DATE OF ISSUE 2000
LISTED NOTES rose, geranium, clove, vanilla, gaiac, honey, musk.
Rose soliflores, in fact soliflores in general, do not speak to the very core of my being. Perhaps I can make an exception for A La Nuit, that soporific, sloe-eyed jasmine, and for a good champaca- if I am ever to find an example of that elusive paragon, since it seems doomed to cloying, pandering adulteration. What is a freaking soliflore anyway, you might well ask; literally, it is a scent based on or consisting wholly of a single nominated flower, a conceit that many find tiresome given the fact that virtually nothing smells exclusively of itself. You might conclude that this endeavour often ends in gakky disaster, and you would be right- tuberose (it burns!) and vanilla being much abused in the tortuous pursuit of simplicity.
Having just qualified my initial statement into oblivion, I might as well go the whole hog and admit to enjoying Sa Majesté la Rose, if not to the same extent as, say… Muscs Koublai Khan or… quite a few other things. Equivocation is annoying, isn't it? I agree, wholeheartedly. But I just don't know if I can love a simple singleton; I need layers, enigmas, imponderables. Should my exorbitant requirements colour your own opinion of such an expertly composed and well-executed scent? Probably not.
Sa Majesté opens with the best of all possible roses. Serge himself references Turkish, Bulgarian and Moroccan sources which suggests the inclusion of both rosa damascena (heavy, fat, fruity) and rosa centifolia (bright, sweet), the basis of those respective harvests. The scent is truly a thing of hybrid perfection, collating all those narrow, fractionated ideas that we have gathered and stowed and arranging them in an authentic sequence. We are greeted with cloudy dawn pink and feather-grey top notes that express the first taste of a new flower still quartered in its native thorns. There is bloomy purple fruit threaded with a notional honey, more like deliquescent sweetness than the mellifluous substance itself, devoid of any skunky complexity. Clasping this central emphasis is a cold, limpid note of dew supported by the fibrous, wooded bitterness of fresh sap, the shaded green of leaves and the ghost of the cool dirt at the feet of it all, a loamy darkness anchoring the velvet hum. The rose is the story and there is not too much else to report; I find that any flanking notes owe much of their presence or absence to temperature and detect a nip of carnation and a smudge of white musk on a warm day. Honey and sleepy clove fire up slowly in the tail.
Sa Majesté la Rose has a half-life of twenty thousand earth years on my (very fixative) skin; be prepared for that. As with Chergui I always spray it low to combat the rogue-volitile element that can ambush you on a hot day. I find it clean-wearing but others have reported souring in short order, so if you're a sweaty little number apply it somewhere cool and dry. It plays well with others; I've layered it with Sonoma Ambre Noir, SL Louve, Santal Majuscule and Arabie (lol- try it!) with pleasing results. A brave male could certainly pull this off (with discretion, on a nice cool day) but that is highly dependent on personal chemistry and intestinal fortitude.
Receiving more compliments on Sa Majesté la Rose than all of my other scents put together points to two things; that it's perdy, and that my tastes are generally perverse. I tend to prefer smelling like I just sat on tropical fruit or got some jungle stuck in my hair or defiled some place of worship or recently wrestled a hermetic Taoist to the ground; that I like Sa Majesté says a lot in its favour. Do try before you buy, though.
50ml edp. Available online.