Sunday, May 26, 2013

Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan

Here it is.  My first perfume review!  Now there are TONS of fancy perfume reviews online that will tell you the notes, the chemistry, and use fancy words, compare this fragrance to others, and fulfill all of your fancy-schmancy review desires. 

I am new at this so I don't know all the fancy terminology.  My perfume note identification is about on level with me reviewing wines, which I could most accurately describe as "grapey".  Therefore, since I lack the ability and desire to bore you with formal reviews of these things, I'm just going to tell you how they make me FEEL. 

Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan
I got a sample of this one just the day before yesterday from my own personal Perfume Fairy, Jan.  I have learned from my first 3 sample boxes that I need to PACE MYSELF, and only really explore one fragrance at a time.  The Ambre Sultan caught my eye immediately because I remembered this review from Katie Puckrik.   I already know I love patchouli/ vanilla/ incense-y things, so I spritzed this on and....

It's 1992ish. I'm 22 years old.  I'm happy and free and hanging out with my friends Donya and Daniel at their apartment, which smells wonderfully of incense and something yummy and vegetarian they made for lunch.  Donya is studying, so Daniel and I go walk through the French Market.  I'm wearing Daniel's woolen beret even though it's July, just because I'm a fashion rebel like that.  It probably smells a bit like wet dog.  Sweat.

The day is typical New Orleans.  Balmy, humid.  The quarter smells like sweat and people and a little urine-y and greasy from all the fried food, brackish from the lake, muddy and hot and silty from the river.  Probably jasminey and sweet olivey and honeysuckley.  Fresh bread. Coffee.  Hippies.  Sweet, thick, liquor.  I have nowhere to be, nothing I have to be doing. 

We go into Marie Laveau's House of VooDoo to see my boyfriend at the time, Carl, who worked there for several years.  Today the psychic reader in the back of the shop is burning vanilla incense, and it mingles with everything else in the shop.  Candles, other incense, packets of herbs and gris gris bags.  Wooden masks with rich stains and varnishes.  Dolls made from straw.  The ancient, worn, wooden floor.  I feel rooted.  In love with the city.  The best sense of safety and place and belonging. Excitement and exploration and a huge broadening of my horizons.  I love my friends.  This time of my life. I am thankful for it, and aware that is it fleeting. 

I have smelled SO MUCH incense and patchouli over the years (candles, lotion, soap, oils, incense, shampoo, etc. etc.  etc.) unconsciously, I think, trying to conjure the smell of this perfect day. 

Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan IS that smell.  I will be buying this and trying to resist the urge to slip into any of my other habits from the early 90's...

No comments: