Summer Dreaming – Review: Serge Lutens Chergui

The Chergui or Sharqi, from the Arabic sharq, meaning east, is an east or southeast desert wind in Morocco (North Africa), especially in the north, most frequent in July and August. It is persistent, very dry and dusty, hot in summer, cold in winter. In summer, the Chergui might bring life to a standstill. Desiccating hot it makes life acutely uncomfortable. Dust is blowing everywhere and haze in building up quickly. East of the Atlas Mountains, the vigorous gusts can turn the Sahara into a choppy sea filled with whitecaps of sand, and temperatures rise well above 40°C for days. The easterly Chergui in Morocco is often explained as just another term and variant of the Scirocco in the Mediterranean and Northern Africa.  – weather online.

Chergui was my first love in the Lutens line up (Clair de Musc was only the first encounter, real love came later…) A dark brown liquid in the distinctive slim and square bottle, it stained my impressionable, still untrained mind just as irrevocably as my white blouse.

Chergui was created in 2001 by Christopher Sheldrake and includes notes of honey, musk, leather, incense, tobacco, amber, iris, rose and sandalwood.

Chergui was created with the Moroccan desert wind in mind, for me, though, a different image arises as soon as I smell the first whiff.

Chergui opens up with a hay accord so sweet and sun-drenched, I have to smile every time. It transports me into the summers of my youth in the country. I smell haystacks and dry summer air when a rain storm is long overdue. Not far off on a porch someone is having iced tea of which I get a whiff now and then. The tea drinker lights a pipe and the sweet tobacco floats lazily over in the still air.

Then spices join in, probably from the kitchen, and there is some old leather from the saddles in the barn. Flowers, almost dried up by the heat make an appearance, floating in and out of consciousness. Finally it dries down to a powdery, sandy and sweet woody base, that lasts forever and a day.

All very sedate and stately, I don’t get an impression of windswept plains or wild storms at all, the air is still, everything mellow, slow and floating in the baking heat. For me, Chergui is a sun-drenched “pastorale”.

Chergui is quite sweet at times, but still very suitable for men and women. I can only wear it in cold weather, where it provides warmth and sustenance. When the weather is warm it gets suffocating quickly and I get a headache lasting as long as the pefume itself (NOT recommended!)

Chergui is available in the export range (Thank you, Serge! Please keep it there forever!) in a 50ml bottle.

Picture sources:, (, by Brian Corll) some rights reserved, thank you!

About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
This entry was posted in Fragrance Reviews, Serge Lutens and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Summer Dreaming – Review: Serge Lutens Chergui

  1. Pingback: Fall Fragrance Round-up post | Olfactoria's Travels

  2. Pingback: Childhood Summers – Review: Cartier L’Heure Fougueuse | Olfactoria's Travels

  3. Pingback: Monday Question – Do You Change Your Perfume Wardrobe With The Seasons? | Olfactoria's Travels

  4. Pingback: Nebraska – Review: Parfumerie Générale Bois Blond | Olfactoria's Travels

  5. Pingback: Serge Lutens Chergui EDP Perfume Video Review | EauMG

  6. Pingback: In My Grandfather’s Den – Review: Sonoma Scent Studio Tabac Aurea | Olfactoria's Travels

  7. Pingback: Bodyguard – Review: Tom Ford Private Blend Tobacco Vanille | Olfactoria's Travels

  8. Pingback: Scents Of Destination – Where To Wear What! A Blogging Project | Olfactoria's Travels

  9. Pingback: Monday Question – Serge Lutens or Frédéric Malle: You Must Choose! | Olfactoria's Travels

  10. Pingback: Chergui by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2001 « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

  11. Pingback: People In Perfumeland – Kitty Shpirer Of Bissoumine | Olfactoria's Travels

  12. Pingback: People In Perfumeland – Florian Pedemanaud, Fragrance Training Manager | Olfactoria's Travels

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s