Sarrasins by Serge Lutens

sarrasins (Fragrantica)

Sarrasins is a wine colored perfume that smells like jasmine, leather, and white flowers. Not necessarily in that order. It’s one of Serge Lutens’ classics. I’ve wanted to try it since I read the review in The Book (Perfume by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez.)

It opens with a big, sexy dark jasmine. “Saracen” was a medieval term used to describe Arabian desert tribes. I wouldn’t call Sarrasins wild though; I’d say you can sense the wildness there, but overall it’s a tactful fragrance.

Next comes a soft, lived-in leather note that meshes well with the jasmine. The leather/jasmine accord goes for a while, and then Sarrasins gets a little bit fruity, a little bit peachy, and a little bit herbal. Overall it’s a fleshed-out, old-fashioned classy effect.

There’s also a huge white flowers note. I’ve smelled this note before in Givenchy Organza. I don’t like it. I think it’s bland. But sometimes a refreshing tuberose rawness peeks out.

Sarrasins is one of the few perfumes that has an interesting drydown. It leaves you with a supple jasmine/leather accord that melds beautifully to skin. It’s like the conclusion of an essay winding back to the opening paragraph.

I think Sarrasins is pretty good as a panoramic fragrance, but I wish it had stuck to the point and pushed harder. I want more jasmine, more leather, more raw tuberose and apricot and less filler flowers. I get the point, but I think more oomph is in order for a shockingly dark-colored juice named after the nomads who scared the crap out of Crusaders.

Price Range: Expensive
Recommended Occasion: Any
Release Year: 2007
My Rating: 7.5

Here’s some more reviews:
The Candy Perfume Boy sees Sarrasins’ restraint as a snake holding back. Marina at Perfume Smellin’ Things and March at Perfume Posse agree that Sarrasins doesn’t challenge itself enough.

This entry was posted in Fruity, Herbal, Leather, Uncategorized, White Flowers and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Sarrasins by Serge Lutens

  1. Steve says:

    I haven’t tried this SL before…but it sounds like something that I would like.

  2. formaggio says:

    I really like the pointedness of the Scentsate review.
    I (also) try to be honest and remind myself that much of the effect of perfumes depends upon who’s wearing them, and the setting – the element of surprise, the whole picture. Perfumes that put jasmine in the forefront aren’t on my route when it comes to favorites, but Sarrasins might cause a detour. It doesn’t hurt Sarrasins case that it is quite raunchy.
    The five-star review in the authoritative book, Perfume, has caused me some difficulty. Sarrasins certainly isn’t great or innovative along the lines of other five-star rated examples in Perfume. When I think of Sarrasins as a floral it becomes rather leaden. A good jasmine oil has the same or more interest for me. And as a purely mental thing I can’t see how Sarrasins at all pays homage to, or even refers to a culture that has been involved with incense and perfume since prehistoric times.
    But not to diminish a perfume I would not discourage anyone from buying or wearing. They might get me to like it more.
    … I put on some Sarrasins about 90 minutes ago. Why do I smell fish and chips and malt vinegar?

    • Joan says:

      Never smelled that. Wish I did!

      • formaggio says:

        Thanks for the reply.
        You might have questioned my use of the term, ‘jasmine oil.’ But that’s O.K.! I goofed. It’s jasmine absolute.
        I’m not sure I would want a jasmine oil, unless it was referring to an enfleurage. Now THERE’S something ….

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