A blind buy from the same old man from the narrow Bologna street turned out to be completely opposite to expectations. Frankly, Serge Lutens Santal Blanc didn’t seem to be the love at first sniff. What I expected was warm and milky sandalwood. What I got was fruity chypre with a sour champagne (or better a peachy Bellini) note. All for the better.
The first impression is quite scary. Even if Santal Blanc is considered one of the most friendly white Lutens, the initial bouquet is rich and confusing. Pepper, fruit, musk, rose, sandalwood, spices, the Feminite du Bois sourness… There’s plenty of everything, however the overall picture isn’t heavy. It’s cool and sparkling on top, but it takes a few minutes for it to get warmer. The heart is very deep: you can smell powderness and the scent becomes highly clean and innocent. It’s light as crispy white clothes and rough linen bed sheets. You smell dry wood and a room filled with sun. It’s pure but not too sweet.
On the other hand, Santal Blanc is very carnal. It’s yeast and biscuits, even if not as strong as in Jeux de Peau. My nose finds nut shells, rose water, oily and resinous logs, dusty spice sacks, something buttery and humid. The opposite notes Christopher Sheldrake has put together reveal a superb whole new fragrance which embraces like a soft shawl and sticks to the skin.
Extremely reserved and unpretentious, very deep and well-read. It uses soft voice and runs from vulgarity, yet it has its own abyss.
Santal Blanc is an astonishing scent of light, space and well-being. Dry and mature, white as a golf ball and a padded cell.