Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Layering Serge Lutens

I'm not sure about you, but I have never been a huge layerer of fragrances. I'm not sure why, but perhaps I've always been loathe to combine two fragrances that on their own are gorgeous. If it's good enough on its own, why corrupt it by coupling it with something else, no matter how beautiful that might be too? Recently however, I've been dabbling a bit with combining some of Serge Lutens' perfumes, with surprisingly good results. I'm not going to go into too much detail, but two combinations that really hit the sweet spot for me were as follows:

Ambre Sultan and Sa Majeste La Rose - I suspected this would be a good combo, and I wasn't wrong. Amber and Rose, a match made in heaven, in my opinion. There was something about this development that reminded me surprisingly (or perhaps not) of Amouage Lyric Man. I love Ambre Sultan at the best of times and combined with the dewy purity of Serge's export rose, it reached a sultry, heady height. Yum.

Chergui and A la Nuit - I originally paired  A la Nuit with Ambre Sultan and it fell flat. Combined together the amber never emerged, while the jasmine dominated. However, jasmine and tobacco is a great pairing and with Chergui thrown into the mix it was a totally different story. I was reminded a little of Nuit Noir by Mona Di Orio, but not as skanky. Surprisingly this combo was quite dry, whereas on its own I usually find Chergui to be quite sweet. It worked really well on the hot, humid summer day we were experiencing.

What I find really showed in both these cases is that layering works really well when you combine a soliflore (or a relatively simple, linear perfume) with a more complex one. In these cases both Chergui and Ambre Sultan are  complex, rich arrangements, while A la Nuit and Sa Majeste La Rose are all about jasmine and rose respectively, and quite simple (but not inferior). The result is both stunning in each case, but not stunning for some; I asked my wife to sniff my wrist with tobacco and jasmine on and she said I smelled like a woman. Well, I happen to think women smell very nice, thank you very much!

Does anyone else layer? I would certainly recommend giving Serge Lutens a go. I'm sure there are many others in the line that would work too. 

Well folks, that's the end of June. Halfway through 2010 and I wish you all very happy perfume adventures for the next six months.


  1. Layering Serge...interesting. I'll need to give this some thought. Being a bit of a purist, I'm trying to push myself to layer more - it feel all Mad Scientist and I'm kind of into that.

    Nice post!

  2. Oh my goodness, no, no, not layering too... :-0

    I love the idea of layering, but it's not something I've got into, purely because I think that I'd really enjoy it and it would eat up even MORE of my time.

    But I think your reasoning is sound. From what I've seen, most scents that are musk heavy or base heavy, produce intriguing results if you place them underneath something that's predominantly lighter.

    Oh, and here's a tip I was given the other day which yielded an insanely delicious combination: Geranium Pour Monsieur over Musc Ravageur.

  3. Thanks guys. I must admit I don't layer a lot either, but seeing that I have samples of both those Malles you mention, I might even try that combo today!

  4. I am crazy about francincense right now. The SA suggested Fille en Aiguilles and A la Nuit, but the Jasmine suffocated the francincens, but i found that Fille en Aiguilles underneath Sa Majeste la Rose is simply divine.



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