Serge Lutens Mandarine-Mandarin

Notes, from Bois de Jasmin, of Chinese orange, nutmeg, candied mandarin, orange peel,  smoky tea, labdanum, tonka bean and ambergris.

When first applied, I get a lot of the orange notes, but there is nothing sweet or citrusy about this after it’s been on a bit.  The orange becomes a whisper, hidden behind the darker elements in this perfume.  It’s like being in a dark house that is warm and comforting, with a little cold breeze and one ray of sunshine coming through the window and hitting the floor. 

As much as I did NOT like Chypre Rouge, it just went bad on me, Mandarine-Mandarin is everything I wanted Chypre Rouge to be, though they aren’t the same in composition — just the feel of MM is what I wanted CR to be.  It’s at once bitter and a little sweet, dark and a little light.  Definitely unisex, complex and constantly changing while retaining the tension between the notes.  It’s a great composition, shadows of notes constantly shifting in contrast to each other.

When I went by my husband after spritzing on a cloud of this, he really liked it, and he doesn’t notice many perfumes I wear.  If he did, he would be commenting about every hour as I put on something else. 

I’ll be giving away a sample of this. Just drop a comment here, and I’ll do a drawing next week for the winner.

Winnner of the four Profumum samples is — Oscar.

The two winners of the L’Artisan Tea for Two samples last week (I know, I’m slow) are:  Rhonda and Rachael.

Just click on the Contact Us button on the left and send me your address, and I’ll get the samples out to you this week!

  • MorningOil says:

    Hi Patty!

    Ah, yes, I did manage to get ahold of a sample of this from the UK; sadly, it’s not for me, but it is perfectly gorgeous and earnestly recommended.

  • Solander says:

    Add me in please, I can’t get enough of Lutens…

  • Donna Groom says:

    Please enter me in the drawing for Mandarine Mandarin, sounds yummy 🙂

  • tmp00 says:

    well, I got my teeny dacant on Saturday and sent a review into Marina’s blog, then read your review and had to amend (and link). You said it perfectly, this one does exactly what I wanted CR to do and didn’t. Not sure I’m willing to jump through all of those hoops to get it from France, though.

    I think Serge should make special dispensation for us true believers, if he cannot bear letting the good stuff out to the rabble at Barneys. An MKK underground railroad!

    Would it be really piggy to ask to get in the draw. I guess it would. :((

  • Amy K. says:

    I’d love to try MM – please add me to the long list!

  • Joanne says:

    Please enter me :d

  • Steve H says:

    I was hoping that CR was going to be a winner.
    Haven’t looked into the archives, but did you like Chergui?

    Please count me in for the drawing/contest/giveaway.

  • Judith says:

    I got mine–so take me OUT of the drawing. At first, I thought it was possibly too orangey for me, but now, as it develops, I am REALLY starting to like it.. .

  • patricia rojas says:

    :d Must have!! Please put me in to your drawing!! Thank you.

  • violetnoir says:

    Am I in or not? :d

    I really want to try this SL. As you know, I usually don’t “get” his fragrances, but I always test them whenever I can.


  • gingele says:

    I have been successful thus far in resisting MM. Thanks, Patty. You are an outrageously successful midwife of many lemmings. Count me in, please.

  • eaumy says:

    Ah the joys of being a (nearly) lone dissenter. I tried MM, but didn’t care for it. I think part of what’s going on with me is that my hopes were so high. The reality didn’t nearly reach the heights of my fantasy (story of my life). MM seemed rather ordinary. I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, this is one expensive lemming gone belly up. On the other hand…I did so want to like it.

  • Tigs says:

    Great reveiw! Love the house metaphor! Please enter me in the draw! I second the Campari hopes! Amber, hurrah! I need a new exclusive line love! Exclamation marks abounding!

  • M.C. says:

    Sounds wonderful! Please enter me in the drawing.

  • Patty says:

    March, nope, amber is NOT killing me. It’s there, but is a tempering thing, subtly holding the sweet down. I really love this one.

  • Patty says:

    Jennifer, I’m trying to remember what Campari smells like, it’s been forver since I’ve had it. Sorry, I don’t have a good enough recollection to say.

    MM has a lot of amber in it that takes center stage, but not in the normal amber way, more as a centering note for all the other stuff going on.

  • Patty says:

    (L) :d —

    Weird. I definitely got a unisex vibe from this, it is pretty dry on me, and any sweetness is well hidden. But with all SLs, it probably has different aspects that come out on other people. But good to know that it may not work for guys, though.

  • Patty says:

    Judith and Marina, I got mine from a super-nice guy in Paris who picks stuff up for me. Not sure if it’s the same guy on basenotes. I had a package full of OJ perfumes go missing this last month, though, so I’m not sure what is going on what packages!

  • Patty says:

    Elle, I think you’ll like this one a lot. It just hit the right notes on me that CR just didn’t, and I know we agree on a lot of things.

  • Patty says:

    Nina, I didn’t try the wax sample, and while I get the orange all around it, on me the amber was more dominant, and the sweeter notes were more shadowy. I suspect this will be very different on each person.

  • patchamour says:

    Wait a minute. Three a.m.? Girl! Get some of that good shut-eye, y’hear?

    Throw me in the drawing, please and thank you.

  • March says:

    The amber isn’t killing you either, I take it? You and I are NOT the queens of Nazgul.

  • Patty says:

    March, I don’t think of tea, no. There’s more amber floating around in there, with a hint of tea, and the orange, and then it shifts. But the tea note doesn’t dominate for me at all.

  • Patty says:

    Got y’all entered in the drawing that wanted!

  • Twibbet says:

    Oh, yum. I love Fleur d’Oranger, but this sounds darker and spicier. I want. Enter me in the drawing, please!

  • Robin says:

    Sounds like it might be what I was hoping CR was also…thanks for the great review!

  • Lisa S says:

    consider comment dropped. it sounds lovely, quite unlike earlier impressions I had of it from the pre-release press releases.

  • Stephanie says:

    That sounds lovely! Please enter me in your drawing too.

  • Jennifer says:

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    Wow the fragrance just sounds like a wonderful trip, although this question is going to come out of now where but I have to ask; does it smell anything like Campari? I’ve lately been drinking the stuff and have noticed that Campari has one of the most unique scents out there and well the notes of Mandirine Mandirine sound like they might yeald something similar to the scent of Campari in my mind.

  • BBliss says:

    Hi Patty – hope you are feeling better!

    Please enter me – could it be that this is the lone Serge that doesn’t annoy the heck out me? It does sound good on paper/screen!
    Many thanks!

  • Sandy says:

    Oh my, that sounds like just what the doctor ordered (that, and 2 sour apple martini’s).
    Please enter me in the drawing.

  • Lynne Tyson says:

    Add my name to the drawing please! SL MM sounds dreamy!

  • Christine says:

    Sounds lovely…

    Please enter me in the drawing

  • annE says:

    Hi Patty,
    You make this sound wonderful, and I would love to be entered in your sample contest. I haven’t even sniffed Chypre Rouge yet, and going by all the comments I’ve read, I’m not dying to try it, but this…..! I think I could fall in love with ‘Fleur d’Oranger without the cumin’, and with a little more going on as well. oh my my.

  • Jo says:

    I’d love the Mandarine Mandarin – please enter me in the drawing!

  • Leopoldo says:

    I’vew got a teensy sample of this and I’m resniffing it now. I feel like I’m a genetic hybrid of March and you Patty – sometimes your taste is exactly mine (Harmatan Noir, Sel de Vetiver – which more and more reminds me of the drydown of Le Baiser du Dragon), and at other times, I march to March’s scented drumbeat (Orris, Chypre Rouge, skankaroo).

    The one difference (only one, hell!) is that I’m male and I can’t help but feel MM is anything but unisex. It has a throaty laugh, but it’s a female chortle without any doubt – perhaps a little Bacallesque, but when she was with Humph, before all those cigarettes had transformed her gravel to a rasp. I get – wham! mandarin!, bam! floral!, slap! marmalade!, tickle! spice, and they do, as you say, continually resequence themselves. I actually think it’s very pretty, and therefore not for me. I’ll stick with the BO and despondency of Chypre Rouge, or whatever your actual (and wonderful) phrasing was.

    Much love

    L (king of parentheses)

  • kuri says:

    Please enter me in the drawing! Smoky tea sounds great!

  • Marina says:

    Patty, did you by any chance get yours from that guy on Basenotes? He told me mine and a bunch of others was lost in post, grrr.

    Lemming Mandarine Mandarin something terrible. :((

  • Elle says:

    Klunk!! Wonderful review! This sounds like it will w/out doubt magically erase my disappointment over CR. Yay!! But WHY did this have to happen w/ the non-export one? Sob!!!! Yes, just a little crash down to reality there. I’m just going to have to start saving up for a bottle.

  • sybil says:

    Ooohh…sounds great! Please enter me in the drawing!

  • Judith says:

    OMG!! Sounds wonderful! I was supposed to get a decant from France, but it seems to have been taken by the PO!:( Would therefore love to be in your drawing. That is a VERY enticing review. . . .

  • chayaruchama says:

    May I join the greedy, covetous entourage, ma fille ?

    A lovely review…

    Carpe diem, Patty-

  • Nina says:

    Sounds good, Patty. The wax sample suggested a similarity to FdO without the cumin, but sounds as if the juice has more complexity. Can I be entered in your draw, please?

  • trinity says:

    Morning Patty!
    MM sounds just divine! Why does that Serge refuse to send the good ones across the pond, anyway?
    Ah well, just more of a challenge to obtain. And half the fun is the chase, right? Please enter me in the drawing!
    Have a wonderful day!!

  • sariah says:

    Sounds wonderful, please enter me.

  • Alica says:

    Dear Patty, I would appreciate to be included in the drawing for SL Mandarine-Mandarine. Thank you.

  • March says:

    Wow, it sounds beautiful! Once the orange blows off, would you describe it as tea, primarily? More incense-y? Any resemblance to any other of the SLs, like chergui?

  • Anne says:

    Sounds like this has possibilities as a perfect autumn scent. Would love ya to enter my name…….

  • Kathy says:

    This one sounds interesting. Please enter me into the drawing for the sample.


  • dinazad says:

    *Swooon* that sound like something I ought to be wearing NOW! Puh-leeeze, dear Patty, enter me in the drawing!