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Santal Blanc 2019*

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Initially launched in 2001, Santal Blanc was the first Serge Lutens fragrance I bought. It was gorgeous – creamy, resinous, warm and woody. Then it was discontinued. And, now it's back.

Santal Blanc is now part of Lutens’ initial Les Eaux de Politesse collection which was launched in 2019. This collection also included other fragrances: Fleurs de Citronnier, Gris Clair, L'Eau Froide, L'Eau de Paille and one new one, L'Eau d'Armoise.

'Les Eaux de Politesse' translates into English as 'Polite Waters'. One of the keystones of politeness is cleanliness. The Serge Lutens' website says: '"Luxury begins with cleanliness". With these few short words, in 2010 Serge Lutens set the tone for a new vision of perfume: light, fresh, devoid of the heady, sticky, overly masculine notes of colognes.'

It opens with a fresh, clean note of cedar and spicy, rosy pink peppercorn. As it settles, the spiciness of the pink peppercorn extends to a note of warm, spicy cinnamon, while the rosiness leads to a floral heart of lush rose, aromatic jasmine and violet, courtesy of orris root. This is a combination that works especially well with sandalwood, and it's not long before the warm, woody and creamy star of the show appears to take centre stage. As it evolves, fenugreek, spicy and maple-syrup faceted, gently sweetens the sandalwood wood, which blends with a base of musky Angelica root, resinous, spicy benzoin, and sweet, woody copaiba balsam which adds soft balsamic nuances to the blend.

Santal Blanc 2019's drydown is woody and floral and very elegant. Santal Blanc 2019, is in sharp contrast to the other santal fragrances in a Lutens' stable. It's still creamy, resinous, warm and woody, but it's also its airy, open, fresh, and without the weight and heaviness of Santal de Mysore and Santal Majuscule, but still just as stunning.

I can smell and experience each note in Santal Blanc 2019, and that is by design: "Allowing each note to fade away or come to the fore at will, Serge Lutens' Eaux de Politesse are the ideal representation of our vague desires for change." It says on Lutens' website.

So, maybe change is good. Maybe trying new things keeps us more vibrant, more relevant and more interesting. Well, at least that's how I feel when I wear Santal Blanc 2019.

* Santal Blanc 2019 is what I am calling this re-launched version to differentiate it from the 2001 version. Santal Blanc 2019 It is not an official name.

Notes: White sandalwood, fenugreek, pink pepper, cinnamon, rose, jasmine, orris root, musk, benzoin, copaiba balsam

Type: EdP

Parfumeur: Christopher Sheldrake


Price: $6.00