Serge Lutens Chergui


194 reviews

71% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$$$


Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

Mmmmm this is so divine. I adore this one. On me it is all sweet warm tobacco with a hint of amber, a bit of powdery iris, a mixing of incense and hay and a teeny bit of Sandalwood.

It opens so rich and sweet and a bit spicy, which I love. The tobacco leaf and amber combo is to die for. You wouldn't think iris would meld with this, but it does, so well!! And the little bits of hay (green, then dry, then green) just make me feel a bit sexy and exotic.

I find this one to be suitable for all seasons (it's a moderately warm spring day today, but I've tried it in Fall and love it then, too)---it's a bit of a powerhouse, and it lasts for 7-8 hours easily on me. This one is *almost* backup worthy. I love the bottle, as well. A definite winner!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 2/11/2015 12:03:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I have been sampling a generous decant of this over the past few days, and I must sadly report that I am underwhelmed. Is body chemistry really so different that a lush symphony of scent on one person will smell like, on me, pecan caramel chewy buns? Not that I don't like pecan caramel chewy buns, but you can get foody type fragrances at Bath and Body Works for far less money, less hype, and less highbrow attitude. This started out as strong men's aftershave on me--spicy and a bit medicinal. That lasted about 2 minutes, which was a relief. Then it morphed into a kind of fruity granola smell, and then settled into the sticky buns. One of my "tests" of a fragrance is to see what it smells like after I've gone outside to shovel after a Minnesota snow fall. My body is all warmed up, I'm sweating a bit, and fragrances bloom and show their true, um, colors on me then. Tuscany per Donna? Oh la la! What joy! Habanita? If I could nibble my own neck I would! Vintage Emeraude (worth lurking on e-bay for): A person could weep over the beauty of a fine fragrance. But after 3 days of shoveling after sleet and snow: Still the sticky buns. Fragrance is very very subjective, more so than even cosmetics and skin care I think. A few reviewers say this is good for layering, but for the money, why should you HAVE to layer to add depth, longevity and sillage? Fine fragrances have legs to stand on their own... But I tend to think that sometimes people feel like a fragrance is better than it really is due to 1) Brand bias (if it's Chanel, it MUST be wonderful--nope: Coco Noir is bland and insipid and has absolutely no "noir" to speak of) and 2) Price point bias. If it costs a ton of money, again, it MUST be good! Nope. I have decided that if I have time for it (I'm in school now) I shall endeavor to explore state sales in hopes of finding some vintage classics.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 1/20/2015 12:25:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

edit: it's chilly today and I decided to layer a dab of Chergui on one wrist with a dab of MKK on the other and touch together. The animalic cuts the powderiness for me and I like it better. Even two dabs -- far less than a spray -- is extremely powerful; apply sparingly.


Other reviews below have described. Chergui well. I have recently jumped on the vintage fragrance bandwagon, and as a result my former Lutens favorites, such as Chergui, feel too sweet and arid powdery to my nose. A little goes a long way and it's better to dab than to spray.

Sillage wrote in her review below 'sweet smokey spicy amber . . .' I agree with all of that except I think it would be greatly improved to have the bite of carnation or clove or something to counter the honey and sweetness. It's all shapeless, warm base notes to me.

Lutens layers well and serge apparently provides layering suggestions. I have been layering jeau de peaux with Ambre sultan (AS is a universal ingredient in my layering), and the result is a cross between Etro Heliotrope and Caron farnesiana. I think one of serge's official suggestions is chergui and a la Nuit (a non indolic, somewhat straightforward and powerful jasmine) but I never had the courage to try it, and recently my bottle of A La nuit smashed on the granite floor. . . BTW, when the entire 50 ml bottle smashes, spilling the entire contents, you do get a whiff of indolic, go figure. . ..

Finally, I was reading BoisdeJasmin on Layering Lalique Amethyst, and some readers commented on other successful layering combos, specifically, Chergui and Bulgari Black. . .

on 5/28/2014 5:15:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Dry, Dark, Warm

Hair: Black, Kinky, Fine

Eyes: Black

It took me awhile to write This review. I've been wearing chergui from a little sample a kind SA gave to me & trying to "figure out" This scent. When i first apply it, i immediately get pipe tobacco & honey. I imagine this Is how honeyed tobacco would smell. That goes away and the tobacco goes to the background & i get something dry & almost grassy but not green grass, it's a dry grass with honey. It's the strangest smell i've ever smelled but it's a warm cosy smell. This stage lasts about an hour then i get the smell of roses, dry roses and powder pierces by wisps of Tobacco & creamy honey. The entire scent Is like a honeyed, creamy,rosy, baby powder with that dry grassy scent that stops this perfume from becoming boring. This Is the drydown i get & then it becomes a lightly honeyed creamy, dusty skin scent. I loved this perfume! Sometimes i wished there was a tiny bit of spice in there to cut through that creamy powder phase but i love it! I Can imagine this smelling hot on a Guy.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 9/25/2013 9:31:00 AM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I own 5 Serge Lutens fragrances, and I enjoy them in this order: 1) Chergui, 2) Jeux de Peau, 3) Un Bois Vanille, 4) Filles en Anguilles, 5) Feminite du Bois.

EDIT 9/24/14: I now like them in this order: 1) Filles en Anguilles, 2) Feminite du Bois, 3) Chergui, 4) Jeux de Peau, 5) Un Bois Vanille.

I love all of them -- I think they're *brilliant* perfumes.

Here are the notes of Chergui, per
Amber, Hay, Honey, Iris, Leather, Musk, Clary sage, Rose, Sandalwood, Tobacco leaf, Juniper berry, Frankincense

Sweet amber, basically. It's complex & deep & kind of resiny but also quite sweet, let me emphasize that -- they were generous with the honey (the third listed note). I ordered Chergui unsniffed, based on reviews, and when I received it, I was a bit disappointed at how *sweet* it is -- nevertheless, it's still very good.very surprised at how sweet it is.

Sweet-smoky spicy amber, and I'm wearing it now. Has almost a sweet pipe tobacco quality, to my nose. A relative of Youth Dew, Cinnabar, Prada, Must de Cartier Classic, BPAL Snake Oil, Ciara, Laura Biagotti Venezia, Escada Collection -- all in the same broad general category, I think. No patchouli in Chergui, no vanilla -- primarily amber, and it smells quite sweet & pipe tobacco-y to me.

Chergui is strong & rich & beautiful -- you have to be careful -- you only need a tiny touch, and then it blooms on skin & has great sillage -- lasts very well.

This is a great Fall/Winter scent. Complex, full-bodied, exotic, gorgeous, rich, & sweet. Love it!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

on 7/30/2013 2:39:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

Sadly, I have no idea what a real marketplace in Morocco smells like, but in my westerner's mind's eye, somewhat in the vein of the orientalist paintings of the 19th century, Serge Lutens Chergui smells not so much to me like a dry desert wind but like a marketplace in Tangier the morning after the wind has mercilessly swept through. I think it is a smell of stillness, like a whisper left behind from an old story that was told. It is the scent of a quiet unoccupied room permeated with the smells of lingering smoke, tea leaves and the spoiling wine and fruit abandoned on the table from the night before, the aroma of dusty hair scented with rose oil, and bells tinkling softly on perfumed ankles as the inhabitants begin to stir. It is the scent of the animal's fur as they begin to low in their stalls, the smell of the smooth ground baked with the sun's warmth, and the smell of the vendor's garment dyed textiles hung for sale in the streets. Personally I find it more reminiscent of Serge Lutens Arabie than the more common comparison I see to Fumerie Turque, but with less of that rich juicy pungency that Arabie has, and with the gourmand notes favoring sweet over savory. Unfortunately, there is something a little sickly-sticky-burning-powdery-sweet that holds Chergui back from being truly sublime for me, although it is very close...

Notes according to Luckyscent: honey, musk, incense, tobacco leaf, hay sugar, amber, iris, rose and sandalwood.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 2/2/2013 2:50:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair, Warm

Hair: Red, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I really wanted to love this fragrance; however, Chergui was a major disappointment. The pleasant opening smells like Avon Skin So Soft and conjures up childhood memories. After five minutes, the boring powder arrives. Also, Chergui seems incomplete, as though it hoped to vanish in the hot desert wind. Maybe someday I will revisit this fragrance and experience lounging camels and complex “spicy intensity”. Maybe.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 8/25/2012 9:45:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I just could not get down with this fragrance. It smelled like Skin-So-Soft on me and nothing more, which to me, translates to cheap. I read other reviews that said it got better with time, but I didn't find this at all - it was very linear on me. My first impression was also that this is a very mature fragrance (too mature for me, not my style at all), and my husband said the exact same thing when I asked what he thought of it. Well, actually, he didn't use such polite terminology, but I'll leave out what he actually said. :) Anyway, wanted to like, but not for me at all.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 8/9/2012 10:29:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Grey

I was given a sample of this at Barney's in Scottsdale and I was exceptionally skeptical because Lutens can be a bit over the top, and not in a good way.

This spicy, leathery, creamy and very voluptuous scent, brought me into the Lutens fold. It warms up on my skin and just melts into it, morphing from the incense, hay like opening to the spicy santal and tobacco leaf with a hint of soft warm leather middle, into the final stage of amber, creamy rose and smokey tonka. For me, the honey is present but only there to lend a bit of supporting cast, quietly sweet not sugary, with more of a beeswax honey scent.

It is exquisite in every stage with my chemistry, however I can understand how, for some, this would be overwhelming and headache inducing; but if it meshes with your chemistry it is one of the most lush fragrances out there.

Once the initial stage is over the sillage is modest, meaning it wears close to me, so those who are hug worthy get a whiff, but it will not offend in an elevator or invade someones personal smelling space.

I love it both in the winter and summer months. Warmth turns it into a heady and more humid breeze as opposed the winter where it is more of a dry smokey wind.

I wear this scent on an everyday basis and for formal events, it suits both imho; I agree with the previous reviewer that it just depends on the wearer.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 6/24/2012 4:29:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Olive, Cool

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Complex, intelligent, evocative, smouldering, desirable, exotic, deep.

That's what I smell like to me when wearing this fragrance. And my husband wanted to bed me straight away.

Chergui is not for the faint-hearted, or white floral lover. You'll want to be into your orientals to wear with confidence. And if you do, you won't be disappointed.

Yes it is sweet, but not sickly, underpinned by sandalwood, amber, musk, tobacco, so it avoids the sticky sweet superficiality of many other fragrances jostling for position on the perfume counter. These notes rise to the occasion on the nothing less than orgasmic dry-down. What you're left with is a warm, complex, alluring fragrance that is evocative of a Morrocan love affair, but stays with you long enough to still enjoy at the end of the day.

Some say it's not an every day perfume, but I think it entirely depends on the wearer. An excellent fragrance by the Serge Lutens folk and would definitely buy again.

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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