Serge Lutens Arabie: Leather and Fruit? Can I Tempt You?

You can tell that I am a fan of Nigella Lawson. The appalling state of my copies of her books is testament to this. The sticky toffee pudding recipe is stuck together with sticky toffee pudding and she is responsible for at least one dress size that I didn’t used to be.

Don’t worry, my blog hasn’t changed direction, but one of Nigella’s recipes sprang to mind instantly when I first smelled Serge Lutens Arabie. The recipe in question is for Nigella’s Black Cake from the  Nigella Christmas book. The instruction is as follows:

 Cover the fruits and leave to steep for at least two weeks, but up to six months. I say up to six months – which is what Colwin writes in Home Cooking – but I must tell you that I steeped all the fruits one year in November only to find in December that I was just too exhausted to make the cake. So I used it up the following year, after 13 months’ marinating. It was strong, but it was good.

When I first sprayed Serge Lutens Arabie, I was indeed vividly reminded of dark, rich fruit that had been steeped in rum for many years.  Uncork the lid and there it  is, wafting out like a snake being charmed from a basket. If you’ve ever eaten so much Christmas cake that you feel you may turn into one, you will be familiar with boozy fruit, and this beauty has it by the bucketful.

I wasn’t remotely surprised to see that the main notes were fruit, nutmeg, figs and dates , or that there was some festive myrrh in there too. For some reason, on the second day of wearing this, I picked up a slightly smoky Leather base as well.  Leather is not listed as a note, but it could be the myrrh and the resin creating a by product that provides smoky warmth.

This is rich and redolent with feast like properties, but stops just short of being strictly edible.  The myrrh makes it fragrant- like incense, and the combination of rum doused fruit and  a wisp of smoke makes Serge Lutens Arabie full of mystery and allure.  And Christmas.


11 thoughts on “Serge Lutens Arabie: Leather and Fruit? Can I Tempt You?”

    1. Dearest Lisa, yes indeed! This is a cross between Ambre Narguile and Ambre Sultan. In fact, since my long and colourful scent education continues, I might revisit Ambre Sultan and take a different view. Then again, I might hate it more!

      love Sam xxx

      1. What!!!??? gasp!! Do I really see the words hate and Ambre Sultan in the same sentence?? Mon Dieu. I’m intrigued and have to ask what about it that makes you feel this way?

      2. Hi sally,

        Yes indeed! I disliked Ambre Sultan very much when I reviewed it first (you can search on my blog for what I thought). It smelled like the cloud that hovers above pot smoking teenagers! However the more I learn about perfume, the more I change my mind, so I might well revisit that one.

        warm wishes

  1. I seem to be on a mission to try all of the frags in the SL line. This is next on my list after this great review. As one who grew up with a mum who made our Christmas puds and cake a year in advance, I can so relate to the incredibly evocative smell of rum soaked raisins, sultans, peels and spices.

    1. Sally- yes! That’s exactly what it reminded me of! Christmas Cake that has been soused and doused in booze and fruit for a long, long time. It’s really marvellous! I’m so glad you liked my review, thank you for your kind words.

      best wishes Samantha

      1. I need to be a lot richer to afford the perfumes I want to try. Or the companies need to all produce nice little tester bottles of all their fragrances…

      2. I agree Viv. I always love it when a company does Discovery Boxes or a good sample service. It’s not feasible to shell out on blind buys at those prices. Mine was from a sample, courtesy of my good friend Lisa.

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