Old Friends: Serge Lutens Mandarine Mandarin (and others)

photo-2One of the houses that I feel most closely reflect the inner me is Serge Lutens. There are several of them that I love and are wonderful when the whether is cooler:

Muscs Kublai Khan is maybe number one in the roster. To some people it’s a roaring tiger, almost scary in it’s barnyard aspects. On me it’s such spurring kitty that I have even gotten away wearing it to work.

Rahat Loukoum is something that on paper I should hate: sweet cherries and almond paste in the opening quickly becomes far more sensual. My bottle is sadly almost empty and I may have to go into hock with Barney’s to get another one.

Chêne is a wild favorite of mine. Those bone dry smoky oak notes with a musky base (see a pattern here?) are a favorite and when it was in the regular bottles at Barney’s I think I went through two.

Borneo 1834 is another one that I should have hated. Chocolate and patchouli such as in angel makes me want to die, but the bone dry patch and dusty cocao in this had me in thrall from the beginning.

Oh, there are others, so many others. But Mandarine Mandarin is a special one.

I have to write that celery in general is something that I don’t care for. I don’t like it on soups, I don’t like it in scents, heck I don’t like it stuffed with peanut butter. But for some reason the celery note in the opening of Mandarine Mandarin had me in thrall, and the layers of fresh and seemingly stewed orange kept my interest, then the smoky tea and labdanum come it. Gorgeous.

All of these are available in the States these days, in the iconic bell jars. I have admit that the snob in me misses the ability to tell someone who asks about it that it’s only available in Paris, but then the idea that If I run out I merely have to go into hock at Barney’s to replenish.

My samples were from my personal collection; the photo is from my closet, a reflection of far palmier days..

  • Heidi says:

    I’m on a SL kick right now, too — I’ve been wearing MKK, Chergui, and Fille en aiguilles. But — and I’m very proud of this — I tried layering Fumerie Turque with A La Nuit, and it was A. MA. ZING.

  • Debbie Russell says:

    I will have to try Mandarin! It sounds great. MKK is the perfect musk for me. Everything else is like: what musk? Altogether too tame, too light. SL is one of the houses I love the most. Rarely does he disappoint.