Serge Lutens Arabie, 2000

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Perfumer Christopher Sheldrake

Arabie makes me understand the attraction of the dessert or gourmand fragrance, a category that otherwise doesn’t captivate me. Granted, Arabie is spared from the gourmand category by its emphasis on woods, but it is also sweeter than many gourmands, so the distinction seems weak.

True, Arabie is over the top: too much spice, way too sweet, too many dried fruits macerated in syrup. But isn’t it lovely? Applied with a moderate hand it is my favorite sweet fragrance. I can’t say that there is any particular element that actually balances the sweetness, but the benzoin twists the sweetness a bit and makes it appealing.


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