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  1. #1

    Default Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    In tribute to some of the stunning beauty I've found in the Serge Lutens line, I wanted to post my thoughts on two of these gorgeous fragrances, if it's not too selfish to do so In my short years as a fragrance enthusiast, I've smelled several fragrances now, and several from Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake in specific, but have realized I'm a bit late to the party in discovering a few of the more gorgeous fragrances they have to offer.


    Ambre Sultan has always been a favorite and always will be. Its herbal, sweet amber goodness is well known here at Basenotes. And though I am equally impressed with the somewhat controversial Arabie (the Lutens/Sheldrake aesthetic pushed to what might seem its logical ceiling point), I wanted to focus on two recent discoveries of mine that have really enraptured me.


    Fumerie Turque includes currants, white honey, candied Turkish rose, Egyptian jasmine, smoked leather, beeswax, Balkan tobacco, Peru balsam, patchouli, tonka bean, styrax, juniper, and vanilla. When I look at those notes it is like reading poetry to me.

    I can only describe Fumerie Turque as it occurs to me and what I sense is a very tightly constructed, sweet, compact and dense incense fragrance. Not incense as a note of course, but rather, a composition which might yield the perfume used to scent incense meant to be burned. For me the impression of Fumerie Turque is that of an ever so slightly smoked sweet amber mixed with an earthy, leathery, tobacco accord. A beautiful and contemplative fragrance. When I wear it I'm whisked away to the place which inspired this incredible fragrance, crowded bazaar spaces and towering Mosques. It's so much more than a fragrance that I marvel at how these images are rendered just by inhaling!


    With notes of Mysore sandalwood, cumin, spices, styrax balsam, and caramelized Siamese benzoin, Santal de Mysore opens with an almost aggressive sweetness, but if one can hold on for a few moments, it rewards its wearer by transforming beautifully into a delicious, luxurious, undulating blanket of textures and sensations. The combination of creamy sandalwood densely packed with dry Indian spices enveloped by a layer of rich sweetness that in my mind's eye takes on an almost glowing, hot red hue is enough to take me to a different place. A hot day, a crowded market, whiffs of spices, cooking, arid air, it's all present in this amazingly transportive (I'm making up a word) fragrance that again, is like inhaling a world of experiences, textures, sights, and sounds.

    I really hope some of you would like to discuss your impressions of these fragrances or others that have given you a similar poetic or "transportive" feel or impression. Fragrances which you think are more than just the sum of their ingredients somehow. Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by nthny; 28th April 2009 at 08:45 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    You're literally making my mouth water with your poetry nthny

    I've tried Fumerie Turque from a sample, I remember of having liked it... but i'm yet to test Santal de Mysore.

    Soon... my wallet cries at the moment


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  3. #3

    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    Thnx for the wonderful reviews Nthny!! Serge Lutens indeed is one of my favorite house.. and i cant get enough of Ambre Sultan, Cedre (have you tried this one?), Daim Blond, Gris Clair and ohh so many other gems from this line!

    Santal De Mysore is one scent which i really wish to sample..i think it's about time btw, isnt santal de mysore the scent which actually contained Mysore sandalwood in it's earlier versions...?
    Last edited by jenson; 28th April 2009 at 09:09 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    I love poetic and 'transportative' scents, however I really happen to not like those particular 2 SL scents. I really wanted to, but I didn't.

    A scent that sends me to other places, is L' Heure Bleue by Guerlain. The EdC I really loved when I blind bought it last year, but it's the Parfum de Toilette I bought this year that got me all 'catch in my throat' about it. Just lovely stuff. It is like a mini romantic novel, in the form of a fragrance. There's love, birth, death, happiness, sadness...all around me in the air when I wear it. Since this is vintage juice, I cry a little bit every time I spray some, knowing eventually one day I'm going to run out of the juice.

    Another one: L'Autre by Diptyque. Spray and be transported to India instantly.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    Hey guys, thanks for responding so soon!

    Amit, I was thinking the SAME THING about the wallet.. "did they have to be exclusive to the Palais??" I haven't even purchased Ambre Sultan yet so I think I'll be relying on samples for now anyway

    You know Jenson, I haven't tried Cedre. And quite honestly, I've heard some discrepancy over the use of Mysore sandalwood in SdM but I'm just not that knowledgeable about those things. Maybe someone else will know.

    And Mike, I know that a lot of people are meh about these two which was why I was hesitant in posting but they just do something for me so I thought, what the heck post. haha... I should be honest, it took me a while to fall in love with them, constant wearing, morning, night, to bed, reapplications, etc... And I guess I kinda, honestly, gave myself into the "story" of each one (were it that they had one) and I don't know... it just stuck L'Autre has always sounded blisfully intriguing to me... I'm going to have to try it next time in the states.

    I'm not a HUGE fan of Serge Lutens and often the ones other fans love, I'm so so about and vice versa. For me, I want my Lutens to be a plane ticket to the Orient, the Middle East, wherever. I have so much appreciation for Iris Silver Mist which is a different type of artwork in my mind but a masterwork in just the same, as well as Borneo, Encens et Lavande, etc but these spicy, sweet, wonders which repulse many just seem to call my name!
    Last edited by nthny; 28th April 2009 at 09:49 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    Quote Originally Posted by nthny View Post
    For me, I want my Lutens to be a plane ticket to the Orient, the Middle East, wherever.
    well said (wish i'd say that ). thats exactly what i love about lutens. same with Tauer, although, Tauer seems a bit more raw in his approach...but he sure does transport the wearer to a new level..think LAdDM, Lonestar memories, Vetiver Dance, Incense Rose et al...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    Quote Originally Posted by nthny View Post
    Hey guys, thanks for responding so soon!

    "did they have to be exclusive to the Palais??" I haven't even purchased Ambre Sultan yet so I think I'll be relying on samples for now anyway
    I agree completely about the Paris exclusives. I recently gave in and purchased Ambre Sultan though. I had waited long enough

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    A scent that sends me to other places, is L' Heure Bleue by Guerlain. The EdC I really loved when I blind bought it last year, but it's the Parfum de Toilette I bought this year that got me all 'catch in my throat' about it. Just lovely stuff. It is like a mini romantic novel, in the form of a fragrance. There's love, birth, death, happiness, sadness...all around me in the air when I wear it.
    Nice description. Isn't it so aptly named?


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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    Quote Originally Posted by nthny View Post
    And Mike, I know that a lot of people are meh about these two which was why I was hesitant in posting but they just do something for me so I thought, what the heck post. haha... I should be honest, it took me a while to fall in love with them, constant wearing, morning, night, to bed, reapplications, etc... And I guess I kinda, honestly, gave myself into the "story" of each one (were it that they had one) and I don't know... it just stuck L'Autre has always sounded blisfully intriguing to me... I'm going to have to try it next time in the states.
    Yes, I am sure that more time with both (in very cooler climates than Miami) would perhaps turn me into a fan of these scents. In the meantime my nose (and pocketbook) are intrigued by the remaining SL oeuvre.

    Hurry up and try L'Autre when you can. It's discontinued. I wore a liberal application this morning, when I showered at the gym and was a walking-Indian-spice-vendor for a few minutes...on my way to work. Mad stuff. Very sexy, in that Rose 31 'naughty' way.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 28th April 2009 at 11:25 PM.
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

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  9. #9

    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    You are speaking my language!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    Wow! Fumerie Turque is definitely on my short list now! L'Heure Bleue was already there - but now at PdT concentration, too. Thanks for the very poetic reviews, guys!!!
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    Hey Redneck_Perfumisto, thanks for responding. I honestly was hoping to get a nice little thread going but I guess I'm not all that popular here on basenotes haha, or perhaps these two Serges aren't.

    Redneck, the thing about me seeing someone putting one of my recs on a sampling list is that I have a kind of wild imagination when it comes to fragrances. I'm the guy who falls for the story they feed me every time so if you are going to put FT on your short list promise me you'll sniff it with that in mind so that you don't think "what is this sweet smoky weird thing nthy recommended?!" I'd almost be more excited for you to try SdM if you haven't. It's the one that seemed the most exotic scent journey wise. That said, I'm putting L'Heur Bleue PdT on the list, too. That's what I'm talking about... I want to hear more about the perfumes that really get the creative juices flowing!

    Another thing occurred to me as I let Fumerie Turque dry down into its wee moments is that it is extremely patchouli prominent and I see a definite link between this and Borneo in the 8+ hour dry down phase. Just mentioning.
    Last edited by nthny; 29th April 2009 at 05:04 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    Man, I'm so divided when it comes to Fumerie Turque - for me it's a classic case of a fatally flawed masterpiece. I adore, adore, adore the opening and early middle stages of it. The cherry tobacco smoke, honey and real leather (as opposed to the suede scent of most supposedly "leather" fragrances) are just heaven. It's a completely 3-dimensional scent. You can *see* the leather and the smoke clouding up the air. I think it was the first niche house fragrance I ever smelled, and it had such and impact, and still does when I breathe it in for those first few blissful minutes.

    But then when it starts to dry it becomes almost unbearable to me. I really don't get the patchouli or resemblence to Borneo that you mention (Borneo is one of my all time favourites) but the beautiful leather and smoke evoporate and I just get thick, thick, funky beeswax with rose and honeywax. It's stuffy and congested like butterscotch candy, but it's not as smooth and tasty, just kind of offputting to me. I realize the leather and smoke can't last as basenotes, but I wish he put something else there besides loads funky beeswax.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    Hey GAIVS, I think stuffy is a pretty good word for the drydown. This fragrance is deceptively sweet and its denseness can be overpowering. I feel like it's a "at home" fragrance, although that hasn't stopped me from wearing it in 80 degree weather lately.

    About the Patchouli, I was wearing a Rose 31 on my hand, and when I went back to the FT on the other arm, the patchouli softly made its presence known. Sometimes that happens to me when my nose goes back and forth between different scents. Certain notes seem to spring out so perhaps my perception was affected by this. I'm also really patch sensitive. Thanks for writing. I wonder if it's still a favorite of yours.
    Last edited by nthny; 29th April 2009 at 10:18 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Poetry in the form of perfume: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Santal de Mysore

    Quote Originally Posted by nthny View Post
    I'm the guy who falls for the story they feed me every time ...
    Oh, me too! I'll take all the story hints they'll give me. What are poem titles for, anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by nthny View Post
    ... so if you are going to put FT on your short list promise me you'll sniff it with that in mind so that you don't think "what is this sweet smoky weird thing nthy recommended?!"
    Sweet, smoky, and weird? Now you're really talking!!! <DROOL/>

    Quote Originally Posted by nthny View Post
    I'd almost be more excited for you to try SdM if you haven't. It's the one that seemed the most exotic scent journey wise. That said, I'm putting L'Heur Bleue PdT on the list, too. That's what I'm talking about... I want to hear more about the perfumes that really get the creative juices flowing!
    I used to be a complete sandalwood nut - especially when I was a teenager with my hippy oil car scents. Patchouli, too. Always up for an exotic journey. I'd better be careful with these scents - it could be a wild ride in the old time machine!

    Too late!!!!

    This reminds me of Herbal Essence shampoo - my GF's scent at that time. Wow - there's a memory!
    * * * *

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