Monday, 6 August 2012

Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule and friends

So I tried Santal Majuscule for the first time today. What can I say? A very nice sandalwood perfume. A very good one actually. One I like. 

And yet. And yet. I'm asking myself, what does it bring to the Serge Lutens line that hasn't already been covered by Santal de Mysore, Santal Blanc and the more recent Jeux de Peau? My personal opinion is that Santal Majuscule and Santal de Mysore have the most in common, particularly in the dry down. Having just said that, Jeux de Peau, once you get past the bread, yeast and pastry opening, is very similar too. And that is where my problem lies with Santal Majuscule - as lovely as it is, it seems to me to be just a variation of a theme. 

I'm sure there will be some of you reading this, thinking I am just nitpicking, and being a pain in the arse, which I probably am. I'd buy a bottle of Santal Majuscule, no question about it. But present me with all four Lutens sandalwood perfumes and how does one choose? For my money, I'd still go with Santal de Mysore. 


  1. This reminded me of when I ask a bicycle person why are there 20+ speeds on a bike when most people only use five or so usually. And he said something like well all people are different and are not going to use the same five speeds that you do.

    And btw, I don't think you're a pain in the arse!

  2. I like Jeux de Peau a lot (it will be a full bottle after my decant is gone), I liked Santal Blanc when I tried it (not sure if I need more than a sample I've got - will be testing more) and I haven't had a chance to try either Santal Majuscule or Santal de Mysore yet. I agree with Carol: I don't think most people need all four of them - or, to that matter, all other perfumes fron SL's wide selection. The beauty with those slight variations is that many people will be able to find something that appeals specifically to them. I'm curious which one (not counting JdP) I need?..

  3. Carol and Undina, I get what you're both saying and that's why I feel a bit confused. I think what I don't quite understand is why Lutens would release Santal Majuscule so soon after Jeux de Peau, as in my opinion they are quite similar? Being the incense freak I am, I wish Uncle Serge would release a beautiful frankincense perfume instead!

  4. I don't think you're nitpicking at all. I myself feel no urgency to try Santal Majuscule (though I'm sure I will eventually). From the descriptions I've read, it is lovely but doesn't seem to add anything substantially original to SL's existing sandalwood library. It's my own quirk, I guess, but I get antsy when a perfumer lingers in one sector of perfume territory too long. I want new inventions and explorations, not another essay on the same square inch.

  5. Olenska, thanks for the comment. You summed up my own feelings on the matter better than I did! If I need a perfume shrink/guru, I'll be turning to you!

    1. In the immortal words of Lucy Van Pelt, "The doctor is IN!"

  6. I think I smelled this at Perfume House in Portland. It hadn't come out yet but they had a tester bottle. I was convinced the saleswoman didn't know what she was talking about. Serge Lutens had already released this Sandalwood fragrance. They have so many, and so many smell alike; maybe she was confused. It reminded me how much I liked it the last time I smelled it. Later I found out that it was indeed new, another Lutens sandalwood. I wonder, had they named it something different, without the name sandalwood, if we'd discuss it any other way than we discuss most Lutens fragrances. Every time they release something new I compare it to all the others because usually they have more than a few things in common.



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