Santal Majuscule opens with a floral hit of clean rose before instantly giving way to the intense sweet, creaminess of Serge’s sandalwood. Immediately reminiscent of Jeux De Peau without the calorie laden butter note, the sandalwood is slightly drier with the inclusion of a dusty cocoa a la Borneo 1834. The sandalwood carries a slightly medicinal aroma at first, maybe camphorous is a better word, undoubtably “perfume-y” but still verging on edible.
The Jeux De Peau connection remains true throughout, and I see Santal Majuscule as it’s older sibling, a slightly more mature composition but retaining the youthful sweetness and playful character. The bitter cocoa adds texture and depth rather than sweetness, and the rose begins to emerge again after a few minutes – a clean, translucent rose that brings clarity a-top the overt sandalwood.
Rather than buttery sweetness, Santal Majuscule seems to glaze its sandalwood with a transparent honey, and a dash of cinnamon, almost taking it into pudding territory but thankfully not quite. The rose, whilst dominated by the more potent notes, still manages to stay present throughout, and surprisingly is the lead note that gives Santal Majuscule it’s personality – just swerving it away from being all too familiar territory. Whilst it is very similar to a mix-up of other Lutens’ fragrances, Santal Majuscule almost manages to be superior to other’s in the lineup that dance around the same sandalwood idea. It’s maturity is more apparent, it’s “perfume-y” presence taking it away from the gimmick of Jeux De Peau, the simplicity of Santal de Mysore and the unappetizing Santal Blanc.
Whilst I wish Serge Lutens had scrapped the sandalwood thing and done something new with this export release, it is still a very good fragrance, just nothing new and exciting – it’s smell is predictable if you are familiar with the rest of the Lutens’ line.
However, Santal Majuscule is an easy wear – obviously easy to get compliments with, and multi-seasonal, similarly to Ambre Sultan – I’d recommend this as an inoffensive introduction to the lineup. A good perfume.
Santal Majuscule 50ml EDP Serge Lutens – 92 Euros sergelutens.com