Serge Lutens Chergui is named after Morocco’s hot, dusty wind – the sharqi (sharki, chergui), which blows in from the Sahara in the south, usually arriving in April and lasting until early June, though it can return again between late September and November.
Chergui is thus inherently saturated with the spices that cover the skin like fine grains of sand: sharp, slightly abrasive yet warm. Created in 2001 by Christopher Sheldrake, it transports you to the aromatic world of Arabian nights.
This heady, almost pungent elixir is tamed with floral accords composed into its smoky layers; This kind of lightens its density and adds some sweetness, lending Chergui its voluptuous, silky quality. The fine cured Virginia tobacco notes overlying its leathery base renders it a masculine character.
Chergui maintains the suspense despite the fact that the development of its composition from the top accord to the bottom notes is not particularly dramatic. Instead, the hints of what is to come—whiff of tobacco, curl of rose petal, creaminess of sandalwood—are suggested in the preceding stages, resulting in the harmony of the narrative.
Chergui has a characteristic sweetness marking its oriental identity, lending a richness that is simultaneously luxurious and heavy. However, its rather overpowering sweetness is perfectly counterbalanced by the raw animalistic and smoky tobacco notes.
Notes include honey, musk, leather, incense, tobacco leaf, hay sugar, amber, iris, rose, sandalwood.
I like Chergui’s finely intricate notes of musk, leather, smoke & incense; Like a Persian carpet, it’s grandiose & complicated; An extravagant number fit for an Arabic prince.