Crouching tiger, hidden cedar.
Cédre is deceiving. As others have noticed, there is lack of an obvious take on cedar wood.
You wont find it in the opening. Cèdre starts with clove and more, very camphoraceous and medicinal , like a herbal remedy for cough, and this harsh opening might put some off. It is not pretty, but i find it tonic and invigorating. From the menthol-rub rise some white petals. The tuberose is so indolic i hardly recognize it, but it will evolve and bloom into a more distinctive one, but never up to the point you say "this is a tuberose perfume" Cèdre´s floral nuance is dark and deep. Mora a baritone than a tenor. Cèdre is a low key Tubereuse Criminelle.
Slightly the cedar appears, in the background, dusty, smoky and a bit sombre, in contrast to the waxy, animal tuberose. And i like it despite i am not in the mood of this moody tree. A sweet cinnamon makes Cèdre kinder. Then a rather dirty musk makes it sexy. Cèdre is shadowy and dense. And raunchy.
I understand when Serge Lutens refers himself to Cèdre as a patisserie de bois, because it has a baked quality. Like out of a wood-fired oven... in between the thin dry layers of this croissant´s puffed pastry the butter is made with emulsioned and thickened tuberose petals and cedar sawdust. And under the toasted surface, the core is tender and soft and warm. Is not gourmand like Jeux de Peau, but the butteriness is there.
When i am already think "I got you", after a couple hours, i smell other flower. Violet? nah...impossible... and now a familiar plumy fruitiness, where have i smelled this and why i dint´t notice it before? The perfume is changing suddenly, fast, and i am in a dèja vú state... and then, out of the blue, ta-dah, i am wearing Feminité de Bois. Like if an unnoticed perfume pixie had scrubbed Cèdre from my wrist and hand and sprayed it with FdB. I start to believe that many Serge Lutens perfumes are different combinations of the same ingredients. The woody drydown on my skin is exactly the same cedar of Feminité de Bois, but ashier (radiant, overripe, autumnal, flowery) which i love, so i am pleased.
But not everybody was pleased that day: my beloved wrinkled his nose and said "whatever you are wearing smells like asscrack sprayed with expensive perfume" So i underlined "animalic" in my notebook.