There is a reason why I don't review Serge Lutens perfumes often even though I wear many and like many of them (wouldn't mind owning practically the whole line).
I just never seem to be able to find the words to describe exactly what I smell - that happens with other perfumes as well, but nowhere am I so strongly aware of it as with SL perfumes.
So, I'll try and do my best ut in the end, as is always the case with Uncle Serge perfumes, the reviews won't really prepare you for what you smell in the end. :) (I find that a great thing myself)
Notes: sandalwood, cocoa, Arabian attar rose, honey, spices
Until I saw the notes, cocoa and rose never entered my mind but once I saw them, I knew they were in there, I even remembered exactly at what point the cocoa comes to play.
Before I start describing what it smells like to me, I should say that the most obvious thing I get from it is that it is a combination of perfumes that already exist in the line. I don't mean to say by that that I think it's not good or smelling differently, it's just that there are familiar accords jumping out at you at different times.
Sometimes it's the idea of sweet, sticky, spiced (and even boozy) fruit of what I'd like to think as Arabian market variety the first thing you smell, soon to be followed by the teasing wafts of how Jeux de Peau starts, following with opening of Santal Blanc until sometimes you come across barest hints of Ambre Sultan hidden in the murky depths of this perfume.
Because there ARE depths to it, you can smell them from the start. But try as you might, sniffing at close proximity won't get you anywhere near those depths.
So, what I smell in the beginning is described in the previous paragraph, warm, spicy, boozy fruit with the general feeling of seriousness and darkness (there's not frivolity to this fruit as the feeling is dry and not sparkling and happy) with cocoa underscoring the darkness and warmth and sandalwood making you swoon.
Now I know it's there, I can smell the rose appear and the fruitiness slowly disappear. At this point is where I feel a smile blossoming on my face. It is also where I feel the resemblance to Santal Blanc is most prominent.
Being true to my smelling practices, after enjoying this phase for quite a while, all I can say about the drydown, is, it continues to dry in the vein it smells.
Honestly, I don't know if you noticed, but I'm really not a drydown person. My attention dissipates by that time.
So, for the minuscule draw I have two samples from my bottle, tell me why you think you might like/love this or why not? Both will work. :)