculine or feminine is more or less irrelevant. What matters is your personal comfort level with each scent. I have no problem wearing the ostensibly "feminine" Un Lys, Fleurs d'Oranger, Daim Blond, and A la Nuit. In fact Tubereuse Criminelle is one of my favorites in the line. Conversely, I find it hard to wear some of the apparently "masculine" Serge Lutens scents, including Miel de Bois and Fumerie Turque.

    The bottom line: it's entirely up to you!

    PS: Like Mike, I was profoundly disappointed with Clive Christian's X, and I'm not sure why one would be troubled by Serge Lutens's prices, given the outrageous cost of the Clive Christian. Good grief, Clive Christian makes Amouage look like a bargain!
    That was soooooooo spot on!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    OK, as promised: I'm wearing Rahat Loukoum on one wrist and Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum on the other, and I have to agree that the KM is way better. The SL, to me, never gets past CHERRIES! and at times, the cherry takes on a bizarre metallic tinge that's just plain disturbing - before it turns into Play-Doh, that is. And it smells nothing like Turkish Delight.

    The KM, on the other hand, I'm liking more and more as time goes by. It has a little cherry, a little powder, a little sweet almond - much closer to real Turkish Delight. I'd definitely recommend trying it. It is a little on the feminine side, and although it may just be my sweet tooth talking, I think many guys would have no trouble wearing it.

    EDIT: According to Wikipedia, the Arabic name for Turkish Delight "may have derived from Ottoman rahat hulkum or Arabic راحة الحلقم rahat al-hulkum 'contentment of the throat'". So perhaps Serge was thinking of "contentment of the throat" and decided on cherry throat lozenges or cough medicine instead of Turkish Delight as his inspiration? One of those famous Lutens plays-on-words in the vein of "Mandarine Mandarin"? Or just a sick joke? You decide!
    Last edited by kopah; 13th March 2008 at 07:47 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    From all the reviews I've read in the past, Rahat Loukoum should be the underdog here with Keiko Mecheri's Loukhoum and Montale's Sweet Oriental Dream being joint first. Some claim Loukhoum is too plasticky smelling, while others claim that SOD is too sweet, so I really don't think there's an outright winner out of this lot.
    Last edited by Trebor; 13th March 2008 at 08:24 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Quote Originally Posted by kopah View Post
    OK, as promised: I'm wearing Rahat Loukoum on one wrist and Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum on the other, and I have to agree that the KM is way better. The SL, to me, never gets past CHERRIES! and at times, the cherry takes on a bizarre metallic tinge that's just plain disturbing - before it turns into Play-Doh, that is. And it smells nothing like Turkish Delight.

    The KM, on the other hand, I'm liking more and more as time goes by. It has a little cherry, a little powder, a little sweet almond - much closer to real Turkish Delight. I'd definitely recommend trying it. It is a little on the feminine side, and although it may just be my sweet tooth talking, I think many guys would have no trouble wearing it.

    EDIT: According to Wikipedia, the Arabic name for Turkish Delight "may have derived from Ottoman rahat hulkum or Arabic راحة الحلقم rahat al-hulkum 'contentment of the throat'". So perhaps Serge was thinking of "contentment of the throat" and decided on cherry throat lozenges or cough medicine instead of Turkish Delight as his inspiration? One of those famous Lutens plays-on-words in the vein of "Mandarine Mandarin"? Or just a sick joke? You decide!
    Thanks kopah!

    I smell a cherry cough syrup accord in Santal Mysore also by Serge Lutens. The Basenoter who had sent me a sample of it agreed that it was most likely the benzoin note. I think RL has benzoin, right?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Quote Originally Posted by kopah View Post
    OK, as promised: I'm wearing Rahat Loukoum on one wrist and Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum on the other, and I have to agree that the KM is way better. The SL, to me, never gets past CHERRIES! and at times, the cherry takes on a bizarre metallic tinge that's just plain disturbing - before it turns into Play-Doh, that is. And it smells nothing like Turkish Delight.
    That was soooooooo spot on!

    Another better option is Montale Sweet Oriental Dream
    -

  17. #17

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    I personally felt SOD was insanely sweet. Lasted 3 days as well, even with showers!

    TNMA
    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
    -- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Quote Originally Posted by kopah View Post
    OK, as promised: I'm wearing Rahat Loukoum on one wrist and Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum on the other, and I have to agree that the KM is way better. The SL, to me, never gets past CHERRIES! and at times, the cherry takes on a bizarre metallic tinge that's just plain disturbing - before it turns into Play-Doh, that is. And it smells nothing like Turkish Delight.

    The KM, on the other hand, I'm liking more and more as time goes by. It has a little cherry, a little powder, a little sweet almond - much closer to real Turkish Delight. I'd definitely recommend trying it. It is a little on the feminine side, and although it may just be my sweet tooth talking, I think many guys would have no trouble wearing it...
    You're awful worried about what's feminine. It says more about you than the fragrances. But I admit, I was the same way when I was younger. There were a lot of things I wouldn't have worn in my mid-twenties. Either way, I don't think your mommy's perceptions are the ones to rely on.

    As for Loukhoums, Keiko Mecheri makes a good one, but it's way too sweet for me to wear. Keiko Mecheri makes a lot of good fragrances.
    Last edited by pluran; 13th March 2008 at 11:19 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    I feel that Serge Lutens, Frederic Malle, and Bond No.9 cater more to women, and I feel that Creed, Amouage, and Penhaligon's cater more to men. Montale and Geurlain are a healthy middleground. They all have unisex scents, but for example, Bond No.9 unisex scents drift towards the feminine (which I don't mind, but a lot of guys do). A random observation, and I may be wrong, but that's just my opinion.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    To me most of the Lutens aren't masculine or feminine, just a matter of character and personality. Most of the line doesn't really smells like perfume, but like naturalistic olfactory sculptures.

    Chene smells like the inside of oak drawers. If you're a man or a woman who can get away with smelling like that, it's for you!

    Ambre Sultan was made to smell like a piece of amber stored in a Cedar box which Lutens had.

    Rahat Loukhoum smells like Turkish Delight candy or liek Amaretto with crushed pistachios.

    Arabie smells like a souk exploded in summer.

    Chypre Rouge smells like a red mossy Kool Aid stellar nebula.

    Vetiver Oriental smells like crushed nuts with vetiver and spices wrapped in creamy iris.

    Gris Clair smells like Lavender and creamy Iris and rocks.

    Fumerie Turque smells like leather soaked in fuming chery tobacco liquor.

    Cuir Mauresque smells like suede soaked in cinnamon and Grand Marinier liquor

    Borneo smells like roasted chocolate beans in a haze of patchouli.

    Musks Koublai Khan smells like sweaty scrotes.

    It's more a matter if you can pull off flamboyant spice, or pink smoke and syrup, or stark wood, or fleshy flower. Are you a dark fragrance person, or bright, etc.

    The only ones that smell at all like conventional fragrances are the florals, and to some extent Gris Clair - though it too has a an edge too that makes it more like a piece of nature than a fragrance.

    I've tried most of them by now, with the exception of a couple of the exclusive, and the only two that I've tried that seemed hard to imagine on a man were Louve and Un Lys. The only one I find hard to imagine on a woman is Gris Clair.

    Bois de Vanille for example I can't imagine on man or woman! Blech! Not a fan or Rousse or Louve, or Douce Amere or MKK. The rest are all mostly marvels to me!
    Last edited by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR; 14th March 2008 at 12:16 AM.
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  21. #21
    kopah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Quote Originally Posted by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR View Post
    Cuir Mauresque smells like suede soaked in cinnamon and Grand Marinier liquor
    That must be why I can't stand it! I just cannot stomach Grand Marnier.

    Quote Originally Posted by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR View Post
    Musks Koublai Khan smells like sweaty scrotes.
    ROFL Okay, I can't wait to find out what all the fuss is about - this is definitely getting bumped to the top of my To-Try list!

  22. #22

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    My mother doesn't like orientals at all.
    But she liked and ordered Rahat Loukum. After wearing it a couple of times, my father told her that it smells masculine, so my mother gave a bottle to me

    Rahat Loukum is better than softer Louve and Loukumi.
    RL is more edgy, more original.
    First 5 seconds RL smells exactly like sweets called "cherry pits in chocolate". After that it goes to warm, sweet rough almondy scent.

    I have no opinion is it good or not, it's rather weird. I think I like it (some times).

    Does anybody have Mandarine -Mandarine? This one is the most difficult to understand
    Last edited by DreamerII; 14th March 2008 at 07:17 AM.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamerII View Post

    Does anybody have Mandarine -Mandarine? This one is the most difficult to understand
    Lucky you, your mother gives you a bottle of Rahat Loukoum!

    Mandarin-Mandarine is one I don't care for much. Reminds me of La Myrrhe without the myrrh.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamerII View Post
    My mother doesn't like orientals at all.
    But she liked and ordered Rahat Loukum. After wearing it a couple of times, my father told her that it smells masculine, so my mother gave a bottle to me

    Rahat Loukum is better than softer Louve and Loukumi.
    RL is more edgy, more original.
    First 5 seconds RL smells exactly like sweets called "cherry pits in chocolate". After that it goes to warm, sweet rough almondy scent.

    I have no opinion is it good or not, it's rather weird. I think I like it (some times).

    Does anybody have Mandarine -Mandarine? This one is the most difficult to understand
    Lucky for some, eh?!

    Going by the exclusives that are currently being chosen as 50ml limited editions, Mandarin-Mandarine will probably be the next one (hence why the news of Borneo's turn didn't surprise me at all).

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamerII View Post
    ...Does anybody have Mandarine -Mandarine? This one is the most difficult to understand
    I own Mandarine-Mandarin, and it's probably my favorite of the Lutens line to date. You've got to take my opinion with a grain of salt, though: I'm not an uncritical Lutens fan, and I' not impressed with some of the best regarded scents in the line, including Arabie, Miel de Bois, and Chergui.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    Quote Originally Posted by Vibert View Post
    I own Mandarine-Mandarin, and it's probably my favorite of the Lutens line to date. You've got to take my opinion with a grain of salt, though: I'm not an uncritical Lutens fan, and I' not impressed with some of the best regarded scents in the line, including Arabie, Miel de Bois, and Chergui.
    I actually much prefer Chypre Rouge over Miel de Bois (one of my least favourite SL creations). It's a pity the longevity of CR is criminally poor...

  27. #27

    Default Re: Some Serge Lutens thoughts; not quite the convert

    I would like to think I were free of those scent-gender prejudices - but fear I have a ways to go. Serge Lutens, for me, was a "breath of fresh air" in this department as it seems to challenge the scent-gender constructs we've grown up with. Most of my SLs are comfortably unisex (Ambre Sultan, Chergui, Fumerie Turque, Chene, Santal de Mysore, Vetiver Oriental & Borneo 1834) while about four lean arguably toward the feminely floral: Un Lys, Fleurs de Citronnier, Sa Majeste La Rose. I have a decant of Mandarine Mandarin which is somewhere in the middle.

    I have no problem considering myself a "convert" to SL (similar to being a "convert" to Frederic Malle's). These scents are arguably of high quality. That many of them are orientals, for me, is a good thing. They are soooo un-"department store fragrance"-like. They're interesting as they are original.

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