Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sa Majeste la Rose - Serge Lutens


I seem to be on a bit of a rose spree right now. Possibly, it has to do with the weather, I remember I was into roses at this time, last year, as well. Few raw materials gives me such a width of visions as rose scents. There are so many fragrances, yet they all manage to be so different. There are freshly sprung morning roses, complete with dew drops and a garden. There are pale pink shabby chic/country living/dainty teacup roses that are very nice indeed but somehow lack a lower body. There are the smoldering incense roses. Heavyweight Middle Eastern roses. Dark roses. Blood roses.

One excellent rose scent is Serge Lutes Sa Majeste la Rose. This is an almost rose soliflore (is there a technical term for "almost soliflore", I'd love to know), smelling first and foremost of rose with a skeletal background of other notes adding context and spine.

The intro is rose and rose alone. When applied super light it smells very natural, like smelling a rose on its stem in a garden. At the same time heady, innocent and sweet. But whenever wearing more than a single drop another facet comes out to play. Suddenly the scent toggles between its original pretty rosyness and something oily and metallic. The effect is the same as the picture on the right. Just as you either see the beautiful young girl or the old woman, but not both at the same time, I either get the pretty side or the metallic side of Sa Majeste la Rose, but not both. I find this type of olfactory dynamics very interesting, it makes me think of the mad genius stereotype. A person who's brilliant in some ways but also ravinly insane in others.

But oily metal is not something that should be done in excess, and fortunately it does fade, after a while. As Sa Majeste la Rose develops a luxurious honey note reveals itself. The honey somehow warms and opens up the rose, removes every trace of innocence. At this point we've got a sultry, sexy little thing, someone waiting in anticipation for her lover to arrive. And he sure does. As we're moving toward the dry down a note of gaiac wood emerges. I interpert it as very masculine and absolutely gorgeous. First time I noticed it I immediately assumed that it had to be something a male coworker was wearing. Which was odd, as I'd never noticed that any of them wear perfume before, ever. Who'd have believed they'd this good taste? Then I realised it was all me ;)

So, I enjoy Sa Majeste la Rose a lot. It's great for summer and it manages to sport just the right amount of interesting backdrops while still staying in the "lighter rose" category. A great feature is that it comes across very differently depending on how much is applied. It can be perfectly appropriate for work if applied lightly and more suited for ... other occasions when using more.

Offical notes: Moroccan rose absolute, gaiac wood, clove, white honey, musk



10 comments:

  1. Your description of the duality reminded me of the way I experience the rose of Aramis 900 and Aromatics Elixir. With them it mostly stays on the oily, metalic side but I can certainly relate with you. I am on the hunt for a SMlR mini myself.

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  2. I have to admit I've never actually tried Aromatics Elixir, which is a shame as it's such a classic, it's available everywhere and has been around forever. I really have to check it out!

    SMlR is a great summer scent. I only have a small sample (near gone), otherwise I would have sent you some right away :)

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  3. Even though I'm unfamiliar with this particualar Serge Lutens scent (it didn't occur to me to sniff it in Paris -- and I'm not sure why, since I love rose scents), I loved reading your take on it, Sigrun.

    No matter how I try to sort it out visually, all I get is the pretty young girl when I look at that illustration you put up. I think I know how it could resemble an old lady, but my eye holds fast to the other. This is usually the case for me with visual puzzles/illusions. :)

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    1. Suzanne, for seeing the old lady the girls necklace becomes the mouth and the jawline is the nose. But, if you don't see the older woman, it's no deal. It's a great thing to only see the beauty in life, isn't it ;)

      And, also, now you have a new Lutens to look forward to :)

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  4. When do you know that you really like or dislike some perfume? When you test it, write notes, then compare to notes you wrote down a couple of months ago and realize that those are the same almost word for word. Unfortunately, in this case my reaction to Sa Majeste la Rose was unfavorable. This is one of the roses that aren't for me. Another one that didn't work for me with similar feeling was Tea Rose by Perfumer's Workshop. I do not see much in common between these two perfumes (other than rose) so I do not know what I'm reacting to. Since I used it dabbed I don't even have an option to apply less of it :( But I'm glad it works for you.

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    1. When I see your question I can't help but think of the little butterfly of chaos theory. If it flaps it wings one way, clouds start to collect, soon it's raining and that days perfume choice might not work at all. If it flaps the other way there is nothing but sun and the same perfume feels perfect. So you never know...

      I've also had some recent rose failures. Hermessence Rose Ikebana I didn't like at all and also Sonoma Scent Studio Rose Musc. Your sample of Ta'if on the other hand is absolutely DIVINE, but that's a rose of a compeltely different kind :)

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  5. I have been a bit rose-obsessed lately too, but nothing is quite what I imagine I want, so the search continues. I don't think I have tried this one (or if I have, I don't remember it). Not sure how I feel about a rose from Serge. It seems too traditional for him. :)

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    1. No, it does not have Lutens written all over it, it's one of those more straightforward scents he's got, along with Claire de Musc and A la Nuit. There is another rose, Rose de Nuit, which is sweeter with gourmand notes, if I remember correctly. THat one is more what I'd expect from him.

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    2. I think maybe I have smelled Rose de Nuit, and possibly liked it. In any case, because I'm on a rose kick, I'm inspired to revisit Serge roses next time I can, so thank you for that!

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