Serge Lutens Cèdre, 2005

(photo by Ken Herrmann, Flowerman)

Perfumer Christopher Sheldrake

Looking over the reviews of Cèdre I realize I’m one of only a handful who actually like it. Yes, the name’s a bit odd, but only a bit. If you’re looking for the airy, crystalline cedar of the Lutens Bois perfumes you won’t find it here. What’s here is the oily, dusty cedar like straight-up cedar essential oil. The oily quality mixes with the syrup of the amber and the booze of the camphorous tuberose.

Floriental usually implies the hybrid friendliness of amber fragrances and prettiness of florals. Cèdre subverts the genre, being more melancholic than affable, alluring rather than pretty. Lutens is considered to have reinvented the oriental. Maybe this is his reinvented floriental.

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