Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule: Little Drops of Heaven




It seems entirely apt that in this season of goodwill and nativity plays, Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule reminds me of Christmas, cosiness, and all things nice.

It’s an unusual but simple blend of Sandalwood, Rose and Cacao.  It seems as if one dominates, only to be taken over by another, then another, in rotation.  One minute I think this reminds me of the dried fruit in Serge Lutens Arabie, the next there is a droplet of rose against a dusty, rich sandalwood background, and then the slightly fruity, rich note comes in again.  In fact, at first sniff, I was convinced there was fig here.

Some sandalwood purists would have preferred this to have been made with Mysore sandalwood, but in all honesty, I am not discerning enough to differentiate. I’m just happy to have sandalwood, any time, any place.

Cacao refers to the seeds of an unripened cocoa pod before it becomes suitable for harvesting and growing advent calendars.  An unripe cocoa pod is green and bitter and here it is captured, not as green and bitter, but as if all the richness of dark chocolate has been captured before any sweetness has been added. Against sandalwood it works terrifically well, and a lack of sweetness, unlike in real life, becomes a virtue.

The whole melange works incredibly well and I would happily wear it every day in this icy weather, which is saying something for somebody as scentually promiscuous as me. (new word alert!)

Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule is wonderfully warm with just the right amount of  sandy prickliness to stop it being too gourmand-y.  I love it. It may well be my favourite Serge, and that’s a hard one to call.  Christopher Sheldrake steals my heart yet again.

Stockists:  In the UK You can buy Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule online from Selfridges, Liberty and Escentual.  In the USA and Canada you can try  or or

10 thoughts on “Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule: Little Drops of Heaven”

  1. MMMMMajuscule! One of my favs from Uncle Serge. I agree that this time of year it’s just what Santa ordered 🙂 I must admit I *do* love the Mysore, but this still does it for me. And I’m not usually a rose person, but the blending in this frag is done so well, that it appeals to me.

    1. Hi SallyM,

      I’m with you on this one- it’s glorious and yet so simple. I shall seek out the Santal de Mysore as I am really into the sandalwood vibe at the moment. I actually got my sample from a visit ti Les Senteurs in Mayfair. It was my first visit and Lisa and I were in piggy heaven when we walked in. There were niche scents from floor to ceiling and even a fridge full of Frederic Malles. I’m still recovering.

      It was like Charlie and the Chocolate factory for grown women. *sigh*.

      best wishes
      Sam x

  2. This is going near the top of my “to try” list. I’ve tried 5 or 6 of the SLs with mixed results and didn’t know where to go from there, so I just read (or reread, in some cases) your prior reviews for ideas. I had exactly opposite reactions to Ambre Sultan and Arabie: I couldn’t stop sniffing AS, and shelled out for a small decant, while Arabie smelled to me like an overly-cumin-y dinner. I’m thinking I’ll also search the archives at Kafkaesque and cross-reference. (Sorry I’m blathering. This is the first chance I’ve had to sit and read blogs in a while. Also, I’ve finished my Christmas shopping so my self-imposed perfume-buying embargo is over. If only I had some money left!)

    1. Hi Laurels,

      Lovely to hear from you. I really recommend this one, but I totally understand if there are SLs that you don’t “get” since I feel the same. Many people rave about La Fille de Berlin but I didn’t like it at all. Having said that, my tastes have changed since starting the blog so I may revisit Ambre Sultan.

      You are quite right to trawl around to get second opinions. Some bloggers are way out of my league and are real experts. It’s also worth looking at several differing opinions since scent is so subjective.

      Me and Lisa often disagree on scent- I loathed Muscs Koublai Khan but she loved it! Same with Womanity- made me physically gag but Lisa quite liked it. You just never know.

      I wish you lived in the UK so I could send you samples, but trust me, it’s colder than a penguin’s bum right now.

      warm wintry wishes
      Sam x

      1. You and Kafka are the bloggers that most often seem to smell what I smell, although our tastes vary.

        Since it’s cold there, I’ll say I wish you lived here, although lately we’ve gotten some much-needed rain. And Les Senteurs! Fun! I recently made my first (I hope not my last) visit to the Scent Bar in L.A. proper, which was like Aladdin’s cave full of perfume treasure. I got to meet the charming Portia, which was very exciting, although I’m a bit shy and could have used a friend there for moral support.

    1. Hi Megan, you’re a bit more southerly and probably not as damp and icy as Wales right now! sandalwood is perfect for this weather isn’t it? Always a pleasure, best wishes Sam x

    1. No, it was a zoo. Kilian Hennessy was there promoting Apple Brandy and Vodka on the Rocks. (He’s even more handsome in person.) I sniffed things until my nose gave out, though, although both the perfume haze and the tightly packed crowd sent me outside repeatedly. If you get a chance to try Apple Brandy, though, see if you can get a sample. It seemed awfully sweet when first sprayed on a strip, but a few hours later that paper smelled divine, and I wished I’d sprayed it on an arm as well.

      1. Hi Laurels and thanks for the tip! The only place I have seen Killian was in Les Senterus in London, but after our recent trip, Lisa and I decided to make it a regular thing!

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