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.
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.
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.
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.
Drat. This sounded completely like something I would love, but on me it carried the dreaded over-sweet baby-powder note. Bugged me enough that I washed it off. Won't dissuade me from trying more Serge Lutens, though, as I've liked some of his other scents just fine!
Oh my...not fruity, suh-WEET, sugary, powdery, flowery, girly or nice in any fashion. This is not pastel, pink, floral, eyelet, or ankle socks.
Chergui is a WOMAN'S scent. You'd better be a mature woman...all curves, breasts, buttocks, and satiny toffee-colored skin to wear this. You can pin a man from across the room with your smoky eyes, beckon him with a narcotic-laced toss of your hair, bend his will to your whim, and break his heart with an indifferent glance. Your clothes meld to your curves, and men can't say why you are so intoxicating...but you're everyone's private heroin when you wear this. (Is that a Twilight reference? Oh God, I hope not. SO not my intention.). Women want to be you, men want to possess you.
That's how this scent makes me feel, anyway. Not like a harried housewife with four homechooled kids and a messy (not dirty! Just cluttered!) house that has dogs bouncing off the walls and a perennial dish or three in the sink. Some days I just drag around in yoga pants and a t-shirt (it's really a pajama tee from Target, don't tell) with my hair haphazardly twisted up in a bun. I'm 41, with some wrinkles and sagging skin, standard mom issue.
But when I wear Chergui, I magically transform into Catherine Zeta-Jones in "The Legend of Zorro", Angelina Jolie in "Original Sin". Lush, luscious, sensual, unforgettable. After you get past the first almost acrid, medicinal blast of herby incense (about 10 minutes)...almost eyewatering, really...the scent melds into a spicy, honeyed, slightly sugary amber that's saved from cloying-ness by a fresh bite of tobacco, iris, and I guess it's hay. There's supposed to be rose notes in this, which unfortunately, rose never shows up on me. But it's not needed or missed.
Hours, and I mean HOURS, later, the drydown maintains the amber and slowly includes a woody edge...I guess that's the sandalwood. I can see the guy from "The Most Interesting Man in the World" beer commercials wearing this. But it's not manly, oh no. If my florid, overblown prose didn't spell it out above, it's verrrry feminine (all dependent on chemistry...always).
This is one of the few frags I've stuck under hubby's nose that didn't get the requisite indifferent Gallic shrug. He took my wrist in his hand, inhaled deeply, and murmured "Mmmmmmm"...totally out of character for him (a verbal reaction that matches his nonverbal reaction to Angel...see my review). I believe he is an Oriental/gourmand man, and if he enjoys this juice, given how it makes me feel, I'll gladly wear it and revel in my lovely feminine sensuality. There aren't a lot of things that can elevate me from my rather humdrum hausfrau existence, so when I find something that lifts me up, I'll take it and exploit it every chance I get. Just lovely.
I did not really chose Chergui, somehow it chose me instead. When visiting the boutique Lutens in Paris (what a superb place!!) I hesitated a lot between Chergui and Arabie (....and most of the others perfumes from both collections....:))) but finally left with Arabie. Chergui attracted me a lot but it was somehow indescribable and although I remembered it as an intriguing perfume, I had a hard time placing it in my "perfume world". When leaving the boutique, the sales lady gave me the solid-perfume samples of all the Lutens collection (that's a must have when you go there, so do ask for it if you get a chance) and 3 other samples (Chergui, A La Nuit and Daim Blond). Back home I started to smell the entire collection in the solid form, one every evening (which amused my boyfriend quite a lot) and Chergui still did not make it through (I was actually totally blown away instead by Iris Silver Mist that I can't wait to have a chance to smell it otherwise that in the solid-perfume version). But last week I had to travel for the week and trying to lighten up my cabin liquids I decided to leave home my bottle of perfume and take the 3 Lutens samples instead. And that's when Chergui totally won me over, wearing it "without choice" for three days and in a heat pretty much like in summer. Result: this lunch-time I went out to the only perfumery that sells Lutens in my area and indulged in a bottle. I was submerged by its balance and complexity but I have to say that I still have a hard time describing and placing it. To me it seems golden, ripe, woody, smoky, sweet, balsamic, rhummy, spicies (but hard to say which ones), like a plum pie with a filling of smoked cedar in the middle. But if you ask me tomorrow, I may find something different, because it's roundness makes it hard for me to break it up in pieces.
Such an interesting fragrance. A few weeks ago a friend of mine smelled delicious, a mix of roses, smoke and vanilla so I had to ask her what she was wearing. She told me that she had also smelt Chergui on a friend and it was so good she went straight out to buy it. My friend had a LOT of this on so by the end of the evening I was in 2 minds about it as it was a little overpowering. I ordered a sample of this on Ebay and I am wearing it today, I love it!! My worries about this smelling too much like tobacco have completely disappeared, on me this starts out with the tobacco/hay smoky element but it turns into the most delicious slightly smoky vanilla scent. It smells expensive and exotic and I can't wait to wear this in the summer as I have read that the fragrance works well in the heat. I have ordered a full size bottle today :-) Thanks Serge!
Ahhh. Chergui... the first time I smelled it, given the board love, I was expecting the second coming of the god of perfume. I was not chuffed over it. I preferred Douce Amere. But then... a warm summer night at the Hollywood Bowl, and I was fortunate enough to be in someone's glorious Chergui downdraft. I went home, retried the sample, and was smitten. Had to have it. Bought a bottle from Barney's, and when I went to Paris for my anniversary got a bell jar in the Palais Royale. The next runner up was Fumerie Turque, but Chergui won out, even though I had it at home. It was that good. I still get swoony giddy when I wear it and it makes me feel like some kind of Mother Earth Fertility Goddess, very pagan, very natural, very strong. DH is non commmittal, but likes that I get that kind of reaction from it....it makes me feel like me, but sexy. Not a sweatpants wearing, dinner cooking, homework correcting mom, but a Who's Your Momma momma. Sillage is good, tenacity is good, and it really is a year-rounder, even in Ca heat. In fact, I think it improves as the temperature kicks in and the air turns Moroccan dessert dry. I love the stuff. I have a hoard, and I like it that way. This is in my top 10 list for 'if you had to chose a Sig Scent' contenders. Love it, like it, never feel wrong in it. It's just prefectly good.
Stale Peeps in a dirty ashtray. Cloying sweetness rolled in choking tobacco ash. That, sadly, is all I get here. And I was convinced that this would be heaven based on reviews & published notes!