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Chergui is named after the hot dry wind which blows into the coastal plains over the Atlas mountains in North Africa. This scent is built around tobacco.  From the top, there is dry earthy iris wafting on top of honey still in the beeswax comb, vegetal and naturally sweet, slightly sharp and sweaty but softly floral at the same time  – a hugely exotic accord. This lasts just a few minutes, and I have my nose glued to my wrist the whole time.

Then the iris begins its transformation into a moist aromatic tobacco leaf still scented from its soft leather pouch, which develops a smoky dark spiciness that is oddly unique. It’s not smoky as in burning, but smoky as in slightly burnt or caramelized. Perhaps it’s the addition of a sweet hay note, which appears as the scent moves into the heart - the coumarin - that does this magic trick, or the incense, because once again the scent goes golden, with a warmth like a perfect lazy summer day.

The heart reveals spicy rose – I see a deep red rose just starting to open – which forms a soft vanilla accord when blended with the warm amber . The dry-down deepens into the basenotes, creamy sandalwood develops fully, incense and musk expand and warm the accords, and Chergui becomes part of my skin, wafting its sensuous magic for hours and hours. The accords weave in and out, the sweet organic tobacco and hay alternating with incense and scented woods.

Chergui is dry and warm, sweet but not syrupy, spicy, smoky, and there is an intoxicating quality to this frag that smells absolutely beautiful on women and men, yet it’s not what I’d call ungendered or androgynous. On my skin, I can smell the rose, on my husband the rose is in the background and I can smell the leather more – it’s different for each of us.

Chergui is blended to absolute perfection, full, luxurious, layered, exotic. It’s not fruity, or floral, or too sweet, or too woody or spicy, or girly or too rough – it is perfect, and it is insanely beautiful.

Notes: honey, musk, incense, tobacco leaf, hay sugar, amber, iris, rose and sandalwood
Type: EdP
Parfumeurs: Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake

Price: $5.00