Sunday, September 19, 2010

Serge Lutens - Fumerie Turque

Istanbul smoke

Here's another tobacco perfume from my collection. I love a good tobacco scent in the fall. It's a comfort scent; it makes me feel like flannel shirts and kicking through piles of golden leaves on a sunny day.

Fumerie Turque recreates the smell of a Turkish smoking salon. I've been to Turkey but unfortunately never went to any of the cafes in Instanbul where patrons smoke nargile, a water pipe. A popular fixture of Turkish culture and a place to relax and chat with friends and strangers, these shops have recently suffered from a 2009 ban on indoor smoking. As far as I can tell from reading, it seems they now mostly have patrons partake outdoors on patios.

The nargile tobacco at these shops is frequently favoured with fruit. Fumerie Turque uses Serge Lutens famous stewed fruit accord well here, combining it with a light blond tobacco note that seems to float above like smoke. The perfume is this perfectly balanced between the sweet and the bitter, the dark and the light, the heavy and the weightless. The tobacco seems both dryly herbal and sticky fresh. It reminds me of pipe tobacco and the smell of my uncle's pipe.

In the drydown, the fruit becomes honey and the patchouli in the base is an earthy chocolate with only the tinge of bitterness from the tobacco to keep it from being gourmand. I highly recommend Fumerie Turque for anyone who loves the smell of tobacco. And you can use it indoors.

House: Serge Lutens
Nose: Christopher Sheldrake
Notes: honey, juniper berries, tonka bean, chamomile, patchouli, vanilla, jasmine leaf, turkish rose, red currant, tobacco, styrax and suede

Photo: robokow


  1. You've been reminding me of some of my favorites lately. A few years ago, I went through a "tobacco" phase. You've described Fumerie Turque wonderfully. Fumerie Turque is lovely, one of my favorite tobaccos because of the rich honey dry-down. I can't wait to wear this in the fall!
    Have you seen Serge Lutens Moroccan casbah? It was featured in W magazine a few months ago. It's stunning! When I saw the pictures of his reclusive mansion, I totally smelled Fumerie Turque.

  2. Ooooh sounds gorgeous. I think this one would really knock me over. Yet another Lutens to add to the must try list.

    Where can one sniff Lutens in Toronto? I doubt I'll even have the time when I'm there, but if I get the chance....

  3. EauMG: I saw that article! I actually found the obsessive complexity of patterns and decoration a little scary. I could not live in there. It was like the opposite of Zen. But I suppose the mind of a genius is a little scary.

    JoanElaine: Oh, I wish SL was easier to get. But, aside from a few export bottles in Sephora, there isn't anywhere in Toronto where you can grab a sniff. I ordered my sample from The Perfumed Court and bought my bottle from Luckyscent. If you want samples in Canada, The Perfume Shoppe and have a selection.

  4. This is one of the few SLs I like, and I was interested to learn more about the background of the Turkish smoking salons! It has something in common with Belle d'Opium then...

  5. Another I must get around to trying ! I was obssessed with Chergui last year . :)


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