Thursday, January 21, 2016

The east is built on curves: Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens

Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens


There are many perfumes from the house of Serge Lutens which need to be introduced in a blog but I purposefully chose one of the hype perfumes from this French house to point on a critical factor that makes Serge Lutens the treasure of Alibaba to me, and it's his precise and flawless understanding of the east which he has approved several times by his earth-shattering arts like Chergui and Arabie.

There is an architectural fact that lies behind every single aspect of morals, believes, physicality, spirituality and even designing the urban patterns. This motto manifests everything in general, and it's "the east is based on curves, the west is built on angles".

There are introvert facets behind flamboyant eastern patterns and the utmost introvert persona of moralities in a region like Morocco; to give an example; is not what everyone discover. That's why I frequently reject many "oud" perfumes I come across cause it is totally misunderstood that oud is eastern.

I'm not going to spread the topic but - just in case if you want to be hypnotized by undiscovered facets of the orient - I may suggest you to read The Sense of Unity by Nader Ardalan. It's not only about architecture and you may enjoy a lot when you realize what you know from the east is actually less than a percent...

Grand bazaar of Isfahan, Naqsh i Jahan square, Isfahan

What I see in Ambre Sultan; as an architect; is what I find in middle eastern architecture, and subsequently I discovered Serge Lutens a hideous architect, philosopher and artist who modestly and indiscriminately merges within the organic and authentic context of the east, and rediscovered a kaleidoscopic integrity and glory behind humble walls of Morocco.

East is based on curves. How much this sentence makes sense to you? Looking to everywhere in Morocco - or wherever you desire in the region - how many curves you see? How many curvilinear sounds you hear, how many triangles turn to parts of sphere in a dome of a mosque? Triangles; the strong shapes and insisting sense of being, linear and straight, which are tamed by the power of an unity, cannoned into a circle formed by fragments... This is the opening of the perfume.


Photo from Google searches; a cross vault in Nasir ol'Molk mosque, Shiraz, Iran

Ambre Sultan opens very pungent and sparkling spicy, with smoldering warmth and freshness in a catastrophe like fire and ice, like desert and courtyard house.

The fragrance opens with twisted vibe of penetrating herbs and peppery notes. I guess cloves exist but I don't see it around. All the universe in the intro spins around the same mysterious omen theme that Serge Noir spins around: cloves. I feel its materialistic presence.

This opening and the following layers truly persuade me that the title is one of the most rightfully chosen titles ever, it perfectly imitates the atmosphere.

From the mass of spice bazaars we continue our way through more tranquil spaces. You see how triangles turn to octagon to hexadecagon stars and eventually to spheres above your head.

A covered street in Yazd, Iran
This transition of furious herbaceous triangles to rounded typical Arabian amber circles, is how Ambre Sultan ages down. I'm afraid to call Ambre Sultan a sweet fragrance, cause as strong as sweet resinous smells, the spicy vibes, peppery vibes and green smells show off. So this makes the fragrance much elevated and higher than simply "sweet ambry" definitions.
Yet, it apparently generates sweetness, specially the grown fragrance in heart layer when the triangular formation turns to multifaceted complexity. Amber Sultan's complete form is much rounder and versatile than the opening, and this base stays prettily for more than a day on me!

Wrapping the topic up, Ambre Sultan is a straightforward typical amber, a reference amber that in base is akin to great Shalimar - which is the reference vanilla. Ambre Sultan is an Arab amber between hippie and luxury moods. Who likes this fragrance most probably would like Shalimar, Tauer's 02 and Rania J. Ambre Loup as well.

Carpe Odor!

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