Serge Lutens; Chergui

Notes: honey, musk, incense, tobacco leaf, hay sugar, amber, iris, rose and sandalwood

Where I live in the US we’ve had a pleasant and warm month of May so far–it was actually warmer here than it was in Paris! Naturally I’ve been contemplating lighter, airier fragrances for spring/summer but, to my surprise, I found myself craving the intense warmth of Chergui. I kept trying to reason with myself, no that will be too heavy for this time of year but then I thought, why deny myself the pleasure of a truly delicious perfume?

I actually didn’t like Chergui the first time I tried it. Luckyscent kindly sent me a sample with another purchase I had made, and I’m ashamed to say that I dabbed some on my wrist, and then proceeded to fall asleep! When I woke up, the fragrance had intensified on my skin and I was completely overwhelmed with the sense of sweet hay. I thought no way. Chergui seemed too sweet and too heavy for me.

Luckily I had the sense to give it another shot when I wasn’t quite so sleepy. Chergui takes its name from the dry wind of Morocco, and this fragrance definitely gives off the warmth of the desert. The honey comes through quite strongly, making this one sweet on me. But, aside from my first sampling, it has never tipped over into sticky and overbearing territory. The herbal tobacco keeps the composition dry and, in this way Chergui conjures an arid desert, not a humid climate. I also detect quite a bit of leather blended with hay, which can’t help but recall a barnyard. So yes, there is a hint of dirtiness here. But, I have to say, I enjoy it! Moreover, the leather adds some depth and balance, ensuring this doesn’t become too dry.

Like many Serge Lutens fragrances, Chergui is difficult to classify. It has a sexiness to it but, is it right for a date? It’s undeniably elegant, but is it right for a party? It radiates warmth, so maybe it’s right for when you need a comfort scent? Chergui is all of these things wrapped up in one bottle, and that’s what makes it so extraordinary.

I’m still not sure what exactly about it prompted my craving. The only thing I’m certain of is that, when I finally gave in, put on Chergui, and inhaled that first sniff, a sense of complete satisfaction came over me. It wasn’t the perfume I expected to be wearing this time of year, but it was the one that I needed.

Serge Lutens; Chergui: $140 for 50 ml. Samples available from The Perfumed Court, full bottles available from Luckyscent.

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2 thoughts on “Serge Lutens; Chergui

  1. I tried Chergui twice and liked it every time… but it didn’t become love yet. I will be testing it more and it might grow on me.

    Recently I’ve been having “phantom cravings”: I can almost smell a perfume I want to wear but I have no idea which one it is. It’s not the one of which I have a full bottle – I know and remember most of them. So probably it’s either something I’ve tested or maybe even my recollection of that scent. But it’s really frustrating because everything I wear ot test now is “no, not this one either”.

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