Sunday, November 28, 2010

Serge Lutens Arabie: Review

This is a special request from my good friend Angie, who shares my love for Serge Lutens and the perfumer Christopher Sheldrake. Angie must own about three of the full bottles of the Serge Lutens perfumes, of which her favourite (and mine) is Santal de Mysore. I am yet to own a full bottle. Santal de Mysore, A La Nuit, Un Bois Vanilla are on my wish list, which may come with a mandatory month or two of living on just peanut butter sandwiches if I want all of them! I bet it will be worth it. Angie has asked me to review some of the Serge Lutens samples I have. This is my review of Arabie.

Serge Lutens Arabie
"Bearing the fruit of wood. Cedar, mandarin orange bark, a medley of dried fruit and Russian leather. Remarkable, radiant"
Arabie! Oh, this is a Middle Eastern dream! Spicy oriental fragrance. It is dense, rich and heady mix of spices. First sniff, my nostrils are filled with the aroma of spices, not pungent, just a thick fog of warm spices. The spices are like they are freshly ground. It has a Moroccan feel to it but reminds of the little spice shops back at home, Bangalore. The cumin is a note that makes me think of unpleasant things, but in Arabie it is nice. The whole mix of spices is well balanced by candied fruit, which is lingering there somewhere. To me the sweetness is not more than faint, but just enough to stabilize and match the spices. There is something medicinal and kind of herbal about it (benzoin?). The animalic quality of the Russian leather is so beautiful. The woody notes come through so well. The dry down is really wonderful, toned down spices mixed with woods.

Arabie is such a fine take on spicy notes, complex, warm and pleasant. It is perfect for a rainy and cold day, for the snuggly feeling. It is definitely unisex, it would smell great on a man too. Not sure if I want a bottle of this, but will satisfy my spice cravings with a couple more of samples. I bought my samples from eBay at a very reasonable price. The full bottle $175 for 50ml at Mecca Cosmetica. But you can definitely hunt a bargain.


  1. Great review Su! Arabie sounds good, love your description! Thank you so much! x