Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque is the scent that pervades Eugène Delacroix’s Algerian themed paintings, in which the darkness of shadows frames rich colors. Both the painting and the fragrance are romanticized visions, focusing on the sensual elements. The eye beholds a group women reclining on embroidered pillows, with a narguile smoking next to a bowl of sweetmeats. One woman looks directly at the viewer, the other gazes to the side, as her companion leans closer. What captured is but a moment of an afternoon filled with heat and languor.
Likewise, Fumerie Turque, created by Christopher Sheldrake in 2003, is a composition of sensual character that develops slowly. Nevertheless, its every facet harmoniously segues into another, despite the dark and seemingly uncompromising nature of each accord. Smoky notes soften slowly revealing tobacco leaves soaked in honey and caramel redolent rum.
“Color gives the appearance of life,” said Delacroix, and nothing could be truer of Fumerie Turque. Rose is a vibrant element that lifts the composition, lending it a particularly sensual feel. Floral notes are seamlessly blended into the tapestry of Fumerie Turque, tempering the sweetness of balsams and the darkness of smoke. Translucent ambery notes appear almost immediately, yet as the fragrance dries down, they begin to solidify and darken. Warm vanillic accord is supported by the delicate softness of leather, which lends a decadently luxurious sensation to the elegant drydown.
Notes include currants, white honey, candied Turkish rose, Egyptian jasmine, smoked leather, beeswax, Balkan tobacco, Peru balsam, patchouli, tonka bean, styrax, juniper, vanilla. Fumerie Turque is part of Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido exclusive line.
Eugène Delacroix. Women of Algiers in Their Apartment. 1834. Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France, from abcgallery.