Weekly Fumes: Cedre – Serge Lutens

John Preston

It’s odd in a way that Serge Lutens, one of my first niche perfume discoveries some 15 years ago, doesn’t take more of a prolific position in my personal fragrance collection. The French perfume house, which has made outstandingly odd, otherworldly and frequently aloof scents since 1992, intrigues and fascinates me. But I have only ever owned three of its creations – one of which is Cedre.

Typical in many ways of the contrary and provocative nature of the brand’s creations, cedar is a note that I have a very hard time smelling here, given that it’s both the name and the supposedly dominant note of this 2005 release. The Serge Lutens brand is perhaps best characterised by a large number of its most famous and popular scents being both brutally pungent and possessing a stewed fruit and spice accord. Cedre, whilst not entirely an exception, is also not completely atypical of this.

Upon application, a tingling, reassuringly medicinal and somewhat sweet, sticky and smoked tuberose creates the first impression. It is definitely suspended on woods and maybe amber – this is listed as one of the official notes – but cedar? I don’t get it.

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The longer the perfume is on my skin, the more the tuberose blend morphs from luxe cough sweet to a creamy and delicately spiced throw of warmth and comfort. Even if the classic tuberose bombs (Fracas, Carnal Flower) don’t do it for you – they don’t me – still give this a try, it’s a grower and an untraditional interpretation of the white flower.

Sillage is far-reaching for Cedre. Like all of the Serge Lutens line this is a unisex sent, but if these things deter you, it does sway more towards the feminine. It lasts easily all day on me and the tuberose is present in varying shades from start to finish. Avoid during the hotter months, maybe.

Cedre by Serge Lutens, 50ml £88

About John Preston

South London based music obsessive with strong opinions about most things. Doubts Madonna has another good record in her but would love more than anything to be proved wrong.