Chergui by Serge Lutens
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Chergui (Serge Lutens)
Chergui (Serge Lutens)
8.2 / 10     667 RatingsRatingsRatings
Chergui is a popular perfume by Serge Lutens for women and men and was released in 2001. The scent is oriental-spicy. The longevity is above-average. It is still in production.

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Fragrance Notes

Amber, Hay, Honey, Iris, Leather, Musk, Clary sage, Rose, Sandalwood, Tobacco leaf, Juniper berry, Frankincense

Ratings

Scent

8.2 (667 Ratings)

Longevity

8.6 (452 Ratings)

Sillage

7.5 (419 Ratings)

Bottle

7.8 (391 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 19.02.2017
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Reviews

Helpful Review    3 Awards
The king in Serge's perfumes chess screen
I would like to write this review as a tribute to one of my top 10 favorites perfumes. Chergui means "Eastern", so you should expect kinda Eastern scent from this masterpiece, which is not only very rich but also so attractive and dusty like historical Eastern ruins. The perfume opens as a gourmand-oriental where the honey dominates, composing remarkable accord with amber, musk, and rose. To my nose, the rose and the honey are responsible for the elegant sweetness in this lovely perfume. In the mid stage, you may encounter a great smell of tobacco leaf giving kinda gentleness and power to Chergui. This perfume is so rich like an eastern Bazaar where you may smell all the fine ingredients. The paramount point about Chergui is that this perfume comes and goes like a dream. It never disappoints you by exaggerations and shouting, yet it comes like a breeze, dancing under your noise and keeps you waiting until the next blow. The leather note is not that much strong, so vital though. It made a strong base for the total gourmand-woodsy-oriental fragrance which you can smell all through different stages of this perfume. It is counted as one the oriental fragrances, yet one of the most attractive one, since there is no clue of deep oudy tones or very rich animalistic notes. Generally speaking, Chergui is a very chick warm-spicy-oriental-woodsy perfume that you may fall in love with the very moment you give it a try.
2 Awards
Masterpiece!
Definitely my favourite Lutens, so far and by far the best Tobacco fragrance I've ever had the pleasure of wearing. Incredibly rich, opulent, and masterfully crafted - Tobacco, Amber, Honey, Hay, Iris, Rose, Incense....all gloriously blended into a magical potion of epic proportions. There's a lot of reviews here (and on the web), so I won't go into any details. If you like orientals, you owe yourself to at least try this one. There's simply nothing quite like this out there.

10/10
Bottle 6.0/10
Sillage 9.0/10
Longevity 9.0/10
Scent 10.0/10
2 Awards
Salome
They are sitting in an obscure room,all of them with their cigars lighten up.The smoke is filling up every corner even though on the left side there's a window opened.Doesn't matter too much,cause all it comes in is hay smell,not disturbing,even nice if i think better.The red courtains are moving aside and she comes in,naked like the day she came into this world.They are looking at her with their eyes huge in surprise....she's covered in honey and her lascive moves make them want to crawl right there,at her feet.Her face is covered but those eyes are so eager to make them praise her.And they surely are.But then the courtains move again and he comes slowly following her footsteps.He's also naked but his body is shining like pure amber.He puts his arms around her and whispers in her ear,moving his amber body against her honey skin.The smoke is embracing them and their applauses make the woman blush.A single rose falls at her feet,a rose in bloom,the color of her firey face.
That's the story of Chergui.
Before reformulation....
Bottle 10.0/10
Sillage 7.5/10
Longevity 10.0/10
Scent 10.0/10
Very helpful Review    5 Awards
A Wind from the East...
Chergui is a beautiful fragrance. The name itself means "Eastern" in Arabic (????), and it is the name of a wind that sweeps across the Sahara desert and into Morocco. The idea here was to evoke that same wind, and all the various smells from the desert and the surrounding environment.

What I like about Chergui is that it is probably the only perfume I can think of with a note of hay. The hay note here is slightly green and earthy in the beginning, almost like damp soil, but it is quickly overtaken by the incense and wonderful orris-root powder in the background (reminiscent a little of talcum or old make-up powder). But this is quickly enveloped in a huge wave of honey and rose and dries down to clean musk on a bed of sandalwood. For me, the prominent note here is the tobacco. It is a dry tobacco mixed with the rose, hay, honey, powder and amber in the background. I am reminded of the old leather furniture in a classic Victorian gentleman's club... or an old drawing room, where you can smell faint hints of tobacco smoke in the leather and mixed with the smell of roses and old make-up.

Now, this isn't to say that this fragrance is unwearable. Far from it! This one is totally wearable! I see it wearing a little better on a man, but on a woman I think it would be very nice. Very chic too. It's definitely a warm, enveloping, almost cold weather scent. It's actually quite smooth and beautiful.

For one, I would recommend it purely for it's ability to change your mood and give you a warm, "cosy" feeling. It may remind you of childhood (if you grew up in the country or near hayfields). It's an interesting one, it reminds me in a few ways of Guerlain - Jicky (no lavender here, but a lot of hay and coumarin - a synthetic tonka bean derivation that smells like freshly mown hay). The tobacco note also reminds me of fragrances like Molinard - Habanita and Caron - Tabac Blond, with their powdery amber & tobacco drydowns.

Overall, Chergui is a fragrance that wears well on both men and on women. It's the epitome of chic, and I would recommend people to try this out in the cooler months. For me this is one of the better tobacco fragrances that I've tried, and I've never smelled another perfume with a "hay" note. I like it, I think I like this one quite a bit!
Scent 9.0/10
Helpful Review    4 Awards
I dream of genie
Chergui is my spoilt brat perfume, a perfume reflecting a lifestyle of pure luxuriousness, NOT compulsive, mindless consumption though. A life where the possibility of two weeks' of holiday to travel in Morocco and amongst other things, experience this desert wind that blows hot in summer and cold in winter. Just as how the scent blooms beautifully on a sunny day and how it gives a warm glow in colder weather. The dark rich brown of the liquid gives a glimpse as to the character of the scent and the evoked images it brings, rich, warm and inviting. Like dark sweet honey. Or a man lounging in a sharp suit, comfortable in his surroundings, knowing that he would belong and be accepted anywhere, slowly puffing on a finely carved pipe. The warm rich reds, oranges, yellows and greens of amber, holding the secrets of hundreds of years ago in their transparency. A woman in a white linen dress, fortunate to have the time in to stop and smell the roses, to turn her face up to the glow of the sun's rays and wind bringing in raw natural smells far away from cityscapes. When she is tired, she returns indoors to a warm hearth, where she reads to her heart's content in a silk slip, to the accompaniment of trails of incense, flickering lights, a silver dish of roasted nuts and a warm mug of tea next to her with strangely enough, Massive Attack playing in the background. I swear I was not on drugs while wearing Chergui!
I love how the fragrances of this house bring varied stories to my mind, I love the emotions the scents arouse in me and take me away from the humdrum of my daily life into landscapes I may never see this lifetime, stories and people as colourful as Dr Parnassus' Imaginarium.
I am grateful that on me at least, Lutens' last forever just as Chergui does and stays like a basking, reassuring glow around me while it does.
Bottle 7.5/10
Sillage 7.5/10
Longevity 7.5/10
Scent 5.0/10
Very helpful Review    5 Awards
Chergui
This fragrance opens with the sweetness of honey and the smokiness of tobacco leaf. The tobacco note is well-balanced and therefore adds only a certain edge to the fragrance, but does not overwhelm it. The tobacco keep it from getting too sweet as well. The head honey note gradually softens as the fragrance progresses and rose, amber and sandalwood blend together to create a very warm, soft, almost blanket-like fragrance impression. Whilst pleasant to smell and wear, I'd say this is a rather unremarkable offering.
Bottle 7.5/10
Sillage 2.5/10
Longevity 7.5/10
Scent 7.0/10
Very helpful Review    6 Awards
The hot desert wind
Wow! A thousand times wow! It is not often that I immediately am captivated by a fragrance, let alone a niche fragrance. I'm usually quite picky but when I received this bottle in a swap (thank you again Tomaz) just now and I took the bottle out of its very carefully packaged box, I got a very promising first whiff of what is inside this bottle.

So, I took off the cap and sprayed some on, carefully. Just a little. Carefully brought this to my nose, exhaled a bit and then softly inhaled..

WOW!

This has a note that I recognize from Santal Majuscule, only it's softer in Chergui. More round, and sweet. Most Lutens' I've smelled were very strong, usually too strong for my taste. But this, wow! I'm so very excited by this! When I picture a Moroccan desert wind, it makes it even more beautiful. I am totally captivated by it and I can't stop smelling my wrist.

So yes, I know this has a vast group of people loving it but I was a bit scared that besides sweet it would have a particular note in there that would put me off. However, this is not the case. It's balanced nicely and the ingredients are pure. The quality is better than many mainstream or designer scents, though I can't imagine a lot of people disliking it. I think it's safe to say this is one of the more approachable niche offerings out there?

I'm somewhat glad I did not get a bottle of Santal Majuscule, as I have been doubting about that one for a long time. I really liked that, but sometimes I felt like I didn't want to smell like that. But now, Chergui has come along. Bringing me that part of Santal Majuscule I really loved but in sucha sweet, round and refined way. I am a VERY happy man!
Bottle 7.5/10
Sillage 7.5/10
Longevity 7.5/10
Scent 8.0/10
Very helpful Review    8 Awards
Chergui - A mixed bag
At first try, the incense (or is it hay?) knocked me out and gave me a headache. The second time, it was still mostly incense but not overwhelmingly so. The third time, reapplied directly after the second, was LOVE.

I don't think I have a lot to say that others haven't said already. But I honestly thought I hated it for the godawfully persistent frankincense which I find entirely superfluous in such a nuanced, multifaceted oriental as this turned out to be. It started opening up quite slowly as the hours passed (I was working at home today, it was cold, so I decided to give it another try) and it got a chance to dry down... And there is such beauty in it, perfect for warming up on such a cold winter day. I still don't love the frankincense, and am docking one star for its dominance, but it doesn't put me off any more.

Even if it is one of the most approachable Serges around, it doesn't yield its beauty at first whiff to a beginner like me. I advise anyone who would try Chergui to do so when they can count on being alone most of the day, as it comes on quite strong for the casual sampler, and not wear it near people with tendencies to sensory hypersensitivity, but that's just me :)
Bottle 5.0/10
Sillage 10.0/10
Longevity 10.0/10
Scent 10.0/10
1 Award
I love this perfume
I love this perfume, definitely one of my favourites ones.. Just really don't like the cup of the bottle, so out of proportion!

But the fragrance is amazing and great quality, I love it on my skin!!
Bottle 5.0/10
Sillage 5.0/10
Longevity 7.5/10
Scent 8.0/10
Very helpful Review    5 Awards
One of the best Lutens
Tobacco and honey.

Then a bit of incense and amber. Now you have this brilliant scent.

Chergui is one of the easiest Serge Lutens to wear.

Great for colder seasons, it's unisex in my opinion.

Pleasant and very well blended, it's lasting power is around 10 hours. Projection and sillage are moderate.

Updated January 2014
jtd
Very helpful Review    8 Awards
some of its parts
Chergui is apparently one of the best sellers in the Lutens line. When I test it and read the list of notes, I'm a believer more or less. I can make out the notes I'm told are there. Yes, there is hay, tobacco, musk. But lord know I've nearly derailed going too far into the madness of a 'list of notes'.

'Notes' are in fact suggestions. But what lies behind a set of notes is an intent. Does the list of notes describe? Or do notes try to convince, that is, lie? Somehow, despite the recognizeability of the notes, I'm not convinced by Chergui. Testing, on blotter and on skin, I say yes to the notes but no to the whole package. It doesn't suggest a Moroccan wind, as the fable goes. Notes aside, Chergui shares the sensibility of many mainstream men's fragrances of the past 10-15 years. The strategy, for want of a better word, is Creedian. Sell it as nich-y, but aim for the height of the bell curve.

I don't mind the strategy. As I've mentioned about the current Guerlain line-up, the big sellers in a line should better the odds that the lower-selling oddball that I love will remain in the line. Either that, or the take-away for the perfumer is that the bell curve is a sales strategy and every perfume should should be a best seller. I try to be optomistic.
1 Replies
Bottle 5.0/10
Sillage 5.0/10
Longevity 7.5/10
Scent 8.0/10
Greatly helpful Review    8 Awards
Hay, This Is A Good One...
Chergui opens with a sweet dose of sugary hay. The heart notes appear shortly afterwards, showcasing a deep pipe-like sweet tobacco amber combo, with clove-laced honey and incense accents. The scent winds down with the tobacco and amber combo receding, while joining a pleasant musk base finishing off the scent's development. Longevity is quite good, with average projection.

I am not a sweet scent fan at all, but I definitely like Chergui. The tobacco and amber combo is really addictive, and the incense just compliments it so well. I think the scent is very unisex and would work for just about anyone. I have only smelled a handful of scents from the house of Lutens to date, but I am quite impressed. Chergui is highly recommended to all, but a "no brainer" for sophisticated sweet scent lovers, IMO. It is a gorgeous composition earning an excellent 4 stars out of 5.
Sillage 10.0/10
Longevity 10.0/10
Scent 10.0/10
Very helpful Review    7 Awards
I'll never underestimate hay again
Most of the notes here seem sort of expected for a sweet oriental unisex perfume with massive sillage and longevity - the amber, leather, musk, tobacco, incense, etc., but I feel like the hay is responsible for that interesting little twist in Chergui's personality that makes it instantly recognizable.

That stuff lying around the barn that horses eat . . . who woulda thought?

Chergui accomplishes a unisex status by doing what lots of other unisex perfumes try to do but fail, which is to come right to the brink of femininity (or masculinity, depending on which side you start on) and then backing off mere molecules shy of going over.

I love the stuff.
Longevity 10.0/10
Scent 8.0/10
Greatly helpful Review    5 Awards
A hot, dry desert wind
One thing that I love about Serge Lutens scents is that so many of them paint a scene so vividly in my mind.

Chergui evokes the image of a ghosttown somewhere in the arid expanse of the American west, where a hot dry wind blows dust and tumbleweeds through deserted streets and abandoned buildings. I see this town at dusk, with the last remains of a blazing sunset. The feeling is eerie, but calm, and you can almost sense the life that used to inhabit the place.

If this aroma were a color, it would be red - burning embers, spices and hot baked earth. Honey and amber lend a golden sweetness that offers relief from the dry heat and almost desolate feeling of this scent.

Unlike some Lutens that I really admire but have trouble wearing (ie, Arabie and Douce Amere), I have no trouble with this one. It is a deep scent, but not overpowering and (perhaps owing to the musk) melds well with my skin. Just a beautiful perfume.
1 Replies

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