Saturday Question: Which Serge Lutens is your favourite?




Hello Fellow Fumies,

Every Saturday we have a Question, an idea purloined from Olfactoria’s Travels. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it is a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.

Over 100 responses I will draw a Scent Sample Pack (from my collection)
This week:

  1. Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur EdP
  2. Parfum d’Empire Fougere Bengale
  3. L’Artisan Seville a l’Aube
  4. Lolita Lempicka EdP
  5. Rouge d’Hermès

Last Weeks Winner: Marie

eMail me at (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with the eMail you’d like me to send your Gift Card to.

Saturday Question: Which Serge Lutens is your favourite?

Serge Lutens, Uncle Serge, Lutens or however you know the house has been a groundbreaker. Held firm in the hands of Shiseido yet Creatively Directed by Serge Lutens: a mystery, enigma. Serge Lutens for most perfumistas is a slightly mad, eccentric perfume god whose genius was stewed fruit and pushing notes as far as they could go when being created. His new releases were, for decades, hyped and hyperbole-ed out of the stratosphere and still managed to blow us away when we got our sniff on them.

Sadly it seems his star has dimmed somewhat in the 21st century but the company is still putting out interesting works. I think it has been subsumed into Shideido completely now and Mr Lutens himself is less involved but that is hearsay, not fact confirmed.

My Answer:

This is an easy one for me. Though I have FBs for a lot of the Lutens line, there are only five that get heavy wear. Datura Noire, Arabie, Chergui, Fille en Aiguilles and my favourite Five O’clock au Gingembre.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Tea, bergamot
Heart: Ginger, cinnamon, woodsy notes
Base: Cacao, honey, amber, patchouli, pepper

The swirl of spices and dry tea that float over a honeyed woodsiness with a hint of patchouli is so wearable in warm or cold weather. It’s fragrant in the first hour but not outrageously so and softens of beautifully to a lightly sweetened woodsy hum that lasts for hours. It can be casual or dressed up and never seems out of place. Not one of his more challenging works, that’s fine by me. I want to smell good and Five O’clock au Gingembre can be relied upon every time.

My Saturday Question to you is:

Which Serge Lutens is your favourite?


104 comments on “Saturday Question: Which Serge Lutens is your favourite?

  1. Latai says:

    Ohh tough one but i’ll have to say Santal majuscule, chergui, five ‘o clock gingembre, une voix noire, jeux de peau

    • Latai says:

      Meant to pick one? Then it would be santal majuscule

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        Hey Latai,
        Great choice. I once dropped a brand new 10ml of Santal Majuscule all over my desk. It smelled of it till I got rid of the desk. Beautiful.
        Portia xx

  2. Monica Beaton says:

    Un Bois Vanille was my first Serge Lutens purchase, and is still my favourite. It fits in anywhere, it’s vanilla sweet and woody gritty at the same time. It’s grown up and rich.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      YUM! Another great choice. Yes it’s ALL off that Monica.
      Portia xx

    • Sue Mills says:

      That sounds really interesting, Monica. I usually find vanilla too sweet, but I’m investigating in the hope of finding one for me.

    • chez Marzipan says:

      I love Un Bois Vanille. I love vanilla in general but I think it is unique and different enough to be added to anyone’s collection. Definitely a grown up vanilla.

  3. Kate Apted says:

    Feminite du Bois. Though I might consider a bottle of L’Orpheline or Religeuse (sorry about spelling mistakes!).

    I am, however, waiting for Shiseido to up their fragrance game. Been nothing good from them since FdB!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      You know FdB is the only Shiseido I tried Kate. I think Margeaux had an old mens one but I can’t remember if I ever smelled it.
      Portia xx

    • chez Marzipan says:

      I thought I would be turned off by the cumin in FdB but when I sampled it not that long ago it really was quite lovely. How does the SL version compare to the original Shiseido version?

  4. Jaybee says:

    La Fille de Berlin is my fave, but I was blown away by Gingembre. Ginger is damn sexy!

  5. Jyotsna says:

    Just one? Ooof- bloody near impossible for me. Okay- here goes….

    My favourite is Fluers d’Oranger becuase —omg It does something quite magical on me; I adore it! I get so many compliments.

    I love the Lutens line (more so in the past). So much has changed lately and not in a fun way. Somehow I am not compelled to run out and buy Dent de Lait.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Jyotsna,
      Fluers d’Oranger amd I have a love/hate relationship. When it’s lovely it’s amazing but sometimes it does this weird thing and turns nasty. It’s a bummer.
      Portia xx

  6. Sue Mills says:

    I have only one Serge Lutens, Fleurs d’Oranger, it’s the only one I’ve tried, and I love it. Rich, thick, syrupy, golden orange blossom goodness. Makes me smile and makes me feel good.

    • Kandice says:

      I have tried a few and have yet to find any I love. I’d pretty much given up on this line. However you and Jyotsna have convinced me to try Fleurs d’Oranger. I love orange blossom so maybe that could my Serge 🙂

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Another vote for Fluers d’oranges Sue,
      Portia xx

  7. Chris Hartnett says:

    Vetiver Oriental was my intro to the world of SL..still is my fave although fille en aiguilles is a very close second

  8. cookie queen says:

    TC was my first Lutens. Favourite? If pushed it would have to be La Fille de Berlin. I have a number of Lutens’ but wear LFdB the most. I hate Chergui with a passion. But sure I would love you in it Honey. Bussis. ❤️

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Val,
      Tubéreuse Criminelle is gorgeous.
      HA! So weird that you hate Chergui, it’s one of the most wearable. Is it a note that bothers you?
      Portia x

    • Jyotsna says:

      Tuberose Criminelle was the first Lutens I tried. I love tuberose; surrounded by masses of them in out garden in India. And bouquets inside. I am tempted to buy the DAME tuberose soliflore- I don’t usually lean towards soliflores. But it sounds so good.

  9. Scotty says:

    Wow , just one? 😬😩
    Chergui was my first “niche” perfume and a gateway scent to a much larger, fragrant world – and I still totally love the weirdness of it. I also enjoy the lovers armpit embrace of MKK, the sticky sweetness of Santal Majascule. Also, I was recently introduced to the amazing honeyed scrotal goodness of Miel de Bois – just W😍W!
    However, if I only get to choose 1 it has to be Fumerie Turque. Just spectacular stuff. Spicy, sexy honeyed tobacco rose with a bit of naughtiness. I wear it in humidity and it just blooms. I may wear it tomorrow now. Another interesting question thanks P 🙂

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Scotty,
      Just think, we’ll be in his hallowed halls in 4 months! Can’t wait to take you there.
      Portia x

  10. Annet Z says:

    I like Five O`Clock Au Gingembre – cozy oriental spicy perfume, perfect for the lazy winter weekend.

  11. Julie says:

    You have me needing to sample five o’clock! I love Fille en Aiguilles, Chergui, L’Orpheline (my most recent FB purchase), MKK and Fleurs d’Oranger. Fille de Berlin seems to be another popular one too. Might have to grab that one as well!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Julie,
      Fille en Aiguilles easily gets the second top ear around here. I also gift it to people. It’s so beautiful and easy wear.
      Portia xx

  12. Lizbee says:

    Bois de Violette without a doubt. I confess that SL is not my favorite house, but BdV is in my top 5 perfume loves.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      This is so weird Lizbee,
      A FB friend of mine was just talking about Bois de Violette and I’d never heard ANYONE mention wearing it till then. Since then, about 3 days ago, you are the fourth. I think it’s a sign and will look its out forthwith.
      Portia xx

  13. Jackie b says:

    Great question! I think we have all been exposed to SL at one time or another, I know I have sampled most of them and liked a few. But in my collection there is only one FB, Santal Majuscule. It is just right for yoga class, discreetly down my front. Improves your downward dog immensely!

  14. crikey says:

    Chergui is a true love, but then, so are Boxeuses, Bapeteme du Feu, L’Orpheline, and Fourreau Noir.

    La Fille de Berlin is lovely, of course, and glorious on a chilly day, but not a love in the pry-it-from-my-cold-dead-hands way.
    Ambre Sultan gets left on the shelf every time my hand hovers between that and Mitzah because I remember how much I dislike the first half hour, even though the later pay off is worth it.
    Fem de Bois is another I rarely wear–it’s pretty flat on me, even though it sings on other people. But sometimes it’s just what I want.
    I’ve flirted with others, but not stepped out to a bottle. But I suspect a trip to Paris would be awfully dangerous…

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      YAY! Another Chergvui fan,
      I think you might be a bit like me Crikey. The house just works on us.
      Portia xx

    • Jyotsna says:

      Chergui is my staple go-to perfume. Somewhere in it, somehow it has the essence of jyotsna. I was super-sick for most of last year and wore chergui virtually all the time.

      • crikey says:

        I’ve always avoided wearing real favourites when I am unwell, for fear of locking down that association–but did the pleasure and comfort of Chergui weigh more than that?

        (p.s.hope your health is far, far better this year)

  15. Diana says:

    I haven’t tried them all, even most of the mentioned above, but I do own a few Lutenses (sounds like something that Gollum used to say :)), my absolute favourites being La Fille de Berlin, Clair de musc and Bois de Violette/ Feminite du bois (I find them quite similar).

  16. Jill Wright says:

    Unfortunately, I have never tried any of them but five o’clock is the one whose notes sing to me. Someday I will get my hands on this as it sounds like I would adore it!

  17. Mals86 says:

    La Myrrhe. Hands down. In fact, there really is no other Lutens for me. There have been a few others I liked, including Five O’Clock, but nothing I had to have except La Myrrhe.

    (DNEM please.)
    Mals86 recently posted…Scent Diary, July 3-9, 2017My Profile

  18. Ashleigh says:

    The first SL fragrance I ever smelled was Chergui and I love it. It’s the closest scent I’ve found to my old signature, Gucci by Gucci (brown).
    I just bought Ambre Sultan and Daim Blond but still waiting on post.

  19. Tami H. says:

    Easy choice. De Profundis is my Holy Grail scent and I shall never be without it.
    It’s mesmerizing.

    • Lizbee says:

      Tami, I’m super curious about this one. You’ve convinced me that it’s time to try it.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey TamiH
      I’ve had 10ml of De Profundis here for ages, probably only used 5ml. It’s a very specific yearning for me.
      Portia xx

  20. Laura says:

    Ambre Sultan is my very favorite, but it’s s tie with Borneo 1834.

    • DW says:

      Agree on Ambre Sultan Laura: my favourite. I’ve not tried Borneo 1834 so it seems like I should.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Laura,
      you’re our first mention of Borneo 1834. It’s one I would have thought infinitely more popular.
      Portia xx

  21. Marion Corvi Low says:

    Rather hard to choose, as I love so many of SL’s. I choose Feminite du Bois. I get many compliments on it, and am on my third bottle, so FdB is #1. Chergui, Fleur d’Oranges, La Fille de Berlin are very close seconds, I mourn the special Douce Amere.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      WOW! Third bottle is cool Marion,
      I think I could count third bottles on both hands.
      Portia xx

  22. hajusuuri says:

    If I had to pick one only, it would be Iris Silver Mist. It was my first Serge Lutens (and first bell jar as it so happened). I got a sample first from STC and while that was a good thing to di, it also opened my eyes to the huge markup that sustains this type of business.

  23. MMKinPA says:

    I have a bottle of Chergui and love. Have only sampled a few others includIng BdV, Gingembre, Fleurs d’Oranger, Ambre sultan, Daim blond, sandal majascule. Enjoyed them all, but only Chergui filled a hole in my collection.

  24. Tara C says:

    Very difficult question. On my husband, I love Fumerie Turque. On myself, probably Bois de Violette.

  25. Tena says:

    I bought myself a bell jar of La Myrrhe for my 50th last year, and have created several additional addicts among my friends. A simply amazing scent.

    Honorable mentions go to Daim Blond and Fumerie Turque.

  26. Marzipan says:

    Very very difficult. I could say Fumerie Turque but maybe more Miel de Bois.

  27. Magda says:

    Not a fan at all, especially of the stewed fruit productions, but if money were no object, I’d get bell jars of all the ones with pink and purple jus simply for display!

  28. Elaine Richard says:

    I haven’t tried many, but I do like Datura Noir.

  29. AnnieA says:

    On my second bottle of Bas de Soie, a rather atypical Lutens.

  30. Aelfrik says:

    If there can only be one, then it’s most certainly De Profundis. It speaks to me like no other experience in my life has.

    Une Voix Noire and Sarrasins are close behind.

  31. Marie says:

    So happy to hear that I won last week’s draw, thank you! 🙂

    Serge Lutens and I have a difficult relationship. I appreciate his work and what he contributed to niche perfumery but his scents rarely do well on my skin. The ones I liked best were Un Lys and Fleurs d’Oranger. Two beautiful flowers.

  32. Ceil says:

    Bois oriental is my favorite Serge. Chergui, Iris silver mist, 5 oclock, and feminite du bois round out the top 5

  33. Shiva-woman says:

    Oh Portia! This was my gateway! Years ago, like 12 or so, I was looking for my lost love Vallee des Rois by Mira Takla. Nothing is like it. So I went on The Search. My quest lead me to various postings over to Chergui, ever so reminiscent, but not the same. I had never thought there were people out there in love with perfume. For years I only wore The One. I was buying VDR at increasingly outrageous prices on eBay, and, I think I pretty much got every bottle. But, on the quest, I kept finding more interesting perfumes as well, and, they were all Serge Lutens. I purchased a bell jar of Chene. That was the big one, and I purchased Arabie and Chergui. Then, I just kept on going with his line. I finally visited the shrine in Paris, and came back loaded.
    My favorite….no way I can have just one. Standouts are Chergui, Fille en Aiguilles, Five O’clock au Gingembre, Foureau Noir, Chene, Musc Kublai Khan, Daim blond, El Atarine, Jeux De Peau, de Profundis, Louve, Chypre Rouge, all the Bois line and Borneo, and Fille de Berlin. I wear them all with passion. I really would be hard-pressed to find Just One. Even his new stuff, I quite like. I’m not so keen on the anti-perfume perfume era, but he is turning back a bit with some new releases. L’Orpheline is lovely and different, and am on a third bottle.
    I have since found other houses to love, Tauer, Slumberhouse, Teo Cabanel, and dozens upon dozens more, but Serge is my one true enduring love. I am now a scent junkie, and I’m probably getting reincarnated as a Labrador in my next life, in search of the next great Smell.
    If there were only one I’d save in a fire….maybe Foureau Noir, but I cannot contemplate that thought for long. I’m off to visit my pretties.
    I follow by email—thank you for the giveaway.
    Shiva-woman recently posted…Saturday Question: Which Serge Lutens is your favourite?My Profile

  34. MikasMinion says:

    Fille en Aiguilles. I really wish I could find a reasonably priced back up bottle because I find myself wearing it an awful lot. It’s so inoffensive for work but still interesting. I know that I would wear the heck out of Fleurs d’Oranger if I could find a bottle but my decant is almost empty so I hoard it. None of the others have given me butterflies, but I would snatch up a bottle of 5 O’clock or Fleur de Citronnier if I found them cheap.
    I should probably rehome my Ambre Sultan. It just makes me queasy every time I hit that wall of too-sweet vanilla.

  35. Kerri C says:

    Oooh, so hard to pick just one! Shortlist follows:
    * Tubereuse Criminelle (masterpiece)
    * De Profundis (shivery, haughty genius)
    * Fumerie Turque (so great in winter)
    * Bas de Soie (sophisticated but cosy)
    * Iris Silver Mist (best iris, IMHO)
    * Sarrasins (fecal, heady, lush)
    * Arabie (like a trip to a souk)

    I’m currently waiting on a 50ml spray of Tubereuse Criminelle to arrive in the mail… EXCITED!!

  36. Anastasia says:

    Can’t name only one)) Borneo 1834, Rahat Loukoum, Jeux de Peau, Miel de Bois, Daime Blond and Fumerie Turque. Actually, all Lutens’ perfumes are unique and I would love to own them all.

  37. Tiffanie says:

    Iris Silver Mist, L’orpheline, La Religieuse, Un Bois Vanille, and A la Nuit are the only SL scents I can recall sampling.

    A la Nuit was wearable for me, the others went in strange directions. Someday I would like to try Sarrasins (I adore jasmine) and Gingembre (it sounds delicious).

  38. chez Marzipan says:

    One day I will get my nose on Five O’Clock as it might turn out to be my favorite. From the ones I have tried thus far (not too many) I really enjoyed UbV, Ambre Sultan and Chergui.

  39. Melanie says:

    I’m new to this house but it has become a quick favourite. Top pick for me Ambre Sultan followed closely by Daim Blond. I have Louvre & de Profoundis to trial so given the question, I think they should get a try today!

    • Melanie says:

      Update: Louve is delightful – almond, musk, a little sweet.
      Profundis is super interesting! Don’t think I’ve smelt anything like it before. Violets, plum and powder. Bit dirty. It gets some awesome crazy reviews online and people go mad over it. It’s different for sure. Not my usual choice so great to give it a go.

      • chez Marzipan says:

        I have been curious about Louve…thanks for the update! I bet I would like that one as I like almond notes.

    • Alison Miller says:

      Many years ago Daim Blond was my gateway to the whole niche perfume world, though I’d been a perfumista of the department store variety before that. I hated it at first and then suddenly one day just WHAM! it hit me and I was in love. Whenever I drive down the street in Washington, DC where that happened the whole moment comes rushing back to me.

      My other favorites are Tuberose Criminelle and the vastly underrated Fleurs de Citronnier, which on me works much much better than its Oranger sibling. Subtle, rich, and lingering.

  40. fanny says:

    I fell in love with Lutens when I bought Ambre Sultan, I have worn Cèdre the most, went crazy over De profundis and lately rediscovered Cuire Mauresque and Tubereuse Criminelle, both of which I had not worn in years. TC it is.


  41. Kathryn says:

    My favourites include Cedre, Datura Noir and Sarrasins.

    I love his take on white florals, the way he takes a commonly used floral note and turns it dark and sultry, sometimes even slightly disturbing.

  42. Jesse Lewis says:

    I don’t have the greatest experience with the range, but I own and love Ambre Sultan. Rich, almost edible amber. It feels majestic and hedonistic.

    Others I’ve enjoyed are Five O’clock Au Gingembre, Baptême du Feu, Fleurs d’Oranges.

    I feel that if I tried them, these would be favourites too: Muscs Koublai Khan, La Myrrhe, Fumerie Turque.

  43. Greennote says:

    So I’ve tried 31 Serge’s over the years but still consider myself relatively Serge illiterate. There are so many I haven’t tried – Louve, Un Bois Vanille, L’Orpheline, Fleurs d’Oranger, Meil de Bois, Fourreau Noir and A La Nuit (how did I manage to miss this one when it was still easily accessible??).

    However I have and love Iris Silver Mist and Jeux de Peau, both unique. I have a tiny amount of Borneo 1834 that I love wearing about every six months. I had tiny samples of Un Lys and La Myrrhe and adored them both. One day I’ll have a smidge more of them.

    I find it fascinating how our individual relationships with Serge Lutens seems to invite storytelling like almost no other house. (DNEM)

  44. Fazal says:

    My most favorite is Sarrasins.
    Others I like include La Fille de Berlin, Chene, Santal de Mysore, Bois de Violette, Daim Blond, and Feminite du Bois (like Shiseido’s version more though).

  45. Earl Gray says:

    Wearing Santal Majuscule right now, which just smells so Good and is my only full bottle of Serge. So that’s ‘the one’ for now, But I’ve also tried and loved Chergui, Fille en Aiguilles and Cedre and want to smell so many more. Ambre Sultan is a little dry for me, and Arabie makes me feel like I’m playing some kinds of oriental dress-up (and I love it! but in the privacy of my own home)

  46. Ingeborg says:

    I bought Five O’clock au Gingembre in Berlin before it became available here. I hesitated between that and Fleurs d’Oranger. Five O’clocK is perfect in winter and possibly the easiest SL to wear, yesterday at home I wore a lot, difficult to over-spritz this one! Wouldn’t mind owning more from this line. My third niche purchase after Villoresi and Tauer.

    I follow via email.

  47. Roslyn says:

    Five O’Clock au Gingembre, Un Bois de Vanilla La Fille de Berlin, Chergui, Santal Majuscule … whichever is my favourite depends on my mood!

    I follow by email.

  48. Shelby says:

    Chergui. I discovered it years ago by accident and I knew as soon as I smelt it, it was the one for me! Even before I’d put it on my skin. I don’t wear it that often but I’d recently ran out of my everyday go-to perfume so I was wearing it last week. I was reminded how great it was when an acquaintance of mine bailed me up! “What is that scent you are wearing!?! Amazing!” I’ve been stopped before by strangers asking me what I was wearing. Nice confirmation that it smells as good as I think. (hope!)

    • chez Marzipan says:

      I love perfume compliments! I bought a decant of Chergui blind based on the notes and was very happy that I did. It really does smell amazing!

  49. Irina says:

    Fourreau noir- and Feminite du bois and Chergui and…..

  50. lena says:

    Of those I’ve tried, my favourites are Bois de Violette and L’Orpheline. There are others that
    I think are amazing … until they come into contact with my skin! But I love BdV and L’O, so I can’t complain 🙂

  51. Paul Mills says:

    Iv tried a few randomly and dont have a favorite i must try more serge lutens in the future..

  52. SonomaVelvet says:

    Oh Golly. I have er quite a few by him. I really love this line. I have gone through almost 2 bottles of Un Lys and probably would use up a 3rd if I could get my hands on another. I really really love De Profundis, Fleurs de Oranger, Bas de Soie, Chergui, Santal Majescule, hmmm, Adore but less frequently the Tuberose, gingerbre, Ambre Sultan, go through periods where I wear a lot of feminite de bois, and then don’t for 6 months, eek, I really couldn’t pick just one.

    • Jyotsna says:

      Oh I’ve gone through 3 of Chergui. I bought 2 the first time 😄 (after I fell in love with the samples) and have nearly drained the third. My second of Fleurs. I use Nuit de Cellophane and Five O’Clock a lot too (never together, of course!). They appeal to the different part of my personality.
      Love love love my Lutens.

      • chez Marzipan says:

        What are your thoughts on the Fleurs? I love orange blossom but then I thought I read somewhere that there is cumin in it as well. The 50ml bottles were selling online massively discounted and I almost bit the bullet and bought Fleurs but then reminded myself never to buy full bottles blind.

  53. Jyotsna says:

    I’m wearing La Religieuse right now. Had forgotten what it felt like. Starts out great but disappears so fast 🙁 Now I remember,

  54. Gabriella says:

    Un lys. Many moons ago before I was down the perfume rabbit hole and Mecca Cosmetica was still in a small enclave at the back of the David Jones Elizabeth Street store where Shu Uemura is now. Mecca wasn’t stocking the full SL range yet but had Un Lys and one other, I think it was MKK. I remember smelling Un Lys and thinking it was the best thing I had ever smelt but could not afford it. How times have changed! I now have a bell jar of Un Lys, but I also love Une Fille de Berlin and Santal de Mysore x

  55. Tim says:

    Hello gorgeous,

    My favourite SL would probably be La Myrre, when I got my bell jar during my Paris visit back in 2015.

    Last month I bought Ambre Sultan in both the 50ml and the La Vaporisateur. Bad Bad Me!!!

    There are other SLs that I like but the one I wish to remember better is Fumerie Turque as it sounds right up my alley.

    XXX… T

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