my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


Serge Lutens' Sa Majesté sub rosa

According to those who know, sub rosa comes from the Latin, literally "under the rose," from the ancient association of the rose with confidentiality, the origin of which traces to a famous story in which Cupid gave Harpocrates, the god of silence, a rose to bribe him not to betray the confidence of Venus. (But. If H. is the god of silence, why does he need to be bribed with roses -- or anything else -- to be silent? Hm? Those ancient Roman gods. They're a puzzle.)

If one can believe a recent Barneys promotional piece, Sa Majesté La Rose is a closely held -- a Rose sub rosa -- favorite of the master himself, Serge Lutens; one of his favorite conceptions. I hold him in high esteem ... but I loved this fragrance already. And I'm willing to talk about it.

Serge Lutens' Sa Majesté La Rose, created by Christopher Sheldrake, is another non-sweet rose, defying stereotype. Notes: white rose, chamomile, lychee, geranium, Moroccan rose, gaiac wood, clove, white honey, vanilla

Let me layer on the descriptive language: there is a poignancy (because it's just SO beautiful) to the initial scent, rich deep rose with the chamomile greenly evident to my nose.

I honestly don't know what lychee would smell like, but in my head it's a pale green spicy smell lingering just beneath the rose, a close accompaniment to the geranium, which I can identify as a fairly evident player.

The fragrance evolves to a richer and richer quality of rose over hours -- and this fragrance does last hours, overnight for me.

Drydown is piquant, with the clove finally, faintly making an appearance (tempered by honey/vanilla). I don't get woods, gaiac or otherwise, from this scent.

There is a femininity of substance about this fragrance. Nothing unisex about it. Just a very matter-of-fact femaleness. The perfect fragrance to wear to your next tryst.

Which neatly segues back to my sub rosa hook: sub rosa/secret/Sa Majesté/tryst. Didn't think I'd pull it off, did you? Heh.


Blogger Atreau said...

Ack! I have a sample of this I haven't tried yet - going to dig it up and wear it sometime!

6:09 PM

Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Sa Majeste is gorgeous. I don't own it, and have never really felt moved to buy it, but I am impressed every time I smell it.

I do wish Serge would send me a bottle of each, don't you?

7:52 AM

Blogger mireille said...

and, NST, so he should.

8:11 AM

Blogger ParisLondres said...

Thanks M - great review! YOUR review makes me want to get my backside over to Palais Royale this minute and re-test this!


6:01 AM


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