Last week I ordered a sample of Serge Lutens’ Serge Noire. I made the purchase based on two things:
A. On the web site I purchased it from, the fragrance is described as spicy incense.
B. It’s a Lutens.

Afterward, I read a few reviews of Serge Noire. Most of the reviews I read gave Serge Noire a big thumbs down or ran screaming from it. In one particularly passionate and hilarious review, Serge Noire was described (I’m paraphrasing here) as an repulsive potion containing notes of mothballs and burnt hair. There were a few positive reviews here and there on the blogs, but most folks had violent reactions that seemed to necessitate a crucifix for defence from the fumes.

When I received my sample, I wondered if I held in my hand a vial of some foul poison. With caution, I popped it open and applied it to my skin, smelling spice in the air. I waited a few seconds and lifted my wrist to my nose. Immediatly, I reacted…OH MY GOD! THIS IS SO…..


Serge Noire is a dry blend of spices (a little too heavy on the clove), with a camphoraceous note. The drydown is a woody incense, smoky with sweetness, possibly from benzoin.

Serge Noire makes me swoon and that’s what I am looking for in a perfume…a hit of overwhelming ecstacy that makes you think twice about ordering a Victorian fainting couch.

What perfumes make you swoon?