Chergui. I found many of the Lutens frags to be unwearable in "real world settings". Great scents, however.
I do like Coromandel from Chanel, and am told Borneo is similar. May have to revisit that next time I'm at Barneys.
of the export line:
Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens - Upon application, one is treated to a comforting pipe tobacco accord from the spicy and slightly tarry Balkan tobacco coupled with tonka bean with its vanillic earthiness, and white honey with its mildly sweet facet tinged with urine. A flavorful date and rum raisin currant pervades and enhances the pleasantness of the tobacco. A whisper of sensuous jasmine flitters about. Transitioning to the awaiting middle, a wonderful smokehouse accord and smoked leather envelop the inviting opening. Vanilla infuses the brew with its lightly woody and caramel aspects. And a deliciously seductive, red rose with fruity glimmers and a cabernet-like facet marries delightsome beeswax acquiring its ambery, honeyed and sweet hay character, and makes itself known. This luxurious heart segues to the waiting base. Here, in the rousing base, the syrupy sweetness of styrax commingles with the woody freshness of juniper berries, the peppery mustiness of patchouli as well as the subtly sour and urinal nuances of Peru balsam. An intriguing drydown ensues. This fascinating composition has minimal projection, remaining a skin scent and fostering its use in close quarters; however, its longevity is very good. This captivating, masculine scent is very layered and complex, and should be held in high regard in one's wardrobe.
Fille en Aiguilles by Serge Lutens - One is initially slapped with an invigorating jolt of outdoorsy pine, quite reminiscent of an old forest with its omnipresent pine tar, pine sap and pine needles, concomitant with a hint of terpentine. A syrupy, sweetish butterscotch undertone presents. Segueing to the awaiting middle, this half-heartedly bracing opening is enhanced by the addition of holiday spices, with musty clove, warm cinnamon bark and slightly minty laurel, as well as a sprinkling of evocative frankincense with its sweetly citric nuances. This rapturous mix floats to the waiting, robust base. Honeyed fruits, remindful of a holiday confection, fir balsam, with its balsamic, Christmas tree character, as well as vetiver, with its smoky green earthiness commingle to create a festively delightful drydown. This captivating fragrance is made for the fall and winter, and is a skin scent with average longevity.
Gris Clair by Serge Lutens - Upon application, one is treated to a wave of fresh, clean lavender, with its somewhat camphoraceous and minty facets. This lovely herbal essence floats cloud-like to the waiting heart. Here, in the middle, standoffish iris commingles with the refreshing lavender, imparting its icy coolness. Whiffs of a campfire smokiness intrude to temper the cool melange with its dryness. This inviting mixture meanders to the awaiting base. The coldish brew intermingles with dry, woody notes as well as a restrained amber, with its hints of a musky and vanillic sweetness. An unworldly and ethereal incense showers the blend with its enticing and cryptic character. An alluring drydown ensues. This exhilarating composition is an all-season refuge, and has good projection and longevity.
Current Top Favorites:
1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
4) Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie
6) Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie
I have only tried a few (L'Eau Froide, Vitriol d'Oillet, Fourreau Noir and Nuit de Cellophane). From these 4 the best is Fourreau Noir with its buttery combination of lavander and tonka beans. The second one is Vitriol for it's spiced carnation. The other two are good, but not really.
Lately, I've been obsessed with Cuir Mauresque. It changes a lot from the topnotes to the drydown. I get mixed results on it. I've encountered a few people who may have perceived it negatively, and on the same day also got more compliments than I could count.
I'm also a big fan of Fumerie Turque, Douce Amere, Ambre Sultan, Chypre Rouge and Fille en Aiguilles
Probably my favorite SL-- and it's impossible to find in the US-- is Encens et Lavande. I wish they'd make that an export for a limited time. It would sell like crazy. Beautiful stuff.
Cuir Mauresque and Fumerie Turque are my favorites.
Chene is a very interesting boozy/woody composition best worn on cold days. I don't recall much of Ambre Sultan (time to resample), and while I liked Chergui, it felt too loud, spicy and sweet to wear in most situations. Borneo 1834 is a great, richer alternative to Coromandel.
I'm hoping to try 5 O'Clock Gingembre, MKK, Bois et Violettes and Fille en Aiguilles soon.
I have also been getting into Cuir Mauresque lately - it finally turned up here with a couple of the new ones and I was really pleasantly surprised - I like the L'Heure Bleue touch up front. I haven't tried any Paris exclusives but favourites from the export line: Filles en Aiguilles, Chergui, Daim Blond, Fumerie Turque and Arabie (which I only wear at Xmas but is such a unique classic).
I have also been getting into Cuir Mauresque lately
I'd fallen in love with my sample of it-- the way it goes on so industrial and heavy with styrax and floral notes-- then starts to warm to a golden glow of soft smooth ambery sweet leather. I got my bottle today and spraying it for the first time, I was surprised to see how quickly these industrial notes disappeared-- and I was a little bit saddened by that. Still, going from dab to spray and back to dab, it's common for perceptions to change a bit.
I completely love Cuir Mauresque. Wearing my sample was a strange experience. One day I dabbed some on and walked by a coworker and I swear I heard a "phew" that one would hear if somebody forgot to take a shower-- but then a few minutes later, a few different female coworkers noticed it and gave me compliments telling me it was the best cologne I've ever worn. I think some scents are like that; Antaeus is one; Some people perceive it as funky and unpleasant, while others find it to be a turn-on.
I guess the civet and cumin in Cuir Mauresque scare me a little precisely because I don't really detect either one strongly. I think I wear this one pretty well, but I hope I don't put anyone off by wearing it to work. I got a few wrinkled noses when I wore Chypre Rouge and Arabie-- I swear cumin/curry is my worst enemy because I don't really perceive it to be nasty and BO-ish the way others do. But when I wear scents with this note, people don't always react positively.