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.