Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule and Parole d’Eau

Well, one of the nice things about ordering from the source (in addition to their packaging; SL does pitch black everything, Dior does pristine white, and Guerlain is beribboned and luxe as can be) is that you get samples. Lutens offers 4, and while they aren’t as complete as I would like in the offerings (you take what they offer or don’t) at least they’re in there. The order I placed with Serge Lutens for my bottle of MKK came with four, and I am going to review them two by two. Each review will have one that I have sampled and one that I haven’t, one an “eau” and one not so eau. 

The first one that I opened was one that I had tried, and as I remember disliked. A lot. Santal Majuscule. However I couldn’t find anything that I had written to explain why, which means either I was displaying a reticence to complain that I had previously never exhibited or I was mis-remembering disliking, or for that matter even trying this one. Must be the latter because there was one (an SL I am still convinced) that was an absolute scrubber on me: a buttered popcorn note that was a little too literal “Times Square movie theater 1984” for comfort. At least in a $175 bottle of perfume. (a $1.75 matinee of “Flashdance” was bad enough, but I was a kid, and poor) Patty loved Majuscule and wrote about it back in 2012 (and no I cannot get used to the phrase “back in” with years like 2012, like it was back when you cranked both your car and your phone..) citing nothing the cocoa and roses with the sandalwood. I like it, but sort of wonder if layering Fille de Berlin and Santal de Mysore might be more fun. If a lot more expensive: Fragrancenet has the old bottles of Majuscule for under $75 as of this writing, sooooo…

Parole d’Eau is of course one of Luten’s Eau line, which a lot of people greeted with cries of “eau no!” or “eau dear” or “eau stop it Tom, it wasn’t cute ten years ago.”

Well I liked several of the Eaux. They are light but they’re also still Lutens. This one doesn’t disappoint: it opens minty-fresh, with a frankly fake (and very fleeting) squirt of mouthwash before settling into pine needles and eucalyptus. With a hint of sunlight and a slight smell of earth. It reminds me of some of the forested land between homes we had growing up in New England: cool and green no matter how hot the day became. And just to keep things interesting that minty fresh blast peeps out when you least expect it. I am delighted by it. For an eaux the lasting power is excellent- I could make it out on my skin 6 hours later. I am delighted by it and since Fragrancenet has it for a third of retail (as of this writing) I may have to pop for a full bottle. Which I am sure I will use up in record time. (No, they aren’t paying me. But if they’re watching I can be bribed by a bottle of this. As a thank you for the three hits you may get from my recommendation.

These are available at e-tailers out there and of course at the Lutens website. Yes, you should treat yourself by ordering from them at least once. Surrender to Chance has samples of many Lutens available including Santal Majuscule, Santal de Mysore and Fille de Berlin. Alas not Parole. My samples came with a purchase from Serge Lutens.

Images: My iPhone, Wikimedia Commons and Pexels

  • March says:

    Eau, Tom! I had rolled my eyes at the eaux (is that right?) but you make Parole sound nice, although … I have to google what that means in French. Sounds a bit odd in English… it kind of blows my mind how MANY SLs there are now, but I am pretty thrilled to see them on FragranceNet for a song, at least by SL standards!

    • Tom says:

      I think it means lyrics (like song lyrics) but that doesn’t make much sense.

  • Dina C. says:

    Parole d’Eau sounds like this week’s winner to me. Minty green glades of quiet and cool are appealing as summer is right around the — well, Hello! It’s here in Virginia now! Haha. We’re having unseasonably warm weather up in the 80s this week. I hadn’t heard of this one. I’m glad at least one sample was a yay for you.

    • Tom says:

      I am one of the few people who didn’t hate the eaux. Everybody kind of greeted them like Ferrari making a minivan, but I like some of them. I like them more at $50 than $150, though..

  • cinnamon says:

    I love that some providers still offer samples with an order. This is becoming less frequent. The Eau doesn’t sound like it would work on me: too fresh and cold (which I guess is the point). This post made me run to the Lutens site, where I discovered a product I’ve never encountered before: Confits. I can’t find the strength anywhere. They come in 25ml bottles (for $160) and per SL you should start with them, then layer the EdP, and onward to hair mist. A bit of overkill? I only see them in three fragrances: La Fille de Berlin, Chergui and Ambre Sultan. I so wanted Chergui to love me but we didn’t quite get there. I think it might be time to try again.

  • alityke says:

    Santal Maj is one of the Lutens I just couldn’t get in with & for a hardened Uncle Serge stan I haven’t tested the Eau. I need to work on that. Maybe Fleurs de Citronnier in the Eau presentation might fall into my lap.
    Me & lemons again

    • Tom says:

      In my book FdC is practically an Eau out of the gate..

      I’m a lemons lemming as well.

  • Maya says:

    Oh, you can have some fun playing with the word “eau” but I’ll pretend to be an adult and try to refrain… have a lot more fun though.
    I might give Santal Majuscule a try. I did sample SL’s other two sandalwoods. I had the same problem with them that I have with almost all sandalwoods that I try – a dill/pickle note! I just checked reviews on this and not one person mentioned a dill note and I know others have the same problem I do. Maybe I’ll get lucky.

    • Tom says:

      You won’t.

      Just went back and tried it. I never knew what it was but now that you mention it, yeah. Pickle. That ouch of Vlasik. I don’t dislike it mind you, but, like the portrait of the woman sitting at her dressing table that if you stare at it long enough becomes a skull, one you see it you can’t unsee it.

      • Maya says:

        Two words, to the point, and a lot of laughter from me. Guess I’ll save my luck for the lottery. I love sandalwood and I like pickles, just not together. Sucks for me. I can’t unsmell it.
        PS I know the picture you’re referring to.

        • Tom says:

          Yeah, brevity for effect can be fun. But now I know it’s Vlasik I smell. Just a touch. Not enough to ruin it luckily. I do prefer my pickles on the plate though..