Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule review

Ever since stepping through the gilded doors of perfume loverdom (is that a word?), I’ve read left and right people professing their adoration for Serge Lutens and his ‘death by sugar’ concoctions. With no immediate access to the exclusives in Paris, I sniffed here and there and I got myself a nice little sample bag from Escentual via their defunct ‘try before you buy’ program. I had hoped after a while of training my nose to be discerning, I’d love more of his creations. Alas that was not the case. I don’t know if it’s my greedy skin or what, but almost everything SL turns incredibly screechy sweet  or chemical on me. But boy, the ones I like, I love. So far Feminite du Bois, Daim Blond, Vitriol d’Oeillet and Santal Majuscule have made the cut. And I say so far because I haven’t tried everything and I am still giving another chance to those that didn’t get along with my nose/skin.

santal majuscule

Santal Majuscule. Sandalwood with capital letters written across a brown sky. One would expect a crazy, out of control sandalwood (a difficult note to like in the wrong hands) from such a name, larger than life, larger than the bottle. One couldn’t be more wrong. The few notes listed – Sandalwood, rose, cocoa, tonka bean – tell a story of mythical proportions. The sandalwood is tempered by a creamy rose that will just take your breath away. Maybe the tangy rose is tampered by a milky sandalwood with a dash of smooth cocoa in it. You can’t tell who’s got the power in this marriage. It pulses with wafts of dried fruit moving through various facets, showing you an uglier side for a few minutes before falling back into perfection, like moving in and out of reality.

I’ve never been more engulfed by the beauty of a perfume – it almost feels like an out of body experience, otherworldly really, like a blow to your sense of direction. It transports you to a time and place unknown to you as a dweller of the 21st century, perhaps to the gardens of a maharajah’s palace, perhaps to an exotic Wonderland, perhaps a gateway to your personal nirvana.

How do you get on with SL and what’s the most times you smelled a perfume hoping it will lead you to enlightenment?