It is a very nice scent indeed.
In the past few months I've been saving money wherever I can--cutting out extra expenses, shopping for groceries at ALDI's, turning off the lights and A/C whenever I can... pretty much curtailing fragrance buying as I've always known it.
This past week I looked back at how disciplined I've been in cutting costs and saving my money-- A small reward was in order. I had earned the right to splurge a little on one new Fall fragrance for myself. I decided upon something that I'd always read interesting reviews of, but had never smelled: Serge Lutens-- Fumerie Turque.
A quick note on my philosophy of blind buys: I love buying blind-- once I've read the reviews. I get a huge rush when a blind buy amazes me. It's like casino gambling, but safer because with the reviews, you have a good idea about the odds. And my one admonition to those newbies considering a blind buy-- go for it. You may find your holy grail and be elated beyond words, BUT be gracious and ethical if, on the other hand, you're underwhelmed-- don't return a blind buy because you "don't like it". That's very unfair to a retailer to return an opened product-- no matter how liberal their return policy is (they cannot sell it again as new). If you DO find yourself holding in your hand a blind buy you don't want, you can easily find a buyer here or somewhere else for it who will pay you almost the same as what you paid-- sometimes MORE, depending on the scent!
Now, on to Fumerie Turque!
Last night I got home from work at the box from Beauty Encounter was sitting there. I was still in my work uniform and my chest and arms still smelled of M7 Fresh that I'd refreshed with a few hours before.
I sprayed some on my bicep. OH NO!!! I REALLY SCREWED UP BUYING THIS STUFF!!! Immediately, I got this sickly powdery feminine stale urine porta-potty smell that some of the negative reviews had mentioned. Totally, totally unwearable. I was slightly ticked off at myself thinking that now I'd have to find someone to take it off my hands.
I walked into the kitchen to get a drink of water and five minutes later I noticed that tobacco note-- and it was actually a very nice specimen of tobacco. If only that other "pissy, honey, rose" stuff wasn't going on...
Geez, I was stumped. So many people on Basenotes-- members who I really respect had sung the praises of Fumerie Turque, but they also said that it was one of the most evolving, complex scents out there. I decided to take a cold shower, wash off the remnants of my fragrances from earlier and then have another go.
I showered and reapplied Fumerie Turque-- a few sprays to my chest under my shirt and one on each arm. Hmmm.... a little better this go-around. I realized that what I found so offputting in the opening before was that beeswax note which was not unlike that in Tom Ford's Moss Breches, of which I was never the biggest fan. I began to notice that the beeswax and the emerging red currants/fruit started to bring another scent to mind-- the fantastic Chanel Antaeus. Funny that the first time I'd ever tried Antaeus I found it so disgusting I brought samples of it around to show random people the way someone might use Secretions Magnifique as an ill-advised conversation starter.
I got on the elevator and went for a short walk and the pipe tobacco was starting to come out very noticeably. I've truly NEVER experienced a fragrance that did such a 180 in the wearing and bloomed into something so cool. It still had a bit of that Habanita powdery quality and that dense honeybun beeswax in the base, but the tobacco was starting to steal the show in a big way. Some people call this scent "smokey" but thankfully, it's not smokey to my nose-- at least not in a negative manner. The first time I smelled it, it did conjure the back room of a bar where there had probably been a lot of second hand smoke, but once it started to blossom, it was smooth and ethereal. Again the beeswax is right there in the beginning and it almost makes you nauseous, but it only takes about two minutes for the composition begin unfolding into what it will become. As time goes on, the scent becomes more "blonde" as in blonde tobacco, and begins to feel lighter, but not lesser.
To compare this to a tobacco scent like Pure Havane almost makes me laugh now. I like Pure Havane a hell of a lot, don't get me wrong-- but this stuff is on a whole different level. This is adult, it's grown up seduction in a bottle. Pure Havane is the most playful, fun tobacco scent I've tried, but Fumerie Turque is not for children.
Also, it reminds me of a comment from a poster recently that I really liked. One poster wanted to smell like a vanilla latte chocolate cake or something. Another poster told him he needed to learn the difference between "smells" and "actual perfumes" and I agreed with that. What Fumerie Turque is, is an ACTUAL PERFUME. it could have been easy to just take the difficult parts out of this fragrance and sell it to the "kids" who buy things based on the topnotes-- but Christopher Sheldrake has created a real masterpiece here. Top to bottom. Something that relies on a little necessary chaos out of the bottle to get on its feet, but once it does, and starts walking upright, god it's beautiful.
Even though the weather was a little warm today I wore it anyway. I walked through the crowded grocery store feeling sexy and refined. There are so many stages to the drydown of Fumerie Turque and it's all so satisfying. When I apply two sprays to the same spot, the patchouli seems amplified.
I can't wait for cool weather and turning leaves and maybe a little snow. Fumerie Turque is looking over at the Fall clothes hanging in my closet the way a labrador puppy looks at a pond!
Sorry for the long rambling review. The short of it is this: I love this scent so much-- even though the first five minutes on skin had me thinking it was my worst blind buy ever. I would never have believed that this scent could so quickly turn into something so heavenly. That's the power of a great perfumer. Christopher Sheldrake, you are a genius. I was never a big fan of Serge Lutens (based on my very cursory testings), but now I'll have to revisit this house.
Last edited by Indie_Guy; 2nd September 2011 at 02:16 PM. Reason: typos-- it was late!
It is a very nice scent indeed.
I don`t like it. Too strong honey-femi-sweet for my taste.. Is this the way a man should smell like?
You should (re)try Bornéo 1834, a lot of similitudes with FT.
Thanks for your review. Mine is on its way from US (and unfortunately it can get a long time here in Brazil due to fiscal policies). Now I'm anxious about its arrival, wishing I could be with it in my hands, certain that it will impress me how the others SL have done (Douce Amere, Fille en Aiguilles, A la Nuit, Serge Noire and Chergui).
Glad you like it and the blind buy worked out for you.
Serge Lutens is one house that I do stay well clear of as I find them well crafted like art but not very wearable for me in the real world. I can admire them from samples but I could never pull them off by wearing them.
I'm with Mon-Petit... try Borneo (again)! This is my sit-by-the-campfire-and-smoke-a-cigarillo scent! I have never grown fond of Fumerie Turque and swapped it away. Really nice story though, Indie_Guy!
An interesting read. Good review dude!
Last edited by Partario; 4th October 2011 at 03:32 AM.
Tried FT at the Lutens counter yesterday.I was blown away by the incredibly rich oily smoke that pervaded this fragrance from start to finish. Made me think of an empty smokehouse I walked into on Ile D'Orleans, where sturgeon and eel are smoked over maple and oak (minus the fish smell, of course):wood, smoke, and fragrant oil combining softly yet persistently.
great review Indie! Fumerie is a high quality smell and one of the best dry downs I´ve ever smelled.
my current top five (always in transition)
Dior Eau Noire
HdP 1725 Casanova
eau de gloire parfum d'empire
Dia man Amouage
comme des garçons man 2
Fumerie Turque is a calm and relaxed adult in a room filled with screaming Pure Havane children.
Great review!! I had written FT off as something I thought I wouldn't like, but this review has me reconsidering. I love a nice dry beeswax, and I especially love Antaeus. Tobacco is a tricky note for me, but it's done right, and it's enveloped in a lot of other notes I enjoy, tobacco can definitely make for a gratifying scent experience. I'll include this in my next sample order.
"It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."
Nice review. And excellent advice about the blind buy.
Fumerie Turque is a very challenging scent in my opinion. I blind bought it as well and my initial reaction was identical to yours. I haven't come to love it yet, but I find it really interesting and I'm anticipating returning to it when the weather gets cooler. I've thought about selling it, but because it evolves so much and completely holds my attention I understand that it's a fragrance that has the potential to become one of my favorites. Sometimes scents that are the most challenging become the most appreciated.
I'll be giving it a good shot this fall.
Glad you like it.
Your review makes me want to smell this one again. The several times I tried this it just did NOT work for me at all. Tobacco can be tricky for me. Glad it's working out for you. I have so many SL scents that I love, so I guess I can't love all of them.
"When you become comfortable with uncertainty. infinite possibilities open up in your life"
-- Eckhart Tolle
"When you become comfortable with uncertainty. infinite possibilities open up in your life"
-- Eckhart Tolle
Great review! I agree with the majority here, Fumerie Turque is a great masculine fragrance with a beautiful drydown.
Thanks for the replies guys.
@Mike_P: I can see how FT might not be the easiest thing to wear in Miami. Like I said though, the beeswax intro was a lot like Moss Breches IMO, which I also found a bit difficult. I also just found that sample of Moss Breches that you sent me a while back, and I'm definitely going to retest it again, seeing how the beeswax works in FT. I also have a sample of Borneo 1834 from you around here somewhere-- I wore it a month or so ago and liked it. Gonna have to give that another go as well.
@Busyblind: While I was waiting for FT to arrive, I had read your thread about your blind buy of it. That was a great thread. I definitely agree that some of the most difficult scents can be the most rewarding in the end. Sometimes it seems like the perfumer makes something weird on purpose, but when it's a truly skilled perfumer, you see that everything falls into the right place-- and it's not just cramming a bunch of notes together without rhyme or reason. I think you'll appreciate Fumerie Turque a lot more once the weather cools-- I see it being something equally good for Fall and Winter.
@LiveJazz: Definitely try it again, this time thinking about Antaeus. If you recall Turin's review where he calls Antaeus a "cigar-box woody" or something like that--it makes sense, especially in the light that Antaeus has no tobacco notes. Antaeus was the first scent I tried that featured a strong beeswax note-- and like I said, I hated it the first time (but that was back in the days where anything beyond Polo Sport was challenging!) The other similarities are the patchouli (minor) and the red currant notes-- they're very faint in both compositions, but essential. A lot of the reviews and pyramids of Fumerie Turque mention honey or honeyed tobacco-- but to me, it's beeswax and there's a difference. Kouros and Miel de Bois smell like honey; Antaeus and C&S No.88 smell like beeswax. It's perhaps the most challenging part of the opening, because it seems so thick, powdery and feminine, but once you ride through the first five-ten minutes, the pieces really start to click.
@Jack Hunter: I felt that way about Lutens for a while now-- I just felt they weren't for me, but I'm rethinking that. I think a lot of it has to do with my experiences in the past year with wearing EdP fragrances vs EDTs. EDT's seem to radiate from your skin, but a good EdP seems to radiate from your soul-- and I like that! Don't give up on Lutens-- I guarantee that there are probably a few scents made by Serge Lutens that you can rock better than you think you can--especially in cool weather (though I remember wearing Ambre Sultan to work a few weeks ago-- it was a very hot day, but since it was an AM shift and I was working alone, I thought business would be slow and it wouldn't be a problem: Well, I got unexpectedly SLAMMED at work. I was literally RUNNING around slinging drinks. The Ambre Sultan was definitely kicking itself up a notch along with my body heat-- and it was actually wonderful. I got a compliment from a female coworker later in the day.) Try them again in Winter.
@Igarruda: I hope you enjoy it. As I said, it was a very challenging scent the first time I sprayed it, but it does become beautiful when you give it enough time. I can't wait to wear this out on a cold evening.
To the rest of you guys, thanks for your replies and thoughts. To those who like tobacco scents, this one is very well made and enchanting, but don't judge it by the first few minutes!
Fumerie Turque was my first fragrance from Serge Lutens.
I was in the Scent Bar on my very first visit, I sampled a several frags and was given FT to try. I only smelled it from the bottle and was taken aback by how different it was. This was my first foray into niche perfumes and did not yet have a pallet for different perfumes. I settled on Black Angel from Mark Buxton and I am well pleased by it. However, FT stayed on my mind. I remember telling Angela (SA at the Scent Bar) that it smelled like an old wood chest where an old woman stored her perfumes.
A month or two later, I went back to the Scent Bar, having forgotten the name of the fragrance I described it as smelling like a wood chest where perfumes had been stored and quickly she brought FT. That was it, I didn't even try it on my skin and have been in love with it since. I have yet to try a SL that I did not like and have blind bought Daim Blond and Fleurs de Citronnier.
My love for Fumerie Turque is well established, so I'm glad you found this gem. A couple winters past I think I wore this one almost every day. It is such a comfort scent for me. Interestingly my wife finds it too masculine for her to wear, but loves it on me.
The first time I wore it I had a weird reaction to it. I got lots of rose and florals. As it dried down I found the tobacco, leather and amber. Since then the floral notes seem really background and I detect mostly tobacco, honey, leather, amber and dried fruits. It has a lot in common with Chergui, but I have ended up liking FT much better for whatever reason. I have a leather jacket that smells heavily of the stuff, and I always look forward to pulling that out in the winter. I cant imagine this as a summer scent. It really blooms well in the colder months. A bold blind buy - I totally understand those who never find the love for it. Glad you liek it.
Love the thrill of the kill when it comes to blind buys. I agree with you on that subject. Fumerie Turque - gotta try it again. I am a big fan of Serge Lutens fragrances, and I'm sure I'd like this one, too.
Thanks for the review Indie_Guy. I love Fumerie Turque. I'm glad to hear that you like it also, and also to hear some discussion about a real fragrance for a change.
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Great review Indie-Guy. I want to try this all the more. I have to try this ! Lutens is my next line to explore. I only have samples of Chergui, Borneo 1834 and Amber Sultan. Chergui was not really for me, Borneo and AS were fantastic IMO.
FT has the most comforting cherry pipe tobacco drydown in the biz!
It's a gem indeed!
2. Encre Noire
3. Tobacco Vanille
As far as I can see you wrote so enhusiastically as I did in my review. I simply can't understand, and makes me really sad that this scent does cause so serious allergic reactions to my eyes that I can't use it. But I'm really glad that you admire it that much.
Damn... It is amazing the power of suggestion and all. I sampled Fumerie Turque a few months back and didn't care for it all that much. Your review makes me want to give it another go.
The only SL I have tried that I liked is MKK. However, I have not tried FT yet and this review makes me was to check this one out.
Five that I am enjoying right now
1) Sel de Vetiver by The Different Company
2) Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain
3) Bois des Iles by Chanel
4) Devin by Aramis
5) Coromandel by Chanel
Nice review Indie.
I can understand the parallels you draw between Antaeus and FT. Antaeus is devoid of that glorious tobacco note and to my nose is more synthetic. Both however exude that slightly powdery, dark and pensive quality.
FT was nailed on to be my next Lutens purchase. However Filles en Aiguilles threw a spanner in the works and my indecision on that front caused me to go through all of our autumn and winter with neither. Now the irony is I shall probably be gettin L"eau next which is far inferior to either of those two.
Thanks for the review Indie, very nice.
I'm struggling to get past the sweetness myself but the rest of the notes are good.