This is a fragrance with a personality! I really love how the fragrances of Serge Lutens manage to challenge me constantly. To me that is a sign of a very good fragrance you don't want a fragrance which is too predictable or similar to the same trends time and time again. Instead, here I find a fragrance which challenges my nose and which gets me interested.
What I love about Arabie is that Lutens and Sheldrake have thrown away the rule book here. Instead of having a top, middle and base, you get the whole weight of the fragrance in one spray. As soon as you spray you get the spices, the stewed fruit, the amber and resins and myrrh. It's an explosion of colour and spice all at once.
To me it smells very festive, like Christmas in fact. This is like rich heavy desserts of spiced fruits and rum and deep, rich flavours.
Some people say this smells like cooking. If that is true, then to me this represents more of desserts and dried fruits, or the process of making them. Cloves, cinnamon, plumbs, apricots & raisins. All these I get out of this fragrance. Very Moroccan! All these ingredients are found in Moroccan and Arab North African cuisine.
The ironic thing is that this fragrance is named Arabie, which means "Arabia". Now to me, anything "Arabian" (when applied to fragrances) means Oud, or Agarwood. Here, Sheldrake has interpreted all of these "oriental" notes through fruits and spices (and not with Oud). So I find it original and creative, and I really admire this fragrance.
Personally, I think to wear this one you have to be confidant in yourself, because people will notice that you smell "different". Basically you will smell like a walking, spicy fruitcake. But in a subtle way, because I want to stress that there is nothing too loud about this fragrance. People will smell you but it's not a beast.
Overall, I would advise people to wear this in cooler weather, and especially around Christmas. If anything, to me Arabie is the perfect Christmas fragrance. You could wear it all year round, but you need the confidence and personality for it, as you will be noticed, and in a good way too. Very original and creative effort by Lutens and Sheldrake with this one. Good stuff!