Thursday, November 22, 2012

Shy Sandalwood (Scent Review: Santal Majuscule, Serge Lutens)

Maybe it's just fitting that I wore Santal Majuscle on Thanksgiving Day. I was running late, and was trying to quickly decide what to wear. I told myself I wanted to wear something Holidays-ish, when I saw my new-to-me Santal Majuscule, and spritzed it hastily. The first impression it gave me - cocoa. I thought to myself, here we go again with Uncle Serge. It's always a journey with him, a sandalwood with hints of cocoa to start? I am in. And then his trademark stewed fruit jumbo enters - I smell apricots, and I smell roses. The thing about any Serge Lutens fragrance for me is that they are so complex and layered that what you smell depends on the temperature. It was kind of balmy today so maybe the fruity and flowery aspects are the ones "winning out" ? In any event I smell roses and roses after. They aren't the jammy kind. I am pleased to see this is less sugary rose, perhaps there are spices (cardamom?) that balance it ? And then I smell my arm and there it is - the sandalwood. It's a very clean kind (Serge says in an interview that this is based on Australian sandalwood) and it's very appealing, but... I also think it is kind of...boring? I miss the boldness of Santal de Mysore. As time passes, Santa Majusule veers into sweet toasted bread variety. It becomes increasingly gourmand, and stays so. The sillage is on the shy side, but the longevity is fierce. For a sandalwood scent, the sandalwood is kind of hard to discern, though it is there. And for Thanksgiving, it seem appropriate because, of course, it's a very food-centered holiday. For a Serge Lutens fragrance, the story here is not as convoluted. one may even call it safe, commercial, and compared with the rest of his line, uninspired. It is still solid, though.  

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