Serge Luten’s line of perfumes, to me, is like a spectrum of very ambiguous colours, like periwinkle, salmon, or turquoise; I can’t exactly tell whether it belongs to the blue colour group or the red colour group, and that often frustrates me. (Similarly, go to any clothing outlet shop and you will see those on sale are mostly of “weird” colours that are really hard to pull off.) As my female coworker once pointed out, some Serge Lutens perfumes smelled nice, but “incomplete” to her.
Then came Serge Luten’s Fumerie Turque (Turkish Smoke House) that made me bury my head in my arms to smell it at work. This one has a distinct colour and it’s deep brown. When I wear it, I feel like I have been invited to a dimly lit tent constructed with animal hides. I am sitting on the ground, and two-foot away from me also sits the chief. He is smoking a rustic-looking cigar that he made himself. The fume that permeates the tent is rich and honey-sweet. With nothing in common between me and him, I comment on the unusual shape of his cigar and he said, “Yes, I’ve put some Toblerone chocolate in it”, then he scratches his balls and hands me that cigar with that same sweaty hand, “have some of this”, he says.