Serge Lutens Serge Noire: It’s Not You, It’s Me


Created in 2008 by Uncle Serge himself and the legendary Christopher Sheldrake, Serge Noire, is a fabulously deep and dark spicy scent. On the right skin that is.  Sadly on me, there is a definite “off” note which was backed up my expert in residence, and three year olds don’t have an edit button.

The notes listed had my mouth watering. There is not one note that I don’t love: Patchouli, Amber, Incense, Ebony, Clove, Spices and Woods. I love it all. Pile it on, I can take it.

Or so I thought.  Just as I was blissing out in the smoky tones of the top notes, a note of Baked Bean-like body odour jumped Imageout and slapped me in the face.  How rude, I thought.  I tested a second time, later in the day. There it was again, the unmistakable smell of an unwashed truck driver’s armpits. Just to check it wasn’t me, I stuck my hand under the nose of my aforementioned three year old.  I was vindicated. “Yuk,” he said, “Cheese and onion”.

You see, it’s not just me, I promise. I did not prompt him, and he was in the middle of watching Numberjacks, so his verdict was both random and candid.  As if to torment me more, the other notes smell intoxicatingly good: smoky, dark, spicy and perfect for Autumn. I would love to smell like this, apart from the obvious drawback.

To eliminate random elements, I can assure my dear readers that my personal hygiene is of the highest order and that the side of my wrist has never smelt of BO even on the hottest of days.

It’s just  a combination of chemistry and bad luck. I actually love Serge Noire and will be jealous of anyone who can wear it without this truck driver barging in. I can smell it’s rich potential, in fact, there is even a wonderful hint of black pepper in there when I waft it past my disappointed nose.

I blame myself, I bet this smells lovely on everyone else, and I happen to know a certain reader has just bagged herself a bottle.  I bet she smells amazing in it too. Damn.

9 thoughts on “Serge Lutens Serge Noire: It’s Not You, It’s Me”

  1. Oh yeah! You knows it! 🙂 I am now the proud owner and frequent wearer of Serge Noire. I loves it, I does. (Anyone who doesn’t know we come from Wales and do ‘Nessa’ accents at the drop of a hat is going to be very perplexed by that.)(They might not know who Nessa is, might they? She’s the dark-haired one:

    Anyway, I suspect you’ve been bitten by cumin. It’s an ingredient that a lot of people read as human stink and are more or less turned on by. I don’t seem to smell it. I think I am very lucky in this. (Though tragically, most brands of teabags have an aftertaste of onions to me. It’s not perfume-related, but at least you know I do suffer from something. )

    Finally – the Numberjacks. My kiddo was traumatised by the evil doohicky in that show when she was teeny weeny and refused to watch it. Real phobia stuff. I wonder if that’s one reason why she’s so resistant to maths now? Hmm.

  2. Oh. Wordbird. What’s occurrin’?

    Oops- I see I left the “e” off Noire! Big faux pas. I’ve just slapped my wrist.

    Yes I was prompted to review this as I knew you had bought a bottle and I was curious to try it (it’s your sample- thank you).

    Without the cumin, this would be Smoky and the Bandit Gorgeous.

    The Numberjacks is bloody hard core stuff. The Numbertaker gives me the heebie jeebies and even Leo is too scared to watch the Blob episodes, but he is learning to count!

  3. I don’t know the Numberjacks, but I adore Nessa. She’s what I like to think I’d be if I were from Wales and not Southern California, and also not practically a hermit.

    Better luck next time, IScent.

    1. Hi Laurels, I can’t believe you get Gavin and Stacy! Lisa Wordbird and I have a mutual friend who lives in Barry Island and there are Nessa souvenirs everywhere, and tourists looking for her change booth! Lucky you, living in Southern California. I envy you your reliable weather.

      Yes it’s a shame isn’t , when a perfume you want to love refuses to love you right back. Boo hiss.

  4. Dearest Iscent
    It’s always sad when one doesn’t get along with something one knows one ought to.
    Like being introduced to the popular partner of dear friend and finding they rub you up the wrong way.
    But it happens.
    Something lovely will come along soon that you can call your own.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. Dear Mr Dandy

      You are of course quite right: it’s all about the chemistry, both in real terms and metaphorically. If you haven’t got Chemistry, you’re History!

      Your friend

  5. One of my favourite SL fragraces, although I cannot say it smells “lovely” on me. It smells fierce and dark and perilous. What I love about it the most is the way it reminds of a flame that has been just put out. Very evocative. Like spices and woods that have been set on fire. But I can certainly understand the vibe you get from it.

    1. Dear Christos,

      Yes I could smell a sort of bonfire effect that was very seasonal. I longed to love this. It was dark and alluring, however, your word “perilous” is just perfect!

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