Review: Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule — 4.0 points

The attractive qualities of sandalwood — that peculiar mix of warm milk and dry woods — were what had sent me once on a quest for the perfect sandalwood perfume. Naturally, a composition with a name like Santal Majuscule (Serge Lutens, 2012) — literally ‘sandalwood in capitals’ — caught my attention. And it did not disappoint.


Perfumer Christopher Sheldrake delivers on that promise with a seductive accord of sandalwood and musky rose. The rich milky character, for which sandalwood is adored, is not only there fair and square, but it is also reinforced by a soft caress of floral and musky notes. Underscored by bright, spicy cinnamon on top, the contrastingly plush, creamy accord forms the impression for most of the composition. It is almost decadent.

Within the silky, creamy accord, patchouli backs the woody element and lends a subtle gourmand suggestion. The result is an addictive blend of musky, creamy softness and a hint of cocoa. Basically, it is a contrast between creamy and woody notes, and it gives Santal Majuscule an intriguing quality.

My requirement for a big dose of sandalwood was more than satisfied. The strong, clear-cut idea of a sandalwood is offered here with interesting embellishments and performance to match. I wear Santal Majuscule whenever I simply want a cosy creamy aura and dry woods that wrap around me all day, and just a spritz or two certainly goes a long way.


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