Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sarrasins by Serge Lutens

Once upon the time in far away Thailand there was a small shop that made jasmine garlands. The garlands used to chat about where they would end up when they were being sold. "I want be a gift to a famous monk", said one. "I want to cheer up someone who is ill", said another. "I want be wrapped around the neck of a beautiful dancer" said the third. I don't know what happened to the first two, but the third one indeed ended up around a beautiful dancer. One that worked hard, all nights long, in a very sad and seedy place...

So, Sarrasins is about jasmine. Initially, the jasmine comes out so load it's screeching. It has got a plasticky and synthetic feel about itself. After a while it calms down and a whole new picture reveals itself. The jasmine turns lighter and more realistic and in the background there is leather and other animal notes. There is flesh, lightly smoked fish and somehow (although I know you are not supposed to be able smell that) salt. I wouldn't say it smells like vagina, but that sure is the general direction of things.

It's no surprise that perfume makers use elements that are normally considered  unpleasant to make their creations come to life. However, it is unusual (at least for me) to find them left out in the open like this. I find the play between innocent jasmine and the other notes very intriguing. The only other fragrance I know of with this level of bipolarity is Tubereuse Criminelle. That one is, for me, about questionable sanity. This one is about guilty sex. I mean, why else hide behind all that jasmine?

So, risking to appear to be a total pervert, I have to confess that I love this scent. There is something about it that makes me smile again and again. I'll wear my sample to the last drop. I rate this one a 5 out of 5.


  1. I have to laugh that you wrote the vagina part in bold letters. Somehow, that's elevated you in my heart. Sarrasins has been on my "to try" list for some time, and I do need to try it, although I don't have the feeling that I'll love it. Not that I have anything against vagina-ish things.

  2. I'm intrigued now...! Thanks for being honest about what you smelled. I value this greatly in a perfume review.

  3. Carrie, I figured people wouldn't get past the first part about the garlands if it wasn't obvious something juicy was coming up :)

    Axum, I guess I'm not a "beating around the bush"-kind of person... Sorry, a horrible joke, I know, but I just couldn't resist it :D

  4. Just bought a bell jar of Sarrasins and was starting to get buyer's remorse before it even arrived. Your review has sold me again. Tubereuse Criminelle has caused both men and women to become giddy and follow me. They really act crazy. I'm hoping for more sexy and less crazy.