Saturday, March 19, 2016

Dragons and imps: Cannibale by Serge Lutens


The house of Serge Lutens in 2014 released a diverse perfume - with black bottle and a golden plate tagged on - that is the first member of subsequently enlarging collection named Section d'Or. Honestly since it's a Serge Lutens, and for the titles, and even the unspoken notes, the collection met me on my highest curiosity level. So I get the samples and randomly tried and tried. Finally Cannibale, with no discrimination to others, is the first from the row I'm dealing to write about.


Before passing to the perfume, let's talk about the collection. Section d'Or contains six fragrances presented in black rectangular classic Lutens bottles. The press-restricting house of perfumery released nothing about the ingredients, for that shady and highly intriguing treasure-appearing perfumes remained rather mysterious. Though, since the nose follows certain signature and criteria of design, it is not that hard to detect a bunch of notes. For me, in overall, Cannibale contains:
Rose (not sure which type), labdanum, Russian leather accord, coumarin, myrrh, incense (most probably frankincense), ambergris, oud, and cloves.

The fragrance opens with a familiar air of early Serge Lutens stuff. It immediately reminded me an integral blend of two noble perfumes: Serge Noir and Ambre Sultan, all together. The same smoldering, skin-scorching, and lush spicy amber of Ambre Sultan, and glacial warmth of onion-like Serge Noir presents in a desperate edition with more dimensions and rounded edges, flattened by floral and salty patches. The main movement in the first stratum is about a saline and almost skanky hide smell, represented as leather by lavish sweet myrrh and high dose of vibrant cloves, that in overall sums up in clash of salt and sweet floral air. Floral I said. Yes floral and rosy like the rose nested in Cuir Garamante but Lutens avoid that tender direct sexy atmosphere cause he is apparently much interested in more serious facts like spirit, than to a commonplace topic like sexuality. But yet, the rose evokes what it should. It's highly seductive and fetishist. By the pass of time the semi-animalic and lewd floral resinous amber theme enhances and labdanum (and probably ambergris) wield control over the incense and leather, and bring more density and warmth like a volcano vomiting magma.

Maybe the largest different between Cannibale and exampled perfumes is that the actual perfume goes on the same lane with whimsical spicy and vinegary air to the end but both Ambre Sultan and Serge Noir soften after about an hour. The base of Cannibale is still sharp and have a sinister mood. What I suspect to - which is all theoretical since there's no reliable description on notes - is oud wood. I get small portion of the wood in base, or it's just an illusion, that I think Lutens conservatively employs slight dose of the wood to ornament his oriental throne with some luxury stuff. I hope I'm wrong!

I described the vista of perfume but didn't consider the title yet. As expected the fragrance should conjure up a pre-steam-punk abnormal creature who feeds from flesh. Oh yes, that's it. But in fact this is not a fleshy or meaty fragrance to deliver the idea, it's just weird enough to emerge that. Beside tales and stories, the million dollar question mark is why Lutens released this collection? I can't answer myself, maybe not now, I need more to go...

Carpe Odor!

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