05.12.2020 - 07:19 PM
Helpful Review
Cumin Fruitcake, Anyone?
"This smells familiar" was the first phrase out of my mouth upon applying Serge Lutens ARABIE. Then it only remained to determine what, precisely, I was reminded of by this intoxicating—or is it suffocating?—perfume. With the help of many able reviewers at various locales across the world wide web, I have deduced that ARABIE approximates a collision of my grandmother's brandy-soaked dark fruitcake (not the wimpy light kind, but the one that is black as night, filled with raisins and dates and pecans and candied maraschino cherries and citrus rind, and so drenched in brandy that you could actually catch a buzz from eating a slice) and morrocan couscous with a very strong curry piled up on top. Or perhaps my grandmother, her sight failing as she grew older, reached for the cumin instead of the cinnamon as she prepared her cake?

What an odd assortment of rich and dark notes! But is it perfume? I think that, in the end, the combination of the dark, boozy fruits and the cumin-rich curry just puts me over the top. Similar to the way I'd feel if I feasted on a huge curry dinner and then my host insisted that I eat a fat slab of fruitcake before permitting me to leave. As the flavors mingle in my aching stomach, I begin to feel like a pot of chutney simmering on the stove, thick gurgling bubbles fighting their way slowly to the surface before popping. My speech begins to slur. My head is spinning, and it seems that I might actually hurl. There is simply too much going on in this kaleidoscopic culinary composition. In a word: No. De trop!

If ever there were a "try before you buy", ARABIE would be that. Does cumin mingle well with your skin? Spritz on this powerful potion and observe your friends' behavior. Do they appear to be sitting farther away from you than usual?

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