Serge Lutens Sa Majeste la Rose : Perfume Review

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Smdr

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Serge Lutens is best known for his opulent Arabian Tale fantasies in perfume form. It is perhaps for this reason that his simpler, less exotic blends like Sa Majesté la Rose do not draw as much attention. Sa Majesté la Rose, of course, is not missing a fanciful element, because its lush, complex rose accord evokes the sensation of being showered with fragrant rose petals. This is something I have actually experienced in the unromantic setting of a Grasse rose processing plant, but I will never forget the exhilarating scent and the soft touch of petals warm from the sun. To find even a glimpse of this memory in a perfume bottle is already special. Therefore, I picked Sa Majesté la Rose to wear on January 1st to usher a year of excitement, adventure and perhaps, plenty of roses!

Great rose fragrances are not difficult to find, whether one likes their blooms to be crisp and citrusy like Stella by Stella McCartney, sweet and voluptuous like Lancôme Trésor or dark and smoldering like Guerlain Nahéma. Sa Majesté la Rose initially veers closer to crisp and radiant, with the tart fruity notes setting the mood. It reminds me more of Annick Goutal Ce Soir ou Jamais, rather than Lutens’s dusky Rose de Nuit. Lychee, a common accent in modern rose fragrances, is joined by tangy and honeyed chamomile, which gives Sa Majesté la Rose an appealing retro twist (think Elle Elle de Lucien Lelong.)

The honeyed sweetness, amplified by vanilla and oriental balsams, is the main theme of Sa Majesté la Rose. The guaiacwood with its smoky rose scent elegantly continues the rose melody into the late drydown. The sweet, rich facets are contrasted so successfully with the bright, crisp rose and geranium notes that the fragrance maintains its vibrant, uplifting character without becoming overly heavy or languorous. While I usually do not mind either one of these qualities, the beauty of Sa Majesté la Rose is in its clarity. It is a fragrance that easily goes from morning to evening, from office to the party, and in whatever setting I wear it, it feels like a perfect ornament.

Serge Lutens Sa Majesté la Rose Eau de Parfum includes notes of geranium, rose, clove, and vanilla. It is sold in the export range. The export line fragrances are available from Aedes, Beautyhabit, Luckyscent, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and from some Neiman Marcus locations. $120, 50ml.

Sample: my own acquisition

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17 Comments

  • sunsetsong: This was my first niche perfume purchase, it is very special. I envy the rose petal shower experience, how wonderful. January 4, 2012 at 8:45am Reply

  • Suzanna: This is the ultimate rose to me and yet one I cannot wear because it rides “high” and doesn’t settle. The crispness of the opening remains and this may just be a factor of personal chemistry.

    I think I need a small decant, however, just to sniff from time to time in all its blooming glory. January 4, 2012 at 9:46am Reply

  • OperaFan: I’m really on the fence about this one. I adore the glorious rose in the top half of its wear. My problem comes when the bloom fades and I’m left with a dry bite that lingers a bit longer than I like and makes me long for the faded flower. January 4, 2012 at 10:10am Reply

  • bloody frida: I absolutely love this one, and much prefer it to Malle’s Une Rose. Thanks for the review! January 4, 2012 at 10:12am Reply

  • Dee: Probably the most perfect rose soliflore, as far as I’m concerned, and also my first niche purchase! It doesn’t get much wear anymore, but I still love it’s bright, optimistic, honeyed-goodness. 🙂 January 4, 2012 at 10:57am Reply

  • LadyShine: I will try it — it sounds delectable. I am still a pure Tea Rose (Perfumer’s Workshop) junkie! January 4, 2012 at 10:59am Reply

  • Victoria: It was also one of my first Lutens, and I still enjoy it. 🙂 January 4, 2012 at 11:14am Reply

  • Victoria: It is a crisp rose, and I can see what you mean when you say that it does not settle. At least, on my skin it does take a while, but I do not mind it. January 4, 2012 at 11:25am Reply

  • Victoria: It reminds me a bit of another rose I love in theory–Annick Goutal Ce Soir ou Jamais. It is so beautiful on top, but it dries down to a sour wine note. Sa Majeste does not have that element, thankfully, but it is not as lush as Goutal’s. January 4, 2012 at 11:26am Reply

  • Victoria: I like Une Rose in theory, but I hardly ever wear it–the ambery drydown is far too sharp! January 4, 2012 at 11:31am Reply

  • Victoria: I agree! Bright, optimistic, honeyed-goodness is a perfect way to describe it. January 4, 2012 at 11:31am Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, great to see more fans of Tea Rose! Such a fantastic rose! I think that you will like Sa Majeste de la Rose. It is has a similar crisp-citrusy character in its opening notes. January 4, 2012 at 11:32am Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: There really is nothing more classic, more feminine or more satisfying than a rose scent- it’s like getting a Valentine’s bouquet every day when you wear it. This one is kind of a departure for Lutens, but it does have his signature sophitication- some single note florals can seem rather simplistic. But, I must admit- I do like Tea Rose. Does Perfumer’s Workshop make any other scents? I vaguely recall from a very long time ago, they made a Camellia scent that was very light and spring-like and fresh. January 5, 2012 at 5:27pm Reply

  • Victoria: Perfumer’s Workshop still has several fragrances, but in my opinion, Tea Rose is their best. The rest is a strange mix of things called Samba, Viva Samba, Zipped, Unzipped and a ton of flankers on these themes. January 6, 2012 at 10:51am Reply

  • bloody frida: I adore this one – in fact, Parfum1 had a 15% off coupon, so I had to buy 50 mls! March 20, 2012 at 10:41pm Reply

  • Victoria: They have these nice deals time to time, and I've also taken advantage of them. Sigh… I wish Aedes or Luckyscent had discounts. 🙂 March 21, 2012 at 5:43pm Reply

  • Julie: I’m seriously considering this one…I do not have
    a lot of scents with rose, and feeling like I should. 🙂 Thank you for this lovely review Victoria. I really enjoy Serge Lutens. October 29, 2015 at 12:29pm Reply

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